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.
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.
A draft policy document has been released by the City of Mississauga regarding housing affordability. Basically, the middle class can’t handle it here any more, at least not via wages alone.
Not expecting this to become a big spend ticket soon and even a reasonably well off municipality cannot go it alone on the affordable housing file. Thing is, those middle class workers presumably still have some role to play in the economy. If they aren’t going to be hard pressed, stressed out and even driven off by the cost of housing then something will have to be done.
Nearly a week was required just to get a basic description together of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005. Assessing Hurricane Harvey won’t be any easier. If Katrina is the template we know that lower income and racialized groups will be bearing the brunt of this, big time.
An item from Thursday’s Washington Post is a good starting point regarding this multi-layered event and its consequences.
Housing has been an issue in Peel Region, this blog’s home ground, for decades. Waiting lists are long and there are issues with building condition. Money from the province of Ontario is no doubt going to be welcome. This article raises the question of distribution as Toronto appears to have been allocated much of the anticipated funding, with Peel and other places less firmly mentioned. Peel Living, a social housing provider, is the Greater Toronto Area’s number three housing agency.
A seven times Pulitzer prize winning media outlet with a mandate rooted in Christian values ought to have a less shallow take on young people living in motor vehicles, no?
Or, is that asking too much? We get it, that people can live in something other than a detached house for a stretch, that life is an adventure and a little creativity can maybe go a long way. Odd circumstances are not necessarily a sign harm is being done. But, this piece is, well, read it for yourself and trust your instincts.