National Housing Day

November 22, 2023

Today, on National Housing Day, it’s essential to reflect on the state of housing in Nova Scotia and across Canada. Unfortunately, for hundreds of Nova Scotians and thousands of Canadians, this day is not a celebration but a stark reminder of the housing crisis that continues to grip our communities.

The reality is that many of our fellow citizens need help finding affordable, safe, and secure housing. This is not just a problem for those directly affected but a societal issue that impacts us all. A lack of affordable housing increases poverty, homelessness, and social inequality, affecting community determinants of health.

Regrettably, our governments at all levels seemed unprepared for this crisis. Despite the clear signs of a growing problem, there needed to be more foresight and planning to prevent the situation from escalating to its current state. Now, we are playing catch-up, trying to address a crisis that has already left too many people without a roof over their heads.

Moreover, the response from our governments needs to be improved. There needs to be more comprehensive, long-term strategies to address the housing crisis’s root causes and provide real, tangible help for those affected. The promises of new housing units and funding have yet to meet the scale and speed needed to make a significant difference.

In a country as prosperous as ours, it is unacceptable that so many people are struggling to find affordable housing. Everyone deserves a safe and secure place to call home. Housing is a fundamental human right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it.

As we mark National Housing Day, remember that this is not just about buildings and real estate. It’s about people. Our neighbours, our friends, and family members are struggling to find a place they can call home. It’s about the society we want to live in, where everyone can live in dignity and security.

As members of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, we must continue to advocate for affordable housing and to hold our governments accountable. We must push for policies that address the root causes of the housing crisis of poverty, including income inequality and lack of affordable housing supply. And we must stand in solidarity with those affected because housing is a right, not a privilege.

On this National Housing Day, let’s commit to making a difference. Let’s work together to ensure that everyone in Nova Scotia and across Canada has a safe, affordable place to call home.

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