CESCR submission on the Right to Adequate Housing

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We’re going international! The Right to Housing Coalition just sent in a submission on the Right to Adequate Housing to the United Nations’ Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) for Canada’s Sixth Periodic Review. We’re also sending two people to  Geneva, Switzerland from February 24th-25th to make sure they hear us!

Download the full written submission here.

Excerpt from the submission:

Recommendations for Action

Canada

  • Canada must ensure access to justice for marginalized groups. We urge Canada to allow individuals and organizations to claim social and economic rights before courts and tribunals on full evidentiary records.
  • Canada must clarify its housing commitments. In particular we urge the federal government to adopt a rights-based definition of affordable housing that defines affordability as 30% of household income, as part of a commitment to the right to adequate, affordable, and accessible housing for all, and especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.
  • Canada must articulate its commitments to producing non-profit, social, co-operative, and supportive housing, and to build on commitments in the mandate letters provided to federal Ministers in 2015 to develop a comprehensive, funded, rights-based National Housing Strategy with targets and timelines for implementation.

Ontario

  • Ontario must ensure access to justice for marginalized groups. We urge Ontario to allow individuals and organizations to claim social and economic rights before courts and tribunals on full evidentiary records.
  • Ontario must address inadequate social assistance amounts, in particular, Ontario must ensure that shelter allowances reflect average market rents. Ontario should set targets and implementation dates to increase social assistance levels and shelter allowances to reflect market basket expenses and market rents.
  • Ontario must implement planning regulations that ensure all new developments include a percentage of affordable housing units.
  • Ontario must develop, implement and fund strategies to address eviction prevention and homelessness prevention.
  • Ontario must implement a rent control system to prevent economic evictions in private rental housing.
  • Ontario must ensure access to adequate affordable housing for all low income communities.

Municipalities

  • Municipalities must develop and implement a protocol for extreme cold weather alerts that is evidence-based and includes global best practices.
  • Municipalities must implement planning regulations that ensure all new developments include a percentage of affordable housing units.
  • Municipalities must develop strategies to address eviction prevention, homelessness prevention, and access to affordable housing.

___

Media coverage:
February 18, 2016, Canadian Press: Coalition to urge UN committee to press Canada on affordable housing
February 20, 2016, Toronto Star: Advocates take Canada’s housing policy to the UN
February 29, 2016, rabble.ca: The ‘right’ time to act on poverty

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