Federal Housing Advocate Marie-Josee Houle said taxpayers should hire free lawyers for tenants facing eviction, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. “All landlords are property owners,” said Houle in a report. “Most wield much greater economic, social and political capital than their tenant.”Houle said most landlords “benefit from societal norms that tend to position property owners as being more desirable citizens than those who do not own property.”In response, she proposed tenants facing eviction be entitled to free lawyers. With evictions, she said they must be used as a last resort and must not render tenants homeless. “Any eviction that does so is considered a ‘gross violation’ of the human right to housing,” she said. The Canadian government enshrined a right to adequate housing in federal law in 2019. The right to adequate housing was not legally defined. When people are evicted, she said it “cuts to the heart of security of tenure and unleashes far-reaching harms for tenants including the destruction of relationships, disruption of schooling and employment and negative physical and mental health resources.” In the most severe cases, she said eviction can lead to homelessness. Houle was appointed the Federal Housing Advocate at $176,000 per year in 2022. She said at a House of Commons Human Resources Committee meeting in May it was her job to be a watchdog for housing and homelessness in Canada. “My position is independent and non-partisan,” she said. “This is new territory for all of us.”Houle said in a report in 2022 homeless people occupying tent cities are exercising their rights. READ MORE: Federal Housing Advocate says tent city occupiers have right to campsShe argued tent city residents are rights holders, there should be a ban on evicting people from tent cities, and they should be able to access free legal advice. “Those who are forced to rely on encampments as their home are not only experiencing human rights violations as a result of failed state actions and policies, but are also claiming their right to housing,” she said.