According to a new survey, commissioned by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) and conducted by Nanos Research, there could be a higher number of Canadians who have experienced homelessness in their lives than reported. This is expected to increase because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey indicates that 5 %( about 1.6 million) of Canadian citizens have been homeless. At the same time, another 31% know someone homeless.
Tim Richter, the president and CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End homelessness, stated that it was interesting to see how widespread homelessness is and how many lives it touches. Nonetheless, 11% of people who rent reported having experienced homelessness, while 25% of renters are concerned about establishing the rent for the next month. Richter stated that there is an urgent need to solve the housing crisis and the impact of COVID. Besides, when the pandemic began, several provinces executed moratoria on evictions. However, while renters are still dealing with the economic consequences, many of the regions are ending or have already completed the evacuation.
Richter stated that there is going to be pressure if the economic impact of the pandemic continues to affect lower-income Canadians disproportionately. He added that there are worries about if the ongoing financial instability could form a new wave of people experiencing homelessness in Canada. According to CAEH’s “Recovery for All” plan released in July, if the federal government used $52 billion worth of COVID-19 economic recovery measures in targeted spending, homelessness could be solved by 2030.
Richter confirmed that they had outlined what they thought was an affordable and achievable path to end homelessness in Canada. He added that more than 80% of Canadians would somehow support the investment of affordable housing projects, while 72% of Canadians believe urgent work. Richter said they are excited to see the strength of support for investing in housing, which shows that Canadians want the federal government to act and to act decisively. In Toronto, about 149 people experiencing homelessness were provided a place to live in after city officials leased two apartment buildings.
In the next ten years under the Recovery for All plans, the budget would be used to convert hotels and apartments into affordable housing units and to create more than 370,000 affordable housing units. This is expected to save taxpayers $18 billion that would have been used on emergency measures that leave people homeless and to create up to 500,000 jobs over the next ten years. Richter confirmed that they had shared their proposals, and they are sharing the results of the poll with decision-makers in Ottawa. Many advocates have approved the plan.