Four Million Canadians Waiting for Future Prime Minister to Share Affordable Housing Solution



    TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - With the economy and the need to protect the
financial security of Canadians at the centre of the national election,
Habitat for Humanity Canada is urging all candidates to include the affordable
housing crisis in that discussion. While each of the major parties have
presented plans that either restate previously-made commitments or provide
band-aid solutions to the problem - none have presented a clear and
comprehensive housing strategy that will drive new investment and energy into
needed affordable housing initiatives.
    "Today, there are four million people across Canada living in need of
adequate and affordable housing," said David Hughes, President and CEO of
Habitat for Humanity Canada. "That is four million people who are waiting to
hear a long-term plan to make affordable housing and affordable homeownership
an attainable dream for hard-working Canadians - four million whose vote is
possibly still undecided."
    Investments in affordable homeownership do more than increase the stock
of available housing, they enable low-income families to acquire assets, break
the cycle of poverty and reduce their dependence on other forms of social
assistance. An investment in affordable housing is an investment in a stronger
economy and a better standard of living for all Canadians.
    The United Nations has characterized the state of homelessness and
inadequate housing in Canada as a 'national emergency.' Canadians see the
impact of this neglect every day with unacceptable levels of child and family
poverty, escalating housing costs, neighbourhood deterioration, and an
inability of working families to make ends meet.
    "Canada has dropped the ball on affordable housing," said Hughes. "Where
we were once a leader and innovator, we are now in trouble."
    The job of the future Prime Minister is to act as Canada's leader.
Leadership is about doing what is right, and in the case of government, doing
so in ways that serve Canadians and fosters a society that is vibrant, viable
and sustainable. It is this kind of leadership that is needed today as a
growing number of Canadians are forced to make unreasonable and unjust choices
between a place to live and life's other basic necessities.
    For more information please visit www.habitat.ca/advocate.

    About Habitat for Humanity Canada:

    Habitat for Humanity Canada is a national, non-profit, faith-based
organization working for a world where everyone has a safe and decent place to
live. The mission of the organization is to mobilize volunteers and community
partners in building affordable housing and promoting homeownership as a means
to breaking the cycle of poverty. Habitat for Humanity Canada was founded in
1985, consists of over 35,000 volunteers and 72 affiliate organizations from
coast to coast, and is a member of Habitat for Humanity International which
spans 93 countries, has built over 275,000 homes, and is now building a new
home every 21 minutes.





For further information:

For further information: Stephanie Nadalin, Optimum Public Relations,
(416) 306-6561, stephanie.nadalin@cossette.com; Josie Haynes, Optimum Public
Relations, (416) 934-8012, josie.haynes@cossette.com


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