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News

The Housing Again Bulletin, sponsored by Raising the Roof as a partner in Housing Again.

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A monthly electronic bulletin highlighting what people are doing to put housing back on the public agenda across Canada and around the world, sponsored by Raising the Roof as part of the Housing Again partnership.


News for October, 2008


Feature: Renewal of Housing Programs Makes List of Election Promises

Ottawa, ON

As predicted in the September issue of Housing Again, Prime Minister Stephen Harper dissolved Parliament sparking an October 14 election. Although the Canadian federal election has had steep competition for voters’ attention, the affordable housing agenda has managed to receive some play in the news. Several weeks into the campaign, the Conservatives announced that the federal housing programs, which were scheduled to expire early next year, will be renewed for the next five years at the current level of funding.

Although federal housing minister Monte Solberg had previously said housing programs were under review to “make sure they result in the best outcome for the people receiving the money and for taxpayers,” he did not say if the results of the study impacted on the decision to renew. Solberg pledged to renew the Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI), Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) and Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) for 5 years, effective April 2009, with an investment of $1.9 billion. However, it remains uncertain whether the announcement is simply a campaign promise or true government commitment service providers can count on.

The Canadian Housing Renewal Association (CHRA) has been leading a national initiative to draw attention to housing issues during the election campaign. CHRA launched an Election Toolkit and has provided daily coverage of campaign news and updates on party announcements related to housing and homelessness.

Green Party
In the Green Party´s Vision Green, housing policy centres on the goal of “Ending Homelessness” and the pursuit of universal housing to alleviate poverty.

Conservative Party
Along with renewing the federal housing programs, the Conservative Party has put forth “modest, affordable help” for first-time homebuyers.

Liberal Party
Entitled Richer, Fairer, Greener: An Action Plan for the 21st Century, the Liberal Party electoral platform pledges to help provide 30,000 new social housing units and refurbish another 30,000 existing units as part of its Four Year Plan.

NDP
The NDP campaign platform promises to implement a durable, comprehensive and fully-funded affordable housing strategy that meets Canada’s international obligations, as set out by the United Nations. The plan includes building towards the 10-year goal of the One Percent Solution – with one percent of federal spending allocated for truly affordable housing.

Le Bloc Québécois
The Bloc´s party platform reiterates its position that all housing responsibilities and necessary financing be transferred to Québec and includes a discussion on the issue of homelessness.

Community Spotlight: National Awards Recognize Innovation with Youth

As part of their National Initiative Program, Eva’s Initiatives has launched the fourth season of the Award for Innovation with generous support from CIBC. The purpose of the $5,000 award is to recognize the incredible and life-changing work being done by organizations across Canada in assisting homeless youth.

“Based on experience developing and managing Eva’s Phoenix, the staff and Board at Eva’s Initiatives know that awards and citations draw attention to innovative programs and can assist greatly in building partnerships and securing funding,” said Rachel Gray, Acting Director of National Initiatives at Eva's Initiatives. “Each community has different needs and different approaches to meeting those needs, but one common fact remains—virtually all communities across Canada, large and small, are struggling to provide effective support to help homeless youth become self-sufficient.”

The Award for Innovation will be granted to three organizations that:
• Demonstrate innovation in delivering services to homeless youth;
• Successfully use partnerships to develop, implement or operate services;
• Deliver services that help youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to achieve greater self-sufficiency and reduce their chances of experiencing homelessness in the future;
• Offer services that integrate two or more of the following: housing, education, vocational training, employment, health and addictions supports, life skills, or other interventions aimed at assisting homeless and at-risk youth to become self-sufficient.

Deadline for applications: November 7, 2008 at 9 pm EST. For more information or to receive an application by email, contact: awards@evas.ca.

Past winners:
2008
• SIDA/AIDS Moncton for the Youth Asset Program
• YMCA of Greater Toronto for Peel Youth Village Residential Democratic Living Program
• Coming Home Society for Young Wolves Lodge
2007
• Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs: Kelowna Downtown Youth Centre
• Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc.: Urban Canvas Project
• Les Maisons Transitionnelles 03 for their housing and support program for young parents
2006
• Broadway Youth Resource Centre
• Mères et Monde
• SKETCH Working Arts for Street-involved and Homeless Youth

NEWS BRIEFS: New on Raising the Roof’s Shared Learnings on Homelessness Website

St. John’s Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness, in Newfoundland and Labrador, believes that everybody deserves decent, affordable housing that can be called home. Together we're working with homeless people, housing advocates, community-based groups, businesses and governments to put the plans and structures in place to reduce homelessness and create a healthier community where we can all live, learn, work and grow.

Eastview Boys & Girls Club, in Oshawa, Ontario, provides a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationship and develop confidence and skills for life.

Fireweed Safe Haven, in Fort St James, British Columbia, is 7-days/24 hours emergency shelter for women and their children that can house up to 8 people.

Partners Solving Youth Homelessness Conference

Toronto, ON

This exciting conference is drawing near, register now! Registration closes October 24 for the Partners Solving Youth Homelessness conference being held November 19 – 21, 2008 at the Holiday Inn on King Street in Toronto (special hotel rate for conference delegates available until October 18th).

Hosted by Raising the Roof, in conjunction with a Conference Steering Committee that represents youth and youth-serving agencies across Canada, this groundbreaking event will bring together a diverse gathering of people who have a stake in youth homelessness.

Please visit our website to review ongoing updates, details about the conference and to read more about the panels and workshops and key note speakers including Miloon Kothari.

Looking forward to see you there!

Hats off.... It's Toque Time! Start Your Own Agency Toque Campaign

National

Beginning mid-November to the end of February 2009, Raising the Roof is celebrating the 12th anniversary of the popular Toque Campaign, a national initiative that gives community agencies working on long-term solutions to homelessness the chance to raise funds, raise fun and raise awareness in the fight against homelessness across Canada. Since 1997, Raising the Roof has sold over 575,000 toques to Canadians wishing to demonstrate their support for solutions to homelessness. We would like to invite you to start your own community Agency Toque Campaign! Raising the Roof is looking for recipient Partner Agencies in all provinces, and in many communities that don’t currently host a Toque Campaign.

The Toque Campaign is so much more then a simple fundraiser. It is also a way for your agency to leverage Raising the Roof’s national messaging and tools into awareness of your own specific needs and the issues surrounding homelessness in your community. We strongly feel that the Raising the Roof Toque Campaign is a fun and easy way to build partnerships and media awareness in your community.

Wear your toque proudly on Toque Tuesday – February 3, 2009 – our national public awareness day. For more information on how your agency can participate in the 2008/2009 Raising the Roof Toque Campaign, visit our website or contact Maureen Deery, Director of National Campaigns, at mdeery@raisingtheroof.org or 416-489-9531.

Homelessness Action Week in B.C.

Vancouver, BC

Organized in Metro Vancouver by the Regional Steering Community on Homelessness, Homelessness Action Week will be held October 12-19, 2008. This year’s campaign posters are now available for download as well as other print and web resources. Check out the Communities section for information about events and activities happening all over British Columbia and the Yukon.

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