Canada’s housing crunch requires partnership and long-term solutions,
City Council tells federal partners
New Westminster, BC – New Westminster City Council has passed a resolution in support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ National Housing Campaign, which urges the federal government to work together with its partners on a long-term plan for housing.
In passing this resolution, Council is urging federal ministers to recognize that the high cost of housing in Canada is the most important financial issue facing Canadians and that a coordinated partnership between all orders of government is required to address it.
Housing costs, and as the Bank of Canada notes, household debt, are undermining Canadians’ personal financial security while putting our national economy at risk. One in four Canadians is paying more than they can afford for housing, and mortgage debt held by Canadians now stands at over $1.1 trillion.
At the same time, $1.7 billion in annual federal housing investments are set to expire with the greatest drop in funding, up to $500 million a year, coming between 2014 and 2019. This will put 200,000 people at risk of losing their homes and will bring other spillover effects unless federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments take action. The loss of this vital investment could have serious consequences for New Westminster, with over 250 housing units potentially impacted by expiring federal housing investments over the next seven years.
“This resolution sends a strong message to the federal government that we need to work together,” said Acting Mayor Jonathan Cote. “Like any other community, New Westminster needs better housing options to attract new workers, meet the needs of young families, and support seniors and our most vulnerable citizens. We need a stable and secure housing market that creates and maintains jobs, while ensuring a range of living options for our residents.”
“We are writing to the Minister of Employment and Social Development, Hon. Jason Kenney, to reiterate the importance of developing a long-term plan for housing that increases predictability, protects Canadians from the expiry of social housing agreements and ensures that the housing needs of this community are appropriately considered,” added Cote.
Senior Social Planner, City of New Westminster
Director of Development Services, City of New Westminster