Budget must invest in affordable housing, say Vancouver MPs, community groups

National housing program will reduce homelessness and create jobs

(Vancouver) Vancouver NDP MPs Libby Davies and Don Davies joined community organizations, labour groups and local political representatives today to call for a national housing program in next week’s federal budget.

“The message we’re hearing from our communities is clear: this budget must include a large-scale investment in affordable housing,” said Vancouver East MP Libby Davies at a press conference in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “Homelessness is at crisis levels, and thousands more Vancouverites are having problems with housing affordability. It’s time for the federal government to invest in new social and co-operative housing, and to fund repairs and retrofits for existing affordable housing stock.”

Davies says she plans to reintroduce a private member’s bill in the new parliament to define housing as human right.

Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies emphasized the economic benefits of federal investment in affordable housing.

“Thousands of forestry, building trades and construction workers across Canada are losing their jobs,” said the Vancouver Kingsway MP. “Targeted investment in housing is the smart way to reduce housing wait lists, create jobs in construction and help revitalize the Canadian forestry sector– all at the same time.”

Both NDP MPs say their party will push to make federal investment in housing a priority when Parliament resumes on January 26.

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Participants at the press conference included:

Libby Davies - MP (Vancouver East),

Don Davies - MP (Vancouver Kingsway)

Jenny Kwan - MLA (Vancouver Mount Pleasant)

Kerry Jang - Vancouver City Councillor

Ellen Woodsworth - Vancouver City Councillor

Brent Granby - Homelessness Hunger Strike relay

Darren Kitchen - Cooperative Housing Federation of BC

Jerry Adams - Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Society

Wendy Pedersen - Carnegie Community Action Project

Wayne Peppard - BC and Yukon Building and Construction Trades Council

Follow the link below for photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/libbydavies/sets/72157612868799931/

This Press Release was posted on January 23, 2009
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