CHRC welcomes national housing strategy legislation

April 12, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

Following the tabling of the Budget Implementation Act, which includes a proposed National Housing Strategy Act, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues this statement:

“The Canadian Human Rights Commission welcomes the federal government’s introduction of federal housing legislation, in particular the appointment of a Federal Housing Advocate.

“Adequate housing is a fundamental human right that is recognized in international law, including the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Canada is a party. Yet the fact remains that 1.7 million people in Canada are living in homes that are inadequate or unaffordable. Another 25,000 Canadians are chronically homeless. This is unacceptable in a country like Canada.

“What is clear is that the right to adequate housing is not enjoyed equally across Canada. Women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous persons, persons with physical or mental disabilities, racialized groups, LGBTQ2S youth — these are just some of people who are disproportionately affected by inadequate housing or homelessness compared to the rest of Canada.

“That is why we welcome this legislation as an important first step. In addition to new legislation, we firmly believe that individuals must have meaningful access to human rights justice in order to exercise a human right as fundamental as this.

“We look forward to working with the government and all partners in implementing this important legislation in a way that ensures both meaningful action and government accountability.”

Quick Facts

  • 1.7 million people in Canada are in housing need, living in homes that are inadequate or unaffordable. (Source)
  • 25,000 Canadians are chronically homeless. (Source)
  • The National Housing Strategy’s primary focus is to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, such as: women and children fleeing family violence; seniors; Indigenous peoples; persons with disabilities; those dealing with mental health and addiction issues; veterans; and, young adults. (Source)

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