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Houston Government Needs to Get Serious About Housing and Homelessness

Jul 11, 2024

The news of HRM designating nine new tent encampments is the latest symptom of the Houston government’s mismanagement of the housing and homelessness file.

“The need for nine new tent encampments to accommodate the growing homeless population in HRM wouldn’t exist if the Premier made affordable housing in our province a priority and wasn't focused on his arbitrary goal of doubling the population,” said Opposition Leader Zach Churchill. “This government promised 200 Pallet shelters nearly a year ago and so far a fraction of them are in place. Tents are not an acceptable form of housing.”

The number of people on the by-name list that tracks those experiencing homelessness has doubled in both 2022 and 2023 under the Houston government. More than 1,300 people in Halifax alone find themselves without a place to live.

“Over the past number of months, we’ve heard more and more stories about people being renovicted, priced out of their homes, or had their rental unit sold from underneath them, leaving them with no place to go,” said Housing Critic Braedon Clark. “We need a residential tenancies enforcement unit. We need to look at rent stabilization and regulation. We need the government to get serious about creating truly affordable housing — and we needed it all yesterday.”

Beyond efforts to increase housing affordability, the root causes of homelessness also need to be addressed. More attention needs to be focused on mental health and addictions, poverty, domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

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