We’re a public entity that represents all Canadians. To help make sure we do this effectively, we use the Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) approach in our policies and programs.

In the fall of 2017, we commissioned an online study of housing researchers and professionals to explore the following question: How can a gender-based approach be applied to the planning, design, development, construction, and assessment of affordable housing?

The survey: opinions of 375 respondents

The survey got responses from 375 respondents, and we had follow-up contact with 44 of them. The results of the survey were combined with a literature review we’d previously conducted. Together with the survey results, it showed how current housing meets the needs of women and LGBTQ+ persons.

Specifically, the survey looked to gather:

  • learning from housing designed specifically for women or the LGBTQ+ community
  • ideas for related improvements in government policies/programs
  • ways to encourage or improve housing for vulnerable women and the LGBTQ+ community

The findings: need for supportive services for women & LGBTQ+ persons

According to the majority of respondents (72%), housing projects for women or LGBTQ+ persons were somewhat or very successful. However, there were additional needs related to issues like domestic violence and homelessness. There was also the need for supportive services related to issues like mental health, disability and child care.

Here are some other findings from the survey:

  • Canada’s housing system addresses most of the housing needs of women and the LGBTQ+ community. This is because it serves all people equitably, and there are policies in place to address affordability issues.
  • Broad features of housing programs, like planning and consultation in design, were seen as needing attention.
  • Access to housing, physical safety and housing discrimination are areas that could be better addressed by thoroughly applying a gender-based approach.
  • Some respondents suggested that projects intentionally based on gender are more effective in meeting the needs of women or the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Others urged caution in claims for “unique” status for women and the LGBTQ+ community. They argued, instead, for inclusive communities for all low-income or vulnerable people.

How we use GBA+

GBA+ recognizes that a variety of factors affect people’s experiences: their identity, their context and their lived realities.

As we aim to help Canadians meet their housing needs, we use GBA+ to see the potential impact of our activities and initiatives. It helps us deliver results for Canadians in the most fair and equitable manner.

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Date Published: September 19, 2019