Where's the plan for affordable housing? asks P.E.I.'s NDP

The leader of the NDP on P.E.I. is calling on the mayor of Charlottetown to make a better commitment to affordable and accessible housing.

Mike Redmond says all levels of government need to work together

Mike Redmond held a press conference with members of the party in front of city hall. (Left-right) Mike Redmond, Jen Coughlin, Chris Clay, and Edith Perry. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

The leader of the NDP on P.E.I. is calling on the mayor of Charlottetown to make a better commitment to affordable and accessible housing.

Mike Redmond stood in front of Charlottetown City Hall Friday morning with three other members of the provincial NDP to share his thoughts. 

"We feel that all levels of government, not just provincial and federal governments should be at the table committing dollars to this very, very serious issue that needs our attention on Prince Edward Island," Redmond said.  

"We're asking the mayor 'Where is your commitment to dollars? Where is your commitment to infrastructure for housing in the Charlottetown area?'"

Chris Clay, the NDP's spokesperson for poverty, shared a personal story of trouble finding an affordable place to live. 

"My daughter tried to move to Charlottetown and it took them four and a half months before they could find an apartment," he said 

"More and more … affordable housing and apartments are being torn down lately, while bigger, more expensive developments are coming up. "

Accessibility also an issue says NDP

The group not only wanted to focus on affordability, but also accessibility.

"I've lived in Charlottetown for almost 10 years and I have never lived in an actual accessible apartment the entire time I've lived in Charlottetown," said former NDP candidate Jen Coughlin, who uses a wheelchair.

Former NDP candidate, Jen Coughlin, says affordable accessible housing is especially hard to find in Charlottetown. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

"You know the bathrooms aren't properly accessible, the kitchens aren't properly accessible so it's like people can't meet their basic needs inside their own home."

Couglin said places with better accessibility are much more expensive. 

"I feel like a second class citizen sometimes because you know if I can't meet my basic needs in my own home, you know it's seems very wrong, that should be just something that everyone has."

Redmond said the $7.2 million from the federal government that is expected in 2019 in coming to late. The bottom line for him and his party is that all levels of government should be at the table to find a solution. 

"Too often we look at the provincial government and we say it's your responsibility, and the province will say it's the federal government's responsibility," he said.

"It's all of our responsibility, collectively we should all come together and say how can we make this work for everybody and work for the developers as well, because obviously if they're not involved then we can't have programs and opportunities for housing." 

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee declined an interview.

"When the City of Charlottetown has an announcement to make about affordable and accessible housing, we will let the public and the media know," he said in an email.

"In the meantime, we look forward to continuing our discussions with the province about this issue."