The City of Regina wants to gather more information about the realities of the housing situation in the city.
Today it is hosting a Housing Roundtable in support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Fixing Canada's Housing Crunch campaign.
"Most of the municipalities from the Big City Mayors' Caucus, of which Regina is a part, decided to have this roundtable," Mayor Michael Fougere said on Sunday.
"It's primarily focused on urging the federal government to move on housing and to develop a really coherent, long-term housing strategy for the country."
He said the city is asking individuals and groups to come forward and share their ideas.
Some of the groups scheduled to present include the Co-operative Housing Federation, the Regina Regional Home Builders' Association, Habitat for Humanity, the YWCA, Silver Sage Housing Corporation and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
"We had some questions that we sent to them," said Fougere. "It's really about how do we engage the federal government and what do you think we should be doing to lobby the federal government to move forward on this?"
He believes work needs to be done to bring issues to the attention of the federal government being that there was no mention of housing in last week's federal budget announcement.
"I think that was disappointing to everyone given the importance of housing across the country," said Fougere.
"So this (roundtable) is just another overlay of information that we will send to the federal government through FCM to say, in a Regina context, this is what people expect to see and want to see from (the federal government)."
He said it's important to be proactive because if the municipalities sit back and do nothing then nothing will happen in regards to housing.
"We don't want them to think we are satisfied with the status quo, because we are not," said Fougere.
"This is a way to have a united voice from municipalities around the country."
There are a lot of things to talk about when it comes to housing, he said.
"The big concern is that the federal government is withdrawing its support for programming across the country with no vision for where they want to go in the future and that's causing a problem," said Fougere.
He believes the loss of federal programs will have a detrimental effect on low-income social housing in Regina.
"We are very concerned about that," said Fougere. "If we don't say what we think should be done then nothing will get done."
The plan is to gather all the information from the delegates and pass it on to the FCM and then to the federal government. Fougere said housing is of a concern to every municipality in Canada, but for Regina a lack of housing can negatively impact the city.
"Saskatchewan has the highest growth rate in Canada, but has one of the one of the lowest vacancy rates of major centres in Canada," he said. "In time, this becomes a constraint to growth."
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