As rents continue to soar across the country, the federal government is pledging $99M to the Canada Housing Benefit (CHB). The program is designed to help low-income renters afford their monthly housing costs.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced the top-up to the CHB on Tuesday, less than a week after pledging close to $20M through the program to Toronto specifically.

The $99M top-up brings the federal government’s contribution through the Canada Housing Benefit to $325M for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, according to a press release from the Government of Canada.

These funds “will flow directly to low-income renters through provincial and territorial rent support programs,” the release also says. By 2027-2028, the CHB will have helped to make rent more affordable for over 300,000 low-income households.

"We all know that housing is the central challenge in Canada right now," Freeland said on 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."

The feds are additionally providing $100M in “emergency winter funding.” Those funds will be distributed to 85 communities across the country through the Reaching Home program and will enable those communities to expand their shelter programs.

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the heels of a $362M federal contribution to the Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP), which was announced by Immigration Minister Marc Miller last week. At least $100M of those funds has been committed to Quebec, while $143M was recently pledged to Toronto.

Speaking specifically to the $143M going to Toronto, the feds have said that the funds are meant to reimburse costs incurred by the city in 2023 and over the first quarter of 2024.

“We believe in Toronto, we believe in working closely with this great city to build this city and to be sure that Torontonians have all the opportunities to flourish,” Freeland said on Friday.

She added that the $143M builds upon $97M provided by the feds for asylum seekers in July.

“Taken together, this support means that the city of Toronto will receive $240M through the Interim Housing Assistance Program this fiscal year alone,” Freeland said. “And it means, critically, that more newcomers will have a safe and stable place to call home while they get settled in Canada.”