The Canadian government’s housing strategy will include a new benefit for people waiting for low income housing, a source confirmed to CBC News.
The details about how much and who gets the benefit will be unveiled later Wednesday as the Liberal government announces its long-awaited housing strategy.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make the announcement in Toronto, while Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will be in Vancouver — two cities grappling with housing needs. MPs will also make stops across the country for “echo” announcements over the next two days, the source said.
The housing measures news was first reported Wednesday morning in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail.
The source said Wednesday’s announcement will emphasize poverty reduction and stress that housing is the best way to tackle poverty.
The announcement is also expected to include hundreds of thousands of new and renovated units.
Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, learned that on top of about 100,000 new units, Ottawa will target 300,000 existing units for renovation.
The plan will be implemented over 10 years, with some elements still to be announced in 2018.
Recently released census data found that 1.7 million Canadian households were in “core housing need” in 2016, meaning they spent more than one-third of their before-tax income on housing that may be substandard or doesn’t meet their needs.
In March, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights criticized Canada for its “persistent housing crisis” in a report that highlighted the absence of a national housing strategy.
In their last budget, the Liberals set aside more than $11 billion over a decade to improve access to affordable housing.
Most of the money won’t be spent until after the next election in 2019, which has already concerned some anti-poverty groups.
Those groups are planning demonstrations in multiple cities Wednesday, demanding that the Liberals spend the billions before the next election.