News & Events

Housing for Women Recognized in National Announcement


Advocacy, Crisis Shelter & Residence, YWCA News

A gender lens on the National Housing Strategy is a step in the right direction, says largest provider of housing and shelter for women in Canada

Toronto, ON—YWCA Canada welcomes today’s National Housing Strategy announcement, one that includes our ask for 25% of funds to flow directly to projects and services for women, girls and their families.

“Today’s National Housing Strategy announcement is a game-changer for women and girls in Canada,” says Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada. “The inclusion of a gender lens puts a focus on the very real exclusions and barriers faced by women in accessing safe and affordable housing. Our congratulations to the many women’s organizations that have worked for this.”

On November 2nd, over 100 YWCA staff and volunteers from across Canada carried out meetings on Parliament Hill advocating for a gender lens on the National Housing Strategy.

Their message: women and girls need safe affordable housing, emergency shelter and supportive programs.

Says YWCA Halifax Executive Director, Miia Suokonautio: “While the YWCAs across Canada are excited to see women included in the National Housing Strategy, we are more eager to get to work on solutions. How the strategy looks in communities and cities must continue to be informed by those women with lived experience and the agencies that have had the privilege to walk alongside for decades and centuries.”

Says YWCA Toronto CEO, Heather McGregor: “We welcome the National Housing Strategy; this is a hopeful first step but we also stress that a feminist approach to policy-making requires a closer look—and response— to the myriad of ways that access to housing and the experiences of homelessness can differ based on gender.”

“We commend the Government of Canada on creating a National Housing Strategy with a gender-based analysis and dedicated resources towards housing for women and girls,” says Janet Austin, CEO of YWCA Metro Vancouver. “As a key provider of housing for women in Canada, the YWCA knows firsthand the challenges women, particularly single mothers, face when trying to break the cycle of poverty. This investment will provide a real opportunity for women and their families to achieve economic independence.”

Women are the majority of survivors fleeing situations of domestic violence. Lack of housing also also disproportionately affects seniors, of people with disabilities and of Indigenous people. Without a door to lock safely behind them, women are at great risk of physical, emotional and psychological harm.

As the only national association providing housing and shelter for women and girls across the country, YWCA Canada is hopeful that today’s announcement will pave the way to safe, affordable housing for women, free from abuse and trauma.


About YWCA Canada:

YWCA Canada is the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization. Our 32 Member Associations across the country serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation’s single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence. For more information visit, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or on Facebook at

About YWCA Saskatoon:

YWCA Saskatoon works in Saskatoon and area to provide emergent and preventative services for women and their families, including crisis shelter, supportive living, employment services, quality child care, and accessible fitness. YWCA Saskatoon is a member of YWCA Canada, the nation’s largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, and the oldest and largest multi-service women’s organization. For more information visit, find us on Twitter at @YWCASaskatoon or on Facebook at  

For information about YWCA Canada or to schedule an interview, contact:

Laura Tilley

Communications & Marketing Manager

YWCA Canada

416-962-8881 ext 233

For information about YWCA Saskatoon or to schedule an interview, contact:

Joy-Ann Allin

Director of Development & Communications

YWCA Saskatoon

306-244-7034 ext 132

Photo credit: YWCA Canada