Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits
Source: CTV News
OTTAWA — A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to join the middle class unveiled billions in housing help Wednesday that could make a difference to hundreds of thousands of households — but only in a few years when federal money finally flows to new units and tenant benefits.
The release of the national housing strategy on National Housing Day was designed to tout tens of billions in planned and expected spending over the next decade and solidify the federal government’s re-entry into the affordable housing sector.
Included in the plan was a promise to introduce legislation to make housing a fundamental right, create a new, portable housing benefit for low-income households, and prioritize funding for the most vulnerable populations like women fleeing domestic violence.
But the plan itself rests heavily on provinces and territories kicking in matching funds, without which federal dollars won’t flow.
Even then, it won’t happen until April 2018 and not until 2021 in the case of the new housing benefit.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the reason much of the money won’t be spent until after the next election in 2019 is because the federal government needs to take the time to get the details right and satisfy myriad local, provincial and territorial needs.