Statement by FCM President Gord Steeves on today's report on declining government investment in affordable housing by the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA)

    OTTAWA, Sept. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - "Affordable housing is the foundation of
a good life. Without it, no one can hope to maintain health, hold a job,
pursue an education or raise a family.
    In 2001, 15.8 per cent of households did not meet the basic standard for
housing affordability (less than 30 per cent of household before-tax income
going to shelter), adequacy and suitability, and trends have not improved
significantly. Many counts of the homeless population have shown large and
growing numbers of homeless people.
    Yet, as this report by the CHRA shows, federal government spending on
affordable housing has been in sharp and steady decline since the early 1990s.
Net provincial/territorial spending fell throughout the late 1990s, before
increasing following the introduction of the federal Affordable Housing
    For municipal governments, which are on the front lines in providing
social support, including shelter, and dealing with homelessness, this has
meant growing responsibilities and increasing financial strain. Municipal
governments must balance the need to provide shelter with other equally
pressing needs, including the growing municipal infrastructure deficit.
    No single order of government can tackle the challenges of affordable
housing and homelessness alone. Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal
governments must work together to develop a long-term strategy that ensures
all Canadians, regardless of income, have access to decent, affordable housing
and are safe from the threat of homelessness.
    FCM urges the federal government to develop a long-term strategy to deal
with homelessness and housing affordability. We are ready to work with the
federal and provincial/territorial governments, and with organizations like
the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association to make this happen."

For further information:

For further information: Maurice Gingues, (613) 907-6395

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Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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