Thursday, May 31

What is the Women’s Poverty Collective Women’s Housing Takeover?

The Women Against Poverty Collective (WAPC) is a group of women and trans people who have been meeting regularly since March 2006. We are working together to advocate for safe, affordable, and accessible housing for women experiencing violence. Poverty is one of the biggest concerns identified by women living with violence, and coupled with a lack of access to housing, it keeps women stuck in abusive situations.

Women living in poverty have repeatedly identified the important, but often unrecognized, links between poverty and women’s experiences of violence, asking for policy changes such as those that are being advocated for by the current Raise the Rates and the Ontario Needs a Raise Campaigns. The Women Against Poverty Collective is organizing in solidarity with the Step It Up! Campaign, a broadly based effort that aims to address the link between poverty and gendered violence, organized by Ontario’s women’s equality-seeking groups, shelters, rape crisis centres, unions, anti-poverty groups, and community groups.

Our Demands

The right to adequate housing means that EVERYONE should have access to a safe, habitable, and affordable home. This housing requires that the space must fulfill the needs for: personal space, security, and protection from the weather. Women and trans folk and their children who are/have been survivors of violence should have priority to housing that allows them: to have security of tenure; housing which is affordable, is habitable, and is accessible.

Therefore we demand:

  1. That the Federal government institutes and adopt Right to Housing legislation.
  2. That the different levels of government develop a coherent, well-funded Canada–wide housing policy that has timelines, clear number of units to be built, and accountability components included in it.
  3. That the building(s) that have been taken over in this action be turned immediately to safe, habitable, affordable spaces controlled by the women living in them.
  4. That Social Assistance rates be increased by 40% immediately and be indexed thereafter to inflation rates.
  5. That the criteria for inclusion on the highest priority housing list for affordable housing be amended to include all homeless women and those women who have been abused by their partners but who do not live with them.
  6. That women should have access to universal subsidized childcare. That violence against women should be understood as an equality rights issue

LINK: Women’s Poverty Collective

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