Study shows that government could save by ensuring that every Canadian has a roof over their head
OTTAWA — The Conservative government’s strategy to fight homelessness is expensive and doesn’t bring the expected benefits, said New Democrat Housing critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga).
These are the findings of a study by Stephen Gaetz, published by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network, which shows that current health, justice and police service costs associated with homelessness are far greater than what the government would have to spend if homeless people were adequately housed. According to Boutin-Sweet, the solution is either to invest in social housing or grant rent supplements to people with low incomes.
“Apart from cutting funding to RAPSIM, the largest support group for persons living alone and homeless in Montreal, and making announcements about money that already existed, what have the Conservatives done to fight homelessness and reduce government expenses?,” said Boutin-Sweet.
According to the study, governments spend at least $4.5 billion each year on services for the homeless, much more than it would cost to house these people.
“Canadian taxpayers could save 54% of money invested simply by ensuring that every Canadian has a roof over their head. We must renew long-term social housing agreements and put in place a real strategy to fight poverty,” concluded the MP.
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