Monday, October 29, 2007

Made In Calgary Homeless Plan

No rent controls. A bungled boondoggle of subsidies to renters. And now a corporate committee to deal with homelessness in Alberta sometime in the next decade.

Alberta's government has announced it's forming the Alberta Secretariat for Action on Homelessness to help end the problem over the next 10 years.

Premier Ed Stelmach says in a release that while that may be an ambitious goal, it's one that the government needs to strive for to help those in need.

The secretariat, which will include representation from across the province, is expected to be working by April.

It will be headed by Yvonne Fritz, the government's associate minister of affordable housing and urban development.

The government says issues such as a budget and membership will be worked out over the next few months.

Last January, a committee that includes some of Canada's biggest corporate leaders formed with the aim to wipe out Calgary's homelessness problem over the next decade.

Calling any announcement on the issue a good one, Calgary Homeless Foundation president and CEO Wayne Stewart said he's hoping Stelmach will focus on long-term sustainability.

Stewart said his group has been working on a 10-year plan to eliminate homelessness in Calgary and expects to release its preliminary findings in January.

This is not a solution to the problem of affordable housing it is just another Tired Old Tory form of the old poor laws updated for the 21st century. Where the old poor laws produced workhouses run by the Church, we now have corporate philanthropists coming up with housing solutions, but no cheap housing while the condo conversions boom and tent cities for the homeless spread across the province.

Premier Ed Stelmach unveiled an initiative Monday to build 11,000 new affordable homes in Alberta over the next five years.

Eleven thousand homes is a drop in the bucket. What we need is the end to condo conversions, rent control and the creation of mass public housing NOW; town houses, row housing and apartments subsidized by the provincial and federal governments.

About 2,600 people in Edmonton and 3,400 in Calgary don't have a place to live, according to the last count of the homeless population in 2006.

Both major cities have seen an increase of at least 20 per cent in their homeless populations since 2004.

Add to that the fact that Syncrude alone is looking to hire 5000 workers to live in Fort McMurray a 11,000 homes across the province is a joke.

Not only is the oil boom in Alberta causing a labour shortage, but Syncrude faces a host of retirements, with an attrition rate of eight to nine per cent, he said.

"We're trying to get up to 5,000 employees," said House, adding the company now employs some 4,600 people.

Exciting as all this might sound, he was finding few takers at the CASTLE event.

"Housing cost is the number one deterrent," said House.

In labour-starved Fort McMurray, he said, "you can work at a Burger King and make $15 an hour.

"But in order to afford the housing, you'd better work a lot of hours," he added. "A person making $15 could not survive alone."


This Is Better Than Rent Controls?

Stelmach's Robber Barons

And New York Has Rent Controls

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , ,
, , , ,
,, , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,
, , , , , , , , ,

No comments: