National Right to Housing Network
The National Right to Housing Network (NRHN) is a group of over 350 organizations, advocates, experts, and persons with lived experience from across Canada’s housing, homelessness, and human rights sectors who are dedicated to driving forward the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing for all. Through advocacy, research, and meaningful engagement, NRHN works with governments to ensure accountability to their human rights obligations and advise on their development of rights-based housing infrastructure, policies, and programs; and connects, educates, and mobilizes rights-claimants, advocates, and organizations from across the country to build a community-based infrastructure, culture, and understanding of the right to adequate housing that supports its meaningful implementation.
NRHN began as an informal network in 2018 which was instrumental in achieving the legislated right to adequate housing within Canada through the 2019 National Housing Strategy Act (NHSA). Through extensive community organizing and mobilization (via a “Right to Housing Campaign ''), advocacy and government relations, engagement with UN treaty bodies, and even drafting of the NHSA legislation itself for the federal government, it ensured that international human rights standards were reflected in Canada’s legislation. NRHN was formally established in February 2020 to monitor and drive forward the commitments to the right to adequate housing that were made in the NHSA, and to organize communities around this right.
Over the past year and a half, NRHN has been conducting regional engagements across Canada to identify systemic issues and housing rights violations and share with communities how the new human rights-claiming mechanisms in the Canadian legislation could help address these. They have also conducted extensive research on how Canada’s housing programs, policies, and budgeting within its National Housing Strategy could be revamped to be more rights-based. NRHN has launched a year-long project rooted in community outreach with tenant and tenancy-seeking individuals and organizations. Through this outreach process, they are identifying key advocacy stories, rights-based resources (and gaps in resources), and systemic issues in each province, territory, and local jurisdiction. The plan is to create a national resource hub of rights-based research, tools, and stories for tenants and tenancy-seeking individuals to use when advocating for their human right to housing and challenging discrimination. They also plan to facilitate knowledge exchange between tenant advocates and organizations across the country through a Pan-Canadian virtual convening and will then draw from the advocacy stories shared to create a storytelling report of key tenant advocacy moments.