Canada's Mayors Push for Affordable Housing Help

The mayors of Canada's 22 largest municipalities are pushing the federal government to extend a subsidy program used to assist 600,000 low-income households that is due to expire next year.

"Canada’s big-city mayors are taking on a new battle: low-cost housing," reports Frances Bula. "And they have kicked off a campaign to persuade the federal government to continue a decades-old form of support for subsidized housing that is used to reduce the rent for 600,000 households."

'There’s $500-million a year in housing investments expiring in 2014. That’s the big bombshell that’s landing,' Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention in the city on Thursday."

"Many non-profits and co-ops operate on a model in which some renters pay full market rent, some get a small subsidy and others get a much larger subsidy," explains Bula. "Having one-third of each type of renter has been seen as the norm."

But if the subsidy program is allowed to expire next year, the non-profits, co-ops and local governments that use it will have to rent more of their units at market prices to make up for the loss.

Full Story: Affordable housing tops the agenda as mayors make plea to Ottawa for help

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