While we welcome the appointment of a Housing Affordability Task Force, the Ontario Alliance to Homelessness (OAEH) is troubled to see a glaring omission of those who understand homelessness, core housing need, or social housing. (With the exception of Justin Marchand).
Housing is a human right, as outlined in international treaties since 1948 and enshrined in Canadian law more recently in 2019. This means that government efforts to address access to housing must by law prioritize those who are currently unhoused. The people most vulnerable to the dangers of homelessness must have a voice at tables such as these.
The OAEH is a group of key leaders, thinkers, subject matter experts and people with lived experience of housing precarity, poverty, and homelessness. Our mission is to mobilize a broad-based, grassroots civil society network to fully realize the long-term goal of ending homelessness in Canada. Our most important stakeholders are those who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness. We have a provincial scope and our Steering Committee and partners are leaders in the homelessness, housing, and poverty sectors throughout Ontario.
We call on the Government of Ontario to appoint additional members to the Housing Affordability Task Force who specialize in the complexities of housing for Ontarians most at risk of, or with experience of, homelessness, in order to more fully address the systemic barriers that keep housing out of reach for so many.