Archived - Backgrounder: Strengthening the Housing Finance System

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The Harper Government has taken a responsible and measured approach to ensure Canada’s housing market remains strong and stable.

To that end, it has taken a series of proactive steps since 2008 to protect and strengthen the housing market and help prevent Canadian households from getting overextended.

Economic Action Plan 2012 includes measures to enhance the governance and oversight framework for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). These proposed changes are part of the Government’s continuous efforts to strengthen the housing finance system. They will contribute to the stability of the housing market and benefit all Canadians.

CMHC’s commercial activities, particularly its mortgage insurance and securitization programs, play an important role in the housing market and the financial system.

The legislative amendments in the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act tabled today will strengthen oversight of CMHC, and ensure its commercial activities are managed in a manner that promotes the stability of the financial system. These changes will contribute to improving governance and oversight of mortgage lending practices in Canada.

The proposed legislative enhancements include:

  • Additional objectives for CMHC to ensure its commercial activities promote and contribute to the stability of financial system, including the housing market.
  • Legislative and regulatory authorities for the Minister of Finance in respect of CMHC’s securitization programs and any new commercial programs.
  • Authorities for the Superintendent of Financial Institutions to review and monitor the safety and soundness of CMHC’s commercial activities and report to the CMHC board of directors and the Ministers of Finance and Human Resources and Skills Development.
  • The addition of the Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and the Deputy Minister of Finance to CMHC’s board of directors as ex-officio members.