Sunday March 26, 2017

Is lack of affordable housing an issue where you live?

According to the 2016 Census, more than one-third of all Canadians live in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. It's in these large and growing cities that many face a challenge to find affordable and good housing. Is affordable housing an issue in your community?

According to the 2016 Census, more than one-third of all Canadians live in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. It's in these large and growing cities that many face a challenge to find affordable and good housing. Is affordable housing an issue in your community? (Sarah Louya/The Rocky Mount Telegram/The Associated Press)

Listen to Full Episode 1:52:59

The government has promised over $11 billion for a national housing strategy over 11 years. Critics say it's too little, too slow. Is lack of affordable housing an issue where you live? With host Duncan McCue.

It was the biggest ticket item in the federal budget: Canada's Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, pledged 11.2 billion dollars for a national housing fund. The money will be rolled out over the next 11 years.

But what does a national housing strategy mean in practice? And how will the money be used? How should it be used? 

We've all heard about the rising cost of buying a home. But it's much more basic than that. It's a decent roof over your head. A place to call home.

For decades municipalities across the country have been asking for help to deal with the shortage of affordable housing. 

20 per cent of renters spend more than half their income on housing. And much of the existing housing stock is in need of repair. Three quarters of the rental buildings in Canada are more than 30 years old. If you're hoping for subsidized housing get ready for a long waiting list.

What about those who have no homes? Over 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness at some point every year. Some people are sleeping in shelters or on the street. They're couch surfing or waiting unnecessarily in hospitals and other temporary accommodation.

One in 5 Indigenous people living off reserve are homeless -- or live in overcrowded, unsafe or inadequate housing.

Is lack of affordable housing a problem where you live? What would you like to see in a national housing strategy?

Should priority given to building new, affordable homes? Or should cities and municipalities focus on fixing up housing stock that's in disrepair?

Our question: Is lack of affordable housing an issue where you live?

Guests

Janet Mason
Professor with the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto
Twitter: @SPPG_UofT

Don Iveson
Mayor of Edmonton, Chair of the Big City Mayors Caucus at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Twitter: @doniveson , @FCM_online , @CityofEdmonton

Edmund Bellegarde
Chairman of Silver Sage Housing Corporation and Tribal Chief of File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council
Twitter: @TCBFHQ

Avi Friedman
Professor at McGill University, school of Architecture. Founded the Affordable Homes graduate studies program.
Twitter: @mcgillu

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What we're reading

In the show

CBC.ca

Government of Canada

Globe and Mail

National Post

Huffington Post

Toronto Star

Global News

Other reports