EDITORIAL: Federal housing plan a good start

EDITORIAL: Federal housing plan a good start

Liberal government makes big promises, if people are willing to wait

The Liberal government has high hopes for its new 10-year housing strategy, designed to reassert some level of federal control over the file.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has been a major factor over the years in the housing market, from helping first time home buyers gain tax relief, to providing new housing GST rebates for those constructing their own home or doing substantial renovations.

Much of the new federal plan stretches out over the long term – the new Canada Housing Benefit will provide rent subsidies starting in 2020 and runs until 2028 – but the overall numbers touted at least sound impressive. The government is promising to build 100,000 new affordable housing units, repair another 300,000 subsidized units, cut chronic homelessness by 50 per cent and remove 530,000 households from what it calls “housing need,” which is essentially reducing families’ risk of homelessness.

In making the announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called housing rights a “human right,” adding that “everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home.”

That statement rings true, especially with those at risk of homelessness and the people who work to keep them housed in Greater Victoria. Having a regular place to come home to has long been talked about as a key pillar in helping people deal with addiction, mental health and social issues.

While the feds might appear to some as heroes in this discussion, especially with the Canada Housing Benefit, which will provide average annual rent subsidies of $2,500 to qualifying families, fully half of the $4 billion cost of that program will be covered by the provinces and territories. But as anyone who has put together funding for major infrastructure projects can attest, a 50/50 split is sometimes as good as it gets.

Victoria’s housing market is booming, but an increasing number of people finding themselves scraping to find rent money, let alone being able to afford to buy a home. We hope these new federal programs will have the desired effect locally to help relieve that problem.

affordable housing

Just Posted

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

Proposed design for the Topaz Park bike and skate park elements. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria requesting feedback on Topaz Park redesign

Public input now being taken for proposed skate, bike park ideas

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read