Parliament Video: Jenny in the House: Response to Budget 2016: On Housing

On April 11, 2017, Jenny stood to respond to the 2016 budget:

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"The Liberals promised a poverty reduction strategy in budget 2016, yet they did not even allocate any money toward developing one. Central to the issue of poverty reduction is the need for a national affordable housing program. In Vancouver East, we have many families in dire need of safe, secure, affordable housing. Since 1993, previous Liberal governments have cancelled Canada's national affordable housing program. As a result, more than half a million units of affordable housing or co-op housing that would otherwise have been built with federal money have been lost. Across the country, almost 119,000 families are living on the street or are on the verge of becoming homeless.

Real change in budget 2016 would have realized what anti-poverty advocates and housing providers have called for, which is a $3.2 billion investment to renovate old units and to build 100,000 new units of affordable housing and co-op housing nationwide to reverse the years of decline in federal spending on affordable housing. Instead, budget 2016 falls way short of this. A long-term operating agreement for federal housing is not even fully restored. That is something, by the way, that many Liberal candidates promised during the election. There are 34 housing co-ops in East Vancouver with a total of 1,669 units. If the government does not fully renew operating agreements and ensure support is in place for rent subsidies for low-income families classified as what we call “poor need”, those families or individuals, I fear, will become homeless. They will lose their homes. This cannot happen and must not happen, not in 2016."

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