National Housing Strategy

A Human Rights Approach to Housing Supply

Shared definitions and calculations of baseline housing supply needs are a necessary first step to develop evidence-based, coordinated policies that can better respond to homelessness and inadequate housing.

This report, A Human Rights-Based Calculation of Canada’s Housing Shortages, is commissioned by the Federal Housing Advocate. It focuses on evidence related to housing need divided by income category, household size, and priority population to conclude there exists a current shortfall of three million homes affordable to very low- and low-income households and 1.4 million homes affordable to moderate- and median-income households.

This report begins to answer the question of “who needs what housing where and at what cost." It  includes estimates of those who are unsheltered and in emergency shelters, those in inadequate congregate housing and on farms, and students who are in housing need. It also includes suppressed household formation and suppressed local demand, while recognizing that further evidence needs to be generated on all forms of housing need. Critically, it factors in the housing needs of a rapidly growing population.

Access the report.

National Housing Strategy Fact Sheets

The Federal Housing Advocate has the responsibility to monitor the National Housing Strategy (NHS) to ensure it fulfills Canada’s commitments under the National Housing Strategy Act (NHSA), is compatible with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, protects the rights of disadvantaged groups and furthers the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing in Canada. In doing so, the Advocate is also guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (2021).

To prepare for the operationalization of this duty, the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate (OFHA) commissioned research into areas for reform of the NHS. The fact sheets contained in this publication were developed based on research undertaken for the office by the National Right to Housing Network, the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network, Bruce Porter and Steve Pomeroy.

The fact sheets summarize the conclusions of this research and provide practical analysis and recommendations for renewing and strengthening the NHS so that it complies with the NHSA. While the issues and recommendations are presented as distinct, they are best understood when considered as parts of a whole.

The report was submitted to the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion in March 2022 for consideration to renew and strengthen the National Housing Strategy as it approaches its 5th anniversary on November 22, 2022.

Access the fact sheets.

Office of the Federal Housing Advocate
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