Fuhr: A place to call home

Fuhr: A place to call home

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr talks about the National Housing Strategy

By Stephen Fuhr

Over the past year, the federal government has worked closely with the provinces and territories and engaged broadly with Canadians, municipalities, Indigenous organizations, community organizations and the private sector on the development of a National Housing Strategy.

On November 22, the new National Housing Strategy was unveiled.

Funded through new and existing programs, the Strategy ensures many more Canadians will have access to adequate and affordable housing by reducing the financial stress of rising accommodation rates, helping communities renovate their housing stock, and providing more stable housing to persons who are homeless.

Priority will be given to the most vulnerable Canadians including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans and young adults.

Housing needs vary greatly by community. In Kelowna-Lake Country affordable housing is challenged by a rising population, high rental rates and home prices, and a lack of affordable housing options.

The strategy will help our community in a number of ways: the proposed federal/provincial Canada Housing Benefit will provide affordability support directly to families and individuals including those currently living in social housing, those on a social housing wait-list, and those housed in the private market but struggling to make ends meet.

Additionally, through partnerships with the province, our municipalities, our non-profits, co-operatives and the private-sector, the new National Housing Co-Investment Fund will provide contributions and low interest loans to repair existing rental housing and build new affordable housing.

The Fund is also expected to create more shelter spaces for survivors of violence; transitional and supportive housing for those in need, and will help to make homeownership more affordable for modest income earners.

In the meantime, current housing needs are being addressed through a number of funding arrangements including the Canada BC Affordable Housing Agreement ,and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, which currently provides $2.7 million over 5 years to support local homelessness initiatives in Kelowna-Lake Country.

Additionally, in Budget 2016, the government committed $2.2 billion to give more Canadians access to more affordable housing. Budget 2016 also provided funding for low-cost loans and new financing tools to encourage municipalities, housing developers and non-profit housing providers to develop more affordable rental housing units.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has characterized the new National Housing Strategy as a breakthrough for cities and communities, saying that it demonstrates the kind of federal leadership that local governments have been seeking for more than 20 years.

Municipalities appreciate long-term support as it helps them plan their own long-term solutions and I’m looking forward to working with Mayors Basran and Baker, and the community, to identify our greatest need and ensure Kelowna-Lake Country benefits as much as it can from available funding.

Our Government recognizes it has a responsibility to Canadians to work with all levels of government to preserve the existing supply of community-based housing, build a more modern and sustainable community housing system, and keep housing affordable for low-income households.

1.7 million Canadians are in some form of housing need and the National Housing Strategy (www.letstalkhousing.ca) will go a long way to addressing one of the most fundamental needs and basic rights of our citizens – a place to call home.

Stephen Fuhr is the Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

(Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Delays expected on Lakeshore Road this week

Northbound traffic on Lakeshore between Richter and Barrera will be detoured for paving

David Larsen, left, and co-host Tony Peyton. (K96.3/Twitter)
Popular Kelowna radio host dies after battle with cancer

David Larsen was half of the longtime Kelowna morning-show duo David and Tony

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets at Prospera Place in Kelowna (Craft Culture Events/Contributed).
Kelowna’s Prospera Place summer market a success

Craft Culture Events hosts its first of four summer markets and vendors were ‘excited’ to be back

(Dave Ogilvie/Contributed)
UPDATE: West Kelowna fire crews rescue injured mountain biker

The injury took place at the top of Smith Creek Road

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden schedules Okanagan stop on 2022 Canada-wide tour

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A fire deliberately set in a washroom facility in Vernon’s transit terminal could cost the city around $25,000 to repair. (City of Vernon)
Burned-out bathroom could cost Vernon $25K

Despite changes made by city, vandalism on the rise at transit loop loos

Cody Bandsma practises kiting with his new paraglider wing at Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
VIDEO: Cody Bandsma reaching new heights over the Shuswap

Former 100 Mile resident discovers Salmon Arm by air with powered paraglider

Most Read