Housing: "No Vacancy - For YOU!”


The international community marks the value of people with disabilities each year on December 3. It was only recently that Canada signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

 

One of the rights is the right to housing by people with disabilities. These rights are measured against the standard enjoyed by other people in that country.

 

As a privileged country, Canada will be measured to a higher standard. People with disabilities and seniors deserve to be included in housing, on par with people who do not have disabilities.

 

But of course, this is not the case. For example, people with disabilities were not included in cities' housing plans until more recent years. Now, accessibility is considered, but only for a very small number of units. A very small number is allocated for people with mobility disabilities only.

 

While wheelchair mobility remains important, accessible housing includes so much more than this! The Accessible Housing Network believes that all housing units should be accessible to anyone. 

 

That means that every single unit paid for with public money (that is to say, your money and my money) must be made accessible to universal design standards. 

 

That means in when a building has 100 apartments, 100% of those apartments will be accessible enough for someone with a disability – any type of disability – to live there.

 

Why 100%?

 

  • Because the cost of making a well-designed accessible unit is no greater than building a non-accessible unit

  • Because our society is growing older, and virtually everyone would rather continue to live at home for as long as possible.

  • Because the number of people who have disabilities is growing, and they fear they might be forced into a nursing home.

  • Because some people will have mobility problems over time and more children with disabilities will live with their families

  • Because people with disabilities will not have to wait additional years for an accessible apartment

  • Because housing must accommodate an array of people with mobility disabilities, partial vision and blindness, have varying degrees of hearing, reading difficulties, mental health issues and

  • Because fewer than 0.00001% of units in Canada are accessible.

 

We are on the cusp of 2022. Surely it is time we included people with disabilities in our neighbourhoods. Surely it is about time we included everyone in housing. 

 

We know how to do it. 

It's time to make housing accessible!

 

Please help us make accessible housing a reality!

 

Contact us at accessiblehousingnetwork@gmail.com 

 

Written by Tracy Odell for

December 3, 2021 - International Day of People with Disabilities