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.
I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]
Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]
We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie and Norry Wilson. So, we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]
Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]
Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land. Or a vertical build-out that […]
Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice, the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]