Editor’s note: This story has been clarified to state that much of the money will be paid in 2020.
For years Canada’s affordable housing crisis has been growing. Sadly, in Calgary, it’s taken a recession to slow things down but the need for better access to housing is still there.
That’s why housing advocates were applauding a major announcement from Ottawa and its national housing strategy.
WATCH BELOW: Justin Trudeau announces national housing strategy
Almost $16 billion has been earmarked for new and renovated housing units. The government has committed another $2 billion for a housing benefit for low-income families and individuals and billions more for homelessness strategies.
However, once the applause died down a hard look at the promises reveals how the announcement has more to do with politics than poverty.
WATCH BELOW: Lethbridge YWCA ‘thrilled’ with National Housing Strategy
Much of the strategy needs matching dollars from the provinces and territories. Much of the money, including the housing benefit, won’t be coming until 2020, which comes after the next federal election.
If the Liberal government is serious about tackling the housing crisis in this country it has to put politics aside and commit to addressing the issue now.