Do you support the creation of an acquisition fund to help keep social housing community owned?

Housing for Low-Income Seniors in Crisis

Seniors relying on OAS and GIS are struggling to find affordable and dignified housing. This problem is only getting worse as demand for social-housing increases and supply decreases. Hundreds of units of deeply affordable housing in Manitoba were sold to private developers under the previous provincial PC government.

When social housing is sold off to private developers, decades of public subsidies are taken out of the public good and handed to private firms. We saw this firsthand in Winnipeg when the beloved seniors’ complex Lion’s Place, which received millions in public funds over 40 years, was sold to an equity firm whose stated goal is to buy up “undervalued” properties, renovate, and hike up the rent. This process, known as renoviction, can be devastating to seniors on fixed incomes. Seniors who face eviction from deeply affordable rentals can face catastrophic consequences. Seniors represented more than 24% of the homeless population in 2022’s Winnipeg Street Census despite making up only about 17% of the population.

 

Protect and Expand Low-Income Housing for Seniors

For more than three decades, successive Liberal and Conservative governments relied primarily on the private market to provide low-income housing. This colossal failure has led us to Canada’s current housing crisis. Conversely, investments in social housing could curb the housing crisis and improve the economy. Researchers estimate that increasing the community housing stock by just 1.5% would contribute as much as $136-billion to Canada’s GDP.

We cannot depend on the private market to provide low-income housing. The federal government must expand social housing and create an acquisition fund to help non-profits purchase affordable housing when it goes up for sale. Housing is a basic human right, not a commodity. Every senior deserves to live in dignity, regardless of their income level.

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