Publications, opinions, and speeches
Three ways the National Housing Strategy can support the right to housing
Published on 21/07/2017
Over the past year the federal government has been working to develop a national housing strategy which is expected to be finalized in the fall.
Details of the upcoming national housing strategy announced so far point to the government’s response to many of the central themes raised in its national consultation. This response includes long-term and predictable funding, improving data collection and research, and an emphasis on a system approach to housing. However, it is not yet clear how the government will address another prominent theme of the consultations: realizing the right to housing.
This policy brief identifies some concrete ways that the federal government can establish a meaningful commitment to realizing the right to housing at the centre of its national housing strategy. We focus here on how the process – rather than the content – of the strategy can include elements that are consistent with a human rights approach. While the specific housing policy and program choices obviously matter a great deal for safeguarding people’s right to housing, process matters too, even if it rarely gets the headlines. Good process does not guarantee good outcomes, but poor process can undermine the opportunity for long-term progress.
To establish a solid foundation for long-term progress, we recommend that the national housing strategy include:
- Updating the National Housing Act to explicitly include the right to housing in the purpose and objectives of the act;
- Developing measurement, reporting and accountability processes consistent with human rights approaches; and
- Embedding engagement processes in the development and implementation of national housing policy that include the meaningful involvement of people who experience barriers to decent housing.