Canada’s National Housing Strategy Brings Women’s Homelessness Into Focus

November 2017 

Toronto, ON – YWCA Toronto, the largest provider of safe, affordable housing for women and families in the city, welcomes the federal government’s National Housing Strategy that enshrines housing as a fundamental human right. The Association commends the firm commitment to 25% of funds for projects and services targeted at women and girls.

“We welcome the federal government’s National Housing Strategy that counts in women and girls,” says YWCA Toronto CEO Heather McGregor. “This is a hopeful first step but we also stress that a feminist approach to policy-making requires a closer look – and response – to the myriad of ways that access to housing and the experiences of homelessness can differ based on gender.”

Last month, over 100 YWCA staff and volunteers from across Canada took to Parliament Hill to call for a gender lens on the National Housing Strategy. In meetings with elected officials and Senators of all parties, YWCA leaders raised awareness about women’s hidden homelessness; the links between homelessness, violence, trauma, and the mental health and addictions challenges women may face; and the significant need for investment in supportive and transitional housing.

“At YWCA Toronto, many women who walk through our doors are seeking housing options and supports that are gender-specific and trauma-informed – we need new funding pathways to address this,” says Colette Prevost, Director of Advocacy and Communications at YWCA Toronto. “Gender equity is at the core of a rights-based approach to housing. Our message to government has been clear: applying a gender lens to public policy is about ensuring women’s diverse perspectives and experiences are reflected.”

YWCA Toronto is dedicated to helping women escape and recover from violence, move out of poverty and access housing that is safe and affordable. The Association’s housing portfolio includes two violence against women shelters, a shelter for homeless women, a transitional housing project and 550 units of permanent housing.

 Colette Prevost Etana Cain 
 Director of Advocacy and Communications  Manager of Advocacy and Communications
 416.961.8100 x 350   416.961.8101 x 305 


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