December 2nd, 2020
Vulnerable people in need of housing are again left behind by government: NDP
Following the release of the fall economic statement, NPD Critic for Housing Jenny Kwan made the following statement:
"The pandemic has exposed the glaring vulnerabilities and risks faced by people across the country who are homeless and under housed. But, instead of taking action to help some of the most vulnerable people in this country, the Liberals have decided to primarily focus on supporting the for-profit private sector. Almost all of the new funding for housing announced this week was for the Rental Construction Financing initiative (RCFi), a seriously flawed loan program geared primarily towards the for-profit private sector. Based on this program's definition of affordability, rent over $2,000 is somehow considered "affordable" in many cities where the housing crisis is at its worst. This government is completely out of touch with the reality Canadians are facing and their struggle to secure housing they can actually afford.
Stakeholders like the Federation of Canadians Municipalities, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association, the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada are all calling for concrete action to end the homelessness crisis including, a major scaling up and expansion of the Rapid Housing Initiative, funding to support non-profits in order to compete with large corporate funds in the purchase of distressed housing and a dedicated for Indigenous, by Indigenous housing strategy.
It is severely disappointing that almost none of the key initiatives called for by housing advocates were in the economic statement.
The Liberals have also shown their true colours by again failing to keep the promise they've been making for years to deliver an Indigenous housing strategy. Indigenous peoples are 11 times more likely to use a shelter and are by far the most overrepresented in the homeless population. It is absolutely disgraceful that, yet again, nothing was announced to address the glaringly urgent housing situation Indigenous people are facing.
To truly make sure that everyone in Canada can access the housing they need, the government must implement a detailed plan with clear timelines to end homelessness. The Recovery for All 6-point plan provides a detailed framework to achieve this goal and the housing strategy doesn't even come close to meeting the calls to address the current needs of the homeless crisis as well as implement a For Indigenous, By Indigenous housing strategy."