The National Housing Council – Reflecting on our first year and looking forward to 2022
On November 22nd, 2020 – National Housing Day – the Government of Canada announced the membership of the National Housing Council. Since that announcement, just over one year ago, the members established their priorities during their inaugural meeting on February 4 & 5 of 2021 and adopted an ambitious agenda for 2021-22. As outlined in the previous communiqué, this led to the establishment of three working groups to focus on the following urgent areas of housing need: the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing; urban, rural, northern indigenous housing; and, improving the National Housing Strategy.
The Council has completed critical milestones on the path to providing the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion with well-rounded, evidence-based advice, including:
- An initial research report was published in July, followed by roundtable engagement sessions conducted with Indigenous housing providers in November 2021 to gain a better understanding of key requirements for an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous housing body.
- A literature review, with particular attention to a concrete vision for what the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing should look like in the Canadian context, was completed and voted on by the Council in December 2021 and is now being published alongside this communiqué.
- Background research on core housing need and an initial assessment of the effectiveness of National Housing Strategy programs to support analysis of solutions to the most urgent housing needs across Canada was completed in December 2021.
In the coming months, the Council looks forward to continuing this important work. You can expect:
- Research report on how effectively federally administered NHS programs are meeting the needs of people in core housing need and homelessness.
- Recommendation report as it relates to a national body to lead and implement an Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous Housing Strategy.
- Literature review around the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing with particular attention to Indigenous communities within Canada.
- Engagement with people with lived experience and expertise of housing need and homelessness, human rights experts and housing experts to identify ways to further the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing.
- Engagement with subject matter experts, stakeholders and people who have or are currently experiencing housing need and/or homelessness to identify ways of improving the National Housing Strategy.
The Council is also working closely with the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate to develop processes for the first ever review panel in Canada. Review panels are hearings that will investigate systemic housing issues that fall under federal jurisdiction which are impacting the right to adequate housing in Canada. More information will be released later in 2022 following the appointment of the Federal Housing Advocate.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated housing needs and the urgency to have a safe place to call home is more important than ever. The National Housing Council wants to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has engaged with the Council this year and reaffirm its commitment to work urgently to address housing needs in Canada and improve housing outcomes for Canadians.
For updates on the Council’s work and developments including public engagement, please join our mailing list.
The views or opinions expressed on, or through, this webpage are solely those of the National Housing Council, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the official policy or position of the Government of Canada and/or Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The National Housing Council does not act or speak on behalf of the Government of Canada or CMHC.