Once Again Accountability in Short Supply at the Federal Level

OTTAWA – Libby Davies, NDP Housing Critic today called on Housing Minister Joe Fontana to ensure accountability when it comes to federal funds for housing.

“The BC government has chosen to renege on their affordable housing commitments and the federal government is doing nothing to prevent this from happening,” said the Vancouver East MP.

Home Insecurity: The State of Social Housing in BC, a report released earlier this week by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Tenants’ Rights Action Coalition, finds that the provincial government is diverting federal funds earmarked for housing into assisted living spaces in an attempt to meet the province’s health care commitments.

“While assisting living is also a pressing need it is not social housing,” said the Vancouver East MP. “We have a housing and homelessness crisis in communities across this country and the federal government can’t seem to get it together enough to ensure that the little money they do provide provinces for housing actually gets spend on creating affordable housing units.”

Since the federal government signed the Affordable Housing Framework Agreement in November of 2001 few provinces have matched the funds committed by the federal government. As a result, very few affordable housing units have been created.

The federal government must introduce binding accountability rules which would guarantee funds transferred for housing programs are actual spend in that area. “Affordable housing needs to be on the agenda and we in the NDP are going to use our position in the current minority government to make sure an effective national affordable housing program gets underway,” said Davies.