Housing

Housing overview

Housing is a fundamental human right, but for about 1.7 million households in Canada, housing that is affordable, in decent shape and suitable for them or their families is simply not available. When people can’t access housing that meets their needs, the impacts ripple throughout their lives, the economy, and our communities.

Maytree works with civil society, people with lived experience of homelessness and housing need, and governments at all levels to improve the housing system and ensure everyone in Canada has a place to call home.

As with our work on poverty, we look to find solutions to homelessness and housing need using a human rights approach. We work on advancing solutions that will further the recognition and protection of housing as a human right, contribute to the progressive realization of this right, prioritize those in greatest need, pave the way for accountability mechanisms, and include ongoing and active participation of those with lived experience of homelessness and inadequate housing at all stages of decision-making.

Our work on housing includes shaping and sharing policy ideas, investing in innovative solutions, and supporting partners working to strengthen communities.

Relevant publications

Opinion

Published on 02/05/2017

The City of Toronto is trampling on thousands of its citizens' human rights by failing to invest in repairs to crumbling community housing stock.

Toronto city council and its mayor are closing more than 400 units of city-owned social housing because they are in poor condition. They’ve identified another 17,000 units in bad repair that are at risk of being closed if nothing is done to fix them. In the case of the 400 units, the mayor and council […]

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Policy brief

Published on 27/02/2017

This policy brief explores the potential advantages of a national housing benefit, how it could work, and how it could fit into a national housing strategy.

Canadian housing policy has traditionally focused on creating a supply of affordable housing, rather than on people’s ability to afford a home. The upcoming national housing strategy is an opportunity for us to consider how a housing benefit that is tied to a person or a family – rather than to a housing unit – […]

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Opinion

Published on 29/11/2016

A National Housing Benefit can be an efficient, flexible and responsive way to address housing need, and puts power and choice where they belong – in people’s hands.

Every month, families and individuals across the country face a difficult choice: buy groceries or pay the rent? For about 3.3 million people in Canada (or 1.5 million households), housing that is affordable, in decent shape and big enough for many families is simply not available. These households end up doing without, which could mean […]

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Submission

Published on 24/10/2016

Submission to the Let’s Talk Housing consultation highlighting promising policy and investments opportunities.

Submission to the Let’s Talk Housing consultation As a vision for the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada has stated that “all Canadians have access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford.” Our submission’s focus is on defining what we mean by “housing that meets their needs.” We propose that, […]

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Submission

Published on 24/10/2016

This submission to the Let’s Talk Housing consultation compiles themes and trends that emerged from community conversations across Canada.

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 […]

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Policy brief

Published on 30/03/2016

This introduction to portable housing benefits looks at how it could be a step towards universal access to affordable housing.

In its new Long-term Affordable Housing Strategy, the Ontario government said that it would develop a framework for a portable housing benefit program, beginning with a pilot program for people escaping domestic violence. A recent research report by Michael Mendelson of the Caledon Institute of Social Policy looked at possible design approaches for a housing […]

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