Call on the Federal government to make housing a priority
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is pleased to join the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association and Housing for All partners across Canada in calling on the Federal government to make good on their election promise of a National Housing Strategy.
We need your help!
Release of mandate letters
Last week, federal ministerial mandate letters were made public. These documents lay out the Prime Minister’s expectations and instructions for each of his ministers. We were encouraged to see housing mentioned in four separate portfolios. We were also pleased to see such an emphasis placed on transparency and collaboration to achieve government objectives.
Through these directives, it was made evident that we need to be working closely with both the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, who will be working on creating and implementing a National Housing Strategy together.
The mandate letters of the Honourable Bill Morneau Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs also mentioned housing priorities.
Read all 30 ministerial mandate letters.
On December 4, the Governor General will deliver the Speech from Throne, articulating the federal government’s priorities for this parliament. We need your help to ensure that Housing for All messages continue to be heard throughout the country by as many federal elected officials as possible. After all, your local voice is the most powerful.
What can you do?
During the Housing for All Post-Election Week Blitz, November 20-27, we ask that you get in touch with your local Member of Parliament to stress the importance of immediate and long term federal re-investment in affordable housing, including social housing.
- Find out the name of your M.P. and how to contact him/her. Type in your postal code on the home page of www.parl.gc.ca. An email address will be displayed when you click on your M.P.’s name. Generally, M.P. email addresses follow this rule:firstname.lastname@example.org
- Send your M.P. an email using the message below. You may also elect to draft your own message, however, please keep it short and to the point. The most important part to include is in bold.
- Please cc CHRA (email@example.com) so we can keep stock of our grassroots activity progress.
- Share this with your contacts and friends, urging them to do the same this week.
A national housing strategy is required to reduce and eventually end homelessness in Canada.
In Canada, we have 150,000 to 300,000 people who are visibly homeless, plus 450,000 to 900,000 people who are among the “hidden homeless.”
The homelessness crisis is about to get worse. In Canada, 365,000 low income households are at risk of losing their homes because the federal government refuses to renew subsidies for social housing. Meanwhile, the waiting list for social housing continues to grow: there are over 168,000 households on the waiting list in Ontario alone.
In 2009, Miloon Kothari, the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing, called the housing and homelessness crisis in Canada a “national emergency.” Homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion annually (including emergency shelters, social services, healthcare and corrections). Yet, Canada remains the only G8 nation in the world without a national housing strategy, and our government continues to cut funding to housing and homelessness programs.
The federal government must ensure that all Canadians have adequate housing by adopting a national housing strategy, in consultation with groups across Canada.
More details about what a national housing strategy must include can be found on page 22 of the Dignity for All National Anti-Poverty Plan.