The private sector housing experiment has failed: Ottawa must now step up on social housing

Politicians of all stripes say that housing affordability is a top priority. But few are saying much about social housing — the kind that’s needed for low-income households in greatest need of affordable rental housing.

Social housing is non-market housing, either publicly owned or non-profit, and substantially subsidized to ensure low-income renter households pay no more than 30 per cent of their gross income on rent. Canada was committed to this kind of housing after the Great Depression, but began to step away from it in the early 1990s.

With funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Social Housing and Human Rights coalition is bringing together researchers, advocates and people across Canada experiencing homelessness and housing precarity to raise public awareness about the causes and solutions to the lack of housing for low-income renters.

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