The Homebuyers Plan allows withdrawals of up to $25,000 per person from an RRSP to provide down payment or renovation funds for housing. This plan was created after lobbying from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) was acted upon by the Federal Government and has been instrumental at getting several generations of homeowners established in their own private residence. http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/goc/home_buyers_plan.shtml
In recent years, the advent of the TFSA (Tax free savings account) also provides a similar opportunity without tax implications. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/rgstrd/tfsa-celi/menu-eng.html
There is a onetime Federal Tax credit for first time buyers called the Home Buyer Tax Credit (HBTC) which is a $5,000 tax credit brought in during 2009. http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hbtc/
There are several other programs worth checking out at the Federal level, these include:
The Emergency Repairs program
The Home Adaptation for Senior Independence Program
The Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for persons with disabilities.
Links to these programs can be found at: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/prfinas/index.cfm
Two formerly popular Federal programs for Home Renovation Tax Credit and Energy Retrofit have unfortunately ended.