The federal government is taking a leadership role in housing, with Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy (NHS). The strategy is the result of two years of extensive consultation, which community members on the coast have participated in. The NHS is a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will address the fact that across Canada 1.7 million Canadian families are in core housing need and approximately 25,000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night. New legislation planned for the coming year obliges the federal government to maintain a National Housing Strategy and to report to parliament on housing targets and outcomes.
Some of the new initiatives for us to consider and begin working on together are:
- The community based Tenant Initiative to support local organisations assisting people in housing need.
- A new Federal Housing Advocate will enable vulnerable groups to raise systemic issues or barriers they face in accessing adequate housing.
- The National Housing Co-Investment Fund, consisting of $4.7-billion in grants and $11.2 billion in low interest loans to create up to 60,000 new homes and repair up to 240,000 units of existing affordable and community housing. The fund will support more shelter spaces, improve accessibility and increase rental spaces.
- The Canada Community Housing Initiative will provide $4.3-billion to provinces and territories to jointly protect and build a sustainable community-based housing system.
- A new Federal Community Housing Initiative to protect tenants and stabilize the operations of some 55,000 units of federally administered social housing projects.
- The $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit to be launched in 2020 to respond to local needs and priorities. In partnership with provinces, territories and local governments, the Canada Housing Benefit is estimated to provide an average of $2,500 per year to each recipient household.
- $2.2-billion will be invested over ten years to tackle homelessness through a redesigned and expanded federal homelessness program complemented by the National Housing Co-Investment Fund and the Canada Housing Benefit.
Leaders in the housing community have asked that 25% of the National Housing Strategy investments go toward projects for women and their families. Our government supports this commitment.
Thank you for participating so strongly in the development of this ambitious plan and in supporting such a significant investment. The initiatives will get underway in 2018 and I look forward to working in partnership to ensure people in our community benefit, so that we are all better off.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback on our government’s work. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with us on Facebook: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, or stop by our community office in Horseshoe Bay, 6367 Bruce Street 604-913-2660.