REGINA – The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) told municipal leaders at a Regina conference that the upcoming 2014 federal budget must address Canada’s housing crunch.
At the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association’s (SUMA) conference, FCM President Claude Dauphin called for a firm commitment by the Government of Canada to work with all levels of government and put investments in housing on a sustainable and long-term track.
“We need a partnership to address Canada’s housing crunch, which is the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians today, and we cannot afford to wait any longer,” said Dauphin.
FCM says high home prices and record levels of household debt are pricing a growing number of Canadians out of homeownership, which places mounting pressure on an already crowded rental market and affordable housing units.
According to FCM, $120 million in federal subsidies in Saskatchewan for affordable housing are set to expire.
The federation says communities across Canada are facing similar challenges.
More than a decade of stagnant investment in rental housing and the pending loss of $1.7 billion annually in federal housing dollars are leaving fewer and fewer housing options for Canadians.
FCM also says 300,000 Canadians are homeless every year.
The 2014 federal budget will be tabled on Feb. 11.
WATCH: Trudeau questions Conservative economic record in House of Commons (Feb 5)