STATEMENT BY FCM PRESIDENT ON THE LIBERAL PARTY'S COMMITMENT TO INVEST IN A LONG-TERM AFFORDABLE HOUSING STRATEGY

OTTAWA, April 3 /CNW/ - OTTAWA, FCM applauds today's commitment by the Liberal Party to invest an additional $275 million per year in a new, long-term affordable housing strategy.

Today's commitment would help cities and communities fix the growing cracks in our housing system. It would invest 70 % more in federal housing programs, increase cooperation among all orders of government and help municipalities provide stable housing for the 40,000 Canadians who sleep in emergency shelters every night.

Putting these investments on a long-term track is vital if Canada is going to reduce homelessness and house the new workers it needs to drive economic growth. With sustained funding commitments and a new partnership among all three orders of government, Canada could eliminate homelessness, spur new construction of rental units, and renew Canada's 600,000 aging social housing units.

This issue affects every taxpayer. Homelessness fuels problems that put an enormous burden on emergency rooms, police, and social services. Research suggests that on average moving a homeless person from an emergency shelter to stable housing saves taxpayers $9,000 a year.

FCM also welcomes the Liberal Party's commitment to replace expiring infrastructure funding programs, invest in better roads and public transit, and work with municipalities to develop long-term infrastructure and transportation plans. However, we are concerned that the Liberal Party's proposed cancellation of the federal P3 fund will leave municipalities with one less source of near-term infrastructure funding. Cities and communities need all parties to commit to protect and expand current federal infrastructure investment levels.

Fully and swiftly implemented, today's commitments would help municipalities meet a growing housing crisis and could lay the foundation for badly needed long-term investments in our cities and communities. What's needed now is a broader vision for our cities and communities' future, and a permanent place for municipalities in meeting national challenges. During this election campaign, FCM is calling on all parties to step up and build that vision. 

* The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. FCM represents close to 90 per cent of the Canadian population - more than 1,900 municipal governments across the country.

SOURCE FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES

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For more information, please contact:
Mouktar Abdillahi at (613) 907-6395

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FEDERATION OF CANADIAN MUNICIPALITIES

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