Published on:  January 29, 2020 

Canada’s capital has become the first city in the country to declare a housing and homelessness emergency, but it’s not at all clear what, if anything, that will change.

Ottawa city council made the unanimous decision Wednesday following a lengthy debate over whether the city is truly facing an “emergency,” or merely a “crisis.”

Ottawa’s wait-list for affordable housing has grown to 12,000 people, an increase of 14.8 per cent since 2017, according to Coun. Catherine McKenney, council’s housing liaison.

Meanwhile, an estimated 92 people have taken to sleeping outside in frigid temperatures as emergency shelters become overcrowded and women’s shelters are faced with having to turn away victims of domestic violence.

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