CHARLOTTETOWN = NDP P.E.I. Leader Mike Redmond is disappointed at the recent affordable housing summit held at the Holman Grand Hotel.
“To host an event like this properly, you need all of the relevant stakeholders at the table; NGO’s, community leaders, and those folks who can provide the group with a clear understanding of the complexity of the issues surrounding housing,” Redmond said. “You need to identify who needs housing; seniors, people with disabilities, and persons on fixed incomes. There should have been clear objectives, timelines and actionable items.”
The party leader criticized the exclamations of surprise shown by politicians, like MLA Richard Brown, when shown pictures of a run down apartment.
“To have our political leadership pretend after 20 years in municipal and provincial politics that they are shocked to see sub-standard housing is nothing short of disgraceful,” he said. "We know there are problems with sub-standard housing. It certainly is not new, but we also have to recognize the correlation between income and housing opportunities. If families only have so much to spend on housing, options obviously become very limited."
The three main areas of focus were: regulatory practices for apartments, financing affordable housing, and opportunities to create affordable housing such as tax incentives. “People presented useful information and offered good ideas at the summit, but there was little political leadership from the top,” he said.
“The City has to put money on the table today for a housing pilot project and make a presentation to the Province,” Redmond said. If we can spend millions of dollars on filling in ditches, sponsoring hockey and basketball teams, and holding historical celebrations, then we should be able to find money for affordable social housing,” Redmond said.