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National Housing Portrait of Elizabeth Fry Societies

Created through December 2021 to April 2022, the National Housing Portrait is a network-wide scan of existing housing and residential programs offered by members of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies. It is informed by interview with executive directors and housing support workers across the membership.  

The Portrait identifies more than 1200 beds located within the network’s emergency, transitional, and supportive housing portfolio, as well as within residences designated for criminalized women and gender-diverse people, such as bail houses and community residential facilities (i.e., halfway houses). It also identifies a handful of housing-focussed programs offering rental subsidies, help in navigating housing searches, and eviction prevention support. Some programs and beds are reserved for priority populations such as Indigenous women and children, human trafficking survivors, people with addictions, or people fleeing intimate partner violence. 

The project demonstrates the rapid growth of the CAEFS networks as housing providers in the past few years, though this varies by region. Certain network members have successfully adopted and adapted emerging development practices and models such as modular building, hotel conversions, and community land trusts. Still, there remains significant barriers to housing development and provision, such as restrictive development funding, exclusionary zoning practices, escalating land prices, and lack of operational funding.  

Finally, the Portrait highlights several policy areas for further investigation including Indigenous housing needs, avoiding displacement of “hard to house” individuals, trans and gender-diverse inclusion, and orienting housing towards the mission of abolitionism.  

While the full document is for internal use, a public-facing summary is forthcoming.