Today was the National Day of Action for Affordable Housing! In cities across Canada people demanded safe and affordable housing: rallies were held in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.
CFUW attended and joined hundreds of supporters on the hill. Members of Parliament, John McCallum, and the bill’s sponsor Libby Davies, gave speeches about the work that has been done on Bill C-304. The rally ended with a march, while carrying single person red tents (which we carried on our heads down Wellington!) to the Human Rights Monument. (To learn more about the significance of the Red Tents click here.)
The support for Bill C-304 is growing; it is now time for our politicians to sign on to supporting the bill.
Adequate and affordable housing is a women’s issue. Women in abusive situations face greater challenges when leaving violence if there is no hope of securing affordable and safe housing for themselves and their children. Increasing access to affordable housing would help many women out of violent situations, and work to reduce the hardship housing costs place on low income women.
Addressing the homelessness problem in this country would not only help millions of Canadians out of poverty, but it would save tax payers the $6 billion it costs to improperly deal with the housing crisis via emergency responses like police, shelters, and hospital visits. Between 1993 and 2004, Canadian taxpayers spent an estimated $49.5 billion maintaining the status quo on the homeless problem in Canada. It costs $48,000 a year to leave someone out on the street. It costs $28,000 a year to house them. Without the knowledge of the human cost to this crisis, the economic one speaks for itself.
We know we can do better, and we can do this through Bill C-304.