OTTAWA: The Canadian Government has announced the membership of Canada’s first National Housing Council, which will start work immediately.
The announcement, made by Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), said the council would be a key component of the National Housing Strategy Act.
The Council’s newly appointed members are:
Marie Pascaline Menono
Tim Richter (co-chair)
These new members will be joined by the following ex-officio members as well as a provincial/territorial representative: the President of CMHC (co-chair), the Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development, the Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services, the provincial cochair of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Forum on Housing, and the person to be appointed as the Federal Housing Advocate.
The new National Housing Council members were selected for their leadership in their respective fields, professional expertise, and/or lived experience.
Their mandate is to further the housing policy of the Government of Canada and advance the National Housing Strategy. The Council will provide advice to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development on matters including, but not limited to, the effectiveness of the National Housing Strategy, with the aim of improving housing outcomes and advancing the progressive realization of the right to housing as mandated in the National Housing Strategy Act.
To further support this work, today, the government released the Notice of Opportunity for the new Federal Housing Advocate.
Along with the creation of the Council, the Advocate will promote and protect housing rights in Canada, consult with members of vulnerable groups and receive submissions to hear from communities affected by systemic housing issues.
The Advocate may also undertake a review of a broad systemic housing issue or request that the Council establish a review panel to hold a hearing to review any systemic housing issue within federal jurisdiction.
Taken together, their work and expertise will ensure the government reaches its goal to remove 530,000 households from housing need and follows with its commitment from the Speech from the Throne to eliminate chronic homelessness.
• The NHS Act represents a historic milestone for housing in Canada. The Act recognizes the right to adequate housing as a fundamental human right, as recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
• The NHS Act includes the establishment of a National Housing Council, and the appointment of a Federal Housing Advocate.
• The National Housing Council will be able to consult and collaborate with other groups and committees, including the National Advisory Council on Poverty whose members have significant lived experience of housing need.
• CMHC will assist the National Housing Council to perform its duties and functions.
• A Human Rights-Based Approach to Housing forms the foundation for Canada’s first-ever National Housing Strategy.
• The NHS is an ambitious 10-year, $55+ billion plan that is giving more Canadians across the country a place to call home, creating 125,000 new housing units and reducing housing need for 530,000 households, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units.
• CMHC plays a key role in the Government’s efforts to support the well-being of Canadians facing housing affordability and homelessness challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.