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Advance Affordable Housing for All – Take Action Support Our Advocacy Work Today!

Published on 21/08/2019 by YWCA Canada

From May to June of this year, YWCA Canada rolled out an advocacy campaign to mobilize Canadians across the country to take action and advance affordable housing for all.

We were successful – thousands of advocates sent petitions to all of the federal political party leaders asking them: what they would do to address Canada’s housing affordability crisis?

As one of the largest providers of housing and shelter services for women, we see first-hand the toll that the housing affordability crisis has taken on families and communities across Canada!

This is not the first time YWCA Canada has called attention to the housing crisis.

In 2017, our YWCA Canada movement was successful in ensuring that at least 25% of Canada’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) invested directly in women-focused housing and homelessness programs. That means that at least 10 billion dollars, out of the proposed 40 billion dollars for the NHS, is expected to go directly into services for women. A welcome step, but it’s not enough.

Every year, our YWCAs welcome thousands of women and their families at our shelters, at our transitional and permanent housing. They see quite clearly: women have a disadvantage when it comes to housing security.  Inequities like gender pay gaps, workplace discrimination and harassment, domestic violence and abuse, and the responsibility of raising children alone, contribute to an inherently unequal environment to seek for a home.

New evidence confirms what our YWCAs have been telling us for years women are finding it harder and harder to afford rent. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ recent study, Unaccommodating: Rental Housing Wage in Canada, reports that “Across all of Canada, the average wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $22.40/h, or $20.20/h for an average one-bedroom.” Women are over-represented in precarious and low-wage work. Lower incomes make it more likely that women will have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table.

We need a range of solutions to address the housing needs of Canadians. As we wait for supply to catch up to demand, we need to help families today address the urgent need to put a shelter over their heads, especially women-led households.

The federal government is expected to rollout Canada’s Housing Benefit in 2020, to address this urgent need, which will put money directly in the pockets of Canadians to spend on rent.

Unfortunately, so far, efforts to improve housing affordability have failed to account for women’s unique situation. Specifically, the $4-billion-dollar Canada’s Housing Benefit, announced in 2017, does not ensure that women- often working single parents -are represented and have fair and equal access to this financial support.

Let’s make sure at least 50% of Canada’s Housing Benefit goes to women and women-led families.

Check out our website to read the stories of women across the country struggling to pay rent and join over 7000 advocates across Canada who have already answered our call to action! Sign our petition today and let our elected officials know that we need a gender equity lens on housing!

YWCA Canada’s Advocacy Actions

Informed advocacy is at the heart of what we do at YWCA Canada. We are one of the few organizations in the country that across nine provinces and two territories do service delivery AND systems-level policy advocacy.

We do both grassroots organizing and advocacy to the government – some of the key advocacy actions we spearhead include:

  • Running creative advocacy and public education campaigns;
  • Training the next generation of policymakers and advocates through capacity building sessions;
  • Conducting internal reform through our Truth and Reconciliation Action Committee;
  • Transforming our on-the-ground expertise into innovative made-by-YWCA policy solutions
  • Sharing YWCA’s policy solutions with Members of Parliament, and Senators;
  • Briefing Key Federal Ministries on YWCA’s promising practices; and
  • Presenting to Parliamentary House and Senate Standing Committees

Through our service delivery in 300+ communities across Canada and our systems-level policy advocacy, we are making Canada a fairer society for women, girls and gender diverse peoples!

We need your help – we can’t do this alone! Join the largest and oldest feminist movement in the country! Contribute to transformational change and make gender injustice history!

To get involved in our upcoming actions, subscribe to our monthly advocacy alerts by sending an email to action@ywcacanada.ca 

Supporting YWCA Canada’s Advocacy

Civic engagement is essential to creating a fairer and more equal society in Canada. We have over 150+ years of experience in building civic engagement and transforming power structures to advance gender equity for all.  Support us to continue engaging and training the next generation of policymakers and advocates.

Donations to YWCA Canada will have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact on the lives of Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast and will help drive change immediately and for years to come.

To ensure the financial sustainability of our advocacy efforts, we are spearheading a robust campaign to broaden our donor base. A key tactic we’re using is telemarketing. This Fall, we will enlist our fundraising partner — Public Outreach — to share with our supporters about the benefits of monthly and legacy giving. Their trained team is as passionate as we are about advancing gender equity in Canada.

Public Outreach has a small team of devoted callers based in Toronto. You might receive a call from 416-900-4461. Feel free to also call them any time between 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback about this campaign, you can contact Isabel Pérez-Doherty, Manager of Philanthropy and Strategic Impact at YWCA Canada by phone at 416 962 8881 EXT. 230 or by email at idoherty@ywcacanada.ca.

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