Alberta NDP response to Question 9

Question 1:  Will you support Calgary’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness by providing a greater share of funding to Calgary to reflect the city’s growth, cost of living and high homeless population?

Question: 2  Will you reinstate block funding to enable The City of Calgary to sustain affordable housing development?

Question: 3  What commitment will you make to the construction of more affordable housing in cities?

Question: 4  What measures would you be willing to introduce to encourage the participation of the private sector in the development of more affordable housing in Alberta’s cities?

Answer:  We know that there is a serious problem when it comes to affordable housing in Alberta. Especially in major cities where vacancy rates are often low and there is a serious need for low income housing. In order to address this problem, we will work with municipalities to ensure they have the ability to put inclusionary zoning into place. The intended outcome is to increase the construction and the availability of affordable housing while making sure that developers contribute to the solution as well.

We are committed to the 10 year plan to end homelessness. We believe that in addition to providing more affordable housing and shelter spaces, we also need to address the root causes of poverty. The NDP platform has several components that would help low income families. We have committed to immediate implementation of the enhancement to the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit and the Alberta Working Family Supplement so low income families can benefit from both these programs now and not wait until July 2016 as Jim Prentice wants. In the next year, we are committed to improving the Alberta Working Family Supplement to address our concern that it phases out too quickly and only applies to working incomes so not all children are covered. We have made a commitment to protect and improve health and education services and to revise the currently broken mental health system in Alberta. We need to make sure the mental health system is providing the services Albertans dealing with mental health issues and addictions need. We also need to address issues of working poverty, and that is why we have proposed to raise the minimum wage in Alberta to $15/hour by 2018, bringing minimum wage much closer to the living wage.

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