Assented to 2019-06-21
An Act respecting a national housing strategy
Whereas housing is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to building sustainable and inclusive communities as well as a strong national economy in which the people of Canada can prosper and thrive;
Whereas access to affordable housing contributes to achieving beneficial social, economic, health and environmental outcomes;
Whereas improved housing outcomes are best achieved through cooperation between governments and civil society as well as the meaningful involvement of local communities;
Whereas national goals, timelines and initiatives relating to housing and homelessness are essential to improving the quality of life of the people of Canada, particularly persons in greatest need;
Whereas a national housing strategy would support a common vision, key principles and a coordinated approach to achieving improved housing outcomes;
Whereas a national housing strategy would contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations;
And whereas a national housing strategy would support the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Canada is a party;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Marginal note:Short title
Marginal note:Definition of Minister
2 In this Act, Minister means the Minister designated under section 3.
Designation of Minister
3 The Governor in Council may, by order, designate a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as the Minister for the purposes of this Act.
Housing Policy Declaration
4 It is declared to be the housing policy of the Government of Canada to
(a) recognize that the right to adequate housing is a fundamental human right affirmed in international law;
(b) recognize that housing is essential to the inherent dignity and well-being of the person and to building sustainable and inclusive communities;
(c) support improved housing outcomes for the people of Canada; and
(d) further the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing as recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
National Housing Strategy
Marginal note:Development and maintenance
(2) The National Housing Strategy is to, among other things,
(a) set out a long-term vision for housing in Canada that recognizes the importance of housing in achieving social, economic, health and environmental goals;
(b) establish national goals relating to housing and homelessness and identify related priorities, initiatives, timelines and desired outcomes;
(c) focus on improving housing outcomes for persons in greatest need; and
(d) provide for participatory processes to ensure the ongoing inclusion and engagement of civil society, stakeholders, vulnerable groups and persons with lived experience of housing need, as well as those with lived experience of homelessness.
National Housing Council
Marginal note:Duties and functions
(2) The Council is composed of two co-chairpersons and not fewer than 9, but not more than 15, other members.
Marginal note:Ex officio members
7 The ex officio members of the National Housing Council are
(a) the Federal Housing Advocate, appointed under section 14;
(b) the Deputy Minister of the department for which the Minister is responsible;
(c) the Deputy Minister of Indigenous Services; and
Marginal note:Appointment of other members
8 (1) The other members of the National Housing Council are to be appointed by the Minister to hold office during pleasure for a term, not exceeding three years, that will ensure, as far as possible, the expiry in any one year of the terms of office of not more than one half of the members who are appointed by the Minister.
Marginal note:Further term
(2) The members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister are eligible to be reappointed for one further term.
Marginal note:Factors to consider
(3) In appointing members, the Minister is to take into consideration the importance of representation on the Council of
(4) The members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister perform their duties and functions on the Council on a part-time basis.
Marginal note:Remuneration and other expenses
(5) The members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister are to be paid the remuneration that may be fixed by the Minister and are entitled to be reimbursed, in accordance with Treasury Board directives, for the travel, living and other expenses incurred in connection with their work while absent from their ordinary place of residence.
Marginal note:Federal public administration
(6) The members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister are deemed to be employed in the federal public administration for the purposes of the Government Employees Compensation Act and for the purposes of any regulations made under section 9 of the Aeronautics Act.
Marginal note:Ex officio co-chairperson
Marginal note:Designation of other co-chairperson
(2) The Minister must designate the other co-chairperson from among the members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister.
Marginal note:Co-chairperson absent or unable to act
(3) If the co-chairperson designated under subsection (2) is absent or unable to act, the Minister may designate another person from among the members of the Council who are appointed by the Minister to act as that co-chairperson.
Marginal note:Duties of co-chairpersons
(4) The co-chairpersons have supervision over and direction of the work of the Council.
Marginal note:Alternate ex officio co-chairperson
10 (1) The President of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation may designate in writing an alternate to perform his or her duties and functions in respect of the National Housing Council and that alternate is considered to be a co-chairperson of the Council.
Marginal note:Alternate ex officio member
(2) Each ex officio member, other than the Federal Housing Advocate, may designate an alternate to perform his or her duties and functions in respect of the Council. That alternate is considered to be a member of the Council.
Marginal note:Means of telecommunication
(2) A meeting may be held by any means of telecommunication that allows the members to communicate with each other during the meeting.
Marginal note:Administrative support
12 The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is to provide the National Housing Council with any administrative services and facilities that are necessary to assist the Council in performing its duties and functions.
Federal Housing Advocate
Marginal note:Duties and functions
13 There is to be a Federal Housing Advocate whose mandate is to
(a) monitor the implementation of the housing policy and assess its impact on persons who are members of vulnerable groups, persons with lived experience of housing need and persons with lived experience of homelessness;
(b) monitor progress in meeting the goals and timelines — and in achieving the desired outcomes — set out in the National Housing Strategy;
(c) analyze and conduct research, as the Advocate sees fit, on systemic housing issues, including barriers faced by persons referred to in paragraph (a);
(d) initiate studies, as the Advocate sees fit, into economic, institutional or industry conditions — respecting matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction — that affect the housing system;
(e) consult with persons referred to in paragraph (a) and civil society organizations with respect to systemic housing issues;
(f) receive submissions with respect to systemic housing issues;
(g) provide advice to the Minister;
(h) submit a report to the Minister on the Advocate’s findings and any recommendations to take measures respecting matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction, to further the housing policy, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, and the National Housing Strategy; and
(i) participate in the work of the National Housing Council as an ex officio member.
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