Canada can do more for military housing, Minister Anand admits

OTTAWA – The Minister of National Defense acknowledges that Ottawa needs to do more to support service members struggling to find housing in the country.

A recent email encouraged service members to consider contacting the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity to help them secure affordable housing. This recommendation explains how rising housing prices and rents affect the military.

On Tuesday, Minister Anita Anand said her government has taken several steps to help address the issues of obtaining affordable housing for service members and their families.

She also said that Ottawa has taken several measures to give the military more flexibility in its work — including, in some jobs, remote working options.

Acknowledging that her government still has work to do, Ms. Anand added that the government has raised military pay rates in 2021. The minister also noted that Canadians across the country are facing housing shortages.

The email was sent by a senior officer of 19 Wing Comox to other members of the Royal Canadian Air Force base on North Vancouver Island. This base houses the military search and rescue school as well as several squadrons of aircraft.

The May 5th email read: “As a result of our discussion this morning, a potential housing option for our people is Habitat for Humanity. If any of your employees are interested, please refer them to the information found here.”

Defense Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirandi said the military had not been redirected to Habitat for Humanity, but the organization was presented as an option for those who had “great difficulty” finding housing.

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The Chief of Defense Staff, General Wayne Air, warned last month that soldiers were suffering the brunt of rising housing and other goods prices, due to their unique lifestyle, which provides constant commutes throughout their careers.

At the same time, Mr. Air lamented the shortage of military housing. “We are currently short of 4,000 to 6,000 units on our bases, which is also exacerbating the housing problem,” he said.

Many bases offer military housing. Mais même si les évaluations internes du ministère de la Défense ont affirmé à plusieurs reprises depuis 2017 qu’au moins 5000 unités supplémentaires étaient nécessaires pour répondre aux besoins croissants de l’arménomarte constante de maison de leçu amin Years.

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This post was produced with financial assistance from Meta Exchanges and The Canadian Press for News.

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