Women’s Housing Rights

A Place to Call Our Own – Toronto: Marginalized Women Take Action for Affordable Housing

CERA is currently working with seven women-serving organizations in Toronto on an action plan for housing for marginalized women. Our working group brings together Indigenous, racialized, migrant women and women with disabilities – advocacy groups and grassroot service providers to develop a strategy for addressing both the lack of access to, and the number of affordable housing options for women in the city.

Stay tuned for our public launch of our action plan in late 2018.

Past Work

CERA’s landmark Women’s Program was established in early 2000 to address low-income women’s experiences of inequality and discrimination in housing in Canada. This program is no longer in operation, but information and resources can be found on this page. The Women’s Program undertook advocacy, litigation support, networking and research aimed at investigating and addressing the economic and social conditions that contribute to women’s inequality in housing.

A central project of the Women’s Program was the establishment and coordination of the national Women’s Housing Equality Network (WHEN) in 2003. WHEN is the only national voice focused on women’s housing issues in Canada. WHEN aims to improve low income women’s housing by ensuring women’s housing and homelessness issues are on political, legal and policy agendas across Canada. Using a human rights framework, WHEN advocates for policies and programs that consider and address low income women’s housing needs.


Fact Sheet on Women’s and Girl’s Homelessness and Poverty (2008)

Trans-Canada Homelessness Highway: A Women’s Route Map / Version française

This 24″ x 36″ map of Canada is crisscrossed by the Trans Canada Homelessness Highway, on which the capital cities of provinces and territories have been given new names like Priceyton, Clawback Valley, Low Wageville and Slum City. Brief descriptions of each city illustrate factors that contribute to women’s homelessness. (Large file).

Women’s Housing Equality Platform / Version française

Women and Housing in Canada: Barriers to Equality/ Les Femmes et le Logement Au Canada: Entraves à L’Égalité. Executive Summary (English) (2002)

This report assesses federal government housing and income support policies and programs to determine to what extent they address low-income women’s housing needs.

Submissions to United Nations Human Rights Bodies

Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008)

CEDAW Concluding Observations on Canada providing recommendations on how Canada can improve housing and living conditions for women (2008)

Submission to the United Nations for the Universal Periodic Review of Canada (September 2008)

Submission to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2006)

Concluding Observations on Canada providing recommendations on how Canada can improve housing and living conditions for women (2006)