Today is National Housing Day!
November 22nd is National Housing Day. National Housing Day honours the endorsement of the one percent solution, and serves as a reminder that Canada is still the only G-8 country without a national housing strategy.
Just last month, the Canadian Paediatric Society published a position paper, Housing need in Canada: Healthy lives start at home, which highlights the importance of housing for the health of Canadian children:
“Housing directly affects the health of children and youth, including their ability to develop optimally and achieve life goals.”
The paper also highlighted that “housing instability has been associated with lack of access to a primary health care provider” and noted:
“Paediatricians and other physicians caring for children are uniquely qualified to advocate for enhanced action from all levels of government for housing-supportive policies, including a national housing strategy.”
A safe, adequate, affordable place to live and sleep is the foundation for a healthy, happy life. Housing insecurity during childhood is linked to chronic health conditions, barriers to education, and food insecurity. Without safe, stable housing kids can’t be healthy, learn, play—they can’t be kids.
In Saint John, many of our children are living in crisis, without their basic needs being met.
November 20th was Universal Children’s Day. On November 20th, 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention of the Rights of the Child–Canada ratified it in 1991.
Children have the right to an adequate standard of living (food, clothing, and shelter), an education, health & health services, help from the government if they are poor or in need.
The city of Saint John has a child poverty rate which has remained stubbornly high. It was 28.9% in 2006, and is now 31%–higher than any other major city in the country.
Governments have a responsibility to make sure children’s rights are realized. As UNICEF explains, “[Governments] must help families protect children’s rights and create an environment where they can grow and reach their potential”.
The lack of affordable, adequate housing in Saint John is a major barrier to individuals and families living in poverty, as well as the individuals and organizations trying to help them. The Change Starts At Home Campaign draws the connection between the Rights of the Child, housing, and child poverty.
Together, we can make a difference for our kids!
Please sign & share our petition!