Housing for All
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities says that everyone has the right to choose where they live and who they live with. The PEI Government must make sure that these rights are guaranteed in all of its policies and plans.
Members of PEI People First have been involved in the Fight for Affordable Housing from the beginning. People First is a self-advocacy group that sticks up for the rights of adults with intellectual disabilities and creates awareness of the issues they face. The group has been active in communities across Prince Edward Island for more than 25 years.
People First members say: “We don’t need any more group homes built. People with intellectual disabilities never asked for group homes and they didn’t ask to be isolated or separated from everyone else in the community. These places have been created for us. We want to live like everyone else, in apartments and houses in our communities – independently, with whatever supports we may need.”
We know that people with disabilities experience poverty at much higher rates than the rest of the population. Many live on very small incomes and can’t afford to pay the rents which landlords are asking for.
People with disabilities are more likely to get stuck in institutions or other places where they do not have freedom or privacy. And they have no independence or dignity.
This situation has existed for years – and has been growing worse over time.
“Sometimes we have to live in rooming houses where there is no privacy, no dignity, and the rent is still high” People First member
Living in poverty affects peoples’ health and everything else. Statistics Canada’s numbers show that most people living on a low income in PEI are single.
Yet, public housing is not available to people – including those with intellectual disabilities – who are single or living as a couple. That’s because the PEI government’s policy puts seniors and families with children at the top of the list for public housing. This must change.
The government needs to build more social housing in Island communities. Social housing means apartments that are owned by the government or non-profit groups, with rents-geared-to-income.
- Government policies that allow everyone, whether or not they have a disability, to choose where they live.
- Every person has privacy and dignity in their own home.
- No more people with intellectual disabilities automatically placed in group homes.
- People with disabilities are not forced to live in institutions such as nursing homes and hospitals.
- The PEI Government’s policy for public housing includes everyone, including single people and people with intellectual disabilities.
- More public housing in Prince Edward Island, available to everybody!