Advocating for affordable housing
Ahead of election season, YWCA Canada embarked on a campaign to mobilize Canadians so that we can hear from major federal leaders their stand on the housing affordability crisis.
In 2017 YWCA Movement advocated in Ottawa for more significant investment in affordable housing, which led to the $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit investment announcement. Our 2019 advocacy campaign calls to ensure that the investment addresses women’s particular housing needs in time for its implementation in 2020.
To join the voices of over 7000 advocates so far, please sign the petition and read their stories and calls for change.
“This is a very sensitive spot for me, from growing up in poverty, to becoming a young parent and struggling to choose between rent, food, or utility bills. So thankful for the local corner store that would allow me to take food and pay them back when I had money. So thankful to have eventually found a job that paid fairly well and on a regular basis. Affordable housing is a must.” Marie
“I am a survivor of domestic abuse and would always go back home to my abuser because woman’s shelter was packed with nowhere to go. I feel this is not only for women, men get abused also. But more housing and shelters are needed. Everyone should feel safe.” Angel
“Financial abuse is usually just part of the deal, it is easier to control someone without resources so when you do get out many of us are homeless and couch surf, etc. it definitely makes it harder to get back on your feet.” Paula
“No one should have to live with anyone who hurts them, fix this problem now.” Carol
“Seniors are suffering along with their ageing children who have to care for them. The housing crisis is also forcing people to stay in rental units that are unsafe and unhealthy.” Jann
“Please sign. I have. Pushing for cooperative housing, co-housing, village housing…there are new ways and increasing needs.” Tina
“Affordable housing, education, training and jobs are needed to transition and care for themselves and their children.” Audrey
“The cancellation of social programs and the absence of any income protection legislation hit women much harder than men.” Eronne
“Canada from coast to coast, cities, towns, and villages need more affordable housing!” Sonya
“This was a huge issue in Fort McMurray. Many of these women married young, and it was scary to go it alone. As well, the availability of low-income housing or any housing was nil.” Paula
Coalition work for affordable Childcare
Canada is in a childcare crisis, with the cost of childcare to families rising at 3 times the rate of inflation in some places. Affordable childcare is essential to closing the gender equality gap, creating thriving communities and is good for the economy.
At YWCA Canada, we have the great privilege of being able to amplify YWCA stories and voices coast-to-coast-to-coast to decision-makers, and we will continue doing so in the lead up to the federal elections and beyond.
“In 2014, 100% of my take-home pay wen into childcare. It is time or elected officials in Kitchener to become childcare champions and to implement affordable childcare so that all people can have a chance to thrive in our economy.” Jessica, Parent YWCA Kitchener
“The cost of childcare is skyrocketing, and the option to have a parent to stay at home is just not feasible in today’s economy. That is why I am calling to all elected representatives to commit to a high-quality childcare system that is accessible and affordable for everyone.” Fiona, Child Care Provider YWCA St. Thomas Elgin
“With the cost of childcare rising, I have seen families have to decline childcare strictly ono that reason. That is why I am calling our representatives to action to create more accessible and affordable childcare for everyone.” Sherry, Early childcare Educator YWCA –YMCA Guelph
“When childcare is not available, it is women who are forced out of the workforce that is bad for the economy and bad for our community. We need women’s voices at the boardroom table.” Sara-Beth, Parent Kitchener Waterloo
“33% of my take-home pay goes to childcare, that is with my 25% staff discount.” Sara, Parent YWCA Cambridge
“Having affordable childcare is essential, especially for single parents, those in school and those unemployed and looking for work. Making cuts in affordable childcare is just going to push this family to go on further government assistance.
Furthermore, research has shown that high-quality childcare is beneficial in children’s physical social-emotional cognitive and language development.” Vera, ECE YWCA Hamilton
“I need childcare because my husband and I work full time and we need a safe and reliable place for our children.” Michelle, Parent YWCA Metro Vancouver
“Research shows that healthy brain development comes from responsive relationships and will strengthen core life skills. Removing barriers to quality childcare will enable families and professionals to provide lasting long term benefits.” Heather – YWCA Calgary
“Our family has benefited so much from the program in place. Without the affordable services provided by the YWCA Saskatoon childcare centre, many families like ours will lose the opportunity for their children to learn and grow in a safe, healthy environment.” Dana, Parent YWCA Saskatoon
“My daughter has been enrolled in the program for 2 years. During that time she has developed into a confident-fun-singing-dancing-soccer playing-monster hunting superstar. A lot of that is down to the hard work of the fantastic staff of the YWCA childcare centres. Unfortunately, the cost of childcare in Canada is rising at such a rate that a lot of families cannot afford to send their kids to daycare. That is why I am calling to all our elected officials in Canada to implement an affordable childcare plan to enable all kids in Canada to have a chance to shine.” Patrick, Parent YWCA Halifax
YWCA's unique Leadership Programs
Grounded in intersectional feminism and social justice, our leadership programs are designed to equip young women and non-binary youth living in Canada with the knowledge and skills to lead and be change-makers in their communities and beyond.
Read our program participants testimonies and learn more about our Think Big! Lead Now! Young Women’s National Leadership Program.
“In 2018, I was one of the youngest and the first Black woman in all Atlantic Canada selected for the leadership role of “Flight Commander” at the Debert Cadet Flying Training Centre. In this intensive role, I oversaw and managed the training of 26 student pilots. I supervised and mentored my staff of 16 to deliver the air training syllabus effectively and efficiently while increasing the overall productivity and maintaining the safety of a flying operation. As aviation is a male-dominated field, I have used my platform to inspire and advocate for young girls and women pursuing aviation.” Lydia Phillip, 2019-2020 program participant
“I decided to join the Think Big! Lead Now! Young Women’s National Leadership Program because it is a program that has supported other leaders I admire. Brenda McWilson Okorogba is an inspiration to me because she has helped students gain over millions in scholarships across Africa and Canada. Brenda is a youth education and scholarship search strategist for individuals looking for grants and financial aid. She is a community builder who actively creates space for youths to be empowered, and lifting other women and girls up. I am motivated to continue building on her footsteps.” 2019-2020 program participant
“The summit not only made me connections from all over Canada, but it made me connect with myself, my goals, skills and assets.” Jenny Cloutier
“Attending the Program was a great experience for me. I gained new skills and also improved on the ones I have – my public speaking skills, transformative leadership and interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical skills, grant writing and project management skills. It was such an incredible experience. I am so proud to identify as an undaunted Intersectional feminist. YWCA Canada has provided me with skills that made it possible to remain passionate about improving quality of life by promoting access to inclusive education which can equip people with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.” – Brenda Okorogba
“I’ve had lots of well-meaning male colleagues who want to be my mentors and give me advice on how to leverage certain situations. But when it comes to execution, some of the tactics that work for them, don’t work for me. The leadership summit disrupts this narrative, and for that, I’m grateful for it.” Andy Villanueva
“Leadership summit was an opportunity to meet other inspiring women and girls from across the country that wanted to inspire, learn and be leaders in their communities” Arushana Sunderaeson