Although Canada’s three levels of government have declared adequate housing as ‘essential to one’s sense of dignity, safety, and inclusion; the current multifaceted and multi-jurisdictional housing system is complex and does not allow equitable access to housing. This is especially true for Autistics people living in our country.
The process of securing suitable housing is oftentimes a source of anxiety for many Autistic Canadians, riddled with frustration and insecurity. The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ (CAHS) 2022 Assessment on Autism Report found that, “Many encounter barriers including discrimination because of income and they realize, with current demands for housing, that others may be given priority over them.” This inequitable housing situation is detrimental to one’s sense of dignity, safety, and inclusion in society.
Partnering with the Housing through an Autism Lens Solutions Lab and incorporating learnings from our Policy Compendium, we have ten policy recommendations targeting the federal policy areas of Housing, Employment, Workforce Development, Social Development and Disability Inclusion. These recommendations are designed to inform the National Housing Strategy (NHS) by addressing profound and systemic inequities to accessing suitable housing for Autistic people living in Canada.
Over the coming months, we will share this work with key stakeholders and decision makers in the Canadian housing sector.
What you can do:
1.Familiarize yourself with the issues that Autistic people in Canada face when seeking appropriate housing, and Autism Alliance of Canada’s respective recommendations for the government. To view this PDF, please click here.
2. Share the policy brief within your networks. The policy brief contains insightful knowledge for policymakers and members of the community alike. Be a part of active change by sharing our findings with your communities.
3. Stay in the loop. Join us in our Housing Network on Slack, where you will receive regular updates about the housing landscape, and our progress in this project as we begin connecting with key decision- makers in housing. Connect with us by clicking here.
4. Advocate with a strong, collaborative, collective voice. Whether you wish to deepen your knowledge of current issues faced by Autistic people in Canada or want to review policy recommendations, keep an eye on our website to get the latest news!
Title: Housing Through an Autism Lens
Authors: Amy Lonsberry, Pari Johnston, Maddy Dever, Toney Lieu, Stéphanie Côté, Dr. Jonathan Lai and the Housing Through an Autism Lens Project Team
Please email Dr. Jonathan Lai at email@example.com with questions, comments or to arrange a discussion about autism, housing and Canada’s National Autism Strategy.
Published June 2022