Wanted: A Roof for Canada's Poor

Year Published:  1980
Resource Type:  Organization
Cx Number:  CX1056

This brief describes the 6 year history of an attempt by the National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO) to develop a role in housing for the poor.

NAPO originally was a federation or organizations of poor (tenants, pensioners, welfare recipients, the unemployed and working poor.) Now it accepts individual memberships and has nearly 12,000 on its roll, including both regular members (the poor) and associate members (working to eliminate the poor). The change happened because local organizations couldn't survive withdrawal of government funding.

NAPO believes CMHC should be a major place for the poor to look to for solutions. However, it is hardly known by the poor because generally CMHC programs by-pass the poor.

In 1973 NAPO applied for funds to study housing for the poor and to develop a role in housing. Two years later CMHC said there was no need. NAPO tried again in 1976 without result. In March, 1977 NAPO presented a proposal for Newfoundland pilot project and further research and development in housing. The Minister replied very positively and discussions took place with officials. What followed were three years of seeking the actual funds - without any results. CMCH was not willing to grant funds to any non-native national group, nor did any local or regional group have the skills or time to carry through the project. Every attempt to resolve the impass and to turn NAPO's history of commitment to the poor to creative use was fustrated and remains so. Some smaller housing-related efforts have met with some limited success however, The brief asks the Minister to review CMCH policies to benefit the 20% of Canadians who live in poverty.

This organization no longer exists.
This abstract was published in the Connexions Digest in 1980.

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