Ten things you should know about housing and homelessness

Everyone in Canada has the right to a safe, secure, adequate and affordable home. The federal government is obliged in international law to ensure people have a home. That, in short form, is the international right to adequate housing as set out in numerous treaties and other legal instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

This document was prepared by the Wellesley Institute in advance of Miloon Kothari, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, fact-finding mission to Canada in 2007. It provides a detailed and clear history of federal-provincial policies and agreements that start to explain how our country got into its current housing crisis, and highlights ten key issues that must be addressed to fix the problem.

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