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National Consultation on a Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing

When is it happening?

Public consultations on the National Housing Strategy’s human rights-based approach to housing are underway until  June 2018.

Why are we doing it?

The Government of Canada believes all Canadians deserve access to housing that meets their needs and that they can afford. That’s why we have committed to progressively realize a human rights-based approach to housing. We are doing this to help strengthen and ensure that our vision for housing in Canada focusses on the housing needs of the most vulnerable Canadians, both now and in the future.

A human rights-based approach to housing focuses on ensuring that every Canadian has access to a safe and affordable place to call home. It is grounded in the core principles of accountability, participation, non-discrimination and inclusion.

On November 22, 2017, the Government took a historic step toward realizing a human rights-based approach to housing when it launched Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy. The Strategy is a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will strengthen the middle class, fuel our economy and give more Canadians a place to call home.

The Government is introducing several new initiatives to continue to take a human rights-based approach to housing as part of the Strategy, for now and into the future. These include:

  • New Legislation that would require future federal governments to maintain a National Housing Strategy and report publicly on its progress in meeting key targets;
  • a Federal Housing Advocate to address the systemic barriers that Canadians face in accessing an affordable place to live;
  • a National Housing Council to enable people from different backgrounds to have a voice in housing policies and programs;
  • a Community-Based Tenant Initiative to promote inclusive communities and build awareness of the challenges facing vulnerable groups; and
  • a Public Engagement Campaign to fight discrimination in housing type and tenure, reduce stigma and build more inclusive communities for everyone.

What is the focus of consultations?

We want to hear your opinions and ideas about the key elements of a human rights-based approach to housing, the proposed approach to the new legislation, and new concepts to be explored. The consultations encourage all Canadians to share their thoughts, including those with lived experience of housing need and homelessness, housing experts and people in housing need.

The Discussion Paper: A Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing outlines the key additional elements of the Government’s proposed approach. The paper includes:

  • Minister’s message to Canadians;
  • an overview of the development, vision and outcomes of Canada’s first ever National Housing Strategy as a key milestone in the human right-based approach to housing;
  • details on the human-rights based approach to housing, and proposed approach to the bill for the legislation, the new Federal Housing Advocate, National Housing Council, the Community-Based Tenant Initiative, and the Public Engagement Campaign;
  • a discussion of the Strategy’s continued focus on helping Canadians in need, and accountability of the federal government to Canadians for progress towards the achievement of National Housing Strategy outcomes and targets; and,
  • suggested topics and questions to explore additional ideas and concepts on the human rights-based approach to housing.

How can you join the conversation?

Have your say with a written submission, such as either a letter with your views or idea paper with additional concepts on the human rights based approach to housing.

By June 1, 2018:

  • Send an email with the subject line “Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing: Feedback” to     
  • Mail a letter addressed to the Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing Team at:

    Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing Team
    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    700 Montreal Rd
    Ottawa ON  K1A 0P7