In March 2018, the federal government launched public consultations to hear the opinions and ideas of 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.” As part of the consultations, it also released a discussion paper that outlines the key elements of the government’s proposed approach.

The consultations build on the government’s commitment to realize the right to housing in its National Housing Strategy, released in November 2017. We believe this is an important opportunity to offer feedback on the core principles guiding the government’s rights-based approach, and the implementation of the initiatives proposed in the strategy – new legislation, a federal Housing Advocate, a National Housing Council, and a Community-Based Tenant Initiative.

Calling for broad participation

While Maytree will submit our own submission, we’re also interested in ensuring broad-based participation in the consultation. The consultation will, we hope, make room for the meaningful inclusion of a wide range of perspectives, particularly from those with lived experience of homelessness and housing need.

To start the conversation, we supported the development of two ideas papers by experts in this area:

  1. Canada’s Rights-Based National Housing Strategy: Principles and Mechanisms for Rights-Based Participation of Those with Lived Experience (by Emily Paradis)
  2. Enhancing the Rights-Based Framework for Canada’s National Housing Strategy (by Bruce Porter)

Together, these papers propose a set of principles for a rights-based approach, an enhanced architecture for the elements set out in the government’s discussion paper, and mechanisms for the meaningful participation of people directly affected by homelessness and housing need.

The two papers are meant to form the basis for further discussion, with the intent of incorporating feedback into final submissions to the consultation. The authors of these would appreciate your thoughts, input, disagreements, and questions on the content of the papers. You can reach Emily at e.paradis[at]utoronto.ca and Bruce at bporter[at]socialrights.ca

You might also want to draw on these papers in formulating your own responses to the Right to Housing consultation. You can participate by sending an email or written letter with your views, putting together an idea paper with additional concepts relating to a rights-based approach to housing, or drafting a submission with suggestions.

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