Regina housing advocates call for action
Roof Ready Regina Re-visited want clear plans to end homelessness
Several Regina housing advocates say the city is not doing enough to address a shortage of low income housing.
The group — calling themselves Roof Ready Regina Re-visited — wants Regina to follow the lead of other cities, which have clear plans to end homelessness.
Tyler Gray, who works at Carmichael Outreach, said that while Regina's vacancy rate has slightly improved, rent is still unaffordable for many.
"The type of person that's walking through the door [at Carmichael] is everyone from seniors on fixed pensions to single moms," Gray said.
In May, Regina Mayor Michael Fougere promised to tackle the affordable housing crisis during a housing summit. However, Roof Ready Regina Re-visited said that unlike Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary, Regina has not adopted a 10-year plan to end homelessness.
The group is also calling on Regina to define 'affordable housing' as spending less than 30 per cent of total household income on shelter.
"We've known about this problem for the last six years," University of Regina Professor Marc Spooner said. "The time is now to act."
"We don't need anymore plans, anymore summits. What we need is action."
Fougere said homelessness and affordable housing won't be solved overnight. But he said he is optimistic about the rising vacancy rate.
"Vacancy rates have gone up from 0.6 to 1.9 per cent," Fougere said. "That means there's more affordable housing, more housing on the market."
Fougere said the goal is to have a three per cent vacancy rate by 2017.