For Immediate Release
July 25, 2023
NDP Leader Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre) wants the Minister of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills to explain why Ukrainians have received what is tantamount to an eviction notice from their current housing situation.
“Many newcomer Ukrainians have contacted us this week, panicking because they have received a letter giving them just two weeks to find alternative housing,” said Dinn. “They have been searching for homes since arriving in the province and have been unable to find places in the current housing market. They and their families have nowhere to move.
“We understand in speaking with representatives of the ANC that letters were sent to people who have found employment. However, people cannot afford housing on minimum wage salaries. My question to the minister is, ‘Why are you not prepared to support newcomers who cannot find or afford housing on their minimum wage income?’ These Ukrainians are facing homelessness. Government has put them in this situation.”
Government knew in March 2022 when it set up its Ukrainian Family Support desk and in May of the same year when it welcomed the first planeload of Ukrainian refugees, that there was already a housing crisis brewing and it did little to find long-term solutions.
The NDP has tried for years to get government to acknowledge the province’s housing crisis and take steps to solve the problem. Dinn notes government knew there were housing issues before it set up an immigration desk in Poland, and should immediately have fast-tracked efforts to increase the housing supply.
“Government invited Ukrainians to come to our province a year and a half ago, and have consistently ignored the housing crunch,” Dinn said. “We cannot now heartlessly evict newcomers into this market where many people are struggling to find affordable housing. Government was happy to grab the spotlight when people arrived, but should have planned better to help them find real homes. That would have taken the kind of hard work that I don’t think interests this government.”
Ukrainian’s are the latest victims in the housing crisis. People deserve safe, stable, and affordable housing - whether they were born here, settled here twenty years ago, or recently arrived. The government must take the necessary steps to make sure all those who call our province home have that housing.
For further information, contact Stephanie Curran, Media Relations Manager, NDP Caucus at 330-0328 (c), or firstname.lastname@example.org