Crowd of activists protesting


A key question for communities experiencing vulnerability as a result of ineffective public policy is how to gain access to power. Understanding who has the power to make positive change for households led by women and gender-diverse people in Canada is challenging. The complex web of jurisdiction over housing matters in Canada takes time to understand, but learning it will help make your advocacy more effective by ensuring you’re targeting your ask to the right level of government.

Power of Data

While we often think of people as having power, data can have a lot of power too. In Canada, homeless counts play a large role in determining both the policy and funding for new housing. However, these counts favour the ways in which men are homeless and as a result miss much of the homelessness experienced by women and gender-diverse people. If governments can’t see a problem, they also can’t see a solution. This is called “hidden homelessness” and you can find out more about it at this link:

Canada must have a more inclusive definition of homelessness for women and gender-diverse people

Webinar 2: Power

The importance of understanding both who holds the power in policy decisions and what’s important to them

Check out the She.They.Us Reality Check webinar featuring Kristyn Wong-Tam, Chi Nguyen and Lara Honrado.


  • Targeting your Housing Advocacy: A Resource for Tenant Leaders (2023)
    This resource provides a high level overview of the responsibilities of different levels of government in Canada in relation to housing.
  • A Primer on Housing Rights in Canada (2019)
    This primer takes a rights-based approach to housing, and explains the legal obligations of the federal and provincial/territorial governments in Canada, as well as the obligations Canada has to meet the Indigenous right to housing.
  • The Municipal Role in Housing (2022)
    This website from the “Who Does What?” series provides a good background on what each level of government is responsible for in relation to housing, as well as detailed information on how local government can and should use their powers to act on the housing crisis.