Bi-monthly talk series with Dr. Damian Collins

Realising the Human Right to Housing? Housing First in Policy and Practice

In 2017, Canada adopted a human rights-based National Housing Strategy, and in 2019, the human right to housing was recognised in domestic law for the first time. However, in the decade prior, Canada had embraced Housing First as its response to chronic homelessness. Housing First has often been described as a “right-based” response to homelessness because it offers direct access to permanent housing with few conditions and understands housing as a universal human need and entitlement.

Damien will discuss two studies his team conducted to understand if and how Housing First in Alberta, Canada, realises the human right to housing for people experiencing homelessness. He will present their evaluation of policy documents to assess the use of rights-based language, and the extent to which policies sought to fulfil seven components of the right to housing.  He will also present their evaluation of the operations of Housing First programs against four key human rights principles.

This talk will highlight the key findings of these studies and reflect on both the strengths and limitations of Housing First in policy and practice.  He will demonstrate how policies and programs can be systematically evaluated from a right to housing perspective and argue for greater attention to the human right to housing within the social sciences.

Information about the speaker

Dr. Damian Collins is a Professor at the University of Alberta. He is a human geographer focusing on housing and homelessness issues, especially in urban contexts. He is the Director of the Community Housing Canada Research Partnership, which sits within the Collaborative Housing Research Network.

About the EVICT talks

In each EVICT Talk, we will have a speaker on a topic related to evictions, the right to housing, housing law, the (complex) relation between international law and national law, and/or data science. Each talk, we will have a different international speaker (ranging from scholars to practitioners) who will offer fascinating insights into their expertise.

Join this talk

The talk will take place online. Join us on Bluejeans. You do not need to register.

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December 12th, 2023

  • Location: Online
  • Organised by: EVICT

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