Recovery for All: A Six Point Plan to End Homelessness in Canada
In a recent survey, 72% of Canadians believe urgent action must be taken to end homelessness. The pandemic only amplified the vulnerabilities of the homeless and those who are precariously housed.
We have an opportunity to build back better. We cannot go back to normal where over 235,000 different Canadians every year are homeless; 1.7 million households live in substandard or unaffordable housing; people are faced with life threatening risk for no other reason than a lack of a place to call home and the long history of moving homeless campers from one site to another.
The federal government's current target to reduce absolute homelessness by 50% within 10 years is unacceptable and there is a lack of clear accountable targets to monitor progress.
Based on data I’ve obtained from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, I was shocked to learn that as of January 2020, only 0.5% ($7.3 million) of the money coming from agreements that were finalized under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund has gone to applications in B.C., despite bring the province with the 2nd highest number of applications for this program. Journalist Dan Fumano did an excellent article on my findings in the Vancouver Sun, which you can access through my website (www.jennykwanndp.ca/in_the_community) to learn more about this issue.
It is projected that an investment of $52B over 10 years would result in savings of $18B from the estimated $70B in cost as a result of homelessness. The plan put forth in Recovery for All would directly create at least 300,000 jobs and stimulate another 3 million jobs elsewhere in the economy.
The Recovery for All Plan calls on the government to:
- Meaningfully implement the right to housing and resolve inequities and systemic/structural breakdowns that contribute to homelessness and housing need;
- Expand investment in the community-based homelessness response;
- Commit to the construction of 370,000 new social housing units with rental support for low-income Canadians;
- Stop the loss of affordable rental housing to financialization by limiting purchases of distressed housing by large capital funds and supporting
non-profit and public sector acquisition;
- Put in place a national guaranteed minimum income; and
- Implement an Indigenous led urban, rural and Northern Indigenous housing strategy.