Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

State of the Inner City Report: Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Each year, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Manitoba publishes its State of the Inner City Report. This year’s report, Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges, speaks to concerns raised by community-based organizations - such as the Right to Housing Coalition - the impact that some Government decisions (and indecisions) can have on vulnerable people. The report provides policy makers with recommendations for working more collaboratively with community.

Through this report, we continue to seek ways to address the racialized, spatialized poverty in the inner city that is causing a deep divide in Winnipeg. CCPA-MB conducted a series of workshops and interviews with Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal youth from the CEDA Pathways to Education program and youth who live outside of the inner city including students from College Beliveau and Grant Park High School. Together they discussed the perceptions of inner-city, poverty and racism in Winnipeg, and how the community can work together to resolve these issues.

Dear Canada, Your Homelessness is Showing

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Sarah Cooper recently wrote a letter to Canada to let the nation know that its embarrassing homelessness problem is beyond concealment. In the article - which appeared as an edition of the CCPA’s Fast Facts - Sarah writes:

It used to be that Canada had hardly any homeless people, and a social housing model that was lauded around the world. But now it’s been 20 years since federal funding was frozen for housing programs, longer than that since the gradual withdrawal from housing began.

Today, Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy, and it shows: it’s estimated that about 300,000 Canadians are homeless, and about 1.7 million Canadians have trouble affording their housing. There are shelters and food banks in pretty much every Canadian city for men, women and children who don’t have a place to live or food to eat. It’s been going on for a while, and although our governments try to ignore it, it’s become an international embarrassment.

Sarah also highlights Manitoba’s affordable housing shortage - where the average cost of a home is outpacing average income increases. In concluding the article, she calls for a national housing strategy bring stakeholders and the Government of Canada together to develop targets and timelines to address housing issues and eliminate homelessness.

Sarah Cooper is the Housing and Community Development Researcher for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives -MB and a member of the Right to Housing Coalition.

Ten things you should know about housing and homelessness

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Everyone in Canada has the right to a safe, secure, adequate and affordable home. The federal government is obliged in international law to ensure people have a home. That, in short form, is the international right to adequate housing as set out in numerous treaties and other legal instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

This document was prepared by the Wellesley Institute in advance of Miloon Kothari, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, fact-finding mission to Canada in 2007. It provides a detailed and clear history of federal-provincial policies and agreements that start to explain how our country got into its current housing crisis, and highlights ten key issues that must be addressed to fix the problem.

The State of Canada’s Cities and Communities 2012

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has recently released The State of Canada’s Cities and Communities 2012.  This report is chocked-full of helpful resources, including an assessment of the condition of Canada’s taxation policies, urban municipalities’ infrastructures issues, market failures and has a whole Chapter 5, devoted to the need for affordable rental construction.  It contains recommendations and specific examples of what cities have done to encourage rental construction.  This is must reading for our Federal and Municipal Working Groups.

Click here to read the full report

New Policy Brief: Proposals for Policy Changes to Enhance Private Sector Capacity To Build Affordable Rental Housing

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Proposals for Policy Changes to Enhance Private Sector Capacity  To Build Affordable Rental Housing and to Re-engage the Federal Government in the Provision of Social Housing

Most developed nations have a three-tier national housing policy, encompassing the provision of social housing for the poorest citizens, affordable rental housing for lower-middle income families and individuals, and market housing for the remainder.  Right to Housing, representing 46 organizations in Manitoba, believes that such a comprehensive policy would be strongly in Canada’s national interest, because the key bedrock of social stability is affordable, accessible, decent housing for all citizens.

In Canada at present, only one of the three aspects of a national housing policy operates effectively, namely the provision of market housing for middle and upper income families.  Even here, there are serious problems of affordability in many of Canada’s larger cities.  In significant part, this is related to the acute shortage of social housing, where rent is geared to income, and the almost total failure of affordable market rental housing, which is the subject of this brief. Both of these aspects of housing policy can been addressed with appropriate leadership at the federal level, in collaboration with Provinces, Territories and Municipalities.

Click here to read R2H’s full policy brief: r2h-housing-policy-brief-may-2012

The Housing Market and Canada’s Economic Recovery - New Report

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has recently published a thorough analysis of the shortcomings of Canada’s housing market and ways it can be fixed. A major focus of the report is on the country’s ever-shrinking supply of affordable rental housing:

“Although Canada’s rental sector plays a critical part within a healthy housing system, it has been largely overlooked. Measures to create new rental housing, while also retrofitting what already exists, will help address a weakening housing system and contribute to a healthy economy.”

In the report, the FCM outlines three recommendations to lower barriers to private-sector investment in rental housing; to stimulate the construction of new rental housing and retrofits; and to preserve existing affordable rental stock:

  • The Building Canada Rental Development Direct Lending Program to stimulate investment in new market-priced rental units.
  • The Rental Housing Protection Tax Credit to preserve and stop the serious erosion—through demolition and conversion to condominiums—of existing lower-rent properties.
  • The Eco-Energy Rental Housing Tax Credit to improve the quality of rental stock; reduce high utility costs for tenants; reduce emissions and environmental impact; and increase resale and future rental value to landlords.


Winnipeg and Manitoba Housing Information

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

This report, compiled by Sarah Cooper of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (and a R2H member), provides a brief overview of Winnipeg and Manitoba’s housing supply and demand. The report includes a description of the core housing need, and information on rental and social housing in the city and province.

Download the full report: ccpa-wpg-housing-stats-dec-6-2011

Lack of Apartment Buildings, Too Many Condo Conversions

Friday, June 17th, 2011

“Housing in Crisis - City’s Blowing a Chance for Growth:” Bartley Kives (June 6, 2011)

In a recent Winnipeg Free Press article, Bartley Kives cites the lack of apartment buildings and the excess of condo conversions as the main contributors to Winnipeg’s shortage of affordable housing.

“It’s been said many times, but this amounts to a housing crisis. Many people moving to Winnipeg cannot find a place to live and many people of modest means who already live here can’t afford to remain, if they have to move, for any reason.”

At the end of this cogent and articulate article, Kives concludes by suggesting that the federal government enact a tax incentive for apartment developers, the province should look beyond rent controls to solve the problem, and that the city needs to recognize the correlation between affordable housing and crime.

Read the full article

Fast Facts calls for Fast Action on Affordable Housing

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

In this issue of CCPA’s Fast Facts, Sarah Cooper calls on the City of Winnipeg to increase its actions and support in addressing the city’s dire lack of affordable housing. This piece was written in response to the City’s recent recommendation to transfer $500,000 from the Housing Rehabilitation Investment Reserve (HRIR) to the Home Renovation Tax Assistance Program. Sarah writes, “Although the recommendation was not passed, this move calls attention to the vulnerability of the funding intended to support housing rehabilitation and development in Winnipeg’s inner city.”

Click here to read the full article

CHRA Calls for National Housing Plan

Friday, April 8th, 2011

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) are helping to bring housing and homelessness to the forefront of this Federal Election. The CHRA issued a press release on April 4, calling for a long-term, national strategy to address affordable housing and homelessness in Canada. Included in the release is a list of four essential elements to a national housing plan:

  • Maintain current annual federal funding of $1.7 billion
  • Renew and increase funding for CMHC’s Affordable Housing Initiative and renovation programs (RRAP)
  • Extend and double funding for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy
  • Reinstate and extend the ecoENERGY Retrofit - Homes program and add a low-income component

Click here to read the full report