MP Peter Fonseca on the need for affordable housing

“Everything starts with an address,” says Peter Fonseca, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East—Cooksville.

Through their $40 billion, 10-year investment in housing through the National Housing Strategy, the federal government has committed to providing the sense of belonging and positive memories associated with home ownership.

“Having affordable housing for everybody in our country is the vision of our government, and it’s something that is important not only to the wellbeing of that individual and their family, but also to the community and to the country as a whole,” Peter says.

As an MP, he has been involved with housing while supporting Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga through the Canada Summer Jobs program. Habitat’s Mississauga office, Revive Centre and ReStore welcomed five summer students this year, getting involved a variety of roles such as planning Habitat’s Kids Build program, DIY-ing items in the ReVive Centre and assisting with procurement for local businesses.

“It’s been wonderful working with Habitat for Humanity and the Canada Summer Jobs program, and to have met the students here and to see just how much they’ve grown,” Peter says.

Nonprofits like Habitat are partners with the government when it comes to the important issue of housing, Peter says. “They really the feet on the ground in the community that are able to give us the best advice.”

MP Peter Fonseca and Habitat HM CEO John Gerrard.

Some of this advice has involved creating a range of housing, since nonprofits can share what they think will be the most helpful in a particular community or to a particular demographic. Peter notes that the housing continuum can involve things like co-op housing, community-based initiatives, rent geared to income, transitional housing or more models.

Despite the challenges involved in implementing affordable housing — he notes issues which can stem from government bureaucracy, zoning and regulatory framework — this partnership is crucial to bring more housing to local residents. Including young people in this partnership, too,  is a mutually beneficial decision.

“It makes me very proud as a Member of Parliament forMississauga East—Cooksville, to know such an organization is located here and to know that they’re building, really, our future through our youth,” Peter says.

On behalf of all of us here at Habitat, thank you, Peter, for your continued support!

By Sherina Harris (video by Steve Grabell)