Budget Fails to Support Affordable Housing

Dear Friends,

I was disappointed to see that in all 352 pages of Tuesday’s budget, the Conservative government failed to include any provisions for affordable housing.

It seems incredible with such a housing crisis in many communities across Canada, that there would be nothing in the budget for housing. Despite the fact that the average cost of a house is rapidly rising in Canada’s cities, the Conservative government plans to cut funding to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and affordable housing programs by $1.2 billion in the next year. These cuts include vital funding for supported housing, as well as funding for renovation and retrofit of housing, for seniors, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal Canadians.

The bottom line is that the Conservative’s approach to housing has been a dismal failure. Nothing in this budget will take the country even one step closer to having the comprehensive national housing strategy that housing and poverty activists and organizations across Canada are calling for. The Conservative government has fought my National Housing Strategy Bill, C-304, every step of the way; they are the only party that continues to vote against it; further demonstrating their disinterest in making housing more affordable for Canadians.

Bill C-304 is now the closest we’ve ever been to having a comprehensive national housing strategy with timelines, objectives, outcomes, and deliverables. My Bill was recently re-introduced to Parliament, including a jurisdictional amendment accepted by the Liberal and Bloc members at HRSDC committee. I have worked to get my Bill back on the order paper and for a final vote in Parliament, and hoped this would take place before an election. I will continue to push the issue of affordable housing and work until a national housing strategy has been passed in Parliament.

Sincerely,

Libby

This Update from Libby was posted on March 25, 2011

2 Comments

Need to Also Address Middle Sector Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is also a crisis in highly unaffordable places like Vancouver for many regular workforce people such as teachers, nurses, firefighters, local government staff, and so on. These are the folks that don't qualify for social housing but can't afford to rent or buy an adequate place. Canada needs a national housing strategy that encompasses social housing (assisted, subsidized etc) AND middle sector or workforce housing as they have in the UK and Australia, for example. We need to address the full spectrum of the affordable housing continuum vs. just focusing on social housing. When we do, we allow opportunities for people to move along the spectrum and create communities that work for everyone.