Rachel Blaney, the NDP MP for the North Island-Powell River riding, is calling for “urgent action” to address what she called a housing crisis without precedent.
“The lack of adequate and affordable housing is a national disgrace,” said Blaney in a media release on Friday. “It’s unacceptable, in a country as wealthy as ours, that so many people are desperate for affordable housing.”
She said federal government measures don’t go far enough in addressing a wide range of housing issues, including “exploding house prices, rising rents, rental housing shortages, long wait-lists for non-market housing and increasing homelessness.”
Last year, the Liberal government announced that it would spend billions on a national housing strategy that it says prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable, including women and children fleeing abuse, seniors and Indigenous people.
The federal government says the strategy will “cut chronic homelessness in half, remove 530,000 families from housing need and invest in the construction of up to 100,000 new affordable homes.”
The NDP wants the government to bring forward 50 per cent of the housing funds immediately, instead of waiting until the next election.
In the media release, Blaney said that provincial and municipal governments, along with community groups, are working to create housing, “but they need the federal government at the table too; and with funding now, not promises for if they get re-elected.”