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Programs and Partners

Housing Rights and Governance


Programs and Partners

Rooftops Canada, its Canadian and overseas partners believe that adequate housing is a basic human right. A secure place to live is central to everyone’s well-being and dignity. Affordable housing is also a fundamental building block that improves neighbourhoods, reduces poverty and creates vibrant, inclusive and healthy cities.

 

Effective housing processes also enable people to work together and determine their own solutions. This strengthens democratic governance by encouraging dialogue among communities, local and senior levels of government and other stakeholders. Rooftops Canada’s programs help empower civil society organizations while promoting good governance.

 

Housing programs must also encourage gender equality, respecting women’s rights to own and inherit land and housing. Women should have equal opportunity to participate in housing development and management.

 

All of Rooftops Canada’s programs, projects and partnerships are guided by these principles. In Kenya, India and Zimbabwe, this involves protesting forced evictions and discrimination in the housing sector and promoting security of tenure, particularly for women and vulnerable groups in inadequate housing conditions. CONGEH in Cameroon is documenting violations of housing rights and evictions. CONGEH and WAT in Tanzania have both set up land consultation clinics and are training para-legals to assist their members. All of our overseas partners also help open doors for dialogue with government and make positive contributions to emerging housing policies.

 

Rooftops Canada also promotes housing rights and gender equality in human settlements as an active member of the Habitat International Coalition, HIC. The strength of the Coalition is based on its membership that includes grassroots organizations, civil society organizations, NGOs, academic groups, researchers, technicians and like-minded individuals from 80 countries worldwide. Rooftops Canada has provided technical assistance and young professional interns to assist HIC and two of its main programs - the Housing and Land Rights Network, and the Women and Shelter Network.

 

Rooftops Canada is also active on the global stage. In 1996, it acted as a global NGO Secretariat for Habitat II. Rooftops Canada has also participated in official Canadian delegations to the Commission on Human Settlements and UN Habitat Governing Council, Habitat II, Habitat II+5, and the 2nd and 3rd World Urban Forums.