Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was in Vancouver representing one of 22 cities at Canada’s Big City Mayors’ Caucus (BCMC) May 30.

In a release, the BCMC said it is calling on its provincial, territorial and federal partners to confront the growing housing crisis across the country.

“The rising cost of housing is an issue we see in cities across the country,” said Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver and BCMC chair. “Cities are ready and willing to help protect the economy and solve this housing crisis but we need federal and provincial partners who are committed to working with us.”

According to the BCMC, $1.7 billion annually in federal housing investments are set to expire with the greatest drop in funding, up to $500 million a year, ending between 2014 and 2019 putting more than half a million Canadians at risk of losing their homes.

The BCMC is calling for a new housing partnership by all orders of government dedicated to eliminating chronic homelessness through proven strategies, stimulating new rental and affordable housing construction with tax incentives or other measures, preserving and renovating existing social housing units and housing workers to support a growing economy.

“Investing in housing is one of the most effective ways to both create jobs and boost economic activity in Canada today,” said Robertson.