On Human Rights Day we asked: What does the right to housing mean to you?

This December 10, Human Rights Day, the City of Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee is considering the City’s new HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. In a first for Toronto, the plan expressly recognizes housing as fundamental human right essential to human dignity and wellbeing, and sets out a number of actions and targets to progressively realize the right to housing for residents across the city. If Council votes to fund the plan through the 2020 budget process, Toronto will have a new framework for housing policy that centres people and reorients the City’s priorities towards urgent action on affordable housing.

At the federal level too, 2019 saw Canada take major steps towards recognizing, protecting, and fulfilling the human right to adequate housing. In June, the federal government adopted the National Housing Strategy Act, a piece of legislation that explicitly recognizes housing as a fundamental human right and commits Canadian governments to maintaining and making progress against a national housing strategy, with clearly delineated targets.

To mark an extraordinary year for housing rights in Canada and in Toronto, we wanted to capture the possibilities opened up by the recognition of the right to housing. We reached out to ten housing advocates across the city to ask them what the right to housing means to them.

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