Across this country, we have an affordable housing crisis.

People are living in tents. People are “couch-surfing”. Home ownership is all but a dream for many.

Imagine what our communities would look like if an additional half a million units of affordable housing were built across this country.

The reality is that families, individuals, single parents and seniors alike are unable to obtain safe, secure, and affordable housing. This is a very real struggle for so many in Vancouver East and across the country. This national problem is of crisis proportions and is steadily worsening. For example, 2018 statistics for the City of Vancouver showed the highest number of people living homeless since the first regional homeless count in 2005. Indigenous peoples face even larger barriers to securing safe affordable housing, and accounted for 40% of the homeless people living in the region, despite being only 2.2% of the overall population. These numbers are unacceptable, because each number represents people in our community who are in crisis.

Our current housing crisis started in 1993, when the Federal Liberals cancelled the National Affordable Housing Program.

As a result, this country lost out on half a million units of affordable housing that would otherwise have been built.

The impact is real and significant.  I have met school children who tell me that they are worry about their housing situation.  Women who were fleeing domestic violence are left with no choice but to return to the abuser because she cannot secure housing.  Families had their children apprehended for no other reason other than the fact that they could not meet their housing needs.  The homeless population are becoming more desperate.  In one instance, I learned that a fight broke out because people were fighting for awning space in an attempt to stay dry as heavy rain poured down. It is high time for government to deliver what so many across the country have called for – a National Affordable Housing program.

Housing is a human right
Speech delivered on January 31, 2019 in favour of the NDP Motion to take immediate action on Canada’s Housing Crisis.

Windbreaker: Housing by Indigenous, for Indigenous turns page on colonial approach

NICHI, formalized in January, is a coalition of more than 50 Indigenous-led housing, homelessness, and housing-related organizations from across Canada. The aim of the organization is to deliver on housing for those Indigenous people no longer living in Indigenous communities.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) is taking credit for moving the Liberal government along on the matter.
East Vancouver NDP MP Jenny Kwan, who was also at the announcement, said the NDP had prioritized significant investments to address the housing needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples as part of its confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberal government. The NDP also “demanded that it be for Indigenous and by Indigenous,” she said.

The confidence-and-supply agreement was signed between the Liberals and NDP in March 2022. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was operating with a minority Liberal government after the 2021 election. The agreement with the NDP brought about stability. The NDP agreed to support the Liberals if the Liberals advanced certain NDP priorities. The agreement is set to last until 2025.

“(Indigenous-led housing) would not have happened had it not been for NICHI and the NDP in collaboration, yes, with the government. This is what cooperation looks like. This is what the confidence-and-supply agreement is meant to do. To make things happen for the people,” said Kwan

MEDIA RELEASE: Jagmeet and the NDP deliver results that will save many Canadians up to $1,700

OTTAWA – The budget released on Tuesday shows how Canada’s NDP leader Jagmeet Singh and New Democrats have used their power to deliver results for Canadians at a time where people desperately need help with the cost-of-living. With another doubling of the GST rebate and dental care for children under 18, people living with a disability and seniors, millions of Canadians are going to save $1,700.

“Today’s budget shows that when New Democrats use our power, we get real things done for people,” said Singh. “This is a difficult time for Canadians. The cost of everything is up. That’s why we fought for a budget that saves you money and creates good jobs with better wages. Justin Trudeau voted against dental care twice and he didn’t want to double the GST rebate, but we didn’t take no for an answer. We fought and we got those things for working people. And if Pierre Poilievre had his way in this budget, there would be no dental care. Your pension, and the services that your family relies on would be cut to benefit the big bosses.”

Canadian Press: Budget 2023: Liberals follow through on big promises in deal with NDP

OTTAWA -  The Liberal government has continued to fulfil its promises to the NDP within its second federal budget since the parties struck a confidence-and-supply agreement in March 2022.

New Democrats have agreed to prop up the minority government on key votes, including budgets, until June 2025 in exchange for movement on shared priorities.
Here are the key NDP-approved initiatives that were penned into the agreement and made it into this year's budget:

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