National housing strategy 'a step in the right direction': London advocate

Kelowna has formed a task force to look at the issue of homelessness in Kelowna as part of its wok to development a strategy.—contributed

Kelowna has formed a task force to look at the issue of homelessness in Kelowna as part of its wok to development a strategy.—contributed

The strategy announced detailed plans to protect long term affordability for 385,000 low-income residents of community housing, including co-operatives.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has earmarked $40 billion over the next decade to go towards the Liberal government's national housing strategy. The benefit be delivered directly to households as a portable benefit they can use to help with the costs of housing.

"Our Government is establishing a federal leadership role in housing", Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for CMHC, said.

In all, the plan pulls together nearly $10 billion in planned spending, $11.2 billion in housing money outlined in this year's budget, and $4.8 billion the Liberals promised to keep spending on affordable housing providers.

The federal government will also work with provinces and territories to develop a $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit to be launched in 2020 to respond to local housing needs and priorities. Any province or territory that balks at the idea won't see the benefit.

Providing 300,000 households with financial assistance through the Canada Housing Benefit. Nor does all of it come from the federal government. "What we've really wanted was a long-term commitment, both in strategy and funding, from the federal government".


What should a national housing strategy include?

The national plan, which is the first of its kind, aims to reduce "chronic homelessness" by 50%. He thinks the strategy is a step in the right direction.

"There are no silver bullets here and there's not enough money involved to completely solve the whole housing crisis, but there should be enough money to make a significant difference", said Tim Richter, CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

The National Housing Strategy is aimed at helping Canada's most vulnerable citizens meet their housing needs.

He says the strategy needs to include rolling targets and timetables to ensure the plan is working, but given the recent decreases in metro when it comes to homelessness, the new federal strategy will definitely put some wind in the sails and move the marker closer to ending homelessness in Newfoundland and Labrador permanently. About $5 billion of that money the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.is expected to turn into $15 billion by leveraging $10 billion in private investment.

Still, most of the money won't be spent until after the next election, which troubles anti-poverty groups.

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