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 human rights-based approach to housing. The government held a public consultation with communities across Canada on the proposed approach.
In preparation for this submission, WomanACT coordinated a consultation process with stakeholders providing Violence Against Women services in the city of Toronto. WomanACT’s submission stresses the importance of recognizing the intersections between housing, homelessness and violence against women and the many barriers that women face when trying to seek safety. WomanACT recommends that a rights-based approach to housing must recognize the critical importance of safety in achieving adequate housing and the right for women to remain in their own homes. WomanACT’s submission also recommends that the principles in the National Housing Strategy can be further strengthened through a robust intersectional Gender-Based Analysis, meaningful engagement with Women with Lived Experience and a commitment to addressing systemic inequality and discrimination.