People in Canada can now share systemic housing and homelessness experiences with the Federal Housing Advocate
May 30, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – The Office of the Federal Housing Advocate
Today, the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate opened an online submission process for people to share their experiences with systemic housing and homelessness issues in Canada.
For the first time, anyone in Canada who has faced inadequate housing or homelessness can make a submission and tell the Advocate about their experience. Organizations can also use the online submission platform to submit relevant information to the Advocate.
While the Advocate does not provide remedies for individual cases, the submission process will enable the Advocate to amplify the voices and experiences of people who have been impacted by inadequate housing and homelessness.
The submissions will be an important way for people to contribute to shaping housing policy in Canada. The Advocate will use these submissions to examine key systemic housing issues more closely and make recommendations. They will help the Advocate better understand and push for action on the most critical system-wide issues that people are facing across Canada.
Housing is a human right for everyone in Canada. Making a submission will help the Advocate drive change and advance the right to housing for everyone in Canada.
“Your voice matters. I want to hear people's stories and experiences. I want to understand what is happening on the ground. We must work together so that everyone in Canada can have their human right to housing realized.”
“This is an important access to justice mechanism. It will help make sure people are meaningfully involved and that we are finding solutions for the issues they are experiencing.”
- Access the online submission tool
- Submissions can be made by:
- On behalf of someone
- Organizations, associations, NGOs, academics, or other groups
- The submission form will ask for:
- A description of the submitter's experience
- The submitter's suggestion on how similar issues should be resolved
- Optional socio-economic information
- Contact information
- Completing the form should take about 10 to 15 minutes
- People who need help filling out the form may contact the Canadian Human Rights Commission by telephone at:
- Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
- TTY: 1-888-643-3304
- Submissions will also be accepted by email or mail, using a downloadable form [PDF format 202KB].
- The Advocate cannot provide assistance in individual cases. Anyone who requires immediate assistance can contact our partners at 2-1-1 to access local support services and get the help they need.
- Marie-Josée Houle was appointed as Federal Housing Advocate in February 2022. The Federal Housing Advocate is an independent, nonpartisan watchdog, empowered to drive meaningful action to address inadequate housing and homelessness in Canada. The Office of the Federal Housing Advocate, housed at the Canadian Human Rights Commission, supports the Advocate in carrying out their mandate. Together, we promote and protect the human right to housing in Canada, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing.
- The goal of the Advocate's work is to drive change on key systemic housing issues and advance the right to housing for all in Canada. The Advocate does this by receiving public submissions, by amplifying the voices of affected communities, by reviewing systemic housing issues, by making recommendations to improve Canada’s housing laws, policies and programs, and by holding government to account on its human rights obligations related to housing and homelessness.
- The Federal Housing Advocate is mandated under the National Housing Strategy Act to receive submissions from the public on systemic housing and homelessness issues. These submissions will help the Advocate examine systemic housing issues more closely and make recommendations.
- When there is a systemic issue that warrants more review, the Advocate has two options – to conduct an Advocate-led review, or to request that the National Housing Council establish a review panel to hold a public hearing on the issue.
- In both cases, the reviews will result in a final report with recommendations to resolve the issue. The report is provided to the person or group who presented the submission, as well as to the Minister responsible for housing.
- During the review process, consultations will take place with communities affected by the issue, people with lived experience of inadequate housing and homelessness, and experts in human rights. The person or group who brings forward the submission is notified along the way.
- The Advocate will report on all of the submissions they receive in their annual report, which is submitted to the Minister responsible for housing.
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