NDP calls on government to recognize the right to housing

OTTAWA – On this World Housing Day, New Democrat Housing critic Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga) is calling on the federal government to recognize the right to housing in Canada and to take concrete measures to remove barriers to the full realization of this right.

“Canada ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, recognizing the right to adequate housing, in 1976. But this right is still not officially recognized in Canadian law,” said Boutin-Sweet.

In March 2016, Canada was reprimanded by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for its failure to meet housing needs. The Committee was particularly concerned about the lack of a housing strategy, sufficient funding and social housing.

“It’s unacceptable in a country as wealthy as ours that an increasing number of Canadians are in core housing need. Many First Nations are living in third world conditions and homelessness continues to rise,” said Boutin-Sweet. “The Liberals have begun consultations to finally establish a housing strategy and we hope they’ll seize this opportunity to recognize the right to housing and put in place the measures necessary for its full realization.”      

Earlier this year, the MP for Hochelaga tabled two bills in the House of Commons to include the right to housing in the Canadian Bill of Rights and implementing a national strategy for secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing, as well as a motion to maintain federal funding for social housing.