Presentation on the Pan-Canadian Women’s Housing & Homelessness Survey

June 7, 2022

At the 2021 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, the WNHHN presented the findings of our Pan-Canadian survey

Watch it here:


The WNHHN presented the Pan-Canadian Women’s Housing and Homelessness Survey as a panel presentation diving into the implications the findings could have on policy. The panel discussed the largest mixed-methods survey on women’s homelessness in Canada at the 2021 National Conference on Ending Homelessness.

Questions posed and answered in the presentation include:

  • What are the key housing challenges facing women and gender diverse peoples, and what skills and resources do these groups use to navigate these difficulties?
  • What housing rights violations are being experiences by women, girls, and gender diverse people?
  • How do public systems contribute to, and correlate with, housing instability and homelessness in the lives of women and gender diverse people?
  • What policy and practice change is needed to effectively address homelessness and housing need for women, girls, and gender diverse people?

Women experience disproportionate levels of core-housing need and are one of the fastest growing subgroups of homeless persons in Canada, facing a myriad of physical, psychological, and social harms (CMHC, 2019). There is a severe lack of affordable housing to meet the needs of diverse women, exacerbated by intersecting forms of discrimination and system-driven inequities that keep particular subgroups of women trapped in poverty and abuse. In the midst of few housing options, many are forced into situations of hidden homelessness, placing this group at risk of violence and often rendering their needs invisible to mainstream systems (Schwan et al., 2020). Despite these disproportionate housing challenges, there continues to be gaps in understandings about the scale and scope of homelessness and housing precarity amongst women and gender diverse people.


In the wake of this crisis, the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network conducted the first pan-Canadian survey on women’s homelessness and housing need in Canada (n=500). This presentation will discuss the key findings of this mixed-methods survey, providing a national portrait of the housing challenges faced by these groups.

Demonstrating the devastating consequences of a male-centric approach to homelessness, this presentation will highlight what it means to apply a GBA+, trauma-informed, human rights-based lens to policy design, policymaking, and program and service delivery.

Learn more here