Liberals to offer benefit to people waiting for low-income housing

The Canadian government’s housing strategy will include a new benefit for people waiting for low income housing, a source confirmed to CBC News.

The details about how much and who gets the benefit will be unveiled later Wednesday as the Liberal government announces its long-awaited housing strategy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make the announcement in Toronto, while Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos will be in Vancouver — two cities grappling with housing needs. MPs will also make stops across the country for “echo” announcements over the next two days, the source said.

The marquee benefit will be targeted at people already in social housing and those on wait lists, who could take the benefit with them through the private market, sources say. The government also plans to maintain spending on units that have subsidized rents to maintain supply.

The details of how the spending will roll out are of keen interest to housing providers and cities. Municipal leaders have been meeting federal officials this week to talk about the national housing strategy.

The housing measures news was first reported Wednesday morning in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail.

The source said Wednesday’s announcement will emphasize poverty reduction and stress that housing is the best way to tackle poverty.

The strategy is also expected to include hundreds of thousands of new and renovated units and plans to make housing a fundamental right, which would include requirements for the government to regularly report to Parliament on federal efforts to ease the housing burden for hundreds of thousands of Canadian families.

Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, learned that on top of about 100,000 new units, Ottawa will target 300,000 existing units for renovation.

The plan will be implemented over 10 years, with some elements still to be announced in 2018.

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