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CAEH receives CMHC grant for groundbreaking research on homelessness for women and girls

April 25, 2019 - 8:00 pm / News

CMHC announces $100,000 research grant for Understanding Homelessness and Housing Need for Women and Girls in Canada research project lead by the Women’s Homelessness Advisory Committee of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.


A new research project exploring how women and girls experience homelessness and housing need in Canada has received a $100,000 grant from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.  

Understanding Homelessness and Housing Need for Women and Girls in Canada is a joint project between the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and is led by the CAEH’s Women’s Homelessness Advisory Committee. The goal is to create a national knowledge base on the state of women’s and girls’ homelessness and housing need in Canada—grounded in both scholarly research and a national consultation—to guide policy and practice development. 

“If we don’t have the best and most accurate information, how can we expect to end women’s and girls’ homelessness in Canada?” asks Arlene Hache, CAEH Board Director and Women’s Homelessness Advisory Committee co-chair. “Poverty, lower wages, intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, addiction issues and mental and physical health challenges are some of the many factors that make women vulnerable to homelessness. These factors feed into why women experience homelessness differently than men.” 

The research aims to develop a comprehensive analysis and understanding of homelessness and housing need for women and girls in Canada. The research will have three key phases:  

  1. An extensive review of existing scholarship on women’s and girls’ experiences of homelessness and housing need; 
  2. An extensive national consultation with women and girls with lived experiences of homelessness or housing need; 
  3. Indigenous-led engagement with Indigenous women and girls on their unique experiences of homelessness and housing need.

“If we want to end homelessness in Canada, we must understand the relationship between housing precarity and gender-based inequity,” says Kaitlin Schwan, senior researcher with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. “By highlighting the unique housing challenges that women, girls, and gender diverse peoples face across the country, we hope this research will contribute to more effective policy and practice solutions.” 

Phase 1 progress is nearing completion, and the partners expect to release the results this summer with groundwork laid for Phase 2.  

The CAEH and the COH have partnered with the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) to lead the third phase. This phase addresses the National Housing Strategy’s intent to “work on a nation-to-nation basis to create distinctions-based strategies that meet the unique housing needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation partners.” This research will assist in these efforts by providing a pathway through which First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women and girls can articulate their housing needs and the policy and practice solutions they believe are critical for reducing homelessness and housing need within their communities. 

“Housing is one of the most critical issues impacting Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people,” says Khulud Baig, Housing Policy Advisor with NWAC. “In working towards community-based policy and solutions for our women, NWAC is honoured to be a part of this pan-Canadian effort that seeks to highlight the voices of our women on homelessness and housing insecurity. This partnership forges a way forward for great minds on housing and homelessness to come together and collectively build frameworks that are best aligned with communities’ distinct values, traditions and approaches.”


Check back to the for further updates on the Understanding Homelessness and Housing Need for Women and Girls in Canada research project.