VANCOUVER – ELECTION 2015 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (Saanich – Gulf Islands), unveiled the Green Party’s plan to invest in social and affordable housing, while making Canada a world leader in energy efficiency.
“We will unleash an army of carpenters, contractors, and electricians to increase home energy efficiency, saving Canadians money on their heating and electricity bills,” Ms. May stated. “It’s time the federal government gets back into the business of investing in social housing, instead of offloading its responsibilities onto cash-strapped municipalities.”
The Green Party will create and implement a National Housing Plan to provide every Canadian with a place to call home. The Green Party’s plan is to:
- Develop a National Housing Strategy through the Council of Canadian Governments. Canada is the only country in the OECD without a housing strategy. Any coherent plan must include concrete steps for a seniors’ housing plan, a First Nations plan, a plan for social housing, and for affordable market housing;
- Create a Housing First Approach, a one-on-one outreach initiative that houses chronically homeless people and provides immediate support;
- Dedicate funding to the co-operative housing sector to enable more new affordable housing projects to proceed, while extending funding for co-ops whose contracts with the federal government are expiring;
- Retrofit all Canadian homes by 2030 to increase energy efficiency, cut heating and electricity bills, and reduce 80% of building emissions by 2040;
- Implement a Guaranteed Livable Income to help low-income Canadians and youth reach their dream of affording a home;
- Eliminate Stephen Harper’s Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program, which currently allows foreign investors to purchase Canadian properties and can drive housing prices up for Canadian families beyond their reach;
- Increase access to social housing for First Nations on and off-reserve, while strengthening enforcement of living and maintenance standards through our proposed Council of Canadian Governments; and
- Ensure a percentage of all newly built units are reserved for affordable housing.
“Many people of the B.C. lower mainland are struggling to find an appropriate place to live. In my riding of Burnaby North – Seymour, the price of low and middle-income housing is already out of reach for too many people,” said Green Party candidate Lynne Quarmby. “The leading cause of homelessness is poverty. I believe that every Canadian deserves to have a place to call home, which is why I will be a strong advocate for the Green Party’s Guaranteed Livable Income plan in the next minority Parliament.”
“Housing continues to be one of the major challenges facing First Nations. On reserve there are often decade-long waiting lists, sub-standard housing, couch surfing and limited to no housing for singles and elders. Over- crowding is six times higher on reserve than off reserve,” added Green Party candidate Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi (Cowichan – Malahat – Langford). “The Green Party supports the Assembly of First Nations’ call for over 80 000 new homes for First Nations. In addition, a comprehensive housing strategy is essential for on-and-off-reserve Aboriginal people and the rapidly growing urban First Nations homeless population.”
“The Green Party of Canada will invest heavily in sustainable infrastructure that will better withstand the extreme conditions brought about by climate change,” said Gord Miller, Green Party candidate for Guelph and the Party’s Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs critic. “One way of mitigating climate change is through increased energy efficiency standards and by retrofitting existing buildings. Our ‘Green Cities’ initiative will reduce urban sprawl, conserve water and electricity and expand public transit and other forms of low-impact transportation.”
“The federal government continues to retreat from addressing the growing housing needs in Canadian cities. This lack of responsibility and vision is contributing to a crisis of housing affordability,” said Wes Regan, Green Party Urban Affairs and Housing Critic (Vancouver East). “I believe every Canadian has the right to affordable and safe housing. This is why Green MPs will work across party lines in the next minority parliament to make a National Housing Strategy a priority.”