HP Blog: Homelessness in a Land of Plenty
A new blog was posted by CWP on the Huffington Post Canada website today in support of federal leadership on housing. Canada has thousands of people homeless and estimates that millions are housing insecure. We believe all levels of government have a role to play in addressing this housing crisis.
Here is an excerpt of the post:
“A national conversation on housing is underway. This is, in part, thanks to the federal Bill C-400 calling for a national housing strategy, which was debated at second reading in the House of Commons last week. Canada currently has no such strategy and no coherent plan to address homelessness, leaving thousands of people housing insecure or homeless. Homelessness in a wealthy nation like Canada is not only unreasonable, but hard to fathom considering that cost-effective solutions are within reach.
A home is not a partisan issue. It is a basic human need, and a fundamental right. International treaties that Canada has ratified, such as those protecting the rights of persons with disabilities and children, state that all people have a right to adequate housing — regardless of age, ethnicity, or political affiliation. Housing goes far beyond politics, it is a human right.
The government’s own calculations estimate that $1 spent on housing equals $1.40 benefit to the economy. Recent costs of homelessness are pegged at $4.5 billion annually — a figure that includes the direct costs of emergency services (such as shelters), and indirect costs such as the related strain on the health care and criminal justice systems. It is estimated that it costs approximately $100,000 in services and programs for every homeless person. It would cost considerably less to house these same individuals and provide them with the services they need.
All levels of government are spending to cope with a situation that would be cheaper to address head-on.”