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Campbell to speak out on decline in affordable housing funding

Councillor Bev Campbell will address council Tuesday regarding the decline in federal funding for affordable housing.

“The decline has occurred over the last few years,” she said, noting that Tuesday’s motion calls for the federal government to work with the provinces to basically come up with a national housing strategy backed by federal dollars.

Campbell said the 17-unit Downes Ave build approved last spring is not affected. It is to contain 10 two-bedroom units and seven one-bedroom units (two of which are barrier free). The building is intended to house tenants aged 55 and older.

“It is proceeding with construction to get under way before the end of April and be completed by end of the year. But future funding for similar projects is not at all certain,” said Campbell.

Campbell will request council write Jason Kenney, federal minister of Employment and Social Development, urging him to return to the table with provincial and territorial housing ministers to work on a long-term plan that addresses the need for housing across the country.

She will also request copies of the letter be sent to Linda Jeffrey, provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and to local representatives, Daryl Kramp MP and Todd Smith MPP.

The letter is expected to explain that if Ottawa does not change course, social housing providers across Ontario will see a $1.3 billon decrease in federal funding over the next 10 years and municipalities and provinces will be left footing the bill.

It could further explain that Ontario should receive just over 38 per cent of federal funding on the basis of population but only receives approximately 33 per cent.

And that with long-term federal support for social housing declining, there is a real risk that tenants will lose their housing. These cuts will make it more difficult to continue to help the over 260,000 Ontario families that currently live in social housing and make it
increasingly challenging to help the 627,000 families that are in danger of losing their housing.

The letter may conclude that “Canadians deserve a national housing strategy that includes the creation of new affordable housing and maintains our existing social housing units.”

Filed Under: Local News

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