National Council of Women of Canada - Blog
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Women and Housing Fact Sheet
Women and Housing
In Canada, women find it hard to access housing because of several inter-related factors:
* A shortage of affordable housing
* Women's over-representation as sole-support households
This is what housing looks like for many women in Canada:
Unaffordable: due to changes to transfer payments, cuts to income support programs increased rents and inadequate affordable housing stock.
Unstable: women who experience unemployment, long term disability or pregnancy and parenting often do not have a secure income increasing the risk of homelessness.
Inaccessible: due to long social housing wait lists, a lack of barrier-free housing for women and children with disabilities, newcomers and Aboriginal women, landlords refusing to rent based on minimum income criteria, and lending institutions that disqualify low-income women from mortgages.
Insecure: Violence against women causes housing insecurity and homelessness. Due to a lack of housing options, women escaping violence may have no choice but to return to their abusers and risk of losing their children to child welfare authorities. This is particularly acute for women with disabilities due to a lack of accessible shelters and transitional housing.
TO ADDRESS WOMEN'S HOUSING NEEDS, CANADA MUST ADOPT A NATIONAL HOUSING STRATEGY such as Bill C-304, An Act to ensure Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing for Canadians
A National Housing Strategy Inclusive of Women must:
o Be based in human rights principles, such as the right to adequate housing and non-discrimination and equality.
o Set targets to end homelessness with timelines and accountability mechanisms.
Consider asking your candidate the following questions:
Q. Will your party support a national housing strategy with targets, timelines and accountability mechanisms to address women's housing needs?
Q. Will your party ensure women and families in receipt of social assistance receive enough money to pay the rent and feed their kids?