OTTAWA- Commitments for an Olympic ‘housing legacy’ are falling dramatically behind,” said Libby Davies (MP Vancouver East).
Libby Davies and Am Johal, Chair of Impact on Communities Coalition, held a press conference today, to call on the federal government to implement recommendations from a recently tabled United Nations report on housing that raises concerns about the potential negative impact of the Olympics on the homeless.
The report criticises Canada for its lack of action on affordable housing and warns that mega events like the Olympics can “trigger speculation and rapid increase in housing prices, lead to forced evictions to make way for the construction of infrastructure, city beautification or even criminalization of the homeless in areas near the events.”
“On the heels of international criticisms, the government must commit to a real housing plan that will actually deliver the affordable housing units that are so desperately needed in this country,” said Davies
Am Johal, has organized Vancouver events like the 2010 Homeless Hunger Strike Relay, to bring international attention to the homelessness crisis in Vancouver. Johal and other local activists are concerned about the treatment of the homeless in order to ‘clean up’ the city leading up to the games.
“Everyone deserves to have a secure, affordable, adequate place to live,” said Davies, whose Bill for a national housing strategy (C-304) comes up for debate this spring.