Publications, opinions, and speeches
What we heard: Community conversations
Published on 24/10/2016
Submission to the Let’s Talk Housing consultation
Prepared by Maytree, in partnership with the Lived Experience Advisory Council and United Way Centraide Canada.
The voices of people who are homeless or experiencing insecure housing are an essential part of any national conversation on housing. Maytree, in partnership with United Way Centraide Canada and the Lived Experience Advisory Council set out to engage people who face housing barriers or have experienced homelessness in an in-person “community conversation” process. Our goal was to support people who might not be able to access the online consultation in sharing their insights and ideas with the Government of Canada to contribute to the development of a National Housing Strategy (NHS).
This submission is a compilation of themes and trends that emerged from community conversations that took place across the country.
Maytree, United Way Centraide Canada and the Lived Experience Advisory Council reached out to our networks to initiate local community conversations. As a result, 39 organizations and informal groups coordinated and facilitated 30 community conversations, engaging 334 participants. These participants were peers, clients and community members who wanted to contribute to the development of a national housing strategy that would affect them directly.
In addition, the groups that organized the local conversations were encouraged to make individual submissions directly to the Let’s Talk Housing online consultation.
What we heard
The conversations hosted in communities across the country provide insight into the diverse challenges faced by people struggling to find decent housing.
People expressed a desire for choice. They want homes that meet their physical needs. They want supports that can help them be successful. They want landlords to live up to their obligations, and for the housing system to provide help for tenants when they don’t. They want to be treated with dignity and respect.
Moreover, they don’t want to stop here. Participants in these conversations call on the government to continue on a path of engagement. They ask for the government to include people with lived experience in its efforts. They want their engagement to be meaningful and ongoing.
Through ongoing engagement, the Government of Canada can work with communities towards short- and long-term solutions that ensure affordable, quality and secure housing for all.