Fighting reality usually makes its negative aspects worse. Yet, who doesn’t find the idea of a detached home with a few trees and some other bits of greenery surrounding it seductive? It does seem that the reality around that is way ahead of what just may be our biggest commonly held desire. Funnily enough, when reading Matt Elliot’s piece addressing our housing reality in today’s Metro banner ads popped up featuring a nice three-storey with big trees either side.
Why we should give up on the detached home dream.
Housing deserves a broader conversation. One that recognizes that Toronto must continue to move past its suburban roots
image: Bryan Siders via Flickr/CC
Spending a third of your income on housing is generally considered a reasonable proposition. The idea is to have money available for other forms of consumption, like healthy food primarily, while allowing for some resources to support other needs such as moderate savings or recreational activities. Does that sound like too much to ask for in a country like Canada, doubly so in its largest connurbation? Not to us, but a recent feature on cbc.ca describes a fairly typical reality in which half or more of a person’s income goes to the rent. This pressure is a major part of what constitutes precarious housing, along with issues of security and good repair.
Precarious housing means thousands may live on the brink of homelessness. 136K households pay more than 50% of income on rent, utilities
Rent asunder: Landlords using evictions, hikes to circumvent rent control, Toronto tenants say. A growing number of tenants say their landlords are forcing them out to charge higher rent, according to data from Ontario’s rental-dispute board. Jeff Gray and Tom Cardoso investigate
The ways we build cities and keep ourselves housed should reflect our stable, rational, well-centred selves. In other words, they should be an expression of us as sensible, grown up people participating in a balanced and healthy civilization that downplays the greed. No?
Tax overseas speculators:
Speculative activity in Toronto worse than we thought: TD
bnn.com (video 6:31)
Encourage the builders and developers to serve us all:
Why real estate developers are ignoring the middle class, and why some industry leaders worry ‘it will come back to haunt us’
Image: Sarah Joy via Flickr/CC
A series on the expiration of suburbia has just started up on Business Insider. What if all the complexity we have insisted upon is just not manageable? All those complicated roofs just not repairable?
Image: jahansell via Flickr/CC
Residential buildings for Canada’s working people don’t appear to be much like fine wines when it comes to aging.
This strong piece from The Tyee looks into what kind of shape the places we rent are in. You might be surprised to know just how old most of our apartment structures are. Condition needs to be considered right alongside availability when it comes to the rental stock.
Should old rental buildings be saved — or sacrificed?
A building boom decades ago is still housing half of Canada’s tenants. But time is running out on a generation of apartment buildings
image: Ian Muttoo via Flickr/CC
After having read the recent non-fiction bestseller Evicted we feared no good news about housing could ever come out of Milwaukee barring a full scale miracle. Then we read a little about a sensible undertaking in that US city that seeks to answer to the problem of the ‘missing middle’. Nice.
For more about the types of housing it might behoove North Americans to look into a little more assertively: