Tag Archives: housing

(1155) Grenfell


Here are two thoughtful pieces regarding the atrocious fire in a tower block in London on the 15th.  We can’t help but feel that London’s economic regime, aided and abetted by public policy, produced this fire.  People in authority need to go to jail.
Already there are several clear lines of responsibility leading to both government and business which indicate the fire would have been prevented had some fairly moderate things been tended to.   Unfortunately, the neoliberal economic regime in the UK is a beast now quite skilled at defending itself from acquiring responsibility for disasters of every kind from questionable privatization drives to botched wars.
UK public money is available for wars in the Middle East, for surveillance programs run by intelligence agencies, and extensive agricultural subsidies.  The local government body  responsible for the building recently handed out a property tax rebate and is one of the wealthiest in Britain with large amounts of money on hand.  Real property in London represents a vast and profitable churn of billions of pounds yearly and social housing has been a component of that for many years.  Why so little for the Grenfell’s residents?
We’ll see over the next few years if eighty or more lives are enough to change things.
Christian Wolmar: tower tragedy must mark turning point for council cuts
labourlist.org
Grenfell is a shameful symbol of a state that didn’t care
theguardian.com
(755) Towers for the better
(485) Highrise hell [report]
(321) Rising high

(83) 1 Millionth Tower
(61) Flemo!
image: ChiralJon via Flickr/CC

(1147) Kushner Estates


Baltimore, MD. Out near I-695,  just a stone’s throw from Golden Ring Plaza, a bad landlord plies his trade.  Excellent work, Jared.
The beleaguered tenants of ‘Kushnerville’. Tenants in more than a dozen Baltimore-area rental complexes complain about a property owner who they say leaves their homes in disrepair, humiliates late-paying renters and often sues them when they try to move out. Few of them know that their landlord is the president’s son-in-law
propublica.org
image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr/CC

(1119) 5 signs of real estate mania

You know you are in a bubble when you are completely surrounded by people totally convinced you aren’t in a bubble.  Things seemed to be heating up in the late 1980s, but that’s nearly a generation ago now…
How Canada completely lost its mind over real estate
Canada’s totally out-of-control real estate market has now gone completely mad – and there’s no turning back
macleans.ca
(video 1:46 & numerous links)

Who’s to blame for Toronto’s housing crisis? This is a government policy problem. Taxes won’t fix this
ipolitics.ca

image: Correy Dantzler via Flickr/CC

(1112) Housing reality in the GTA


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

(1106) Precarious housing in the GTA


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
cbc.ca/news
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
theglobeandmail.com

(1104) How to house


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’
thetyee.ca
Image: Sarah Joy via Flickr/CC