Alberta Minister of Seniors and Housing Josephine Pon defended her government’s record on affordable housing after the NDP criticized the province for not doing enough.
NDP Seniors and Housing Critic Lori Sigurdson said the UCP government has not taken full advantage of available federal funding for housing.
“The UCP has left millions of dollars on the table in Ottawa while forcing more Albertans homeless with their cuts to income support and rent supplements,” Sigurdson said in a news release Tuesday.
The NDP says an analysis by the Alberta Seniors and Community Housing Association indicates the government has not used $187 million of available federal funding for housing.
Pon said that was not the case. “The Government of Alberta is maximizing every dollar possible from the federal government,” she said in an email response.
The province’s 10-year affordable housing strategy, Stronger Foundations, was designed to match funding for National Housing Strategy projects. Alberta is in line for up to $561 million from 2019 to 2028 under the strategy.
The federal contribution is pre-established and will not increase to match provincial funding beyond its $561 million match, Pon says.
The NDP said that when comparing provincial averages, Alberta housing providers and communities received $1 billion less than they should have received.
This figure is based on the incorrect assumption that the federal government distributed housing funding on a per capita basis. The amount each province and territory got was based on a series of factors, Pon says.
In its recent budget, the federal government announced an additional $14 billion for its National Housing Strategy and said $72 billion will be spent by 2027-2028.
Pon said the Alberta government is reviewing the federal budget and its housing commitments.
“I look forward to hearing more details, especially how much new funding will be allocated to Albertans.”