SUMMARY OF BILL C-304 AND AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL’S POSITION ON THE PROPOSED LAW
Bill C-304, the Secure, Adequate, Accessible and Affordable Housing Act was first introduced as a private member’s bill at the House of Commons in February 2009. The principal change to housing policy brought about by Bill C-304 would be the obligation of the Minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to establish a national housing strategy.
Amnesty International wrote a brief in support of the passage of Bill C-304, as the establishment of a national housing strategy would enable Canada to comply with one of its key obligations with respect to the right to housing under international law and would have the potential to better ensure the right to housing for all Canadians, including populations that are particularly vulnerable to homelessness and inadequate housing and their negative repercussions. Our brief sets out the scope and content of the right to housing in international law and its bearing on Bill C-304. It then briefly discusses the importance of Canada establishing a national housing strategy in light of Amnesty International’s work on the right to housing in Canada and abroad. Our brief concludes by suggesting one amendment to improve the bill.
STATUS OF BILL
Bill C-304 was sent for study at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee presented its report to the House of Commons on 21 March 2011. However, no final vote occurred and the bill ultimately did not become law.