For too long, women have been at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to housing security.
Gender pay gaps, workplace discrimination and harassment, domestic violence and abuse, and the responsibility of raising children have all contributed to an inherently unequal environment in which women seek out safe and stable housing.
Simply put: we are facing a housing affordability crisis in Canada, and women are the hardest-hit.
So far, efforts to improve housing affordability have failed to account for women’s unique situation. Specifically, the $4 billion Affordable Housing Benefit, announced in 2017, fails to ensure that women—often working single parents—are represented and have fair and equal access to this financial support.
A gender-neutral housing policy renders the very real exclusions and barriers faced by women invisible—and means that fewer women and their families receive equitable access to safe and affordable housing.
To counter this inequality, we demand that 50% of the $4 billion be allocated specifically to support women. Given that women make up 50% of the population and are overrepresented in poverty-related statistics, it is the least we—as Canadians—can do.
As Canada’s housing affordability crisis continues, it’s more important than ever to release funds to support women struggling to cover the rising cost of housing. We need the federal government to take a leadership role in combating women’s homelessness in Canada—and take real action on the priorities they have promised and announced.
Together, we can demand that federal party leaders commit to taking action on the housing affordability crisis and its specific impacts on women.