Toronto’s affordable housing myth

Plus, a long road back for the U.S. after Trump, police unions defending bad cops and Star Trek: Discovery disappoints in reader mail this week

Building condos, not communities

Affordable housing is a myth (NOW, November 5-11). My rent is 50 per cent of my income. As a single mother of two, the financial struggle is an everyday reality. What happened to co-op housing? I don’t understand why there are not more co-ops. Some people get a subsidy and some people pay market rent but everyone contributes to the building as a member. 

I work downtown and see an endless supply of condos being built for no one. They’re blocking the sunlight and making the city grey. These places are not building communities. They are full of university students who are more interested in getting a degree and moving on. Meanwhile, we are told to wait for 3,900 affordable units coming soon. I did not bother to put myself on the waiting list of 110,000. My kids will be adults by the time I receive any help. 

Lisa Bourcier – From

Who is affordable housing for?

Re The Big Affordable Housing Lie is a well-written and comprehensive article on the challenges that governments face in creating programs and policies that can be available for everyone. 

In the GTA, with price points in the realms they currently are, government initiatives are just not applicable. The best and most recent example is the First Time Home Buyer Incentive launched by CMHC. The ceiling it sets means that you are not able to access that program for any property in the GTA. It raises the question – who did they create this program for? It certainly is not Southern Ontario. Until policymakers take the price points of our region into consideration this will continue. 

Jerome Trail – From

Commercial space could be converted to affordable housing

Thanks to COVID we may well see thousands of square feet of commercial office space sitting empty in the GTA as businesses go bankrupt or embrace online work. Could some of this space be converted to a mix of affordable and for-profit housing? Unfortunately, the Ford government seems unlikely to build new affordable housing stock in a timely manner and the pandemic, as your article demonstrates, has only exacerbated this need. I recognize there are many steps along the way but why not investigate using the available real estate?

John D. Houston – From

A long road back for America post-Trump

Thanks to Norman Wilner for a well-written piece expressing all the opinions and emotions of most of us following U.S. politics for the past four years (NOW Online, November 4). He has written a clear and precise picture of what is happening and what we are experiencing. And while many are happy to see Joe Biden win, it’s downright depressing to think that half of America is fine with Trump’s view of the world. It’s a long road back.

Anita Turcotte – From

Police unions pay lip-service to reform

I am all in favour of unions providing protection and a voice to the people who would otherwise be at the mercy of unscrupulous employers. But when unions devote their time, energy and money to supporting police officers who have breached the most fundamental basics of their jobs, as in the beating of Dafonte Miller (NOW Online, November 7), I fail to understand how their position can possibly be justified.

Do the basics of social justice, rule of law and human decency not even get paid lip service anymore? As societies, much of our world seems to be devolving back into the worst versions of our uncivilized past with too few people noticing or mourning the trend.

June Brady – From

Underutilized CNE offers space for homeless

A 100-bed shelter in the Better Living Centre (NOW Online, November 6) is a wonderful repurposing of underused public space. There are many other similar spaces on the CNE grounds that should be used should the need arise.

Joel Roher – From

Star Trek: Discovery disappoints

I am severely disappointed with this season of Star Trek: Discovery (NOW Online, October 15). Practically every scene is an overly emotional drawn out narrative. 

RK – From

Comments (1)

  • Kian November 15, 2020 10:34 PM

    For most individuals, the cost of housing easily eats up half or more of your monthly net income. This is rapidly killing the Canadian middle class. Canadas real estate is an open playground for the wealthy, who come in as “students”. Oppose any universities or colleges being built in your cities.

    Of course, no politician will touch this issue with a 10 foot pole, as they don’t want to look like xenophobes. RIP middle class.

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