Resolution Number: A157

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.


That this General Synod

  1. 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.
  2. Affirm this Housing Charter for Canadians:

    All Residents of Canada:

      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. Shall be entitled to participate in decisions about assessment of need and housing location.
      4. Shall be entitled to accessible and supportive housing as there is need.
      5. Shall be entitled to emergency housing and shelter in the event of housing crisis or homelessness, recognizing that this is only a temporary measure.
      6. Shall be entitled to basic social service or welfare income that will provide adequate cost of safe affordable housing.
      7. 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 housing.
      8. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Request the General Secretary to write directly to the Prime Minister by June 30, 2004, urging the Government of Canada to
  5. 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.


  1. 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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:
  5. 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.


Source: EcoJustice Committee
  (name of committee, diocese, etc.)
Submitted by: Ms. Sue Winn, Chair