Choices for Youth has been working to address the rental housing crisis that has taken hold in Newfoundland and Labrador in the last few years. Pressures from vacation rentals and business development coupled with rising interest rates and a national economic downturn means that there is a diminishing stock of rental housing available, and what is available is becoming increasingly expensive.
The voices of young people are crystal clear on this matter – they need more support finding and maintaining housing. Governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector must come together if meaningful change is going to be created around this issue. It is not enough to simply invest in building more housing for youth – we must also invest in service provisions that help young people maintain their housing. Through a combination of infrastructure and services and a united, multi-sector approach, we can start to build a better housing system for the young people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In December 2022, CFY came together with the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) and community partners within the housing sector to brainstorm solutions for the province’s rental housing crisis. The Innovative Housing Solutions Lab included 40 individuals representing community housing providers, NLHC, Nunatsiavut Government, the Government of NL, the City of St. John’s and Municipalities NL. This was more than just a meeting of the minds – it was a structured event focused on short-and-medium term solutions that could be put into place immediately to address growing affordable housing needs across NL.
Several key actions and recommendations emerged from this event. They include:
Investing in sustained core funding for non-profit organizations, so that these organizations can continue to invest in building and operating affordable housing.
Exploring home-share and co-housing models to maximize the potential of the currently available housing stock.
Exploring rent-control models to ensure that affordability is maintained in various regions of the province.
Setting and meeting affordable housing targets to meet the increasing demand for housing.
Investing in supports, such as the Managed Alcohol Program, to promote housing stability and retention.