EDMONTON - In response to the passing of Bill 78, the Alberta Housing Amendment Act, Public Interest Alberta’s Executive Director Bradley Lafortune issued the following statement:
“Housing is a human right. And on World Human Rights Day, of all days, the provincial government has passed their doomed-for-failure housing strategy. It’s not a plan for more affordable housing, but rather a plan to further privatize public assets.
“The housing crisis, deepening for decades, has been accelerated by the pandemic and the Kenney government’s reckless agenda of privatization and cuts to public services — including public housing and Capital Maintenance and Renewal funding — and income support.
“At a time when Albertans are struggling to make ends meet, the Kenney government’s decision to sell off public housing to the highest bidder is an egregious one. Nationally, 1 in 3 renters are concerned about their ability to pay rent next month. 24,000 Albertan households are on the waitlist for affordable housing. A full one third of those waiting households are seniors. They can’t afford to wait 10 years for affordable housing. They need it now. Why does the Kenney government insist on putting the bottom lines of the wealthy corporate landlords and their shareholders above the basic human rights of Albertans?
“We need to address this urgent crisis before it spirals even further out of control. In our economic recovery, we cannot leave anyone behind — especially those most vulnerable to housing insecurity, including seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants, and Indigenous people.
“The housing crisis we are facing today is a political choice — it’s not a reality that we have to live with. Housing is a human right. The provincial government must act like it.”