By 2030, we want everyone in Canada to have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. Reaching this ambitious goal involves t helping the most vulnerable people in Canada... people like Tamara.
For more than 8 years, Tamara lived on the streets of Vancouver. The turning point came when an outreach worker convinced her to seek shelter in an all-women Atira social housing building. With safe and stable housing, Tamara’s health improved and she went back to school. Most importantly, though, she became eligible for a long-awaited gender reassignment surgery.
In 2018, Tamara moved into Olivia Skye, a new mixed-income rental building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The building provides more than 70 units that are exclusively for rent to single and elderly women in need. “It’s motivating to live in this kind of environment”, says Tamara. “It pushes us to step up and continually better ourselves.”
Listening to the voices of experts and those of vulnerable people
Stories like Tamara’s continue to inspire our work to improve housing outcomes for women and children, and the most vulnerable people in Canada. As we tackle the ambitious goals of the National Housing Strategy (NHS), we’re listening, learning and adapting to deliver safe, affordable housing solutions.
This past year, we conducted analysis on housing conditions for vulnerable populations. Among these populations are seniors, Indigenous households, people with disabilities and visible minorities. During national consultations on a human rights-based approach to housing, we listened to the voices of:
- people with lived experience of housing need and homelessness
- hundreds of housing experts and stakeholders
This allowed us to hear important feedback on NHS initiatives, including support for the creation of a federal housing advocate position, which will be responsible for:
- identifying systemic barriers to accessing suitable and affordable housing
- assessing progress in achieving NHS goals
We’re also exploring ways to apply Gender-Based Analysis Plus to ensure diversity and inclusion guide our policies. We’ve created a foundation by publishing research and launching employee training initiatives. We intend to build on that foundation to create programs and services that work for everyone, especially Canada’s most vulnerable people.