Tag Archives: housing

(1290) On the poverty trail

A winter view of the Wentworth Stairs, Hamilton escarpment.

In a balanced community, the trails and parks are major assets.  Greenery and recreation outside are important to so many things, from the development of children to cleaning the air we breathe.  Scenery and recreation are fairly described as necessities.
Something is off when such assets are pressed into use as places to live.  Anyone travelling to Los Angeles lately will have been struck with the scale of urban outdoor living there.  It seems like much of the city has been commandeered by raggedy tents and tarps stretched between poles and sticks to define some privacy for people experiencing socio-economic difficulty.
Such encroachment is problematic in a host of ways.  Safety and hygiene are a challenge for the homeless, to say the least.  Outdoor living in parks and along trails also reduces the pleasure and benefit of such places on the part of others.  It can eliminate that pleasure and benefit completely in some cases.  So, in the best uncomfortable-to-read tradition of this blog we therefore link you to a newspaper item about Hamilton, Ontario.
Hopefully, this issue will receive some sensible amelioration.  Just as the smoke from burning fires in the north seeps across the horizon a sense of psychological uneasiness with the social prospects for Ontario swirls outward as the primal, humid days of Premier Ford’s era unfold.
Hamilton’s ‘out-of-control’ rental market is pushing more homeless to camp out in parks and on streets, advocates say
The Star/Hamilton Spectator on msn.com
image: Colin Payson via Flickr/CC

(1257) Surrey tent city

Who are we kidding?  This country is one of the great headless monsters of neoliberal capitalism.  High priced real estate opportunities and a view of the mountains for some.  Tent city for others.
‘From living to existing’: Tent city doubles in size in BC’s ‘other’ Downtown Eastside. In Surrey, a sprawling tent city is now home to over 130 occupants. The province is finalizing plans to build 150 modular housing units. Will it be enough?
nationalpest.com

 

(1249) Forces at work


Commerce may be the primary purpose of all cities, the thing that makes other aspects of life there possible.  What happens to this relationship when markets are free to gut punch housing seekers at will?  Inequity seems to be shaping life in Canadian cities and this is unfair and unreasonable when it bears comparison to an out of control event, a natural disaster.
Finding rental housing in Abbotsford like ‘searching for the Holy Grail without Indiana Jones’. City has Canada’s tightest rental market, but no sign it will improve this year
abbynews.com
An avalanche of money. An expert on how income disparities are reshaping Canada’s metropolitan areas zeroes in on Vancouver
theglobeandmail.com
image: Tyler Wilson via Flickr/CC

(1232) National housing strategy

A train maybe a little long in arriving is the new federal national housing strategy.  Reaction has been good.  So it should be.  Canadians ought to be the best housed people in the world.
National housing strategy: a place to call home
Government of Canada (link to 40-page .pdf file)
Ottawa to offer direct subsidies to low-income tenants
theglobeandmail.com
Armine Yalnizyan on the national housing strategy
cbc.ca (audio 6:31)
Federal government back with big dollars for housing
thetyee.ca
Canada has opportunity to show human rights leadership with National Housing Strategy
Canada Without Poverty
Caledon Institute welcomes the new National Housing Strategy

(1226) Vancouver: curbing the cost of living there


West Point Grey is out toward University of British Columbia and mostly it embodies the best of things Vancouver has to offer.  Unless you are living there in a van.  Such folk seem to be all over town now.  For the moment, the police are concerned about the phenomenon but there are no plans for a US-style crackdown on van dwellers.  As long as the vehicles remain mobile and nuisances are kept to a minimum it appears that this improvised manner of living is set to take hold.  Why?  Vancouver always had its share of social difficulty.  After all, it’s comparatively mild, and it is literally the end of the road in Canada.  Now it is also stupidly expensive for most waged workers.  Small wonder, really.
Car-dwellers rising: life on the curb of Canada’s most expensive city
cbc.ca/news
See also: (338) Globe on hacking housing crisis in van
image: A Kwanten via Flickr/CC