TDRC Media Releases

For immediate release                                                                           September 21, 2005


NHHN grades federal housing efforts as failure in latest report card, as housing ministers start annual summit in Halifax

HALIFAX (September 21, 2005) – “Too much political spin, not enough truly affordable housing”: That’s the verdict in the latest national housing report card released by the National Housing and Homelessness Network on the eve of the federal, provincial, territorial housing ministers’ meeting on September 22 and 23.

The ministers are meeting at a remote, luxury resort in rural Nova Scotia as more than 1.7 million Canadians are suffering in a nation-wide affordable housing crisis and homelessness disaster.

Exactly four years ago (September 19, 2000), federal, provincial and territorial housing ministers emerged from a national housing summit to proclaim, in the words of then-federal housing minister Alfonso Gagliano, “we have a working plan” to create more desperately-needed new affordable homes. Six weeks later, federal Liberals promised to fund up to 120,000 new affordable homes over four years. Four years on, Canada has no comprehensive national housing strategy – just a loose patchwork of funding and programs that has delivered just 10% of the new homes that were promised.

“Federal, provincial and territorial housing ministers made an impressive 336 announcements since they signed the Affordable Housing Framework Agreement in 2001 and agreed to invest $1.36 billion over five years,” says Michael Shapcott of the National Housing and Homelessness Network. “That’s a lot of political spin, but it hasn’t produced many new homes. Ministers have made promises, signed agreements, issued announcements and called press conferences. But they have failed to build new homes. That’s why the National Housing and Homelessness Network has graded federal housing efforts over the past four years as a failure.”

The NHHN and its partners, including FRAPRU (the Quebec-based housing advocacy group) will be at the housing ministers’ meeting.

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