Ahead of today’s meeting of federal, provincial and territorial finance ministers from across the country, the Canadian Association for Long Term Care (CALTC) is hopeful that this meeting will serve as an opportunity for key policy makers to take action on a critical issue impacting Canadians from coast to coast: housing. More specifically, the long-term care housing shortage — the overlooked housing crisis in Canada.
Outdated long-term care home infrastructure, barriers to access capital financing for long-term care home development, along with inflationary pressures on construction costs, are critical challenges as we consider the needs of an aging Canadian population. There are thousands of people on waitlists for accommodations in a long-term care home where their needs can be met. This is a housing need for a vulnerable population that needs to be considered as part of the core housing need in Canada and specifically considered in policy development that works to support housing development in Canada.
There is an immediate opportunity for government to offer support to long-term care homes. As the federal government considers the implementation of Bill C-56, Affordable Housing and Groceries Act, CALTC urges that regulations for the GST rebate include long-term care homes as part of new rental housing developments. We also ask that provinces and territories adopt the policy of the Ontario government to rebate the provincial portion of their sales taxes to long-term care homes. These measures would facilitate the development of long-term care homes by offsetting inflationary costs of construction, enabling more long-term care projects and improvements to get off the ground.
CALTC is optimistic that this meeting will serve as an opportunity to begin to build some momentum and start the crucial conversation around the topic of long term care housing for seniors. We are calling on our country’s finance ministers to address this issue with the urgency and seriousness it requires.