Social Housing

35 Years On

The housing crisis in Toronto brings into stark relief a fundamental quandary. As house prices skyrocket, we have hit a new low with news that, after years of neglect, 1,000 social housing units will...
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Solving Canada's National Housing Crisis Begins At Home

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 12.5 per cent of all Canadian households experience an affordability crisis every day. Let me be clear -- this crisis is not limited to the real estate markets in Toronto and Vancouver. It is endemic and disproportionally affects low income working families, seniors, Indigenous people and recent immigrants. This is a large segment of our population that continually struggles to pay for the necessities of life.
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Canada's Housing Market Crisis Is Your Fault

The first time I heard the line "you're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic" I immediately liked it. People tend to ignore their participation and impact on a situation and often believe things are happening to them, not because of them. I wanted to explore this concept as it applies to the Canadian real estate, specifically the Vancouver and Toronto metro area housing markets.
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Social Housing Emergencies Show Vulnerable Tenants Need Support

Social housing communities are increasingly home to the most vulnerable members of our communities. The private rental market has left many renters behind, meaning that for families fleeing domestic violence, individuals wrestling with mental health and addictions challenges, and aging seniors on fixed incomes, social housing may be the only available option. It's become clear that both the public and the government now expect social housing providers to go above and beyond their traditional role as landlords, to assist at-risk tenants.
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Why Rich and Poor Neighbours Don't Get Along

The main obstacle to social mixing is that humans are tribal. We're also hypocrites. While I chastised the insensitive building manager, I also want my immediate neighbours to be like me. Before I moved into my last place I had the choice between a bigger apartment in a "sketchier" building or a smaller place in a building with tenants who were also in their late 20s with steady jobs. You can guess where I ended up. The human instinct to favour the familiar exists in all people. Its the job of good policy to help us overcome our tendency to discriminate.
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Affordable Housing Isn't Even on the Ontario Election Radar - Why?

Over the past four weeks, pundits, parties and candidates in the Ontario race have talked everything from jobs to transit to past scandals and old grievances. There's one issue, though, that they've been silent on: affordable housing. By ignoring housing, all three major parties have abandoned the primary need of the most vulnerable residents in our communities. Instead, Wynne, Hudak and Horwath have focused on jobs, gridlock and rebuilding Ontario's economy without recognizing that affordable housing is a key part of the solution to each of those problems.

Will Canada's Premiers Tackle Housing?

The premiers have a tough job this week. They have to choose which pressing issue will be discussed, debated and (hopefully) tackled in just three days at the Council of the Federation meeting in Niagara, Ontario. Lead by the Dignity for All Campaign, over 50 organizations from across the country are pushing the premiers to make housing a priority.
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Politicians Get Frank About Homelessness

Leadership races are an important time for a party to define -- or re-define -- itself. I have had a chance to talk to two of the contenders for the federal Liberal leadership, former MP Martha Hall-Findlay and Ottawa lawyer David Bertschi. It was great to hear that both emphasized the importance of social housing, citing both the business and humanitarian cases for combating homelessness.