Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government is putting nearly $200 million in new money toward supporting low-income renters and shelters.
Ottawa is pouring an additional $99 million into the Canada Housing Benefit, which offers financial support for low-income renters in partnership with provinces and territories.
Freeland says another $100 million will go toward emergency winter funding to help shelters to create more spaces for people without housing.
The measures come as the government faces increasing pressure to address skyrocketing rent prices and help communities struggling with homelessness.
Freeland made the announcement alongside other cabinet members at a weekly news conference in Ottawa.
Ministers with portfolios that touch on the economy have been holding almost-weekly news conferences since the fall as part of the Liberal government’s effort to sell policies that address cost-of-living issues.
“We all know that housing is the central challenge in Canada right now,” Freeland said Tuesday.
“It’s a central challenge in people’s lives, and this is especially true for Canadians who are struggling with the high cost of rent.”
Data from Rentals.ca and market research firm Urbanation showed the average asking rent for December in Canada jumped 8.6 per cent year-over-year to a record high of $2,178 per month.