'Affordable and accessible': London MP puts forth motion to help those with non-visible disabilities secure housing
As an adult living with autism, Yvonne Spicer finds it nearly impossible to secure a place of her own.
“If I wasn't living with my mom, I'd be on the street, and I've been there before,” said Spicer, who is currently living with her mom in the west end of London, Ont.
Spicer has high-functioning autism, and is currently looking for work.
Like tens of thousands of other Ontarians with non-visible disabilities, she faces barriers in securing not only a job but a safe place to live.
“Ten years ago when I lived on my own, I only got $800 [per month] on a disability,” she said. “It’s important that people are being heard when it comes to having a place that is affordable, accessible, and no barriers in the way of finding housing.”
Autistic Londoner Yvonne Spicer shows off her book 'My Life, My Choice, My Future.' The book is her story of living with a disability. (Jim Knight/CTV News London)On March 20, London West MP Arielle Kayabaga, presented the second reading on her motion M-59, a Federal Framework on Housing for Individuals with Non-Visible Disabilities.
M-59 has four main considerations:
- (a) Consider the presence of an expert on persons with visible and non-visible disabilities to the National Housing Council, and that the expert provides advice to the ministers on the application of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) to persons with disabilities
- (b) Consider amending section 4 (Housing Policy Declaration) of the National Housing Strategy Act to include a recognition of the additional barriers to housing faced by persons with disabilities
- (c) Prioritize the creation and repair of accessible units through NHS programs
- (d) Ensure that the right to adequate housing is applied equitably across all vulnerable populations, specifically persons with disabilities, both mobility and other
London West MP Arielle Kayabaga presented the second reading of motion M-59 in the House of Commons on March 20, 2023. (Supplied)“What this motion really intends to do is to restructure that non-visible disability into the conversation of housing and making sure that housing for them is equally a right and something that they can access,” said Kayabaga. “Disability should not be a barrier to obtaining housing and maintaining a safe house that meets accessibility needs.”
Spicer has written what she calls an “empowering” book on her life living with a disability, and she is hoping this motion is approved Wednesday in the House of Commons.
It would give a voice to people like her. However, it if isn’t passed, she'll keep up the fight.
“We will keep writing letters so that these kind of things come to reality and fruition,” said Spicer.
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