This section explores the Federal response to Houselessness through their legislation, programs, funding, regulation, and consideration of mental health.
The government of Canada has adopted the National Housing Strategy Act to align them with the United Nations standards. The Act implements a National Housing Council to advise the Minster in developing a National Housing Strategy that focuses on human rights and minority groups. The implementation of the National Housing Strategy Act, 2019 recognizes the importance of dignity and the intersectional experiences of houselessness.
<aside> 🏛️ Section 4 of the National Housing Strategy Act is a declaration of governmental responsibilities in which they:
Read more from the Act at: https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/n-11.2/FullText.html
Rather than implementing a singular nation-wide approach, there is emphasis on specific community-based action in which the government provides funding. The federal approach has altered from emergency responses to investing in long-term solutions.
<aside> 🏛️ Reaching Home, the Federal Houselessness Program, launched April 2019 with intentions to:
This community support is achieved through funding as they Nationally support innovate contributions to houselessness, and focusing on Indigenous houselessness specifically. The Reaching Home funding also provides regional support by funding:
To ensure best community support there is a Community Advisory Board to develop the plan, suggest projects to be funded, and supports the houseless in their community. The Board consists of government representation, non-profit organizations and local stakeholders.
To read more on Reaching Home go to: https://www.oecd.org/social/soc/OECD-Workshop-Homelessness-PPT-S1-Baker-Canada.pdf
The federal government supports and implements Housing First's innovative approaches to houselessness through their funding and policies. Housing First is a philosophy that collaborates with Reaching Home address community needs. The philosophy focuses on the requirements of basic human needs and “access to permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, without requiring psychiatric treatment or sobriety as determinants of “housing readiness” Additionally, the Housing First approach is guided by the idea that housing is a basic human right.” Read more on Housing First’s Philosophy here: ****https://housingfirsttoolkit.ca/overview/key-questions/#q1
<aside> 🏛️ Housing First aims to ensure:
Read more about Housing First principles here: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/homelessness/resources/housing-first.html
The 2021 annual budget includes housing and houselessness initiatives, allocating $1.5 billion in funding for the Rapid Housing Initiative which focuses on the creation and conversion of affordable housing. The budget further contributes $315.4 million over seven years for the Canada Housing Benefit for women and children fleeing violence. The National Housing Co-Investment Fund is receiving $1 billion, as $250 million is to support transitional housing for women and children fleeing violence by providing grants and loans. Reaching Home is receiving $567 million over two years, having $45 million dedicated to a reducing veteran houselessness program.