WINNIPEG - The Vote Housing coalition says Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman is among more than a dozen mayors across the country who have signed an open letter calling on five federal parties to take action on homelessness in Canada.
Released today, the joint letter calls on all candidates in the federal election to act urgently to solve Canada’s housing and homelessness problems once and for all. It says COVID-19 has put Canada’s housing woes in the spotlight, with many frontline workers living in overcrowded and inadequate housing. Vote Housing says 1.7 million households live in unaffordable, overcrowded, and/or broken-down homes, 5 million Canadians worry about paying for housing every month, and more than 35,000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night.
The letter suggests homelessness and the lack of affordable and safe housing is a direct results of federal policies beginning in the 1980s that reduced affordable housing investment and social services. In signing the letter, the mayors endorse Vote Housing, a network of housing and homelessness experts. The group is calling on all parties to commit to preventing and eliminating homelessness by funding the construction of at least 50,000 units of supportive housing, building at least 300,000 units of “deeply affordable non-market, co-op, and non-profit” housing, and expanding rental assistance for low-income households, among other goals.
In a campaign led by the Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, the letter is signed by 17 mayors from Vancouver to St. John’s.
Voters will head to the polls in the 44th Canadian Federal Election on Monday, September 20 after a 36-day campaign, the minimum election period allowed by the Canada Elections Act.