We have witnessed the disintegration of our social safety net to the point where many Canadians, through no fault of their own, have been forced into unsafe, unhealthy living conditions. Some are on the streets. Others are barely getting by. Homelessness began to escalate during the 1990s with federal government cuts to social housing programs and cuts in income support programs by both the federal and provincial governments. As housing prices increased, even people working for minimum wage were increasingly unable to afford rental housing.
If the people who need help are not properly cared for, this puts a strain on everyone. Basic needs are not being met for a significant number of Canadians, and the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. The Green Party believes that our country has enough resources to care for all residents.
The Green Party believes it is the right of every Canadian to have affordable, safe, and secure housing. It enhances people’s health, dignity, and life opportunities. It is an essential prerequisite to an equitable society. The Green Party supports the delivery of social housing dollars to provincial, territorial, and municipal governments through the traditional vehicle of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The funding for social housing needs to be dramatically increased. CMHC programs must be directed to the communities most in need, and fast-tracked to provide homes for people at risk. The housing provided must be designed with energy conservation in mind.
Access to housing should be free from discrimination, including, but not limited to, ethnicity, race, cultural background, language, class, income, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, political or other opinion, ability, health, status, or other personal characteristic or circumstance.
Universal housing will alleviate poverty. Universal housing provides a basis for employment, schooling, community services, and contacts. The development and delivery of adequate universal housing and emergency accommodation must be a high priority.
Green Party MPs will: