Promises to invest in “soft infrastructure,” like renovating affordable housing units, are rare in political campaigns.

Even Jim Watson, the former provincial housing minister, will admit to that. But yesterday Watson made social housing a major campaign issue by promising to commit $14 million per year towards improving social housing and expanding the rent supplement program, if elected.

Rent supplement programs help place low-income households in privately owned rental properties by covering the difference between the market value rent and 30 per cent of the renter’s income.

Additional funds for the rent supplement ($5 million) would come from money freed by the provincial government uploading some social costs, said Watson.

He would also take $5 million from uploaded money to create an opportunities fund to be invested in fixing or building more social housing.