National housing strategy announced, 1.7 million families to benefit

Municipal World


The federal government recently announced Canada's National Housing Strategy, a plan that will help 1.7 million families across the country afford a decent home. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been working non-stop with the federal government in crafting this strategy to best serve Canadians and local governments. 

The National Housing Strategy is a new ten-year, $40-million plan that includes 400,000 new, repaired or renewed housing units across Canada. This strategy will help 530,000 families from housing need, and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent. The November 22, 2017 announcement is a direct reflection of the efforts made by FCM.

“The national housing strategy released this afternoon is a breakthrough for cities and communities from coast to coast to coast. This is the kind of federal leadership that local governments have been seeking for more than 20 years," said FCM President Jenny Gerbasi. “Municipal leaders work on the frontlines of Canada’s housing crisis. We see its effects etched into the faces of parents who must choose between making rent and feeding the kids. We see it as local businesses struggled to attract talented workers. And FCM has led an intensive campaign to shape a national housing strategy that will tackle this crisis at its roots."

Through this new strategy promises to tackle everything from homelessness, the shortage of new housing units and repairs to existing units including protecting 385,000 households from losing an affordable home, providing 300,000 households with financial assistance through the Canadian Housing Benefit, and more. 

"This is a new, innovative plan that re-establishes the role the federal government must play in housing," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in announcing the plan in Toronto. "Housing rights are human rights, everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home."  

“The federal government has taken our advice to focus on the fundamentals. Replacing expiring social housing rent subsidies is a breakthrough for thousands of families who’ve feared losing their homes as long-term operating agreements wind down. Investing to repair and renew that social housing will keep more people in their homes and help secure tomorrow’s supply. And getting back to investing in affordable housing construction is the breakthrough we needed to start tackling the supply crunch," said FCM President Jenny Gerbasi. 

However, the question still remains, how will municipal expertise be used in the decision-making process on local housing developments?

“But at the end of the day, this strategy is a breakthrough for 1.7 million families who can’t find a decent home they can afford. It’s a breakthrough for mayors working to build more livable, inclusive, competitive cities and communities across Canada. And we look forward to working with all orders of government to unlock the incredible potential that this strategy represents," Jenny Gerbasi, FCM President proudly announced. MW

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