Towards Equitable Health Policy: A Critical Approach to Canadian Housing Insecurity and Homelessness as Informed by Political Economy and Social Determinants of Health
Borras, Arnel Mercado
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Housing insecurity and homelessness is a complex phenomenon. Its causes are found in processes at the micro, meso, and macro-levels. In Canada, the rise of economic globalization and neoliberalism contributed to the decline of the welfare state with retraction of the national housing program and the transfer of housing responsibility from the federal to provincial and territorial governments, all of which contributed to the rise of Canadian housing insecurity and homelessness. The state of housing insecurity and homelessness in Canada is a national crisis. It is well established that housing insecure and homeless people have a higher prevalence of mortality and morbidity than the general population. Yet, Canada remains without national anti-poverty, affordable housing, and homelessness strategies, thus, the crisis persists. The current federal government housing and homelessness strategies may not be the best solutions to prevent and end housing insecurity and homelessness. What is required is the adoption of “A Critical Approach to Canadian Housing Insecurity and Homelessness as Informed by Political Economy and Social Determinants Of Health” that takes into account the broader economic, political, social, and cultural factors that shape housing insecurity, homelessness and health inequities. In the long term, this should prove to be a more promising policy approach to the housing insecurity and homelessness issue.