OTTAWA, July 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Yesterday's announcement of funds from the
Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for two homelessness shelters in
Vancouver - while welcome - only puts a band-aid on the housing and
homelessness crisis that is facing the city, the Co-operative Housing
Federation of Canada (CHF Canada) said today.
"While the funding for the shelter program at Covenant House Vancouver
will expand two separate shelters, funds from the HPS - a federal program that
is expiring in March 2009 - should also be provided for long-term, permanent
affordable housing," said Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director.
"We are at a critical point in time and the Conservative government needs
to step up to the plate and renew the three federal housing programs,
including the HPS, which are all set to expire on March 31, 2009. Monte
Solberg, the Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation,
needs to give national stakeholders, including non-profit housing
co-operatives, some level of predictability by committing to renew the federal
housing programs," said Gazzard.
CHF Canada has been pressing the federal government to provide real
leadership by developing a long-term national affordable housing action plan,
in consultation with the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for
housing, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and major stakeholder
groups including the non-profit co-op housing sector.
"Mr. Solberg has defended his government's record on housing by asserting
that the Conservative government has spent 'more than any other government in
history.' However, if his government does not renew the major federal
programs, including the HPS, the federal government will be spending the least
amount of money than any previous government in Canadian history," said
Gazzard. "The time is now to show real leadership and pave the way for the
provision of permanent affordable housing options for Canada's disenfranchised
citizens, including our growing homelessness population across Canada."
CHF Canada is the national voice of the Canadian co-operative housing
movement. Its members include nearly 900 non-profit housing co-operatives as
well as organizations that are closely linked with housing cooperatives.
For further information:
For further information: Nicholas Gazzard, Executive Director, (613)
230-2201 ext. 230, (613) 293-8913 (cell); Merrilee Robson, Program Manager,
Communications, 1-877-533-2667, ext. 122, (778) 227-3864 (cell)