FCM releases comprehensive plan to tackle Canada's housing crisis (21/10/2016)
Ottawa - Today, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) released Canada's Housing Opportunity, its plan to ensure that every Canadian can find a safe and affordable home. The 10-point roadmap calls for federal investment and leadership to make housing more affordable at every income level.
"We know that safe and affordable housing is the bedrock of communities where people want to live, raise their families and start businesses. But instead this country is falling into a housing crisis, and we need to fix this now," said FCM President Clark Somerville.
Today, 1.5 million Canadian households cannot find safe, decent housing that they can afford. Canada's 600,000 social housing homes are threatened as their federal funding disappears. One in five renters cannot afford daily necessities because they pay more than half their income on housing. And emergency shelter occupancy rates average 90 percent, driven by longer stays among families and people over 50.
"We've put forward a comprehensive plan that will protect today's social housing, build new affordable housing and kick-start rental markets. With strong federal leadership, we really can build that Canada where everyone can find a safe, decent and affordable place to call home," said Somerville.
Canada's Housing Opportunity is FCM's submission to federal consultations toward a National Housing Strategy (NHS). Alongside its recommendation to renew social and affordable rental housing across Canada, FCM is calling for distinct solutions for both Northern and Indigenous communities. To support its recommendations, FCM is calling for an immediate $12.66 billion carve-out from Phase 2 of the federal government's $20-billion Social Infrastructure Fund-building on initial investments in Phase 1.
"We finally have a window of opportunity to tackle the housing crisis," said Somerville. "The federal government has a big mandate to invest in social infrastructure. Now we need that big decision to make affordable housing the priority," said Somerville.
The FCM submission applauds the federal government's re-engagement on housing. It highlights the urgency of the situation in cities and communities across Canada and the social and economic opportunity it can seize through its Phase 2 infrastructure plan. It notes that every billion dollars invested in housing grows GDP by $1.4 billion, while easing cost pressures on our public health care and social services.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.
Pam Foster, FCM Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org , 613-907-6298