For Immediate Release
22 November, 2023
National Housing Day started in St. John’s with people in tents waking up to a dusting of snow. NL NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), says that the housing crisis in Newfoundland and Labrador shows no signs of improving and in many cases – it’s getting worse.
“Day after day we’ve seen more unhoused people put up tents at the Colonial Building in St. John’s and this morning they woke up to snow on the ground,” said Dinn. “It’s inspiring to see so many people from the community come together to offer support but solving this shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of caring neighbours. Government needs to act and get these people housed and provide the supports they need.
“The answer can’t be ‘it takes time to build houses’ when we have people sleeping with a tent fly in between them and a Newfoundland and Labrador winter. It’s grossly unacceptable for government to roll the dice on all of these people surviving through winter on a wing and a prayer.
“We’ve spoken with shelters in the city and what we’re hearing is quite concerning. End Homelessness St. John’s is expecting a surge in people experiencing homelessness this year compared to last year. Iris Kirby House and O’Shaughnessy House say their intake numbers are down, but only because their clients are having to stay longer because of the housing crisis, leaving the organization with no choice but to turn away 431 women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
“There are options. I’ve traveled to Ontario and Nova Scotia to see what other jurisdictions are doing. We have the benefit in this province of having a smaller population. We can meet the needs of people and provide safe shelter going into winter. Government just has to have the will to broaden their view of the housing crisis and introduce modular homes, quickly.”
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com