The City of Regina is looking to the Canadian government for some clarity on the National Housing Strategy.
On Wednesday, the federal government announced plans to replace rent subsidies as social housing operating agreements expire.
It also committed to repairing social housing and invest in affordable housing construction.
Mayor Michael Fougere says he wants to know how this will be funded.
“That’s part of the clarity we want to see,” Fougere said. “The comments I have heard so far are encouraging. But we would like details because we are trying to move forward very aggressively on homelessness. We want to make sure we have support from the federal government into the future.”
Fougere says while the city has its own plan to reduce homelessness, he wants to know if the federal government will be giving the city financial assistance to further their blueprint.
“I know there has been, on the margins, discussions of homelessness,” Fougere said. “And I think there will likely be other statements soon. But, when you talk about a national strategy, you cannot continue the conversation without talking about homelessness. Every city in Canada has this problem. What we are looking for is a solution from all parties, government and even the private sector to be involved as well.”
In April of 2019 it is expected a 10-year, 2.2 billion dollar investment will be made in the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, with a goal of reducing homelessness by 50 percent.
The federal social development minister says the government’s new national housing strategy is designed so fewer Canadians will be or will become homeless.
Jean-Yves Duclos says the government would rather spend money on building and finding homes for low-income Canadians than to create more shelter spaces.
Duclos admits there are many details that still need to be worked out, such as how to ensure that a new housing benefit doesn’t push up rents in markets with low vacancy rates.
(Files from Ryan McNAlly)