The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation handed out nearly $11 million in pay raises during the pandemic and ongoing housing affordability crisis, according to records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“Why is the CMHC handing out millions in pay raises and bonuses while taxpayers struggle through a pandemic and Canadians can’t afford to buy a home?” asked Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “Politicians should be holding the CMHC accountable for sky-high housing prices, not allowing millions in bonuses and pay hikes.”
The CMHC gave 1,788 employees pay raises in 2020, costing more than $5.7 million. In 2021, 1,820 employees received a pay raise, costing more than $5.2 million. The CMHC confirmed to the CTF that none of its employees received a pay cut in 2020 or 2021.
The pay raises are in addition to $48 million of bonuses handed out by the CMHC in in 2020 and 2021, which the CTF uncovered in March. The bonuses worked out to an average of more than $12,000 for each employee that received a bonus each year. More than 93 per cent of CMHC employees received a bonus in 2020 and 94 per cent of employees received a bonus in 2021.
The federal Crown corporation is “driven by one goal: housing affordability for all,” according to the CMHC’s website.
The average home price increased by 12.9 per cent in 2020 and by 21.3 per cent in 2021, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. The average home price is expected to increase by another 10.8 per cent in 2022.
A CMHC-funded report published in January 2022 recommends charging annual surtaxes on the value of a home beyond a $1-million threshold.
“Thousands of hardworking people have been forced to give up on owning a home in Canada, even though they work hard, because houses are too expensive,” said Kris Sims, B.C. Director of the CTF. “Taxpayers have every right to question why CMHC employees get bonuses and pay raises when they fail to meet their own goal of housing affordability.”