The federal government is under pressure from a United Nations housing watchdog to acknowledge the right to housing in legislation expected in the fall.
Leilani Farha wrote a scathing letter aimed at the Justin Trudeau government, saying Ottawa can’t create a rights-based housing strategy if they don’t legally recognize the right to housing.
If the GOC doesn't recognize housing as a right in legsltn, that ppl who are #homeless or inadequately housed can claim, then they haven't recognized the #R2Housing at all! My letter to @JustinTrudeau @JYDuclos @Puglaas @cafreeland etc is here: https://t.co/Rjy3ysmYcP https://t.co/NujPk5IDqQ
— Leilani Farha (@leilanifarha) June 25, 2018
Farha’s concerns come after the government seemed to back away from the stance of recognizing housing rights in Parliament last week.
Commons was told the government didn’t want to declare a right that creates a belief that people can “prosecute their way into housing”.
A spokesperson for Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the Liberals do plan to recognize every Canadian’s right to access adequate housing in the legislation.
Farha called the government’s position “discriminatory and patronizing” in her letter and is worried it will renege a promise to enshrine the right as part of a 10-year, $40 billion program.
The legislation would create a federal organization to track progress in the housing system and identify systemic issues.
With files from the Canadian Press.