Rogers urging government to show leadership in housing crisis
People in communities in every corner of the province are having problems finding affordable housing, and NDP Housing critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) is appalled that this week’s provincial budget is doing nothing to help with the escalating housing crisis.
“I cannot tell you how many people have told me about the housing situations they face,” Rogers said today. “In the past couple of months, I have talked to students, seniors, young working families, people with physical disabilities, people at every income level – they are all telling me they cannot find affordable housing.”
Rogers and other NDP MHAs have held town hall meetings in several communities in the province since early February and found, overwhelmingly, that housing is the major issue on people’s minds.
The NDP has been calling for government to create a housing division to administer all the different programs and initiatives that are related to housing.
“We need a real division within government to look at the whole spectrum of housing needs in the province. We need concrete policy and planning on how to deal with the challenges that come from large-scale resource development within the province as it affects the housing needs of our people,” Rogers said. She cited the low-income home ownership programs in Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan that help people with down payments. Families move into their own homes, pay on their mortgages, and free up rental housing.
“The housing crisis in this province is so serious that government must show leadership,” Rogers said today. “Leaving it up to the market to solve the problem is obviously not working.
“Housing is a basic right. We are 500,000 people, and in this time of prosperity, we can make sure that everyone in the province is adequately housed.”