Keeping the conversation focused on human rights
Achieving the human right to adequate housing for all is one of the key pillars of the Federal Housing Advocate’s role. Keeping the conversation focused on human rights is her job.
Throughout the month of November and in line with National Housing Day on November 22, the Advocate used this opportunity to call for changes to the National Housing Strategy so that it better addresses persistent failings in our housing system and upholds the human right to housing for people facing housing insecurity and homelessness.
November marked five years since Canada released its 10-year, now $82 billion National Housing Strategy in 2017 to reverse Canada's housing and homelessness crisis. As we pass its halfway point, there is growing evidence that the Strategy is far behind on its goals of halving core housing need and eliminating homelessness by 2030, and it is not meeting the needs of Indigenous peoples and disadvantaged groups.
On November 17, 2022, the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate worked in partnership with the National Right to Housing Network to host a virtual panel discussion to highlight the urgent need to revise Canada's National Housing Strategy to include a stronger human rights-based approach by putting human dignity and lived experience at the centre of all its policies.
The event, moderated by the Advocate, consisted of a diverse panel of experts who offered insights and rights-based solutions to address Canada's deepening housing crisis. The panel's solutions touched on issues of affordability, evictions and security of tenure, and housing inadequacy in northern Indigenous communities.
On November 22, 2022, the Advocate held a live video broadcast event open to the public where she highlighted the importance of advocating for housing as a human right, and outlined the current gaps in the National Housing Strategy while encouraging Canadians to voice their own views on improving the Strategy.
The National Housing Strategy is our best hope of solving the housing and homelessness crisis. It belongs to everyone in Canada—let’s make it work for us.