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Ensuring that where children and youth live is a place that feels like home forms the most fundamental unit of child and youth friendly communities. Children and youth need a positive environment for their living space – both indoors and outdoors- designed with their safety, comfort and developmental needs in mind.


Many of the factors contributing to child development and well-being are complex and interrelated. For example, housing that is unaffordable can adversely affect a family’s ability to provide the basic necessities, thus directly impacting children’s well-being, and potentially increasing the likelihood of frequent moves, crowding, or homelessness. Another example is how the lack of adequate space could influence parental practices, such as increasing stress when children spend most of their time indoors under parental supervision, or children not having sufficient space to study or be alone impacting their educational outcomes and social well-being.


Housing should be developed with the goal of long-term residency, be adaptable to change as children and youth grow older, provide adequate space for the needs of families, and consider affordability. Key design factors for making a home child and youth friendly depend on the age of the child and the type of dwelling. Younger children require materials and design on a child friendly scale, while older children and youth have a greater need for separate space and privacy. In multi-unit dwellings, shared spaces need to be suitable for children of all ages, as well as adults and seniors. Additionally, planning housing for families with children should also consider their proximity to family friendly amenities.



Article 3 is about what is best for children

Adults should always make a decision by considering what is in the best interest of the child.


Article 12 is about the views of the child

Children and young people have a right to participate in all matters affecting them, and those views should be given due weight “in accordance with the age and maturity of the child”.


Article 27 provides for the basic needs of life.

Children and youth have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means they should have food, clothes and a place to live.



On the topic of affordability

"[Municipalities are trying to do what they can but] they can’t be the answer- they are between a rock and a hard place. The federal government is out of the picture- it only provides limited seed funding.”


~  Margaret Eberle, Principal, Eberle Planning and Research


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