Canadian Mayors call for dedicated funding to address housing challenge

Today, Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor joined the Toronto Housing Summit participants and the Big City Mayors’ Caucus to request additional support from the Federal Government to help municipalities find sustainable solutions for affordable housing and homelessness.

In a joint call, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities asked that for its 2017 budget, the Federal government commit to set aside $12.6 billion of the Social Infrastructure Fund for housing from 2018-2026.

“There is a strong business case for investing in housing,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Ottawa has shown local leadership with our Ten Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, which aims to eliminate chronic homelessness by 2024. Between 2011 and 2014, Council has invested $16 million to support the development of 314 new affordable and supportive housing units. What we need now is provincial and national leadership and investment.”

 

“Ottawa is in lockstep with municipalities across Canada – we are advocating to our federal and provincial partners the urgent need for active collaboration on housing and homelessness,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Special Liaison on Housing and Homelessness for the City of Ottawa. “The City of Ottawa has more than 10,000 households on the social housing waitlist. Action is required by all levels of government to help our most vulnerable residents.”

In addition, the Big City Mayors’ Caucus is also calling for the following principles to be included in Canada’s National Housing Strategy:

  • Secure Canada’s existing 600,000 social housing units—a lifeline for people with disabilities, for newcomers, for low-income seniors
  • Develop new affordable that is designed differently with greater flexibility to suit local realities, harness local solutions, leverage the expertise of existing social and affordable housing providers, and utilize federal surplus lands
  • Double of the overall Homelessness Partnering Strategy through to 2025 directed at cities where homelessness is most acute
  • Provide tax credits to preserve low-cost rental housing, removing the GST from the cost of developing new rental housing and energy retrofit programs that reduce costs for renters
  • Direct funding to cities facing the greatest housing challenges, as evidenced by the percentage of households in core housing need and rates of homelessness, so that they can support local innovation to test out new housing solutions based on local needs and priorities
  • Distinctly and robustly fund housing for Indigenous people living on and off reserve
  • Review the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation mandate regarding housing policy within the federal system and the role of other federal departments in delivering on the objectives of the National Housing Strategy

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