The financialization of housing, according to the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission, “occurs when housing is treated as a commodity—a vehicle for wealth and investment—rather than a social good.” Admittedly, the subject sounds as dry as month-old toast, but it is critical to understanding why, in a society as wealthy as ours, so many people cannot afford an appropriate place to call home.
There is a huge gap between student housing supply and demand in the greater Toronto area. In the absence of adequate residences, many students result to living in dubious, downright dangerous or illegal conditions; or they pay a very high price—whether it is on the private market or for a university residence. HOUSE (Housing Ontario University Students Equitably) intends to change things by setting up affordable non-profit housing projects for students, first in Toronto and then in various Ontario cities.
For a 145-year-old organization, it takes courage and a little humility to begin a process of profound self-examination. Accueil Bonneau, an iconic Québec organization in the fight against homelessness, has taken this path to aid in achieving its ultimate goal: ending chronic homelessness in Montréal.
For people with disabilities, “accessibility” means much more than a ramp or an elevator. From countertops to bathroom doors, most lodging fails to take their needs into consideration and finding affordable, adapted housing is the biggest barrier of them all. One Québec City group is working to tear down that wall with a housing inventory, an outreach campaign and by incentivizing builders to embrace “inclusive design” standards.
Phase 2 of the Federal Community Housing Initiative expands eligibility and commits $118.2 million towards rental assistance for low-income households and for community-housing providers.
The Centre’s commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is something close to our hearts. It is enshrined among our key priorities, and it is reflected in our support of initiatives that address the housing needs of Indigenous communities.
Women and gender-diverse people often experience homelessness in a way that leaves them both undercounted and underrepresented in the search for solutions. And the leading cause, a new survey indicates, is relationship break-ups that push them and their children into housing precarity.
Tenants in two Quebec regions are using the power of podcasts to reach out to their fellow renters — and the public — to inform them about their rights and about the role of social and community housing in providing affordable and accessible places to live. With four episodes already aired, Nos voix pour des toits is empowering tenants and giving them an important voice.
The appointment of Ahmed Hussen as Minister of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion gives us hope in the federal government’s aspiration to make a difference. But what exactly does that mean? Stakeholders involved in the community-housing sector, including the Centre’s executive director, Stéphan Corriveau, and independent consultant Steve Pomeroy reflect on the implications of the change.