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Article

Housing rights: Ottawa takes a historic step forward

Published on 18/10/2019

The National Housing Strategy Act specifies goals that are more than aspirational. It describes a set of principles and actions that move us toward adequate housing for all. Indeed, it supports the development of a new culture of human rights and has an immense transformative potential to address systemic inequities.

In June 2019, Canada achieved a milestone for human rights with the passing of the National Housing Strategy Act. For the first time, the human right to adequate housing is expressly recognized in Canadian federal law.

But what has it taken to get here? And what does it mean that we now have this historic legislation?

In an article for the November issue of the Literary Review of Canada, we wrote about the transformative potential of this new legislation.

“Housing Rights” explains the significance of the National Housing Strategy Act with regard to both the ongoing housing crisis as well as the history of Canada’s commitment to social and economic rights. By carving out a middle ground between a hard law and softer commitments, the Act offers us a new framework for the making of housing policy in this country, guided by accountability mechanisms and the meaningful participation of those most affected. Symbolically, it represents a reclaiming of Canada’s international commitments to social and economic rights.

For the full text of the article, please visit the Literary Review of Canada.

Summary

This article on the significance of the National Housing Strategy Act appeared in the November 2019 issue of the Literary Review of Canada.

Topic(s)

Housing and homelessness, Human rights