Rally & March | Simultaneous action in cities across Canada
[Lunch provided. Access Van. ASL-English Interpretation]
The Liberal record on housing is a treacherous one. As public housing in our city literally crumbles to the ground, the Liberals are getting ready to announce their ‘National Housing Strategy’ on November 22. But the money has already been committed and it gives us a great big nothing.
Consider this: By 2019 – the end of their electoral term – the Trudeau Liberals will have spent less than 3% of the $11 billion they promised for affordable housing, allocating a big $0 to renewing federal, provincial and territorial partnerships in housing and increasing social housing by a meaningless 0.2%. Even if they are reelected, their current plan has them spending just a third of that money by 2022, making the whole spending plan unjustifiably back-loaded and reliant on them being relected a third time.
The motive is clear – the Liberals hope to gain favour through deception. They’re promising help in the ever elusive future while holding us hostage now as we lay besieged by a housing crisis they created.
Social housing has been on a downward spiral since the Chrétien Liberals eliminated new housing funding and downloaded the responsibility to the provinces 21 years ago. Vacancy rates in social housing now sit at zero and wait-lists in Toronto and other cities have grown so large that people on average have to wait for over a decade for a unit to become available. Meanwile, even as most people’s real incomes drop, speculation in the private housing market has elevated rents to absurd heights. The combination of the two factors, coupled with poor provincial rent control, has sent poverty and homelessness on an upward spiral.
We all deserve affordable public housing and we must fight to win it. So on November 22, we’ll be joining with groups across the country to demand that the Trudeau Liberals:
1. Spend 100% of the $11.2 billion announced in the March 2017 budget within the next two years to respond to the crisis of social housing plaguing the country.
2. Renew federal subsidies to low-income tenants in existing social housing (co-op, nonprofit and public).
3. Build new social housing units with rent-geared-to income subsidies that are affordable to people living on social assistance and old age pension.
4. Eliminate homelessness and prioritize needs of those in precarious housing situations, especially marginalized groups including on and off-reserve Indigenous communities, recent immigrants, racialized communities, lone parent families and single seniors, women fleeing violence, disabled people, youth, people on social assistance, and the working poor.