OTTAWA — Documents obtained by the Canadian Press show the federal government wants to pay for the construction of affordable housing units as part of the latest push to house homeless veterans.
The document outlines potential steps the federal government can take to deal with homeless veterans, but doesn’t put a spending figure on the idea.
Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan says the government isn’t ready to get into the business of building and managing affordable housing for veterans in need and instead is looking to fund projects from the private sector or other levels of government. He says the government is trying to figure out the most effective way to target veterans through the $40-billion national housing strategy.
More than 70 groups were expected to debate ideas in the working document, including possibly rewriting rules to provide rent subsidies to veterans, during a meeting O’Regan was slated to host in Ottawa June 7.
The precise number of homeless veterans in Canada has been an elusive statistic, but various studies estimate the figure between five and seven per cent of the country’s homeless population.