The issue of safe, affordable and available housing has recently been a topic of hot debate, both across Canada and in the riding of Winnipeg South. When it comes to building a country that is inclusive and provides opportunities for everyone to succeed, housing matters. It is a key component of the social infrastructure that supports strong communities, personal health and well-being and a vibrant economy. This can present significant challenges, particularly in areas with a highly diverse group of residents like Winnipeg South, but the fact remains that Canadians at all stages of life deserve access to housing that meets their needs, and that they can afford.
Earlier this year, the government launched consultations to ask Canadians to share their vision of housing and to help create a National Housing Strategy. Over the last several months, we have worked with provinces, territories, municipalities, housing experts and Indigenous governments and associations to develop new and innovative solutions to housing challenges.
I recently had the pleasure of hosting a round table discussion on the topic of our National Housing Strategy with local organizations and community leaders. It gave me a chance to receive some very insightful feedback that has helped me gain a better understanding of what the future of housing may look like, both locally as well as on a national level.
One possible solution to some of the challenges our current housing market presents is the furthering of housing co-operative projects, such as our own Village Canadien Housing Cooperative, located in the riding of Winnipeg South. I recently joined Village Canadien to celebrate its 40th Anniversary, and on behalf of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announce funding to support mortgage relief. In June, Minister Duclos announced that the Government is providing $150 million over four years to allow co-operatives and non-profit social housing providers, like Village Canadien, to prepay high interest, long-term, non-renewable mortgages held by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation without penalty.
All Canadians deserve access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. Housing is the cornerstone of building healthy communities and a strong economy where we can prosper and thrive.Organizations such as Village Canadien present housing options that are environmentally, socially and financially sustainable, and we are grateful to count the cooperative as integral part of the Winnipeg South community.