Consultations within Canada’s federal poverty reduction strategy can count an impressive and sensible report from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities among the front rank of contributions they have seen. For us it worked pretty well as summer reading material, too!
Ending poverty starts locally. Municipal recommendations for a Canadian poverty reduction strategy
fcm.ca (17 page .pdf file)
Ontario-based housing advocates have gifted us a little something to focus on amidst the neoliberal noise generated by the current election. The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario recently decided to look into Canadian attitudes to affordable housing. It seems over half of us would support a strong national affordable housing policy financed with as much as two billion dollars a year. That would be amazing.
Over half of Canadians would support a political party that makes affordable housing a priority, new poll finds
press release with links via marketwired.com
image: Kevan via Flickr/CC
They say trust is the most important single thing in any economy, more than precious metals, cash, land, technology …anything really. A trust also can be an actual financial mechanism and here we see a nice example from the US and Britain. Community land trusts offer a tool for keeping people in neighbourhoods they are attached to but cannot afford due to wild price increases. The idea is to keep balance in urban areas where working people would like to stay but cannot afford, or even find, appropriate homes especially when they are ready to have a family. CLTs work, it seems, by detaching property from price speculation by individuals. What a wildly fantastical notion! The idea that a house is a thing you own and represents your relationship to a place as if you cared about it for some reason other than the fantastic amount of dollars or pounds you think you might pocket down the road. Surely this kind of thing will grow and help us keep cities balanced places. We wish this would catch on in Canada! If this intrigues you read on…
A revolution in affordable housing Guardian
For reasons best left undescribed, an employer had us take a Hummer H2 to a gas station for them one time. Said beast swallowed nearly $100 worth of gas like we do a mouthful of Red Stripe lager. The creepy, techno-cave of an interior was acre-upon-acre of cheap grey GM plastic. Pure materialism. Imagine then our shock when we came across the idea of using Hummer bodies as the raw material for prefab housing units. …if life on the perimeter is to be salvaged at all this might just be the kind of creative thinking and resource recycling we’re going to need.
A Better Use For Hummers: Prefab Modular Housing | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World
According to a recent report by Rowan University and Fair Share Housing Center suburban rental affordability in New Jersey was better in 1970 than today. That’s so long ago it might as well be 1870!
Report blames zoning laws for lack of affordable housing in New Jersey