Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Initial Reflections on Federal Budget 2018

Nick Falvo, Director of Research and Data at CHF weighs in on the federal government’s newly unveiled budget

February 27, 2018

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau tabled Budget 2018 in the House of Commons. Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) was invited to participate in the budget lockup and shares the following observations:

Dubbed as Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class, Budget 2018 reflects some of the commitments that have been made through previous announcements and strategies and, while  not as transformative as last year’s budget, it did highlight important new initiatives related to housing and homelessness and poverty reduction. Key elements include:

  • New housing investments were announced for First Nations, Inuit and Métis people
    • $600 million over three years for on-reserve housing;
    • $400 million over 10 years for housing in the Inuit regions of Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, and Inuvialuit;
    • $500 million over 10 years for housing for Métis people
  • Further expansion and rebranding of the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB):
    • Beginning in 2019, this benefit will be more generous and known as the Canada Workers Benefit. For some workers, this will mean up to an additional $500 annually

“There is a significant over representation of Indigenous people experiencing homelessness and Budget 2018 represents additional progress in addressing the pressing needs of vulnerable Canadians. We must continue to make advancements on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action,” says Falvo. “These new housing investments signal a good first step towards ensuring Indigenous Peoples have access to affordable housing that is culturally inclusive and appropriate for their needs.”  Further, while poverty is not always about homelessness, homelessness is always about poverty. Enhancements to the WITB will help people exit homelessness more quickly and will have a positive impact on preventing homelessness. “CHF recommended enhancements to WITB benefit levels in previous budgets and is very pleased to see that Budget 2018 will enable wage supplements for workers who have a fragile toe-hold in the labour force,” says Falvo.

Over the next few days, CHF will continue to unpack Budget 2018 and provide further analysis on how it addresses some of the core issues that we consistently find in our goal of ending homelessness in our city.

About CHF
Through Systems Leadership and mobilization of collective impact the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) is a catalyst and enabler for Systems and Service Agencies to optimize client success. CHF focuses on four strategic pillars of work; Research and Development, Community Mobilization, Funder of Outcomes and Impact, and Public and Political Will. CHF addresses gaps and identifies best practices to improve the system of care. Through mobilization of collective impact, CHF is committed to moving forward in partnership with the many homeless-serving agencies, the private sector, government partners, the faith community, other foundations and all Calgarians to end homelessness in Calgary. For more information, visit calgaryhomeless.com

Media Inquiries

Calgary Homeless Foundation
Darcy Halber
Communications Specialist
Media Line: 403-615-7607
darcyh@calgaryhomeless.com 
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Joel Sinclair
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Media Line: 403-615-7607
joels@calgaryhomeless.com