Connecting with Canadians

Research Report:

The Homeownership Component of the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program: Critical Analysis of Program Objectives

by Helen Looker

In April 2005, the federal and Ontario governments jointly invested $734 million in the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program (COAHP) with more than $28 million dedicated to the COAHP Homeownership Component.  The goal of the COAHP Homeownership Component was to help 3,470 low to moderate income households transition from renting to home ownership through assisted down payments.  This paper assesses the variable uptake of the COAHP Homeownership Component and critically analyzes the presumption that home ownership represents a necessarily positive trajectory for low and middle income Canadian households.  The author reviews the policy guidelines and conducts interviews with service managers in urban, metropolitan and urban Ontario, and housing experts from public and private sectors, and from the research community.  The author concludes with recommendations that call for program-related enhancements, including the facilitation of asset accumulation in low-income households and income-related supports for low-income home owners.  Looker also calls for government leadership to improve the quality of housing policy within the wider economic context.

The CPRN/SHSC Housing Research Internship and Scholar Program is funded by SHSC and run by CPRN's Director of Housing and Environment, Dr. Michael Buzzelli. The program's overall aim is to develop Canada's housing research and policy capacity by attracting and retaining the best and the brightest in the housing sector. The program is an intensive four-month policy research training experience that results in the publication of original housing policy research. For information on SHSC, go to

Release Date: 22 Dec 2009
Number of pages: 51
Document number: 51977

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