Today October 5th, YWCA is at OTTAWA on the Day of the hill to call on the government of Canada to implement shelter, transitional and affordable housing projects to address the gendered housing crisis.
The affordable housing crisis in Canada is deeply gendered. Low-income and women-led households currently experience the greatest housing need in Canada. Over one-quarter of women-led, single-parent households live in housing that is unsuitable, inadequate, or unaffordable. Emergency shelters only have 13% of beds being dedicated to women—compared to 30% which are dedicated to men. Domestic violence shelters are increasingly overwhelmed, having to turn away almost 1,000 women and their children every night. Women and gender-diverse people are also more likely to experience hidden forms of homelessness, such as staying with family or friends, making it difficult to track the full scale of the gendered housing crisis.
That’s why YWCA is meeting with elected officials and government representatives on October 5th. We are calling for increased funding under the National Housing Strategy for a grants-based system to fully fund the shelter, transitional housing and permanent affordable housing specifically dedicated to women and gender diverse people, including wraparound services and supports. We are also calling for the development of a national definition of homelessness that reflects the unique causes, conditions, and experiences of homelessness for women, girls, and gender-diverse people.