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Building the Future ;

A model for Africa?

Canada West Foundation lays out 10-step affordable housing solution
CALGARY: The Canada West Foundation today released a discussion paper laying out 10 steps Canadian cities, large and small, should follow to help solve growing homelessness in Canada.

The need for more affordable housing, writes Senior Policy Karen Wilkie, the author of Building the Future, is becoming increasingly evident. In some cases, affordable housing is required to house low income wage earners, people with disabilities, or university students. In other cases, affordable housing is needed to house growing numbers of homeless persons, seniors, or seasonal workers.

The affordable housing issue is not new, Wilkie writes. However, growing demand, a scarcity of supply and a sense of urgency are elevating the issue on the public agenda, and affordable housing has emerged as one of the greatest public policy challenges facing Canadian communities. The factors contributing to the growing demand for affordable housing include the rise in housing costs (both home ownership and rental prices), the general rise in the cost of living (e.g., utilities, food and transportation), record low vacancy rates, and the growing gap between high and low wage earners. The scarcity of supply is explained by condominium conversions, a lack of new rental units being built, funding cuts to government programs, neighbourhood gentrification, and urban population growth. Cumulatively, these factors are putting a lot of strain on Canadian housing.

To address affordable housing shortfalls and meeting the needs of individuals Wilkie writes that identifying the need for affordable housing is just a first step. In order to effectively meet the affordable housing needs in a community, a number of considerations must be taken into account, including:

To read the rest of the media release, visit http://www.cwf.ca/V2/cnt/release_200710191508.php

To download a copy of Building the Future visit http://www.cwf.ca/V2/cnt/publication_200710181055.php

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Gary Slywchuk


Troy Media Corporation