Statement by the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion on the Appointment of Canada’s Federal Housing Advocate

Statement by the Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion on the Appointment of Canada’s Federal Housing Advocate

very Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That’s why our government put in place our country’s first ever National Housing Strategy (NHS) – a $72 billion plan to create more housing and create thousands of well-paying middle-class jobs. So far, our government has helped house over one million Canadians from coast to coast to coast, and we are working tirelessly to ensure no one is left behind.
That’s why I’m happy to announce the appointment of Marie-Josée Houle as Canada’s Federal Housing Advocate (FHA) for a 3-year term effective today. Our government has ensured that this selection process was conducted in an open, transparent, and merit-based process manner.
Ms. Houle brings with her an array of expertise in the housing sector, including over 16 years as a grassroots advocate, working directly with communities and Canadians across the country to improve housing in Canada. Among the many previous organizations she has served with, Ms. Houle rose to the challenges at hand through her work with Action-Logement, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Corporation and the Agency for Cooperative Housing: Affordable Housing.
The role of the Federal Housing Advocate is to promote and protect housing rights in Canada by independently conducting research, consulting with individuals with lived experience of housing need and/or homelessness, working with vulnerable groups and civil society organizations as well as reviewing and assessing submissions on systemic housing issues under federal jurisdiction.
The Office of the FHA will be housed within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which will provide administrative support, services and facilities to the FHA throughout her mandate.
Our government has recognized that the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right. Today’s announcement will help bring us one step closer to ensuring everyone across the country has access to a home, as the FHA will help assess the impact of the NHS programs on vulnerable groups, persons with lived experience of housing need and persons with lived experience of homelessness.
The FHA will put particular focus on those with the greatest housing need, such as women and children fleeing domestic violence, seniors, Indigenous people, the homeless, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addiction issues, veterans, young adults, racialized groups and newcomers to Canada.
I look forward to working with Ms. Houle and receiving her advice and recommendations on how to best adapt our housing policies and programs so that they enable people and families in Canada to have access to adequate, suitable, affordable and safe housing that meets their needs.

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