News from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
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Call on the Federal government to make housing a priority

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is pleased to join the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association and Housing for All partners across Canada in calling on the Federal government to make good on their election promise of a National Housing Strategy.

We need your help!

Release of mandate letters

Last week, federal ministerial mandate letters were made public. These documents lay out the Prime Minister’s expectations and instructions for each of his ministers. We were encouraged to see housing mentioned in four separate portfolios. We were also pleased to see such an emphasis placed on transparency and collaboration to achieve government objectives.

Through these directives, it was made evident that we need to be working closely with both the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, who will be working on creating and implementing a National Housing Strategy together.

The mandate letters of the Honourable Bill Morneau Minister of Finance, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs also mentioned housing priorities.

Read all 30 ministerial mandate letters.

What next?

On December 4, the Governor General will deliver the Speech from Throne, articulating the federal government’s priorities for this parliament. We need your help to ensure that Housing for All messages continue to be heard throughout the country by as many federal elected officials as possible. After all, your local voice is the most powerful.

What can you do?

During the Housing for All Post-Election Week Blitz, November 20-27, we ask that you get in touch with your local Member of Parliament to stress the importance of immediate and long term federal re-investment in affordable housing, including social housing.

How?

  • Find out the name of your M.P. and how to contact him/her. Type in your postal code on the home page of www.parl.gc.ca. An email address will be displayed when you click on your M.P.’s name. Generally, M.P. email addresses follow this rule: firstname.lastname@parl.gc.ca
     
  • Send your M.P. an email using the message below. You may also elect to draft your own message, however, please keep it short and to the point. The most important part to include is in bold.
     
  • Please cc CHRA (cflefaivre@chra-achru.ca) so we can keep stock of our grassroots activity progress.
     
  • Share this with your contacts and friends, urging them to do the same this week.

Suggested message to your Member of Parliament
 

Dear Mr/Ms. [XXX],

Congratulations on your [election/re-election] as Member of Parliament.

My name is [XX] and I am a constituent in your riding.

[Insert your role in the community/ job title/ other relevant background info, etc.]

I am pleased to see the federal government commit to the creation and implementation of a National Housing Strategy. This is a step in the right direction.

However, I continue to be very worried about the lack of supply of affordable rental housing in [insert riding name], and across Canada. I'm very concerned about the 235,000 Canadians who will experience homelessness this year and the thousands of vulnerable families currently on long social housing waiting lists. Affordable housing gives safety and stability to lower income Canadians. 

On December 4th, I ask that a commitment to meaningful federal re-investment in affordable housing be articulated in the Speech from the Throne as a priority.  Specifically, I ask the government to commit to: building new affordable rental housing - including supportive housing - repairing and maintaining exiting social housing, and supporting people with the rent subsidies and the support they need to stay housed.

For a modest additional investment of only $46 per Canadian per year ($1.7 billion annually) we can eliminate chronic and episodic homelessness in Canada in less than a decade, retain and expand our affordable rental housing supply and make major progress on Canada's housing crisis. 

For more information read the State of Homelessness in Canada: 2014

I hope I can count on you to champion the cause of Housing for All within your caucus and within our community.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name and contact info]

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