Our Action Plan for Parliament
Every day in Canada, 1.7 million households live in a home that is either unaffordable, overcrowded and/or needs major repairs, while 35,000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night.
Further, 36% of Canadians have been homeless themselves or know someone who has been homeless.
Homelessness and housing need are public policy choices. During the 2021 Federal Election campaign, Vote Housing developed 6 actionable policies (read our campaign platform) that political parties should include in their platforms if they're committed to ending homelessness and housing need in Canada.
Below are the 6 policies alongside the IMMEDIATE actions that Parliament can take to end homelessness and make housing safe and affordable for all.
Implement an urban, rural, and northern Indigenous housing strategy containing both dedicated investments and an Indigenous-led governance structure.
- Creation of an urban, rural and northern Indigenous housing strategy, led and controlled by a For Indigenous, By Indigenous governed body.
Commit to the prevention and elimination of homelessness.
- Create a strategy to end chronic homelessness with clear and measurable targets and timelines.
- Further expansion of Reaching Home to ensure communities have the operational funding needed to prevent and end chronic homelessness.
Invest in the construction and operation of a minimum of 50,000 units of supportive housing over a decade.
- Dedicated funding in the NHS for the creation of supportive housing for people with complex needs experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Ensure operational funding for wraparound supports in supportive housing.
- Deploy the next tranche of funding for the Rapid Housing Initiative prioritizing people experiencing homelessness.
Build and acquire a minimum of 300,000 units of deeply affordable non-market, co-op and non-profit housing over a decade.
- Deliver the doubled allocation for the Co-Investment Fund, and ensure it prioritizes the construction and acquisition of co-op and non-profit housing by providing deep grants and a streamlined application process.
- As an outcome of the Housing Accelerator Fund, ensure the supply of deeply affordable non-market housing, including co-ops and non-profits, is part of the housing supply across the spectrum enabled by the Fund.
- Revisit existing funding programs to ensure deep affordability and expand funding to increase production of deeply affordable housing.
Commit to the progressive realization of the right to housing, including measures to curtail the impact of the financialization of rental housing markets, addressing the unique needs of equity-seeking communities in the National Housing Strategy, and ensuring people with lived expertise of housing need and homelessness are engaged in all levels of policy development and implementation.
- Immediately appoint the Housing Advocate
- Introduce measures to combat financialization and preserve affordable market rental housing, including, but not limited to, funding to allow non-profit, co-op and municipal acquisition of this rental housing so that it remains affordable in perpetuity.
Expand rental assistance for low-income households to reduce core housing need and prevent a wave of new homelessness resulting from the pandemic.
- Make permanent existing rental assistance for low-income households living in federally administered co-op and non-profit housing (Federal Community Housing Initiative).
- Ensure cost-shared rental assistance delivered by provinces provides meaningful affordability to households living in co-ops and non-profits, as intended (Canada Community Housing Initiative).
- Create a Residential Tenant Support Benefit for Canadians at risk of eviction resulting from the pandemic.