Deputation to Planning and Housing Committee on the COVID-19 Interim Shelter Recovery Strategy

September 22, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the housing challenges and crisis that exists. Housing remains one of the top barriers faced by women experiencing violence and the services that support them. Violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness and housing instability among women and their dependent children. It can lead to devastating impacts on a woman’s economic security, preventing them from leaving abusive situations because they are unable to secure safe and affordable housing. The Violence against Women sector in Toronto has experienced an increase in demand in the needs for services and supports by survivors during the pandemic.  

We strongly believe that pandemic recovery housing strategies must adopt an intersectional gender approach. We also need to see collaboration across all three levels of government in addressing the housing needs. We support the City of Toronto’s Housing and People Action Plan and the COVID-19 Interim Shelter Recovery Strategy and want to see long term, affordable and permanent housing solutions for women fleeing violence across the City.

We also welcome the recommendation that SSHA and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services collaborate to coordinate approaches to serving women and their children fleeing domestic violence, including coordination between the VAW system and the City-operated housing opportunities. Over the last 6 months, the violence against women sector has collectively and rapidly mobilized to adapt to emerging issues and needs. We have embraced change and used this time to reflect on how we can do things differently and better serve women experiencing violence from diverse communities with housing insecurity. We must start implementing measures and solutions that address women’s housing needs in the long term to provide safety and stability. 


Let's stay in touch

Get WomanACT news delivered to your inbox.

Other articles you might be interested in:

The Gender Pension Gap and Equal Pay

In Canada, the gender pension gap is a growing factor of senior poverty that disproportionately affects older women and reduces their well-being, in terms of health and economics. The impact […]


City of Toronto’s Budget for 2024

WomanACT’s 2024 Pre-Budget Submission Violence against women is not only a human rights violation but has devastating physical, emotional, social and economic consequences for women. Housing, homelessness, and intimate partner […]


Intimate Partner Violence and Hidden Homelessness

Violence against women is one of the main causes of homelessness and housing instability among women and children.   Approximately 30% of Canada’s homeless population are women, 91% of whom have […]


Uniting For Change: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sheds Light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

As the nation prepares to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we emphasize the critical importance of this day in shedding light on the heartbreaking issue of missing […]


National Consultation underway on human rights-based approach to housing

In November 2017, the Canadian government launched the first ever National Housing Strategy in Canada. As a part of this strategy, the federal government made a commitment to working towards […]


A Place That Feels Like Home

This blog originally appeared on Homeless Hub. Survivors of gender-based violence can experience homelessness due to lack of access to safe and secure housing. They may be unable to access […]


Sexual violence across Canadian campuses

Incoming university and college students across Canada are excited to begin a new chapter. Many parents will lecture their children on maintaining healthy study habits, keeping their dorm rooms clean […]