VANCOUVER — Canada’s big-city mayors say they are ready to solve a growing housing crisis across the country, but they can’t do it without federal and provincial help.
The Big City Mayors’ Caucus, a group representing 22 of Canada’s largest cities, has met in Vancouver in advance of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual convention, beginning Friday and continuing to June 3.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson says cities are ready to help protect the economy and solve the housing crisis, but senior levels of government must be committed to the same goal.
The mayors are calling for a new housing partnership to eliminate chronic homelessness, stimulate rental and affordable housing construction, while preserving and renovating existing social housing.
Local politicians fear $1.7 billion annually in federal housing investments are set to expire, with the bulk of the cash — up to $500 million a year — ending between 2014 and 2019.
They say more than half a million Canadians could lose their homes unless federal, provincial, and territorial governments take action.