Urges government to stay focused on outcomes and act urgently on chronic homelessness
CALGARY, Nov. 22, 2017 /CNW/ - The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness today welcomed release of the long-awaited National Housing Strategy (NHS) marking the return of the federal government to leadership on housing. In the NHS, the government set out its vision, laid out some ambitious goals (including a goal to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 percent) and outlined several important policy measures.
"The National Housing Strategy is a sweeping, complex and ambitious initiative," said Tim Richter, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. "While there are still many important details to be worked out, the investment of over $40 billion in housing and homelessness is a very big deal.
"We urge the government to move quickly to put this money to work. The lack of a home is a matter of life and death for too many Canadians. We have to act urgently and focus on those Canadians in the greatest need."
There were several notable measures in the National Housing Strategy including:
- A plan to embed the Right to Housing in legislation.
- A commitment to build 100,000 units of new affordable housing.
- A commitment to repair 300,000 units of social housing.
- A commitment to protect 385,000 households living in social housing facing loss of subsidy.
- An 11 year, $2.3 billion renewal of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
- A $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit program to support up to 300,000 Canadians facing housing affordability challenges.
- A commitment to a distinct Indigenous housing strategy with additional funding.
From a homelessness perspective, the most promising news in this announcement is the commitment to 100,000 new affordable housing units and the creation of a Canada Housing Benefit program. These programs, combined with the expected release of a new homelessness program (based on the old Homelessness Partnering Strategy) will be critical to reducing chronic homelessness.
"To achieve their homelessness goal, the federal government will have to make investments in supportive housing, focus the Canada Housing Benefit Program on people experiencing homelessness and extreme core housing need, and ensure a renewed federal homelessness program uses proven, evidence based strategies like Housing First," said Richter. "We're encouraged by the government's commitment to focus on outcomes and use data and evidence to shape the implementation of the strategy."
About the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness leads a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada.
The CAEH leads the 20,000 Homes Campaign which is a national change movement focused on ending chronic homelessness in 20 communities and housing 20,000 of Canada's most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2020. The CAEH also runs a Training & Technical Assistance program providing expert, evidence based training and support to communities working to end homelessness.
SOURCE Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH)
For further information: Media inquiries, please contact: Tim Richter, President & CEO, 587 216-5615, [email protected], www.caeh.ca