The Federal goverment must immediately invest in public housing

Statement in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge the federal government to make immediate investments in the upcoming federal budget to build public housing.

The consequences of years of federal inaction on housing are evident in the City of Victoria.

Our region has been grappling with homelessness and a severe shortage of social housing and affordable rental housing. Today, Victoria has the lowest vacancy rate of any major city in Canada – and close to 1300 households on the waitlist.

There are families with children living in shelters and in motel rooms. There are people with no option every night but to sleep in our city parks.

Our local government, along with housing and social agencies are working hard on creative solutions to give people temporary shelter but we all know that a permanent solution is required.

We need significant federal investments to increase the housing stock.  The City of Victoria and our regional government have projects that can be ready to go once they have a federal partner.

We can do better; we must do better to ensure that all of our citizens have a pathway to opportunity, and the foundation for that is affordable housing for all.