Surely few will argue that poverty comes cheap. Poverty is a master issue found to amplify nearly all other forms of social difficulty from tooth decay to car accidents and much worse things like cancer and house fires. Public sector finances are merely the first, strongest indicator of the cost of poverty. In the case of Great Britain this effect is captured only too well in the new report at the link below. Serious stuff. Seventy-eight billion pounds worth.
Counting the cost of UK poverty
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (92-page .pdf file)
If you are looking for US data, and perhaps some insight into Canadian trends, this page from Strong Towns will help. Seriously, bookmark this site.
image: Vincent via Flickr/CC
At one time, you could be forgiven for thinking of homelessness as mainly about men living rough and drinking. By the 1980s the definition of homelessness was clearly more complex. It seems just about anyone is at risk, including in Toronto in 2016, pregnant women.
Homeless and pregnant in Toronto: one woman tells her story. About 120 homeless women give birth in Toronto every year. The challenge is how to help them
Counterfactual propositions are most times best avoided. We all are hungry for glimpses of the future, sure. That part is okay. There’s just too much risk of distraction in many a creative “what if” scenario, too much room for wild swings of positive or negative projection. Let’s make an exception today for this dystopic reflection on an imagined socioeconomic existence for Vancouver, BC. Yikes! This can’t be a future anybody wants a part of.
How Vancouver’s housing segregation became policy: a 2040 look back. Decades from now, researchers reflect with shock, pity on what led to creation of regional, economically unequal ‘bantustans’
image: via basementgeographer.com – CC
A US study finds tactical, one-time cash assistance in the amount of $1000 has a really good influence on the lives of those about to tip into homelessness. Even the crudest cost/benefit analysis of keeping one person out of homelessness, let alone many, ought to reveal the good common sense of this kind of social spending. An ounce of prevention…
image: duncan c via Flickr/CC
Nobody seems to be an expert when it comes to calling the relative burstiness of Canada’s housing bubble. And what a bubble it’s been! Pretty much all of us can agree, however, that the bubble has a harmful side now. The cost of acquiring and carrying real estate departed the company of Canadian wages a generation ago in Toronto and Vancouver. Rents have been forced up by the bubble, reinforcing the generalized prejudice of not owning what you live in. Overseas investors are amping up prices and eating supply. What is to be done? Some of us remain partial to real estate as a money machine and others are fed up with a machine that seems to exclude them.
image: Bill Ward via Flickr/CC