CMHC sunshine list and bonuses balloon during housing affordability crisis

Author: Ryan Thorpe 2023/05/30

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation dished out six-figure salaries to 931 staffers in 2022, as the country battled a housing affordability crisis and first-time home buyers struggled to break into the marketplace.

That’s according to internal CMHC records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation through a series of access-to-information requests. All told, 42 per cent of the CMHC’s overall workforce took home more than $100,000 last year.  

“The CMHC could do more to make homes affordable by hiring 931 carpenters instead of paying hundreds of bureaucrats bloated six-figure salaries,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “Canadians need more homes, not more overpaid bureaucrats.” 

The federal Crown corporation also handed out nearly $34 million in bonuses and pay raises in 2022, with 2,292 staffers receiving a bonus and another 1,895 getting a pay raise. The average annual bonus was $11,722.

That brings the total amount of money the CMHC has dished out in bonuses and raises since the beginning of 2020 up to $93 million. Meanwhile, in the past three years, not a single CMHC employee has received a pay cut. 

The CMHC “exists for a single reason: to make housing affordable for everyone in Canada,” according to its website. And if you ask Canadians what they think, the CMHC is failing to deliver on its mandate. 

Polling from Ipsos and Global News shows that 63 per cent of Canadians who don’t own a home have “given up” on ever owning one. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents said home ownership in Canada is “only for the rich.” 

Just 27 per cent of Canadians feel the federal government is doing enough to address the ongoing housing affordability crisis. 

Last fall, the Royal Bank of Canada reported that “buying a home has never been so unaffordable,” while just last month, the National Bank of Canada said that average mortgage payments as a percentage of income have hit their second-worst levels since 1981. 

The average home price increased by 2.4 per cent in 2022, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. This followed a 21 per cent increase in 2021 and a 13 per cent increase in 2020. 

But none of that has slowed the spate of bonuses and raises at the CMHC. 

In the past five years, the number of CMHC staffers receiving six-figure annual salaries has grown by 199 employees, or 27 per cent. 


CMHC employees receiving $100,000 + salary

Total cost of salaries

Percentage of CMHC staff receiving $100,000 +





















“CMHC bureaucrats shouldn’t be taking home millions in bonuses and raises while a generation of Canadians feel they may never own a home,” Terrazzano said. “Maybe CMHC bureaucrats could give the bonuses a break while Canadians can’t afford homes.”

Internal CMHC records obtained by the CTF show that in recent years, more than 90 per cent of the federal Crown corporation’s staff has taken home an annual bonus. 

In 2020, 1,879 employees received a bonus, costing taxpayers $22.8 million. 

In 2021, 2,025 employees got a bonus, costing taxpayers $25.5 million. 

Those years, 1,788 and 1,820 staffers also got pay raises, costing taxpayers $5.7 million and $5.2 million, respectively. 

In Budget 2023, the federal government said it plans to work with Crown corporations to “ensure they achieve comparable spending reductions, which would account for an estimated $1.3 billion over four years starting in 2024-25, and $450 million ongoing.”

“In the real world, when you fail at your job, you get shown the door, not handed a big fat bonus cheque,” Terrazzano said. “Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland should find savings by ending the bonuses at failing Crown corporations like the CMHC.”

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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