How can citizens hold municipalities accountable to council decisions?

Assign an independent Housing Ombudsperson to implement the right to housing in line with the federal commitment to housing as a human right. The Ombudsperson’s work would include monitoring progress in meeting timelines and targets of the 10 Year Plan, reviewing submissions of violations of the right to housing, and giving City Council recommendations to fulfill its human rights obligations. An example is the Housing Commissioner Office in the City of Toronto.

There are power dynamics between the civil servants (city staff) and the councilors. Therefore, it is important to advocate and call for accountability from our elected councilors. We can exercise our approval for decisions by voting, however it is a challenge that this is only every 4 years. Other ways to put pressure on councilors is through deputations and contacting councilors, holding them accountable to the issues that are important to their constituents.

It also takes organizing to effect change, because it is easy to ignore single stories without large community support.

Click here for an example of how organizing can bring social change.

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