For Immediate Release
September 27, 2023
NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), is renewing his call to Provincial government to invest in repairing Newfoundland and Labrador Housing units and more non-market community based housing after an ATTIPP revealed the provincial government spent over $10.5 million in emergency shelters in 2022.
“The ATTIPP reveals that government does not have an understanding of the housing crisis or that there is one. If they did, non-market housing units in disrepair across the province would have people living in them. Instead, this government has spent $10.5 million on emergency shelters,” said Dinn. “We’re calling on them to do what they’ve so far refused to do -- immediately speed up the timelines to repair unliveable NLHC units ahead of winter, and to commit to re-allocate what they’re spending on private shelters into non-market housing with NLHC to expand these housing options. Fixing the units is not an answer to the housing crisis, but it will be a good investment to help especially as we start to approach the colder months of the year.
“We believe that by investing in repairing these units that shelter beds will open up and the province can reduce its reliance on for-profit shelters.
“We do not know the numbers for 2023, but the crisis is worsening. Given the volume of calls we are getting and monthly reports from groups like End Homelessness St. John’s that show that chronic homelessness has increased 65% since January, we believe it will be much worse. We do know that there are many housing units across the province not been repaired due to a lack of funding and a lack of focus from this government.
“Government must build more non-market housing. This $10.5 million expenditure shows us that they are not prepared to deal with housing issues they’ve known were getting worse for years. They do not seem to care about the difficulty of finding housing, especially for everyday people and those living on low income. Since 2019, I’ve been calling on government to act and improve access to housing. While taking the HST off of construction supplies and other announcements help support market construction, it will not help people on lower incomes and does not outline how new construction will be affordable.
“Government must release a thorough plan to improve access to housing in this province, and the solution cannot be relying on the private market to rectify itself. Successive governments hung their hat on that housing approach for the last few decades – and now look at the mess we’re in.”
Media Contact: Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, 709.729.2137