There is a shortage of quality social and affordable housing in most Western nations. Based on pre Coronavirus statistics, there are 35,000 homeless Canadians on any given night. This does not account for the approximately 50,000 couch surfers. In Canada , over 235,000 individuals experience homelessness every year. 200,000 of these use homeless shelters. The chronically homeless total 8,000 nationwide.
There is nothing I fear more than being homeless again. I grew up in a household of fear, and have survived several forms of abuse. I have been addicted to opiates. I have been incarcerated. I have had to fight for my literal survival on a lot of different occasions. I have hitchhiked across America, and lost everyone I loved at one point. My life has had more than a fair share of frightening moments, but nothing scares me nearly as much as homelessness(LeBlanc, 2015, p. 96).
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”) has programs to support the development and maintenance of affordable housing. Requirements include:
The 2018 median household income in Montreal was $92,990.Therefore annual rents of $27,900 or $2,325 per month qualify as affordable. Incomes in Montreal:
Typical salaries fall $40,000 below the median income of $92,990. How affordable is $27,900 for the 42% earning less than $63,000 pre-tax? How can a percentage of median income be the best indicator of affordability?
The only qualitative definition found comes from the United Kingdom’s Shelter organization . The four key elements:
Successive national, provincial, and municipal governments have good intentions. However, eliminating homelessness and providing good, safe, affordable housing is complex. In this issue I have:
In my next issue on the subject, I will look at Vienna, Austria. It has the best rated social housing system in the world. Then, I will consider ways to improve the supply of quality social and affordable housing.
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People living on the street have come to symbolize the global housing crisis but they are only the tip of the iceberg. While the examples of Finland and Houston demonstrate a focussed plan pursued diligently can resolve the housing situation for the chronically homeless, addressing the affordable housing problem is much more complex. Defining Affordability […]
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