Mister Speaker, earlier this week the PEI Community Advisory Board on Homelessness released the 2015 PEI Report on Homelessness. This is timely, because this Sunday, November 22 is National Housing Day.
The report recognizes many of the important steps that government has already taken to help those who need it the most, including the increases to the number of rent supplement units provided by the province.
Since 2012‑13 we have invested in housing through 60 new rent supplements. 50 of those have helped Island families and the other 10 have been designated for individuals who are struggling with mental health challenges.
The report also noted that Prince Edward Island is now the only province in Canada that provides a tip‑to‑tip response to homelessness.
The report raises concerns about expiring federal agreements, long waitlists and the need for a provincial housing strategy.
In that regard…I am pleased to announce that my department is currently in the initial stages of developing a new strategy for housing on Prince Edward Island. The new strategy that will align housing supply with present and future needs for Islanders.
I am also encouraged by the commitment of the new federal government to affordable and social housing
The housing strategy will help support the goals of a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy and the new mental health and addictions strategy.
Mister Speaker, we are committed to maintain the ongoing work with our federal and community partners to continue to build on the progress that has been made.
Thank you Mister Speaker