February 12, 2013

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) and West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (West Coast LEAF) call on the Government of Canada to support Bill C-400, the Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act.

Homelessness and housing insecurity is a national human rights crisis that demands immediate action. It is also an issue with particular impacts on women. Women’s equality and the human rights of all members of Canadian society demand federal leadership and accountability for addressing homelessness and housing insecurity. Bill C-400 is an important step in this direction.

Women’s experiences of homelessness may look very different than what is typically imagined. Rather than live on the streets, women will often « couch surf », staying with family or friends. Women may offer sex or other labour in exchange for a place to sleep for the night. They may attempt to access frequently under-resourced and at capacity transition houses because they are fleeing violence at home.

Bill C-400 will help end homelessness and advance women’s equality rights. It confirms that access to adequate housing is a fundamental human right. It also contains key provisions to help make this right meaningful. The federal government must support Bill C-400 and ensure its timely passage and implementation.

Please review the complete statement HERE.