A local coalition is calling on the provincial government to make housing a priority in its next budget.
The province is in the midst of budget consultations for its 2024 financial blueprint, and the Right to Housing Coalition is pushing for a fund to add 1,000 social housing units.
They would be geared towards income and owned by the public, non-profit and co-op housing providers.
Also on the wish list – a capital maintenance fund created to ensure no existing units are lost due to disrepair, plus funding to ensure social housing tenants have access to support workers.
“We’re hearing about all the financial challenges, and so we’re really worried that social housing is going to be, you know, moving down to the bottom of the pile, while other things are being attended to. We think that’s a real big mistake,” said Shauna MacKinnon, the coalition’s spokesperson.
The priorities were taken from the coalition’s social housing action plan, which was released in the fall.
The Right to Housing Coalition is also calling on its supporters to contact the province and request significant investment in social housing in this year’s budget.
McKinnon says she’s seen governments come and go, and many look to the private sector for solutions to the housing crisis.
“Let’s just admit that this is not going to be the solution for people who are in lowest income households,” she said.
“Let’s just do the investment we need to create the housing that we need, that’s low-rent housing, that’s rent geared towards income, maintain the supply that we have and then provide all the other supports that people need.”
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