Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has released research to better understand the characteristics of income support programs (social assistance) and shelter or housing benefits and the ways they are delivered in Canada and selected OECD countries.

The six countries reviewed were:

  • Australia
  • Finland
  • Ireland
  • the Netherlands
  • the United Kingdom
  • the United States (New York State).

The study set out to answer the following questions:

  • What are the basic income support benefits in each jurisdiction?
  • How do they relate to housing benefits?
  • How are income assistance rates set and are they set in a complementary way to housing benefits?
  • Do benefits differ depending on where people live: by market type (social housing or private market) and by market location and costs (urban, suburban, rural)?
  • How do social assistance and housing benefits compare to three objective measures: minimum-wage income, low income measure (LIM) and average market rents.