City Support for National Housing Campaign
November 22, 2013
Courtenay City Council has passed a resolution in support of the Federation of Canadian Municipality’s (FCM) national housing campaign, urging the federal government to work together with its partners on a long-term plan for housing.
The resolution urges federal ministers to recognize that the high cost of housing in Canada is the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians, and that a coordinated partnership between all orders of government is required to address it.
Mayor Larry Jangula said Comox Valley residents, like those in many other communities across Canada, are keenly aware of the need for affordable housing. “Housing costs in our community are out of reach for many,” said Jangula. “We have a number of young families, seniors and vulnerable populations that are struggling to get by.
“It’s also important for our economy,” he continued. “If we wish to attract and keep new workers to our community, we need housing that is within reach.”
Determining how to improve access to affordable housing was one of the key priorities to come out of Courtenay Council’s recent Strategic Priorities session. City staff are researching best practices elsewhere, and outlining options that would provide the best use of tax dollars.
According to FCM, housing costs and household debt are undermining Canadians personal financial security, while putting our national economy at risk. One in four Canadians is paying more than they can afford for housing, and mortgage debt held by Canadians now stands at over $1.1 trillion.
At the same time, $1.7 billion in annual federal housing investments are set to expire. The greatest drop in funding, up to $500 million a year, will come between 2014 and 2019. This will put 200,000 people at risk of losing their homes and will bring other spillover effects unless federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments take action.
“We are asking the federal government to develop a long-term housing plan that will protect Canadians from the expiry of these housing agreements,” noted Jangula. “The resolution passed by Council will be sent to the federal Minister of Employment and Social Development. Sending a consistent message along with other communities from all across Canada will highlight the need to find a solution.”
To view the complete Council resolution, visit www.courtenay.ca