10/28/2013


Today, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) launched their campaign, “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch,” to urge the federal government to work with provincial, territorial and municipal leaders to develop a long-term, coordinated plan for housing.

AMO supports this campaign.  “The stakes are especially high for Ontario’s municipal governments,” said AMO President Russ Powers in a News Release today.  Unlike other provinces, responsibility for housing in Ontario is downloaded to municipal governments and represents a significant cost on the property tax base.

The FCM is suggesting a number of ways for municipal governments to join the advocacy campaign.  One of the suggested methods is for municipal councils to pass a resolution of support.

Suggested Action:

AMO suggests that Ontario’s municipal councils pass FCM’s resolution, modified in the 6th whereas for the Ontario context, as follows:

RESOLUTION

Development of a New Long-Term Federal Plan to Fix Canada’s Housing Crunch


WHEREAS, a stable and secure housing system that creates and maintains jobs and allows for a range of living options is essential to attracting new workers, meeting the needs of young families and supporting seniors and our most vulnerable citizens; and,

WHEREAS the high cost of housing is the most urgent financial issue facing Canadians with one in four people paying more than they can afford for housing, and mortgage debt held by Canadians now standing at just over $1.1 trillion; and,

WHEREAS housing costs and, as the Bank of Canada notes, household debt, are undermining Canadians’ personal financial security, while putting our national economy at risk; and,

WHEREAS those who cannot afford to purchase a home rely on the short supply of rental units, which is driving up rental costs and making it hard to house workers in regions experiencing strong economic activity; and,
WHEREAS an inadequate supply of subsidized housing for those in need is pushing some of the most vulnerable Canadians on to the street, while $1.7 billion annually in federal investments in social housing have begun to expire; and,

WHEREAS the stakes are especially high for Ontario’s municipal governments as housing responsibilities have already been downloaded (unlike other provinces and territories) and this is not sustainable on the property tax base; and,   

WHEREAS, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has launched a housing campaign, “Fixing Canada’s Housing Crunch,” calling on the federal government to increase housing options for Canadians and to work with all orders of government to develop a long-term plan for Canada’s housing future; and,

WHEREAS FCM has asked its member municipalities to pass a council resolution supporting the campaign;

AND WHEREAS, our community has continuing housing needs, such as the XX and the XX, that can only be met through the kind of long-term planning and investment made possible by federal leadership;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that council endorses the FCM housing campaign and urges the minister of employment and social development to develop a long-term plan for housing that puts core investments on solid ground, increases predictability, protects Canadians from the planned expiry of $1.7 billion in social housing agreements and ensures a healthy stock of affordable rental housing for Canadians; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the minister noted above, to Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs and housing, to (Name of local MP), to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.