Office of the Official Opposition 

Furey’s Housing Fiasco Continues: Wakeham


For Immediate Release


(June 11, 2024, St. John’s, N.L.) – Progressive Conservative Leader Tony Wakeham (MHA, Stephenville—Port au Port) is expressing his deep concern for the ongoing housing fiasco in Newfoundland and Labrador. While the government is spending $13 million annually on the Comfort Inn with ten percent occupancy, the for-profit shelter industry is thriving.


In January 2024, the Furey Liberals announced that they would lease the Comfort Inn for $6.9 million annually, totaling $21 million over the three-year lease. In the first three months, $4 million was spent on temporary housing, while a hotel owned by a Liberal friend housed only 11 people during that time.


“Sadly, many for-profit shelters are plagued by problems like rat feces, mold, and a lack of basic necessities,” said Wakeham. “Government has been spending millions on for-profit shelters and hotels owned by Liberal donors despite having no standards. Many people are living in substandard shelters, fearing for their safety, while the government continues to turn a blind eye.”


Newfoundland and Labrador appears to be one of the few provinces in the country with for-profit shelters. Access to information requests showed that as of April 1, 63 people were living in for-profit shelters in this province.


“The Furey Liberals have failed to establish necessary standards for years, resulting in vulnerable people being exploited and taxpayers covering the costs of unacceptable conditions,” said Wakeham. “It is crucial to improve conditions for vulnerable individuals and hold the government responsible for the lack of oversight.”


Another access to information request reported that the Shelter Standards Report was due to be released on June 3, 2024. Wakeham is calling on the Premier to show transparency and release the report in its entirety.


“The Furey Liberals have not delivered on their promise to release the report. Just as they did with other reports they’re allowing this report to collect dust. The most vulnerable and housing advocates deserve answers and action moving forward so they can collectively address the housing crisis in Newfoundland and Labrador.”