The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) supports a National Housing Strategy and is grateful for the opportunity to provide input. We strongly believe that for the Strategy to be an effective tool to further the vision of ending homelessness, it needs to provide specific measures to address the specialized needs for housing with supports for vulnerable and homeless citizens, including Indigenous peoples.
The development of a National Housing Strategy will have a positive and lasting impact on our collective vision of ending homelessness in Calgary. As a community, Calgary’s Plan to End Homelessness: People First in Housing First, identifies the need to address the current gap for 15,600 Calgarian households in extreme core housing need. We are pleased the government is taking action. We encourage our community partners to join the conversation share this with your social networks and participate in the survey and/or submit a written response by October 21, 2016. For more information please see our six recommendations for inclusion into the National Housing Strategy and our Key Supporting Statistics.
A highlight of our recommendations are listed below:
CHF supports a National Housing Strategy that will deliver safe, suitable and secure housing to every Canadian.
- All Canadians deserve a decent place to live.
- Canada is significantly behind in comparison to other OECD countries in providing social housing.
- The National Housing Strategy (Strategy) should protect, preserve and improve existing low-income/social housing stock and build capacity in the non-profit housing sector to deepen financial sustainability, asset management and renewal.
- Provide tax incentives for the creation of new rental stock.
- The Strategy needs to guarantee access to affordable housing appropriate for low income, vulnerable populations and Indigenous Peoples, especially in major urban centres where evidence shows greater prevalence of homelessness.
A National Housing Strategy must specifically address the specialized needs of Canadians experiencing homelessness and strengthen the vision of ending homelessness in Canada.
- The Strategy must link housing for Canadians exiting homelessness with the adequate and appropriate supports required for this population to remain stably housed and integrated into community.
- Studies show that there are significant cost savings associated with the provision of housing with supports for people experiencing homelessness.
- Funding for programs that provide housing first supports specific to Canadians experiencing homelessness, should be increased to provide real and possible advancement towards ending homelessness.
- The Strategy must safeguard the economic, social and cultural rights of vulnerable populations, including Indigenous Peoples.
- The Strategy needs to address the gap for the over 1.5 million Canadian households in core housing need.
- There are approximately 15,600 households in Calgary in extreme core housing need.
Public Social Expenditure must increase to ensure cycles of poverty and homelessness are not repeated, especially for vulnerable Canadians.
- Greater public social expenditure on anti-poverty initiatives, including housing and income assistance can strengthen Canada’s social welfare system and help prevent and reduce homelessness.
Please take 10 minutes to fill out the survey, share this with your social networks and encourage everyone to include their voice in the conversation. The online survey is open to the public until October 21, 2016. More details can be found HERE.