One of the reasons why I joined the Green Party was that they firmly believe everyone should have an affordable and safe place to live. This isn’t a post to say how great the Green Party housing plan—which I recommend you read—is, but instead say a few things I would add to it, something I am passionate about. To me, affordable housing is one of the biggest issues we are facing. It’s the one issue I hear the most at doors when I’m canvassing.

Below are a few points form the Green Party housing strategy that I am going to build off of. They may or may not be already in the party platforms.

  • Create tax incentives for developers to build more affordable rental housing.
  • Advocate the “Housing First” model to end chronic homelessness. – Create tax incentives for developers to build more affordable rental housing.
  • Ensure Indigenous peoples have access to safe and affordable housing both on and off-reserve.

On top of creating tax incentives for developers to build more affordable rental housing, I would make it so any residential unit project would have to build one affordable housing unit for every five regular units. I talk a bit about this in my last post which can be found here.

For you that don’t know what the Housing First model is, it is an approach that offers permanent, affordable housing as quickly as possible for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and then provides the supportive services and connections to the community-based supports people need to keep their housing and avoid returning to homelessness. 

Currently, we deal with the homeless backwards, especially when dealing with mental illness including depression. We try to give supportive services before we give them a safe place to live and a job. How can you get better when you’re on the streets just trying to survive and people are looking down at you? The Green platforms have what I’m about to say next in it but this is one I strongly believe in and one I talked to voters about during my nomination campaign—it’s how giving people a job would help. We should offer them jobs cleaning our city, where instead of being paid money they will be given access to one bedroom, two if they have kids; food stamps; and clothes. This will be for 3 months, 6 if there is a strong case on why they need more time. After the 3 months are up the government will help them get a job and transition to working a job and paying for their needs. Giving people a sense of worth, a secure place to live and a job is the best way to deal with the homelessness issues we are facing.

I don’t know why our politicians make a promise for reconciliation with Indigenous people just for them to break their promises once they are elected. So many issues that Indigenous communities face would be fixed if they were city issues. Our government isn’t only meant to represent some Canadians, they are meant to represent all Canadians. It’s 2020—the time for reconciliation is now. It should make all Canadians sick that we are still mistreating Canadians like this. There would be no Canada if the Indigenous people didn’t help our ancestors. Together we helped build Canada and it’s time to create reconciliation so together we can build an even better Canada! 

The government should be discussing nation to nation, working with the Indigenous people on the best approach to having access to safe and affordable housing on the reserves. There is a course offered in a few provinces that teaches Indigenous students to build tiny homes. This course does 3 things I want to highlight that make it an awesome idea and a course that should be offered in every province. It gives future apprenticeship experience, high school credit and a paycheck as well. You can read more about the course here.

I strongly believe we need to make progress on affordable housing now and not wait to talk about these issues until the next elections. Affordable housing is a government level issue.

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