Liberals put 'right to housing,' anti-poverty laws into omnibus budget bill

The federal Liberals are using their omnibus budget bill to legislate a ``right to housing'' and the requirements on future government to not drop the concept.

The budget bill sets into law rules around the Liberals' 10-year national housing strategy, valued at more than 40 billion dollars, and creates two new oversight bodies meant to make sure the spending reduces homelessness.

A national housing council is to advise the government on the effects of the strategy and a new housing advocate is to report annually on systemic issues preventing Canadians from finding affordable and safe places to live.

Reports would also be required every three years on how well the strategy is meeting national goals and furthering ``the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing.''

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos is to discuss the right to housing at an event this morning.

Characterizing housing as a human right is meant to provide recourse, usually through tribunals, to anyone wrongfully denied a home for reasons such as ethnicity, religion, or gender identity, and put pressure on the federal government to help make the right a reality.