Housing & Homelessness
In November 2017, the federal government released A Place to Call Home, Canada's first National Housing Strategy. It adopted a rights-based approach to housing and contained ambitious targets to create more affordable housing and reduce chronic homelessness by 50% by 2027-2028.
In April 2019 the federal government rolled out its new homelessness strategy - Reaching Home. Reaching Home is designed to support the goals of the National Housing Strategy, in particular, to support the most vulnerable Canadians in maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing and to reduce chronic homelessness nationally by 50% by 2027–2028.
In June 2019, the federal government passed the National Housing Strategy Act, which establishes housing policy for Canada, and creates the Federal Housing Advocate and the National Housing Council.
Anticipating a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall of 2020, the federal government announced the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) on September 21, 2020, just days before the September 2020 Speech from the Throne. The RHI aimed to create up to 3,000 units of affordable housing by March 31, 2021.
The Public Affairs Office participated in the development of the national housing strategy through a series of public consultations held between 2016 and 2018. Since then, we have had ongoing conversations with federal elected officials and public servants about the impact of the National Housing Strategy in communities across Canada.
In April 2020, The Salvation Army was invited to make a written submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance regarding the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness and organizations supporting them. Major Al Hoeft, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations and Development for the Alberta & Northern Territories Division authored that submission.
In February 2021, the Public Affairs Office participated in federal Department of Finance pre-budget consultations, and recommended ongoing investments in both capital and operating dollars to support people experiencing homelessness and those exiting homelessness, as well additional investments in homelessness prevention measures.
In our submissions to federal policy makers, we advocated for the following: