We can all agree that Prince Rupert and other North Coast communities are facing an affordable housing crisis. This affects everyone – at all income levels. Renters can’t find affordable homes to rent. New home buyers can’t enter the market. A lack of affordable housing affects overall economic development and makes it hard to recruit new workers to the region. New and existing workers can’t settle down, raise a family, or secure the housing they need. Housing insecurity makes it hard for families to meet their basic needs. Homelessness, couch surfing, hotel living, and other forms of precarious housing undermine the social fabric of our community. We can do better.
What’s needed is a locally driven strategy for affordable housing – for renters, new home buyers, and existing home owners – at all income levels. By providing housing security, affordable places for people and families to live, and sustainable economic development that puts people and their needs first, we’ll create a strong and fair North Coast economy that works for everyone. Affordable housing should be at the centre of the region’s economic ans social development strategy. That’s why the Prince Rupert Labour Council has identified achieving affordable housing for people living in the North Coast as a priority area for 2021-22. Join with local union leaders to develop a working plan to turn back the affordability and housing crisis that our community is facing.
The following three town halls are “listening forums” to help community members understand the housing crisis. How did we get here? How does the housing affordability crisis affect people in our community? What can we do to fix this crisis? The point is to start by listening to each other, in a dialogue aimed at understanding the various points of view and the complexity of the problem that we’re facing together. Later, the Labour Council will identify and adopt working criteria for strategies to fix the challenges facing people in the region. This will be followed by developing specific calls to action and working with local unions, community organizations, and others to advocate for the adoption of a local strategy to achieve housing affordability and housing security across all communities of the North Coast region.
Following this series of town hall forums, the Labour Council will meet in the fall to develop and adopt a set of criteria for action to address housing affordability for the the North Coast region. We’ll do this at a summit that brings together labour union members, community organizations, and others who are committed to addressing the affordability crisis. The criteria for action will provide a blueprint for specific calls to action. Throughout 2021-22 the Labour Council will advocate for these calls for action and help the community move forward on a comprehensive strategy that addresses housing affordable for all people in the region and beyond.
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