Affordable Housing and the National Strategy


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This show is part 2 to the previous show on Affordable Housing and Homelessness about the landscape of affordable housing and homelessness in Canada and some of the policy responses taking place from all levels of government and community organizations. It comes as no surprise that the nation has a housing crisis in shortage of social and affordable housing and homelessness across the country, is on the rise. The costs of living in cities across Canada for not just shelter but other necessities, are increasing even as the incomes and social mobility for low, and even middle-income Canadians have been stagnant or declining – creating a severe affordability squeeze. Issues of crumbling public housing, and abandoned Indigenous housing on reserves as well as rising rates of homelessness has caused the issue of affordable housing to come into the spotlight

This past month, the Federal Government announced their long-awaited National Housing Strategy to try to address some of these issues – which drew some mixed reviews. The strategy has the ambitious goal of ultimately reducing chronic homelessness by half within the next 10 years, and part of that involves spending $2.2-billion on a revamped federal homelessness program to launch in the spring of 2019. The strategy also took a human rights-based approach calling housing that is safe and affordable something that all Canadians deserve.

Further, the federal government launched a jointly funded $4-billion Canada Housing Benefit of about $2,500 per year to each qualifying household. To be launched in 2020, the benefit will be provided directly to families and individuals in housing need, including those currently living in social housing, those on a social housing wait-list and those housed in the private market but struggling to make ends meet.

Our guests each give their take on how they are working to address the crisis in affordable housing and homelessness, as well as their thoughts on the National Housing Strategy.

David Hulchanski is a professor of housing and community development and since 1997 holds the Faculty’s endowed chair in housing, the Dr. Chow Yei Ching Chair in Housing. He served as the director of the Centre for Urban and Community Studies from 2000 to 2008. His PhD is in the social and community aspects of urban planning. In the 1980’s he was a professor of community planning at the University of British Columbia and director of the UBC Centre for Human Settlements.  He is a former North American editor of the journal Housing Studies. Professor Hulchanski’s research and teaching is focused on housing need, homelessness, neighbourhoods, community development, and social and economic rights. He teaches courses on housing, homelessness, community development, and a PhD seminar on research design and the conceptual framing of research.

“Charter of rights and freedoms is silent on social and economic rights. Health is a recognized right by Canadians but so is housing. The fact is that we do have the right to housing it just has to be implemented.” – David Hulchanski

Janet Mason is a Professor of Policy in Action at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. She joined the school from the Ontario Public Service, where her career spanned more than three decades and included roles as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Cabinet Office and Training Colleges and Universities. In 2015, Janet was appointed to Mayor John Tory’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing Corporation to offer advice on “how to strengthen and support the delivery of housing to its residents, now and in the future.” Over the course of the year, the Task Force heard from over 1,000 tenants and community members, almost 100 different stakeholder groups, officials from the City, the Province and Federal governments, and housing experts from Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The final report was tabled in January 2016 includes a total of 29 recommendations directed at the City, the Province, the Federal government and TCHC on a range of issues

“What cities really need are better partners from senior levels of government to set up programs that are sustained over long periods of time, rather than money dribbled out in portions over time.” – Janet Mason


Katerina Kalenteridis, Host, Senior Producer, Technical Producer
Kevin Hempstead, Technical Producer
Mary Shin,
Technical Producer
Mitchell Thibault, Lead Social Media Director
Leanna Mora,
Executive Producer


Music Credits
Not Dead 
by Fine Times
Can’t Leave the Night by Badbadnotgood
It’s a Beautiful Day
by Michael Buble


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