National Housing Day 2023: Picture a Canada Where Everyone Has a Home
Today, on November 22nd, we acknowledge National Housing Day—an occasion that lies at the very core of our daily mission at Fred Victor.
On November 22, 2000, National Housing Strategy Day was introduced, and in 2017, Canada announced its inaugural National Housing Strategy, a monumental step toward ensuring that every Canadian has access to affordable housing that suits their needs. Yet, sadly, 23 years later, more people than ever find themselves grappling with housing insecurity.
At Fred Victor, the critical shortage of affordable housing touches every aspect of our work and the lives of those we serve.
Nevertheless, there is room for optimism. We are witnessing a welcome shift in housing policy and investment that inspires hope for the future.
In September 2023, the federal government unveiled a substantial injection of $20 billion for low-cost rental housing construction nationwide, poised to introduce approximately 30,000 new rental units annually to Canada’s housing market. Additionally, the top-up of $13.4 million for the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB), jointly funded by the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, is set to assist approximately 1,350 more people in securing housing.
Recently, we received the uplifting news of the federal government’s commitment of $1.2 billion in low-interest loans to build 2,644 rental homes across seven new projects in Toronto. Just as importantly, they announced $15 billion in low-cost loans for builders, accompanied by an additional $1-billion fund dedicated to affordable homes, to support co-op housing and non-profit and public housing providers in constructing 7,000 more homes by 2028.
Moreover, the introduction of new pro-housing policies, such as the GST/HST rebate on new rental developments and measures to address vacant homes and short-term rentals, reflects a promising direction in housing governance.
There are many ways to address the profound lack of affordable housing. At Fred Victor, our collective efforts are making a tangible impact. In 2023, we’ve proudly introduced 79 new housing units and assisted 287 people to move from shelters to secure homes. This month alone, 32 people will move into our latest housing location, Birchmount Green. Equally important, hundreds have retained their housing, thanks to your unwavering support.
Behind every number lies a person—a person whose life you’ve touched. Families are rebuilding their lives, and your generosity plays a pivotal role in this transformation. On this National Housing Day, we extend our gratitude to Fred Victor supporters.
People rely on our services, we rely on your support.