CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. -- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says, if elected, he would offer rental subsidies of up to $5,000 each to provide immediate help for families struggling to pay for housing.

Speaking to reporters on British Columbia's Vancouver Island, Singh says a New Democrat government would build half-a-million affordable houses across the country over the next decade.

But he says people need help right now -- and that's why the NDP is also promising to provide a rental subsidy for nearly 500,000 families.

Singh says there's a massive crisis across Canada as people struggle to afford housing.

He also argues it's not just a problem in big cities, and that it's a major concern for smaller communities as well.

Singh made the announcement at a construction site in Campbell River, B.C.