Housing as a human right is now recognized in Canadian legislation!
Bill C-97, which includes the National Housing Strategy Act, received Royal Assent on June 21. For the first time, housing as a human right is now recognized in Canadian legislation, the culmination of many years of dedicated efforts by housing advocates, lived experts, civil society organizations, and government. Thanks to those efforts, we now have an opportunity to reset the framework within which we conceptualize, develop, and implement housing policy in Canada.
Housing rights advocates make the case for right to housing amendments on Parliament Hill
On May 8, Right to Housing Campaign advocates appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance to give oral presentations regarding necessary amendments that would strengthen the federal right to housing commitment in the National Housing Strategy Act.
- Read (and listen to) what Elizabeth McIsaac, Maytree President, said to the committee.
- Read what Anita Khanna, National Director, Public Policy and Government Relations at United Way Centraide Canada, said to the committee or LISTEN HERE.
- Read what Tim Richter, President & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, said to committee or LISTEN HERE.
- Listen to Jeff Morrison, Canadian Housing and Renewal Association Executive director, speak to the committee.
Read more on the Legislating the Right to Housing website.
Right to Housing Coalition sends open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging amendments to Bill C-97
On April 16, 2019, advocates released an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging minor but essential amendments to the National Housing Strategy Act in Bill C-97. In Bill C-97 (Budget Implementation Act, 2019) tabled Monday, April 8, Canada took a major step forward toward legislating housing rights for the first time in its history. The National Housing Strategy Act reflects recommendations made by housing rights advocates. However, more needs to be done to ensure that key accountability mechanisms are included in the legislation and the right to housing is implemented as the government intended.
- Read the open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging amendments to the National Housing Strategy Act
- Read mark-up of the National Housing Strategy Act with proposed amendments
- Find more information on the Legislating the Right to Housing website
Call for a legislated right to housing in Canada
On August 14, 2018, advocates released an open letter urging the Prime Minister to make good on his commitment to the right to housing by enshrining that right in upcoming National Housing Strategy legislation. Read more
National consultations on a human rights-based approach to housing
In November 2017, the federal government released its National Housing Strategy outlining its commitment to realizing the right to housing in Canada. Following this, in March 2018, the government launched public consultations to hear from Canadians “about the key elements of a human rights-based approach to housing, the proposed approach to the new legislation, and new concepts to be explored.” Maytree, alongside other organizations and partners in the sector, took part in the consultations and supported broad-based input with a focus on the meaningful participation of those with lived experience of housing need. Read more