Sunday November 26, 2017
Can a national housing strategy solve homelessness in our cities?
Housing the homeless.
More from this episode:
- 'I've decided to stop eating': After her rent is paid this woman is left to live on $130
Tonight in Canada some will sleep in mansions, others will curl up in a cardboard box beneath a bridge.
It's a sad truth — some 235,000 Canadians will experience homelessness this year.
Many more are on the edge, living in social housing and afraid of losing it, living in apartments that are crumbling and cockroach-infested. According to CMHC, nearly one million households that are renting in Canada are in "core housing need," which means their homes are unsafe and unaffordable.
It's a $40-billion, 10 year plan that pledges to tackle everything from homelessness, the shortage of new housing units, repairs to old ones and provide up to $2,500 in housing subsidies to vulnerable families every year.
Some hoped the housing strategy would provide relief in overheated urban housing markets, especially Toronto and Vancouver where rent and house prices have hit eye-popping levels.
But the government says it's targeting those most in need — low-income families, Indigenous people, single-mothers. It wants to cut in half the number of people using temporary shelters and do a better job of tracking how many homeless actually get homes.
Many mayors and housing advocates cheered Ottawa's move to reduce homelessness by getting back into the social housing game. Others say it may be mind-bending amounts of funding, but spread over a decade and across the entire country — much of it after the next federal election — it's too little, too late.
Is it possible for governments to solve homelessness without addiction and mental health solutions as well? Will it encourage a Housing First approach to get people off the streets instead of business as usual? First Nation housing needs are acute yet the government is still working on its Indigenous housing strategy — is that the right response?
Our question: Can a national housing strategy solve homelessness in our cities?
Jenny Gerbasi, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, deputy mayor of the City of Winnipeg and councillor of the ward of Fort Rouge East Fort Garry
Jeanette Waegemakers Schiff, professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, and the author of Working with Homeless and Vulnerable People.
Bernie Pauly, associate professor in the University of Victoria School of Nursing, and works with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
Eric Weissman, teacher of sociology in the Humanities & Social Sciences program at Red Deer College, Alta., and author of Tranquility of the Razor's Edge: Changing Narratives of Inevitability and Dignity in Exile — Stories of Struggle and Hope from a Modern American Shantytown
- Liberals detail $40B for 10-year national housing strategy
- Housing program failing Indigenous clients, report finds
- New housing strategy could cut into child poverty rates, groups say
- Trudeau says housing is a human right — what does that mean exactly?
- Don't expect government meddling in the housing market to fix it: Don Pittis
- Vancouver unveils new housing strategy for the next decade
- Dad living in cockroach-infested public housing dreams of better home when national funding comes in 2020
- Vancouver housing ranked 3rd most unaffordable by international study (Jan. 23, 2017)
Globe and Mail
- Liberals' new national housing plan comes up short
- Federal government looks to provinces for billions to support housing plan
- Ottawa to offer direct subsidies to low-income tenants
- The national housing strategy must focus on the homeless
- Medicine Hat's Ted Clugston, 'the mayor who ended homelessness' (Dec. 11, 2014)
- Housing plan designed to improve housing affordability, Duclos says
- Five things to know about what's in the new national housing strategy
- Federal housing plan sparks fresh calls for Liberals to help homeless vets
- Medicine Hat has almost eliminated homelessness by giving homeless people the keys to their own apartments (May 13, 2015)
- The national housing strategy promises big spending, but is it money well spent?
- 30,000 people homeless on a given night, first-ever national tally suggests (Jun. 19, 2013)
- Vancouver's housing strategy aims for "transformation" of residential neighbourhoods
- What do you think of Vancouver's housing strategy?