Canada Only Industrialized Country Without a National Housing Strategy

Ottawa – Parliamentarians should support a New Democrat bill to create a national housing strategy so we can address the glaring need for affordable housing right across the country says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes joined with other New Democrat MPs who tabled petitions calling on the government to support Bill C-400 that will create a strategy to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.

“Almost 13% of Canadian households are in core housing need of access to affordable housing which is defined as a fundamental right under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights,” said Hughes.

The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada reports some 3 million Canadian households, including 750,000 children, are in core housing need, a term that describes households forced to spend more than 30% of their income on shelter.  That number doesn’t include Canada’s homeless population estimated at 150,000 to 300,000 people and approximately 900,000 hidden homeless who deal with poor living conditions and overcrowding.

With roughly ten percent of the population caught up in these housing shortfalls the need for the federal government to lead a discussion with its provincial partners is obvious, yet Canada remains the only industrialized country without a national housing strategy.

Hughes reminded parliamentarians that the problem is wide-spread and not limited to Canada’s urban centres.

“I can tell you that in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing this is needed every bit as much as it is in Canada’s big cities,” said Hughes.

C-400 has broad support form groups like the United Church, Dignity for All, Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty who have included a national housing strategy as an important component in their efforts to address poverty and homelessness in Canada.