What Does Bill C-304 Do?

Bill C-304 for a National Housing Strategy

HOUSING FACTS:
• Canada is the only G8 country without a National Housing Strategy.

• Stats Canada estimates 1.5 Million Canadians live in housing insecurity, paying more than 30% of household income on housing.

• Safe and adequate housing is linked with better health, community safety and reduced crime rates.

• Provincial and federal housing studies show that it cost significantly more to the health and social systems to support those in need who are homeless than it costs to support those in need who are housed.

WHAT DOES C-304 ACTUALLY DO?
Respecting jurisdiction over delivery of programs, Bill C-304 brings all levels of government, Aboriginal communities, and civil society together to develop a national housing strategy. This bill provides a framework for all stakeholders to work together to set timelines, targets and develop review mechanisms to enable Canada to meet its existing obligations to ensure affordable, adequate housing for all.

WHY DO WE NEED A NATIONAL HOUSING STRATEGY?
The current piecemeal approach is not working. Billions of housing dollars have been announced over the years, yet hundreds of millions of those dollars are still unspent while homelessness is on the rise and Canada continually falls far short of its housing targets.

The 2009, Art Eggleton and Hugh Segal Senate report, “In From the Margins” highlights the need for a coordinated approach to housing with the federal government taking the lead.

Key findings of the government’s 2009 cross country consultation on the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (“What We Heard”) recorded almost unanimous support for a national housing program from its 21 meetings with stakeholder groups, including municipalities,.

WHO SUPPORTS C-304?
Municipalities, faith groups, chambers of commerce and over 50 national, provincial and local organizations representing tens of thousands of members have endorsed Bill C-304, including:

• ACORN Canada
• Assembly of First Nations
• Canadian Housing and Renewal Association
• Federation of Canadian Municipalities
• FRAPRU, Québec
• The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
• Victoria Chamber of Commerce
• Toronto City Council
• St. Vincent de Paul Society
• The Canadian Nurses Association

This Update from Libby was posted on August 30, 2010
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