NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announces a rental subsidy and affordable housing plan at a Habitat for Humanities project site in Campbell River, BC today with North Island-Powell River NDP candidate Rachel Blaney. NDP photo/Twitter

NDP will tackle ‘housing crisis’ with affordable housing and up to $5,000 in rental support

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s campaign touches down on Vancouver Island

An NDP government will build half a million affordable houses across Canada and provide up to $5,000 in rental support for low income Canadians, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a campaign stop in Campbell River, BC today.

“Housing is a massive crisis,” Singh said on the site of Campbell River’s latest Habitat for Humanity project. “and it’s a massive crisis across Canada.

“We’re specifically making this announcement here in Campbell River because it’s not an issue of just large urban centres, rural communities, smaller communities. Communities…up and down the Island, but also across Canada are struggling with being able to afford housing.”

And you look at the response from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in the face of this crisis, Singh said.

“You’d think that Mr. Trudeau would take it seriously,” Singh said. “Well, instead of taking it seriously, he says, on one hand, the economy is doing really well but he’s invested 19 per cent less than (former Conservative prime minister) Mr. (Stephen) Harper as percentage of GDP in housing. Nineteen per cent less than Mr. Harper. How is that a response to the seriousness of the crisis?”

The majority of Trudeau’s housing plan won’t roll out for years in the future. All he cares about is meeting behind closed doors with large corporations and pharmaceutical companies and doing what they ask, Singh said.

“He makes sure that the wealthiest, the people at the very top, get whatever they need and families end up paying the price,” Singh said.

That’s the thing with governments in Ottawa, whether they are Liberal or Conservative, they continue to make life easier for the people at the very top.

“We want to stop that,” Singh said.

The NDP’s plan is to build 500,000 new affordable houses in the next 10 years, partnering with community organizations like Habitat for Humanity. Singh said the party’s plan will make up for 30 years of inaction on housing. But that doesn’t help people who need housing now.

“But here’s the thing, there’s people who need housing right now, there’s people that need help right now. So to help those families out right now, we are going to put in place a rental subsidy,” Singh said. “This is going to help families that are struggling with housing today, families that are in a situation where they might lose their housing because they can’t afford to pay the rent.”

The NDP plan is going to help out “nearly $500,000” with up to $5,000 worth of support each year. This will make the difference for families unable to pay their bills, families facing the choice between buying groceries or paying their rent; paying for medication or paying their rent, Singh said.

RELATED: Party leaders scatter from Vancouver Island to Montreal as campaign starts Week 3

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