Home is at the centre of human rights. Without a safe, affordable, secure, and accessible home, our other rights such as dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, equality, liberty, security of the person, and even life, are threatened.
United Nations covenants signed by Canada guarantee the right to adequate housing. This means that everyone has a right to housing that meets basic conditions. International law states that all levels of government, including City governments, have the ability and obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to adequate housing.
The Government of Canada has taken a monument step forward on the enactment of the National Housing Strategy Act as part of Bill C-97 (the Budget Implementation Act, 2019). With the enactment of the National Housing Strategy Act, we celebrate a historic achievement in Canada. This legislation recognizes housing as a human right for the first time in Canada and acknowledges the role of housing in ensuring human dignity and building sustainable and inclusive communities. This approach also recognizes the key role of housing in achieving social, economic, health and environmental goals, and focuses on improving housing outcomes for those in greatest need.*
Now the City is developing its new HousingTO Plan for the 2020-2030. This plan, like the National Housing Strategy, should be based in human rights.
*View our full statement on the Government of Canada enshrining the right to housing in law.