COURTENAY, BC, August 6, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) and Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar and the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip today held a roundtable meeting with community and business leaders in the Comox Valley. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the federal Government's support for affordable housing in British Columbia and the Government's 'Housing First' strategy to combat homelessness.
- Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested more than $16.5 billion in housing. For B.C., this represents an investment of some $1.8 billion.
- On Mar 4, 2014, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia announced the renewal of the Investment in Affordable Housing agreement for the 2014-19 period with an additional combined investment of more than $300 million. From April 2011 to March 31, 2014, the IAH had already helped close to 184,000 households nationally, and close to 2,600 in B.C.
- Economic Action Plan 2013 announced an investment of $600 million in funding for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy with renewed focus on Housing First, a proven, evidence-based approach to end homelessness.
- The Housing First approach came into effect on April 1, 2014, and is being introduced gradually across the country over the next two years with specified funding targets, taking into account varying capacity and resources among communities.
"Our Government is proud to partner with the provinces and territories to invest in affordable housing. Our bilateral agreements recognize the diverse housing needs of the various regions and allow flexibility so the substantial investments can be allocated according to local needs and priorities. In terms of 'Housing First,' this proven approach is allowing us to move out of crisis mode in terms of managing homelessness as we work towards eliminating it altogether, building stronger communities and ensuring Canada's long-term prosperity."
– The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
"We have many groups on Vancouver Island who are finding innovative ways to address the issues of homelessness and affordable housing. This was an opportunity to highlight the importance of local partnerships focusing on real results, and we appreciate the work Minister Bergen is doing in the area."
– The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
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