Check out this thoughtful, timely blog that highlights the importance of a national housing strategy and the shameful fact that Canada remains the only G8 country without one.
This issue is hugely important right now. Federal Provincial operating agreements are expiring and by 2040 federal investment in social housing will be zero. About 200,000 households across Canada depend on federal operating agreements that provide financial assistance for low-income people living in housing co-operatives and non-profits. These people are frightened that they will not be able to pay for their housing when federal programs end. Some of these people who will struggle to afford their rent—and are at risk of losing their homes—are members of our community. This is unacceptable. From 2014-2030, 82 agreements will expire affecting 1,605 units in the Saint John Region. Already there are over 1,000 people on the waiting list for subsidized housing in the Saint John Region—we cannot afford to lose any of our affordable housing units. Furthermore, Saint John’s housing stock is very old; 43% of it was built before 1960. This means that there are likely more buildings in Saint John in need of repair and renovations and that we need to be investing more into safe and affordable housing in Saint John, not less.