Wait-and-see about fed housing action plan
The Trudeau Liberal government announced its 10-year $40 billion national housing strategy at the end of November. Now local social services officials are waiting to see whether there will be any financial benefit for Prescott-Russell’s subsidized housing needs.
Anne Comtois-Lalonde expressed cautious optimism that the new federal government housing action plan could be good for helping deal with social housing needs for the region. The director of social services for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) said, during an interview, that right now it is too soon to say what kind of benefits the new federal housing strategy might offer the region.
“We hope this will be able to help the nonprofit housing corporations,” Comtois-Lalonde said during a phone interview Nov. 30. “It is a strategy long awaited for.”
Soon after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement, Nov. 22, of the new national housing strategy, political pundits noted that most of the funding for the $40 billion action plan is already included in the 2017 federal budget. One item included in the 10year strategy, a housing benefit for families, won’t take effect until after the next federal election in 2019. The federal housing strategy covers subsidized housing and homelessness issues in the country. Highlights include such goals as building 100,000 new affordable housing units, repairing another 300,000 such units, and providing protection for 385,000 households at risk of losing their homes, along with cutting the homelessness rate in Canada in half.
Both subsidy housing and homelessness have become growing concerns for the UCPR social services department and various nonprofit regional agencies. Comtois-Lalonde noted that during a recent meeting with Ontario’s municipal affairs and housing senior staff, there were assurances that the federal strategy, in partnership with provincial governments, will assist with regional housing concerns.
“They said there should be money for repairs of (subsidy housing) stock out there,” Comtois-Lalonde mentioned, adding she and her staff are now waiting for more information and details on the strategy to come out next year.
“We sure hope it’s going to help,” she observed. “A lot still needs to be worked out between the feds and the provinces. We’re happy that it (strategy) is out, but we’re waiting for details.”
Le gouvernement libéral de Trudeau a annoncé sa stratégie nationale de logement de 40 milliards de dollars sur 10 ans, à la fin de novembre. Maintenant, les responsables des services sociaux locaux attendent de voir s’il y aura une allocation financière pour les besoins de logements subventionnés dans Prescott-Russell.