Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/9/2016 (1131 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Having a place to call home is something many — but not all — of us are fortunate to be able to take for granted. Imagine trying to find a job, make a health insurance claim, or even just get a good night’s sleep without your own place to come home to at the end of the day.
Quality, affordable housing is the key to living a good life. It plays a critical role in everything from meeting basic needs, to accessing services, to participating in the economy.
That’s why I’m proud to support the work Habitat For Humanity is doing in Elmwood-Transcona.
Not only are they helping to build more affordable housing, they are also making homeownership — with the sense of dignity and pride that comes with it — possible for many families that otherwise would not be able to own their own home. They do this through a combination of sweat equity by volunteers and the family, donated materials and interest-free mortgages.
On Aug. 5, I had the pleasure of volunteering for a Habitat build on McCalman Street in Elmwood. Giti and Ahmad are working hard to support their four children (pictured above) and will now be able to own their own home because of Habitat for Humanity.
For all its accomplishments, however, Habitat for Humanity cannot address Canada’s lack of affordable housing all by itself.
Since the Liberal government cancelled our National Housing Strategy in the 1990s, Canada’s affordable housing stock has deteriorated in quality and quantity. Hardly any new federal money has been invested in housing over the last 25 years.
Ongoing operating money for affordable housing that does flow from the federal government is largely tied to agreements signed in the 1960s and 1970s. These agreements were tied to long-term mortgages that will mature over the coming years.
It is imperative that the money earmarked in these agreements continue to flow to affordable housing once those mortgages mature and that we see new federal money to build more affordable housing and repair the existing stock.
The new federal government has committed to make some investments in affordable housing. The NDP is working in Ottawa to hold them to that commitment and ensure it is not just a flash-in-the-pan announcement, but the beginning of a sustained, long-term National Housing Strategy that will make it possible for every Canadian to put a roof over their head.
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report.
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.