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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

CMHC is an acronym for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The corporation began operations six decades ago as Canada's inaugural countrywide housing agency. The CMHC aims to provide housing solutions and housing research, and maintains Canada's top spot in the provision of mortgage insurance and mortgage-backed securities.

The government-owned corporation launched operations in 1946 out of a demand for post-war housing. Sixty years later, the CMHC is a forefront national housing agency, formulating housing policies, working to expand housing options for Canadians, and assisting Canadians who cannot afford housing within the private housing market. The agency aims to improve housing standards and to offer to the Canadian housing arena beneficial policy.

The CMHC manages just less than $2-billion annually in federal funds in support of some 625,000 households in Canada. The agency aims to use these funds toward an increase in affordable housing, and raised housing standards for all residents of Canada, including those dwelling on First Nation reserves.

CMHC Reports Monthly on Canadian Housing Market

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CMHC - 700 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON
Photo by: Rob Kelk

Every month the CMHC issues housing reports, providing analysis, trends and statistical data reflected in the current Canadian housing market. The agency also issues an annual report of its own performance, results and objectives.

Mortgage loan insurance, for which the CMHC is the country's leading provider, enables Canadians with less than 20 per cent toward a down payment to still qualify for the financing needed to purchase their home, revenue property or commercial sector edifice, should other requirements be met. Mortgage loan insurance, or mortgage default insurance, gives lenders the guarantee that should the borrower default on their mortgage payments they will still be covered. This insurance means lenders can provide financing without the need to charge borrowers with limited down payments escalated interest rates, as they are assured that their lending will be covered. The CMHC is Canada's sole issuer of insurance on loans for retirement homes, nursing homes, and large scale rental properties.

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Karen Kinsley, President & CEO

Karen Kinsley has maintained the role of President and Chief Executive Officer for the CMHC since 2003. She arrived at the housing corporation in 1987, after attaining a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Ottawa and becoming a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. A passion for the housing industry led her away from a career in accounting toward the path she leads today. Prior to the CMHC, Kinsley fulfilled the role of Vice President and Treasurer for two real estate development companies.

The corporation aims to extend its housing reach into every stretch of Canadian territory, including First Nations communities. The CMHC also endeavours to encourage energy-efficient housing and/or renovations with the provision of specific CMHC insurance products and/or rebates on insurance premiums, should specific energy-efficiency criteria be met.

Through the coming years the CMHC aims to increase the provision of environmentally-sustainable and affordable housing solutions, supporting an innovative, financially sustainable housing industry for Canadians that both improves quality living standards and provides a vibrant field of employment and economic growth.

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