The National Housing Strategy Act sets out the Minister’s accountability to respond to recommendations from the Federal Housing Advocate, National Housing Council, and Review Panels. As Canada’s Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, he must take a leadership role in the recognition and implementation of the human right to adequate housing.
The Advocate calls on the Minister to take the following specific, concrete steps in 2023 to respond to the Advocate’s recommendations on the National Housing Strategy, encampments, financialization and housing supply.
- By June 2023, provide a detailed response to the Advocate’s calls to action on the National Housing Strategy, issued on National Housing Day 2022.
- In 2023, establish and lead a working table to re-design the National Housing Strategy in alignment with the human rights obligations of the National Housing Strategy Act. Membership should include the Federal Housing Advocate along with the Deputy Ministers of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Infrastructure Canada.
- In 2023, direct the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure to work with other implicated Deputy Ministers (such as Health, Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada, Women and Gender Equality, and Employment and Social Development Canada) to establish and lead a working table to implement Canada’s commitment to end homelessness by 2030, with an immediate focus on addressing encampments using a human rights-based approach.
- In 2023, direct the CEO of CMHC to work with the Deputy Minister of Finance to develop and implement measures to address the financialization of housing in Canada, and implement a human rights-based approach to Canada’s housing supply plan. This working table would initially receive and implement the recommendations from the upcoming National Housing Council’s Review Panel and the study by the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities (HUMA) the on financialization of housing, and monitor the effectiveness of those measures. It would also expand and refine CMHC’s Housing Supply model, using a human rights-based approach focused on housing supply for those in greatest need.
These three working tables should take an all-of government approach, bringing together implicated federal departments, along with Provincial, Territorial and Municipal counterparts, National Indigenous Organizations, and representatives of communities directly affected by inadequate housing and homelessness. They should operate with rapid timelines to implement urgent changes and use the National Housing Strategy to its greatest potential to address the housing and homelessness crisis.
Annex B – The Federal Housing Advocate’s final recommendations.