June 18, 2013

The affordable housing crisis

With statistics from the Wellesley Institute: 

In 2009 the federal government announced $2.1 billion in new funding for affordable housing over a two-year period, plus another $5.7 billion for homeowners in middle- and upper-income brackets.

By 2011, these short-term measures were terminated, and there was a 39 percent reduction in affordable-housing funding compared with the previous year.

Since most federal dollars were matched by provinces, territories, municipalities, non-profit and private housing organizations, the combined loss added up to more than $3.5 billion in one year.

Included in the federal cuts:

97% cut in Affordable Housing Initiative (new affordable homes) from $452 million to $16 million;

94% cut in national low-income housing repair program from $674 to $37 million;

27% cut in on-reserve Aboriginal housing from $215 to $156 million;

5% cut in assisted housing from $1.7 to $1.6 billion.

In 1992, the year before Ottawa cancelled funding for new affordable housing, various levels of government contributed 0.57 percent of the gross domestic product to housing.

Fifteen years later, Canada’s GDP had doubled, but housing spending had shrunk to 0.29% of GDP.

Adapted from the Georgia Straight, "Steven Harper lies to world on housing," Nov. 2012

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