Declare a Housing Emergency in Ottawa!

Declare a Housing Emergency in Ottawa!

Attend the rally to declare a housing emergency in Ottawa. 9am, City Hall, January 29

Ottawa is in the midst of a housing emergency. In our city, thousands of people are on the affordable housing waiting list, emergency shelters are over-capacity, and residents across the city are struggling to find a place to live.

City Councillor Catherine McKenney has tabled a motion to declare an affordable housing and homelessness emergency in Ottawa. They are asking for the support of Provincial and Federal governments to help manage this crisis.

Join us at City Hall on Wednesday January 29 at 9:00am to show your support for this motion. To solve this crisis, we need the support of everyone—City Councillors, all levels of government, and individuals like you.

From inception, CCOC has responded to challenges by engaging and working with partners. When highways and high-rises became a development priority in the 1970s, members of the Centretown Citizens Community Association (CCCA) responded by creating the Centretown Plan. The plan’s goals were to maintain and enhance the residential character of Centretown while allowing a moderate increase in population, and to accommodate everyone–persons of all ages, income levels, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and household sizes.

The CCCA members worked with the City of Ottawa to ensure the neighbourhood remained a liveable community. The plan was successful because it was a collaborative effort. CCOC was born when the federal government created a program allowing community groups to establish non-profit housing corporations.

Throughout CCOC’s history, we have been able to provide more affordable housing when the federal and provincial governments have also been committed to the cause. When they pull their support, our growth slows and we are not able to house as many residents.

Catherine Boucher speaking at a rally, July 1995

When this happened, what did we do? We marched in the streets, advocating for change and telling the new government that this was not acceptable.

A group of residents protesting in the streets (at Bank and Gilmour!), July 1995

Just last year, we continued this history by rallying outside City Hall, encouraging the City Councillors to commit more funding to affordable housing initiatives in our city. Again, we were not alone. Multiple community organizations came with their voices, and we all gathered to support this initiative. And you know what? It worked! The City of Ottawa committed 15 million dollars to affordable housing in the 2019 budget.

We need to rally again, this year with an even bigger mission. There are no longer six degrees of separation between you and the housing crisis–everyone knows someone, or they themselves, are struggling to find adequate housing in Ottawa.

CCOC’s mission is to create, maintain, and promote affordable housing for all. On Wednesday, we will fulfill this mandate by attending the rally at City Hall to declare a housing emergency.

Support the initiative by signing the petition here, where you’ll also find the full motion.

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