Subject: Housing and Homelessness
Moved By: Ms. Sue Winn from
the Diocese of Montreal
Seconded By: Ms. Elizabeth
Hutchinson from the Diocese of Montreal
Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.
BE IT RESOLVED:
That this General Synod
- Affirm the principle that adequate housing is a human right, as stated
in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as stated and interpreted
in the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights.
- Affirm this Housing Charter for Canadians:
All Residents of Canada:
- Shall be entitled to an adequate standard of living to ensure
healthy physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social development
and a good quality of life.
- Shall be entitled to safe, affordable housing, which reflects
the normal standard of their community, is provided in a timely fashion
and shall be appropriate to family size.
- Shall be entitled to participate in decisions about assessment
of need and housing location.
- Shall be entitled to accessible and supportive housing as there
- Shall be entitled to emergency housing and shelter in the event
of housing crisis or homelessness, recognizing that this is only a
- Shall be entitled to basic social service or welfare income
that will provide adequate cost of safe affordable housing.
- Have the right to be served by governments which acknowledge
their responsibility to improve the health and well-being of all Canadians
and work co-operatively to ensure adequate and suitable funding for
- The foregoing rights are to apply to all Canadians without discrimination
according to race, colour, sex, age, sexual orientation, ability/disability,
ethnic origin, language, region, property or class, religion or any
other distinction. This may entail the use of affirmative action or
equity programs in order to redress situations of special individual,
community or regional disadvantage.
- Affirm the so-called One Percent Solution, calling for Canadian governments
at all levels to spend one percent more of their budgets on social housing
than they currently do, amounting to $2 billion annually from the federal
government and matching amounts from provinces and territories.
- Request the General Secretary to write directly to the Prime Minister
by June 30, 2004, urging the Government of Canada to
- honour its commitment to the right to adequate housing as a signatory
to the International Covenant on Social, Economic, and Cultural Rights
- deliver on its promise under the Affordable Housing Framework Agreement
of 2001 to spend $1 billion over five years on hew housing, if necessary
by by-passing provincial or territorial governments and dealing directly
with municipalities or social housing providers
- make provisions in the federal budget to meet the goal of the One
Percent Solution ($2 billion annually for new social housing)
- convene a summit as soon as possible of federal, provincial, and territorial
ministers, municipal and Aboriginal housing leaders, and community representatives
to find ways to get past the delivery logjam, to roll out new funding
and programs, and get affordable housing built.
- Request the EcoJustice Committee during the 2004-2007 triennium to encourage
Anglicans in parishes, social justice and community ministries, and Indigenous
communities to give practical and active support to affordable housing and
related initiatives, and to pool information about diocesan initiatives
on social housing as a resource for the Church.
- The Right to Housing under International Law. Canada
is a signatory to international human rights treaties that oblige governments
to address conditions of poverty, and to ensure that everyone has an adequate
standard of living, including adequate housing.
- Article 25 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights (December 1948) states
that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate
for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including
food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services,
and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability,
widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond
- Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights (ratified by Canada in 1976) commits its signatories, including
the Government of Canada, to take positive steps to ensure that everyone
has an adequate standard of living, including adequate food, clothing,
- A Housing Charter for Canadians. The United Church of
Canada has adopted a Housing Charter for Canadians, which is being proposed
here for affirmation by the Anglican Church of Canada. The Charter helps
to specify the terms in the Canadian context by which housing should be
available as a basic human right.
- The One Per Cent Solution. Since 1999, the One Per Cent
Solution has been used as a formula in calling on all levels of government
to double their housing spending by adding an additional one percent overall.
Endorsed by hundreds of groups at the national, provincial, and local levels,
along with thousands of individuals, the One Per Cent Solution has generated
momentum at the federal level. Its five key elements are:
- new supply - 20,000 to 25,000 new social housing units annually
- affordability - rent supplements for low-income households
- supportive housing - new supportive housing for those with special
- rehabilitation - funding to acquire and renovate abandoned or rundown
- emergency relief - services and shelter for homeless and those at
risk of homelessness.
- Request to the Government of Canada. The terms of this
request echo those of the National Housing and Homelessness Network in a
letter to the Prime Minister written in February 2004 (Report #005-Appendix
F), urgently requesting him to take direct action to create more affordable
homes for Canadians.
||(name of committee, diocese, etc.)
||Ms. Sue Winn, Chair