Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

HOUSING CRISIS

Posted by strattof on May 19, 2010

Canada faces a housing crisis as 3 million Canadians (1.5 million households) live in inadequate or unsuitable dwellings or face shelter costs that are unaffordable. Regina is no exception with over 7,000 households living in such housing.   

  • Regina no longer has cheap housing. Rents in Regina rose from an average of $539 in 2006 to $752 in 2009, a 40% increase in three years.  
  • Rental housing is hard to find. The rental apartment vacancy rate in Regina fell to under 1% in 2008 and 2009, with little improvement forecast for this year. The number of rental apartments has declined, with little new rental construction and the conversion of existing apartments to condominiums.
  • Housing is unaffordable for many. In 2006, 15,600 households in Regina spent 30% or more of their income on shelter – a level that indicates unaffordability. 41% of tenant households devoted more than 30% of their income to shelter.   
  • Housing in Regina is often substandard. In 2006, 8% of Regina dwellings were in need of major repairs. In the central area of the city 15% were substandard.  

 HOMELESSNESS 

  • In Regina, an estimated 345 people slept in homeless shelters every night, with close to 3,000 in homeless centres at some time during the year.
  • A May 22, 2008 count in Saskatoon found 260 individuals homeless, including 32 children.
  • A recent Salvation Army survey found that approximately one in nine Canadian adults–close to 3 million people–said that they have experienced homelessness or come close to experiencing homelessness in their life. In Saskatchewan the figure is one in five.

 HOUSING AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

  • Individuals and families at low and middle incomes are often unable to find affordable and adequate housing. At the same time, many homeowners and real estate interests have benefited from rising housing prices.   
  • Poor quality housing and homelessness are clear threats to health. Housing is a necessity for living a healthy life; living in unsafe, unaffordable housing increases the risk of many health problems.
  • Children living in low quality housing are more likely to have poor health as children and as adults.

Canada is a wealthy country that could create adequate and affordable housing for all. But this requires the federal government to work with all levels of government and stakeholders to develop a pan-Canadian strategy to end homelessness and pave the way to ensuring adequate housing as a fundamental human right for everyone in Canada. 

ACTION IS NEEDED NOW

  • Come to the rally to end homelessness and create affordable housing: Tuesday May 18, 12 noon, at the Legislative Building. The rally is organized by the Regina Anti-Poverty Network and is part of the Red Tent campaign, a national campaign to end homelessness.
  • Urge your federal Member of Parliament to vote for Bill C-304, a plan to create a national housing strategy. See http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/policy-fields/affordable-housing/

  Let’s create secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing.

MAKING PEACE VIGIL May 13 2010

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