On average, there are some 3,000 people who are homeless every night in our city. Homelessness is a reality for too many Canadians and a challenge for every Canadian community. Our government believes that all Canadians deserve access to affordable housing that meets their needs.
It’s why my colleague in cabinet, Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, committed to creating a National Housing Strategy. Last year he released a report on the initial stages of this strategy – the result of consultations with non-profits, front-line workers, Canadians, and experts in the field. You can read more on the strategy at his website, www.LetsTalkHousing.ca.
Closer to home, it was my honour to be able to announce $1.8 million to the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. This grant will be used by this local, Calgary-based organization to train workers in 42 communities across Canada in the Housing First program. It’s one part of the plan to work on this important file.
In the last decade there has been a growing gap in what we’ve done for Canadians struggling with homelessness.
One such example is the terms and conditions of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy that have not evolved at the same pace as need since 1999. Budget 2016 invested an additional $111.8 million in the Strategy to help homeless Canadians find stable housing. This investment will provide more resources to tackle homelessness, and increase support for vulnerable groups.
Fundamentally, this government intends on re-establishing federal leadership in housing. The federal government is taking steps to create better housing outcomes for all Canadians. To give Canadians greater access to affordable housing, Budget 2016 increased the Government’s investment in affordable housing by $ 2.3 billion over two years. This funding is in addition to annual federal investments of close to $2.3 billion toward pre-existing housing program commitments – creating critical, long-term investments that will better our country moving forward.
In addition, our National Housing Strategy, which will cover the entire housing continuum, including homelessness, will be launching in 2017. The strategy will provide stakeholders with an inclusive long term framework which will ensure stability and predictability for our housing partners. Again, I invite you to give a gander at www.LetsTalkHousing.ca as Minister Duclos continues in his good work.
We believe that there is a role for government, and one that is active in supporting Canadians. I am proud of the work of our government and am inspired by the tireless dedication that non-profits, non-profit staff, and regular Canadians put into making our country a better place for all.
As always, you can contact my office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 403.244.1880. My office is located at 950 6 Ave SW and my door is always open to you. You can follow my work in Parliament online and sign up for my e-newsletter at www.KentHehrMP.ca.
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