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Published on Friday, November 24, 2017

MP gives national housing strategy details

Oakville MP and former Halton Healthcare CEO John Oliver announces housing

MP gives national housing strategy details
Oakville MP John Oliver
By Marta Marychuk Oakville Beaver

Oakville MP John Oliver provided further details of a national housing strategy in his riding on Friday, Nov. 24 — echoing a national announcement made on Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Speaking at the John R. Rhodes Seniors Residence on Kerr Street, Oliver said the 10-year, $40-billion national housing strategy aims to reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent, create 100,000 new housing units, repair and renew more than 300,000 units and remove more than 530,000 households out of housing need.

“This is a groundbreaking announcement for Canada,” Oliver said.

The MP noted affordable housing is one of the biggest issues his constituents raise when he is out door knocking in Oakville. “There is poverty in Oakville,” he added. “And there is a fundamental housing need.”

A key component of the strategy is the Canadian Housing Benefit, a $4-billion benefit to be launched in 2020.

Once implemented, Oliver said the Canadian Housing Benefit would assist at least 300,000 families and provide an estimated average of $2,500 per year to each household recipient.

“This human-rights-based approach to housing will deliver real results to citizens in Oakville and across Canada who are working hard to improve their quality of life,” Oliver said.

“As the representative of an area with a high cost of living, this strategy provides the framework that gives everyone in our community a fair chance to succeed,” Oliver said.

After spending 17 years on Oakville town council, regional Coun. Jeff Knoll said there is no doubt poverty is an issue in the town, and it is something people need to acknowledge before there is resolution to it.

“We cannot solve poverty without addressing that housing is an issue,” added Knoll, who is also president of Halton Community Housing Corporation.

Knoll was representing Halton regional chair Gary Carr, who was not able to attend Friday’s announcement.

The portable housing allowance, which was first developed in Halton before being adopted by the province, is an important part of a federal national housing strategy, Knoll added.

“In my opinion, this is the future of social housing,” Knoll said.

Although there are no details on how much money will be allocated to Oakville or to Halton, Knoll said the announcement on the national housing strategy is a very positive first step — and he is hopeful and optimistic.

A national housing strategy is a very positive step forward, added Michelle Pommells, president and CEO of Home Suite Hope.

Based in Oakville, Home Suite Hope provides long-term housing to single parent families facing homelessness in Halton, beyond what is provided by emergency shelter facilities.

“Until now, Canada was the only G7 country that did not have a national housing strategy,” Pommells added.

The strategy will help the most disadvantaged people, she added, and indicates the federal government is listing to the voices that say housing is a basic human right. And, she said all levels of government need to be involved, to make the plan work.

“Providing safe, affordable and accessible housing opportunities is one of regional council’s strategic priorities,” said Carr in a press release.

“Between 2008 and the end of 2018, the region will have created 1,648 new affordable or assisted housing opportunities in the community,” Carr added.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News

Tags: Affordable Housing

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