Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Housing


TORONTO,  Ontario – June 25, 2013 – Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible  for Housing today met to discuss the need for long-term, sustainable affordable  and social housing.

“We are  encouraged by the federal government’s recent proposal to extend funding for  new affordable housing,” said Robert C. McLeod, Minister Responsible for  the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation and Chair of the 2013 meeting of Provincial/Territorial  Ministers Responsible for Housing.  “But  together we also need to protect the homes of the more than 600,000 families in  social housing.”

The Ministers agreed that the current complement of social and affordable  housing in Canada is among the most important social infrastructure in our  communities.  Significant decreases in  federal social housing funding will create increasing challenges to meet the  housing needs of Canadians.

As  the host of the Ministers’ meeting, Linda Jeffrey, Ontario’s Minister of  Municipal Affairs and Housing noted that “the time to act is now.  A long-term federal funding commitment for  housing is critical to address the unmet housing needs of Canadians today and  for future generations.”

Provincial and Territorial Ministers came together  in Toronto to share information and build on common ground with respect to  affordable and social housing issues. They noted that  any affordable housing agreements need to be flexible and respect provincial  and territorial jurisdictions, for example the training of apprentices.  They also had an opportunity to discuss  engagement with stakeholders and plans for a future meeting with their federal  counterpart.

“We recognize the importance of affordable and social  housing, and believe that all levels of government need to work together to  meet diverse regional housing needs and priorities,” said Minister McLeod.  “My colleagues and I invite Minister Finley,  the federal Minister Responsible for Housing to a meeting in Yellowknife in  order to work together to address the housing needs of Canadians.”

Although it shares the concerns of the other  provincial and territorial governments about the substantive needs in housing,  Québec intends to make its own representations to the federal government  regarding housing at the appropriate time.

Ministers also noted that:

  • Safe, adequate and affordable housing is a basic need of  Canadians, including persons with disabilities, and the ability to secure such  housing is a determinant for most economic and social challenges.
  • Housing is critically important to the economy. Housing  starts are a leading economic indicator because housing creates jobs, both  direct and indirect. Affordable housing is a key component. In the three years  from 2010-2012 combined provincial/territorial and federal spending added over $3 billion per year  to the economy and created or sustained 35,000 jobs.
  • The aging population is putting increasing pressure on  affordable and appropriate housing for seniors and limiting their ability to  remain in their homes.
  • Poverty, which includes a large group of people whose  housing needs are not met, costs Canada’s health care systems $7.6 billion  annually.
  • A recent Mental Health Commission of Canada study found  that increasing the supply of affordable housing will reduce pressure on health  care, emergency services and the justice systems.  Every dollar spent on housing reduces  spending in other shelter, health and justice services by $1.54.
  • Children who are adequately housed perform better in  school.  Children in stable housing are  four times less likely to drop out of school.

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Contact Information:

Shaun Dean
Press Secretary
Government of the Northwest  Territories
Tel: 867-669-2304