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Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right
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Affordable Housing: Everyone's Right

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A presentation by NB Ombudsman Bernard Richard on May 8th 2010 at the NBNPHA Annual Conference.

A presentation by NB Ombudsman Bernard Richard on May 8th 2010 at the NBNPHA Annual Conference.

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  • 1. Affordable Housing: Everyone’s Right <ul><li>NBNPHA Conference – May 7-8, Saint John, NB </li></ul>Office of the Ombudsman and Child and Youth Advocate
  • 2. What is Acceptable Housing? <ul><li>Affordability: Must be less than 30% of before-tax household income and must not threaten other basic needs </li></ul><ul><li>Legal security of tenure: security against forced eviction, harassment or other threats </li></ul><ul><li>Has adequate services, materials and infrastructure: safe drinking water, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse disposal and emergency services </li></ul>
  • 3. What is Acceptable Housing? (Continued) <ul><li>Habitability: has adequate space and offers protection against weather, health threats and structural hazards </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility: housing must be accessible to those entitled to it, including those who may have special needs </li></ul><ul><li>Location: Permits access to employment opportunities, health care, schools, child care and other social facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Culturally adequate: allows for the expression of cultural identity </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptable housing is a human right </li></ul>
  • 4. Unacceptable Housing <ul><li>In 2006, there were more than 29,000 households in need of acceptable housing in NB. </li></ul>
  • 5. Subsidized Housing in NB <ul><li>Number of provincially subsidized housing units: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Bathurst: 632 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Saint John: 1,949 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Moncton: 1,318 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total in NB: 7,167 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Number on the provincially subsidized housing waiting list: </li></ul><ul><li>In Bathurst: 200 </li></ul><ul><li>In Saint John: 1,064 </li></ul><ul><li>In Moncton: 671 </li></ul><ul><li>Total in NB: 4,079 </li></ul>Experiencing Homelessness: The First Report Card on Homelessness in New Brunswick, 2009.
  • 6. <ul><li>Above photo: garbage outside of an apartment building in Woodstock First Nation. A recent Telegraph Journal article describes the building as “a sad place for any adult, it is a deplorable, unsafe slum for children.” The front door of the building is smashed, a side door is missing and people smoke drugs in the hallway. </li></ul>Housing Crisis in NB First Nations
  • 7. First Nations housing <ul><li>Overcrowding </li></ul><ul><li>Mould </li></ul><ul><li>Rat infestations </li></ul><ul><li>Poor insulation </li></ul><ul><li>Holes in walls and floors </li></ul><ul><li>Housing shortages, long waiting lists </li></ul><ul><li>People live in condemned houses </li></ul><ul><li>3 rd world conditions </li></ul>
  • 8. Percentage of Private Dwellings requiring Major repairs <ul><li>7.5% </li></ul>9.7% Canada New Brunswick NB Aboriginals (on and off reserve) 23.8% Percentage of private dwellings requiring major repairs in NB First Nations: Kingsclear: 52% Tobique: 47% Esgenoôpetitj: 45% Elsipogtog: 40% Eel Ground: 39% Metepenagiag: 37% Eel River Bar: 32% St. Mary’s: 24%
  • 9. Poverty In New Brunswick <ul><li>13.8% of New Brunswickers live in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>45.4% of single mothers in New Brunswick live in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>16.4% of people under the age of 18 in New Brunswick live in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>10.9% of New Brunswick seniors live in poverty. </li></ul><ul><li>17.5% of Aboriginals in New Brunswick are below Statistics Canada’s low income cut off after tax.* </li></ul><ul><li>In Fredericton, there are nearly 500 families and individuals on the Affordable Housing Wait List.** </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the 2006 Census. http://www.gnb.ca/0017/promos/0001/povertynb-e.asp </li></ul><ul><li>*http://www.cccg.umontreal.ca/RC19/PDF/Noel-A_Rc192009.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>**The First Report Card on Homelessness in Fredericton, New Brunswick, 2009. </li></ul>
  • 10. Poverty in NB First Nations <ul><li>Six of NB’s First Nations communities rank among the 10 poorest postal codes in Canada according to median income data from Statistics Canada: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kingsclear, Eel Ground, Tobique, Elsipogtog, Red Bank and Esgenoôpetitj. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The median income in these communities was below $14,000 in 2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Esgenoôpetitj ranked as the poorest neighbourhood in Canada with a median income of $9,200. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2010/02/23/nb-poorest-communities.html </li></ul>
  • 11. Affordable Housing Initiatives in NB <ul><li>Department of Social Development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rental Assistance Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rental Construction, Acquisition and Repair Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Home Repair, Completion and Purchase Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal and provincial investment of $75 million under the amended Canada-NB Affordable Housing Program Agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Investment of $3.2 million to improve housing conditions in NB First Nations communities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skigin-Elnoog Housing Corporation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serves NB’s off-reserve Aboriginal population </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Off-Reserve Aboriginal Home Ownership Program: subsidized mortgages for off-reserve Aboriginals with household incomes below $50,000 who are first-time home buyers </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. Overcoming Poverty Together: The NB Economic Social Inclusion Plan <ul><li>Introduced in February 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Aims to reduce income poverty in NB by 25% and deep income poverty by 50% by 2015 </li></ul><ul><li>Includes plans for the development of a comprehensive housing strategy that enables mixed income neighbourhoods, affordability, supported housing options and co-op housing </li></ul><ul><li>Social assistance reform: social assistance recipients are no longer penalized for having roommates </li></ul><ul><li>The Residential Tenancies Act was recently amended to protect the rights of roomers and boarders </li></ul>
  • 13. NB Tax System Reform <ul><li>In 2009, the NB Minister of Finance released The Plan for Lower Taxes in New Brunswick 2009-2012 which introduced reductions in personal and corporate income tax rates. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009, the UNB Dept. of Economics released a detailed analysis of the tax reform, which concluded that it “will reduce the tax burden on the vast majority of taxpayers, with the exception of those at the very bottom of the income scale .” The tax reform will widen the income disparities between families in NB: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>F amilies with income between $10,000 and $20,000 will receive less than 1% of the total value of the tax reduction although they represent 11% of the population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The biggest gainers are the taxpayers in families with income above $300,000: they will receive 12% of the value of the tax reduction although they represent 0.5% of the population. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ruggeri, Joe and Bourgeois, JP. “Regressing towards Proportionality: Personal Income Tax Reform in New Brunswick.” Working Paper Series 2009-03. Department of Economics, UNB. </li></ul></ul>
  • 14. Conclusion <ul><li>Access to affordable housing is fundamental to the reduction of poverty in New Brunswick </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable housing is everyone’s responsibility: government, the private sector, the non-profit sector and the public at large </li></ul><ul><li>Self-sufficiency cannot be attained without affordable housing for everyone </li></ul>

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