HOUSING: MARJOLAINE BOUTIN-SWEET URGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO LISTEN TO MUNICIPALITIES

Federation of Canadian Municipalities report expresses concern about country’s affordable housing shortage

 

OTTAWA — Reacting to a report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) which raises concerns about the country’s affordable rental housing shortage, the NDP urges the federal government to address this problem.

“The NDP supports the conclusions of the FCM report,” said Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga), Official Opposition Housing Critic. “Action is urgently needed: if the government does nothing, even more people will find themselves on the street or will have to allocate more and more of their budget to housing.”

The report, published today, shows that there is a current affordable housing shortage in Canada and that the situation is likely to worsen if the government doesn’t act quickly. This is supported by the last CMHC rental market survey, which indicates that the average vacancy rate has gone from 2.5% to 2.3%. The NDP proposes two measures to improve this situation: offer incentives for the building of private rental housing using CMHC’s tools and get a recommitment from the federal government to build new social housing throughout Canada. 

Last May, the House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion by New Democrat Réjean Genest (Shefford) calling on the government to respect its international housing commitments, support municipalities’ efforts to fight homelessness and adopt measures to increase the supply of affordable rental housing.

Boutin-Sweet said that no action has been taken to replace the long term social housing agreements between the federal, the provinces and Canadian municipalities. “These agreements ensure that tenants do not spend more than 25% of their income on housing. The government must commit to extending them immediately,” she concluded.

“In a country like ours, each citizen should be able to find decent affordable housing,” added Mike Sullivan (York South‒Weston), Deputy Housing Critic. “We know what the solutions are. It’s up to the government to put them into practice.” 

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For more information, please contact:

David Patry, Press Secretary, Quebec Caucus Services 514-238-8240 or david.patry@parl.gc.ca