Canada announces new funding to address rent affordability and grocery prices

Asma - | World

The federal administration has unveiled $99 million in fresh funding to address the issue of rent affordability, alongside an annual allocation of $5 million to investigate the surging prices of groceries

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, along with Innovation, Science, and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, disclosed these new expenditures as part of Canada's economic blueprint.

Freeland emphasized the pressing housing dilemma in Canada, particularly for individuals grappling with exorbitant rental expenses. The $99 million injection into the Canada Housing Benefit aims to bolster low-income tenants by disbursing rent assistance payments directly to recipients.

In addition to this, Freeland underscored a recent commitment of $100 million for emergency winter funding, aiding 85 communities in expanding shelter capacity and offering essential services like temporary rental aid and meals to the homeless population during the harsh winter months.

Addressing the soaring costs of essential commodities, Ottawa intends to triple the annual funding to $5 million for Canada's Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. Champagne elucidated that this funding augmentation will facilitate collaborative projects with consumer advocacy groups to probe into price inflation and unethical business practices prevalent in grocery outlets.

The enhanced housing funds will elevate the Canada Housing Benefit to $325 million for the fiscal year 2023–24, channeled through provincial and territorial rental support initiatives. The federal government anticipates this program will render rental accommodations more accessible to over 300,000 low-income households by 2027–28.

These allocations supplement last week's announcement of $362.4 million to the Interim Housing Assistance Program, aimed at aiding communities in sheltering vulnerable asylum seekers.

Freeland emphasized the government's awareness of the financial difficulties many Canadians are experiencing and the ongoing efforts to create an economic roadmap to ensure a better future for all citizens.

Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre criticized the government's handling of housing costs and inflation during a media briefing at the Port of Montreal, advocating for budgetary restraint to alleviate the financial burden on workers, including those employed at ports.

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