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Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter skeptical of federal budget commitment to affordable housing

Chapter activist Roy Brady

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter is critical of the federal government’s commitment to affordable housing.

The Peterborough Examiner reports, “Roy Brady, chairman of the local chapter of the Council for Canadians, was skeptical [the government’s budget announcement] will make much of a difference for the homeless of Peterborough. He said he’s still waiting for the National Housing Strategy that the Liberals promised before they were elected.”

The Toronto Star reports, “The federal government’s 2017 budget pledges more than $11 billion for affordable housing, but backloads almost all the spending until after the next election, with just $20 million of the new money slated for this year.”

Rabble.ca adds, “The federal government promised to invest $11.2 billion over 11 years in affordable housing. Critics say that’s not nearly enough to ensure people have adequate access. ‘If you want to make a big dent there, you can’t be spending in the $200-300-million range’, says [Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives researcher David] Macdonald. ‘You have to spend in the billion-dollar range, and we are definitely not there. The impact will definitely not be a huge revolution for affordable housing.'”

That article adds, “[The Liberal budget also claims] a new National Housing Fund will address critical housing issues and better support vulnerable citizens. The government will invest $5 billion over 11 years in the fund. In 2018-19, the investment will be at $141 million, and slowly ramp up to $707 million by 2024-25. Macdonald believes it needs to happen quicker because there is already a backlog in accessing affordable housing.”

For additional commentary on the federal budget, please see Council of Canadians disappointed by Budget 2017-18