Front Burner

Homeless encampments, COVID-19, and Canada's housing crisis

Homeless encampments have grown across Canada during the pandemic. Today on Front Burner, we take you to one encampment in Toronto. We also talk to Leilani Farha, former UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, about why she sees their growth as an opportunity for lasting change to Canada’s housing crisis.
Derrick Black, a resident of the Moss Park encampment in downtown Toronto, is one of more than a dozen encampment residents suing the city for the right to stay in the parks unless they are provided with long-term housing. (Allie Jaynes/CBC)

Since the start of the pandemic, homeless encampments have multiplied in parks across Canada. City officials are worried about safety and sanitation, and as a result, many have tried to dismantle such camps, with varying degrees of success. That's because some residents are fighting for their right to stay.

Today on Front Burner, you'll meet residents of one encampment in Toronto. And Leilani Farha, former UN special rapporteur on the right to housing and global director of the housing advocacy organization The Shift, talks to host Josh Bloch about the complexities of dealing with encampments, and why she thinks there's an opportunity now to make lasting change to Canada's housing crisis. 

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