Thank you so much for coming before us today. We've dealt with this issue many a time. I'm thankful that we have different programs that can help alleviate the housing shortage in our communities, but at the end of the day we know we face a bottleneck in most communities, where so many people are waiting for social housing.
Most people, I know, in my community cannot afford to have their own homes. They can't afford to go to the bank and take advantage of the new programs. The majority of the people end up needing social housing. Unless we invest in new housing, I think the numbers are going to keep getting worse, because we have the fastest population growths in our communities, and therefore by the time these young people get their house—let's say in three years—they might have three children and need a bigger house than the one they applied for.
As much as we have these programs to help people, I'm wondering whether really we're just nibbling at the top and not getting to the real issue, which is numbers—the people on the waiting list—and the fact that we need to have higher investments in actually building new homes. Even if we do what we do, it's just a drop in the bucket. I just see it getting worse and worse all the time.
My question is, unless we make a real investment in new social housing, we really cannot deal with the shortage of houses in the aboriginal communities—and that's on and off reserve.