This morning, a coalition of housing advocates including CERA sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging the adoption of several amendments to the National Housing Strategy Act in Bill C-97 which is currently before Parliament. While the National Housing Strategy Act reflects many of the recommendations made by housing rights advocates to the government, more needs to be done to ensure that key accountability mechanisms are included. The amendments that CERA and others are requesting include:
1. Clarifying that the National Housing Council doesn’t just “advise the Minister,” but also monitors progress towards the goals of the housing policy;
2. Clarifying that the Federal Housing Advocate doesn’t just receive submissions from vulnerable groups but can receive petitions, review areas of concern and make specific recommendations;
3. Providing for informal hearings before a three-person panel into important systemic issues; and
4. Requiring the Minister responsible to not only respond to annual reports from the Housing Advocate, but to also respond to specific recommendations addressing areas of concern.
We urge you to help us support the implementation of the right to housing in Canada by taking a few minutes to email the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Families Children and Social Development and your Member of Parliament urging their support for our amendments to the National Housing Strategy Act.