United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC) commends the federal government’s historic commitment to human rights leadership and accountability and supports the legislation of the right to housing. On June 5, 2019, critical amendments passed to strengthen the human rights accountability measures in the National Housing Strategy Act included in Bill C-97 (Budget Implementation Act, 2019).

The amendments are in line with many of the recommendations in President & CEO Dan Clement’s April 30 letters to Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Jean-Yves Duclos. UWCC’s Anita Khanna presented these recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, as did a number of nationally and internationally recognized housing and homelessness experts.

Together, with the housing and homelessness sector, UWCC welcomes the passage of critical amendments to strengthen this historic piece of legislation. The proposed amendments:

    • declare that it is the policy of the Government of Canada to recognize housing as a fundamental human right;
    • establish that the National Housing Council will monitor progress and advise the Minister regarding the progressive realization of the right to housing;
    • strengthen the federal Housing Advocate ;
    • provide for a Review Panel, made up of three members appointed from the National Housing Council, to hold hearings into selective systemic issues and submit reports and remedial recommendations to the designated federal minister; and
    • require the minister to respond to recommendations within 90 days.

Canada’s housing and homelessness crisis is #UNIGNORABLE. We urge all political parties to support the passage of this legislation to help build strong and resilient communities where every person has a safe and secure home. For more information, please visit the Legislating the Right to Housing website and review this backgrounder.