Policy Briefs

Policy Briefs

Publication Date: 2018
As the details of the National Housing Strategy roll out, the Government of Canada continues to make its intentions clear: the forthcoming housing strategy will be rooted in a human rights-based approach. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness lauds this commitment.  During this consultation phase, we offer our perspective on how the government can develop, implement and most importantly, guarantee a right to housing. To do so,...
Publication Date: 2017
The concept of “ending homelessness” has had significant impact on public policy and service responses in recent years. Just consider the number of “ending homelessness” plans, strategies, policy directions, and funding announcements not just in Canada, but internationally. Currently, there is no internationally recognized definition of an end to homelessness, the type of indicators and targets, and a verification process for...
Publication Date: 2017
In a caring and affluent society like Canada, it is unacceptable that any young person would become entrenched in homelessness as a result of family breakdown and systems failures. Despite little evidence that we are reducing youth homelessness, we continue to rely on crisis responses such as emergency shelters and day programs. Even worse, it is objectionable to simply rely on a crisis response to address the issue, exposing young...
Publication Date: 2017
Before us is a significant opportunity to reimagine the federal government’s leadership role in homelessness. After more than 25 years of declining spending on affordable housing, the Government of Canada is launching a National Housing Strategy (NHS) with a 10-year investment in expanding the supply of affordable housing and enhancing sustainable longterm housing outcomes for Canadians. A key pillar of the NHS will be a renewal and...
Publication Date: 2017
With the release of Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey (2016), we now have robust national data on youth homelessness for the first time in Canada. The research findings on the relationship between youth homelessness and child welfare involvement are unsettling: 57.8% of youth experiencing homelessness reported some type of involvement with child protection services over their lifetime. 63.1% of youth who are...
Publication Date: 2017
With the release of Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey (2016), we now have national data on youth homelessness for the first time in Canada. The mental health findings of this report are startling: 85.4% of homeless youth were experiencing a mental health crisis 42% of homeless youth reported at least one suicide attempt 35.2% of homeless youth reported having at least one drug overdose requiring hospitalization...

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