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Lets talk about low income housing for a bit. I've been looking at rental prices in Canada. But I also notice all our rental buildings are all 40 years old they all look like they were built in the70's. And all the new housing is pricey condos and big houses. So where is the new low income housing in Canada? Another thing I know in Calgary our city regulates rentals such that certain neighbourhoods the home owners are not allowed to rent to people and this further pushes our rental prices up? What do you guys think about the low income housing problem particularly in Canada? This makes it hard for students, young workers and new Canadians.

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  • lol i'm talking about real life. Yes but I heard something about that in real life as well creating modular homes out of old intermodel containers. Does your country subsidize low income housing? I also notice in SimCity 4 I have problems making low income only areas. it seems like high wealth demand is always satisfied first does this relate to real cities doing this? trying to regulate out low income housing? I also wonder what the future interest rate hikes will do to renters? as most renters are currently paying their landlord's mortgages, they lack the down payment necessary to take advantage of low interest rates to get their own mortgage. In Canada our most expensive city is Vancouver it also has the severest homeless problem in Canada.

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    I live in England in LIttlehampton which has a high homeless/unemployment rate. 21 per cent of children here live in poverty apparently according to the homeless charity I volunteer for. (well for a plant nursery they own)

     

    I think this is a systemic issue in most developed nations. So many factors are involved but one thing certainly seems to come to mind and that is that surely the government would consider it an investment in the future, not a bandaid on the present, to construct more low income housing of a quality, if simple, nature. Housing doesn't have to be fancy to be of good quality. If everyone had at least a simple wooden shed to live in at least they'd have an address and could legally look for jobs etc.

     

    Basic heating/water supply/sewage etc may be expensive, but really I don't think there is much excuse for not doing something, especially as apprently we've enough to construct a folly of a 50 billion pound high speed rail network which merely reduces travel time between London-Birmingham by half an hour or so. That 50 billion could easily construct new infrastructure for low income neighbourhoods.

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  • no the high speed rail is good. I'm just wondering at the fact that the government through the central bank funds the building of all these nice homes and big condos, Toronto is going through a condo boom. Yes low interest rates help middle class people but a lot of other folks cannot afford a down payment so as rents go up other people should be provided with affordable housing. As interest rates go up I wonder if this will increase rents thus further increasing the need for affordable housing. As interest rates have been on a steady decline since the 80's and most rental apartments look like they were built in a high interest rate environment. I understand owning a home is good, but there are still a lot of people in Canada who cannot attain that no matter how low interest rates. And people complain about land value depreciation due to low income housing, but homeless depreciate the land value just as much if not more. But yes Britain is same the populations are still increasing in the west yet our economies are not expanding at the same rate in fact I think our economies are getting worse. And in Alberta we just got another 1 million people in the last 10 years, and I know Britain population is up to about 80 million and still increasing. The government has no choice but to build more housing.    

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    The problem stems from the growing divide in the population between the haves and the have nots.  I live in "subsidized" housing without the subsidy because I don't need it, but it is an apartment complex for seniors.  No kids.  And you have to be at least 55 to get a place here.  And yes, I am eligible because I make less than $20K per annum.  Life sometimes gives you a shower of lemons.

     

    Low income student rentals are very difficult in cities, especially university towns where the students are seen as a bonanza.  Some of us know differently, as many post-secondary students are living on borrowed money (student loans) and barely have enough to stay at school and survive.

     

    The University of Western Ontario kicked all second year and up students out of residence when my son was a student there in order to guarantee residence to all first year students.  This put a serious crimp in the life-style of many students and ran their expenses up dramatically.

     

    What can be done?  With the present society, not very much.

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  • yep I feel for students at UofT or UBC compounded with the troubled job market no wonder why nobody studies philosophy anymore cause they can't afford it. With the increase in gas price and other commodity prices we will need more rental denser housing. People that live on minimum wage can barely afford necessities, but the shareholders of walmart want more profits! but all walmart can do is depress wages more! and the shareholders of the banks and oil companies want more profits! and all they can do is raise commodity prices! yes we are in a bit of a knot.    

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  • oh that is to bad kochan. Ya I want to rent so I can move around the city downtown and stuff, but I may be forced to get a mortgage just because it is cheaper and you own it. Which is good, i'm not struggling financially at all but I do know some people are. I know Britain must be hard it is overcrowded and your economy is not good and Britain isn't even agriculturally self sufficient. I think Britain is considered the worst economy in the developed world.  

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    My son graduated from UWO with a degree in Philosophy then discovered that that and $1,50 would get him a cup of coffee anywhere.  He then took a three-year diploma from a college in Science Laboratory Technology and whadda ya know?  He got a job nursemaiding a production lab on the night shift.

     

    Undergrad degrees in Phil are prerequisite to grad studies like Law and MBA.  Otherwise, you had better have a pretty good minor.

     

    Post secondary education can go a couple of different paths:  into the "professions" with a university degree plus; or into the "trades" with a college diploma and/or an apprenticeship.  The professions are overloaded now thanks to a lot of ambitious parents, and we are starving for good tradesmen who care about their customers and what they are doing.

     

    Low income housing for people who are in entry level jobs should be available, but the housing market isn't oriented to helping people get off the ground any more.  Better live with Mom and Dad until you can save enough for a down payment on your hovel up an alley off Eye Street.  Usually the mortgage payment is less than rent, and you are building equity.

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  • Philosophy tell me about it, I had to change my degree from philosophy to math realizing that studying philosophy was more of a luxury I could not afford, even math is almost not applicable enough, but I did learn a lot and would not have got a different degree if I could do it again. But after schooling for awhile longer I'm now working, but I was looking at rents yesterday and got angry because I want to live downtown. As I like nice tall condo's and living downtown, but I cannot afford that, so I have to move to the burbs. Interesting how the urban areas are becoming more luxurious now when I remember in the 90's it was all about the burbs, and low income housing was mainly in the inner city. And I just got back from Toronto a month ago and I must have seen at least 25 high rise luxury condos under construction. But in Toronto you see a lot of high rise rentals that look like from 70-80's. I just don't remember seeing any new high rise rentals being built. I think some high rise affordable housing projects crime problems have made the gov't scared of building high rise affordable housing. then for instance in Calgary they must start allowing basement suites in the city. I think the U.S. had major problem with high rise public housing and this has caused no more to be built and government in Canada to avoid it as well.

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    I looked at Googlemaps of Toronto and I can see what you're talking about. This is the sort of development I've seen back in the Gong and to a lesser extent here in England. Developers build to sell. We need the government to become a developer.

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    No, Mark.  The government does not belong in any business.  It should be strictly a service organization providing services paid for by taxes such as defence, international relations, and law.

     

    Here is an interesting article on farming in Canada.  Generally speaking, shelter is provided even if it is in a bunkhouse.

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    I see you're one of those people who don't think government and business mix. But I doubt any developer will construct low income housing unless given an incentive, and the government subsidising this development is still an influence on business practice. In Cities XL they have wealth based zones 

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    I'm always kind of shocked when I read about people wo are homeless because they can't afford any type of housing. Here, if you lose your job, the state pays your rent(of course you'll have to downsize a bit), and gives you a good amount of money to allow you to live in dignity (Article 1, Basic Law: Human dignity is inviolable) Not letting the government mix into business is totally market fundamentalist and belongs to nineteenth century england.

    In munich, the capital of the free state of bavaria, any new development must include a certain percentage (25%, I think) of subsidized flats, because housing is rare and expensive.

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    Some homeless persons are homeless by choice.  Interviews with the homeless in Toronto (sorry, some time ago, and I have no cite) showed that some would rather live on the streets and in shelters in bad conditions than be encumbered with a permanent residence.

     

    "The poor we will always have with us."

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    Well I certainly aint such a person. I'm living with my mother and grandfather because I have no choice. I would have been homeless had I not come here from Wollongong as I couldn't continue living with my mad neighbour. To choose to be homeless sounds stupid considering how hard it is to find anything edible in the bush... So far blackberries are the only proper food I've managed to find and they're seasonal. And hereabouts water sources are scarce, the local river is tidal some way inland. Farmers don't appreciate people camping on their fields, and campsites often charge for tents. Being homeless as a lifestyle choice might work in some places, but in England, especially in towns, that is just silly. (and of course our weather, but then again Toronto probably gets pretty cold in winter, and coats, scarves etc exist)

     

    To light a fire you need fuel. Also going to the toilet in public is somewhat frowned upon these days, although gypsies do it. In cities one would think being homeless would be almost logistically impossible purely for this reason. Sources of food tend to be around people, and people dislike middens and piles of excrement heaping up on sidewalks. Fires are also illegal in most places, especially in Summer. 

     

    And nobody appreciates beggars. I don't care if someone is dying of hunger and fifty cents could save them. I'd rather ignore their existence. That's why I hated living in the city. Everyone was always bothering you with their problems. I'm unemployed. Ask someone else.

     

    Besides the government is responsible for our wellbeing. It's not like houses need to be fancy. A shed would do most people fine. Access to resources and utilities outweighs aesthetics and comfort. It's not like the poor are asking for design interiors and landscaped grounds with peacocks

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    There are outfits in this country that look after homeless people in extreme weather situations.  Living in a moderate climate like the southern U.K. is one thing, but try it here where temperatures get to -20 or more in the winter and up towards 40 in the summer.  Yet we have people who prefer to get along with nothing by way of shelter.  You have to have a permanent address to be eligible for welfare.

     

    I think if anyone wants to come in from the street they need only ask.  There are public housing outfits that will find a spot for them.

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    I see you're one of those people who don't think government and business mix. But I doubt any developer will construct low income housing unless given an incentive, and the government subsidising this development is still an influence on business practice. In Cities XL they have wealth based zones 

    look up the term Slum Lord. and see why the govt should not get into the housing business.

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    Look up Sweden, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and all the other european countries and you'll see why the government(be it national, regional or municipal) should indeed get involved in housing. There's always some black sheep, but when everybody abides the laws, then the risk of producing welfare queens, etc. is surprisingly low, because no sane human being would really want to depend on welfare. It is just very reassuring to know that you will have a safety net in case you fall.

    A democracy has to be a Rechtsstaat and a welfare state.

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    Government involvement in housing should be regulation and nothing more.  Under no circumstances should any government organ nor crown corporation be in any business not related to providing services to the taxpayers.  Mind you, these include defence and foreign relations, as well as peacekeeping at home.  Some special ministries must exists when a country is as large as ours with diverse populations.  Some sectors have special needs such as the Inuit and the other Native peoples.

     

    In no case should the government have any physical plant other than to house itself and its operations, and in no case should the government ever become a landlord.

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    I think that if the government were to provide "Low Income Housing," it should be primarily Municipal Government providing extremely low-rent apartments with Spartan furnishings, like in China. In Seattle, there are free housing Duplexes and Town Homes that are larger and more luxurious than the duplex my father has to pay good money to rent. The main difference is the location. He lives in an upscale working-class neighborhood and the free housing projects are in South Seattle. I also think that a percentage of profits from "luxury" condominiums should go towards building low-income apartments elsewhere as well (or have affordable units underground or something like that).

     

    Also, a lot of people like to Pan-Handle in Seattle. It was becoming such a nuisance (and a lot of money was taken this way) that the government finally stepped in for a change and made it illegal without a permit (so that musicians and girl scouts can make money).

     

    Whatever, governments are not going to listen to the voice of reason and the USA Dollar and the Euro will eventually be worth less than the paper they will be printed on, like in Germany after WWI.

     

     

    --Ocram

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    Governments have a duty to provide housing for their citizens if economic conditions warrant this necessity being provided. By arguing a government only exists to serve its taxpayers one is saying that taxpayers are all who count. Most people who don't pay tax either can't or don't wish to be in their present conditions. I am sure that if given half a chance plenty of people would become taxpayers. Nobody wants to live on welfare. Okay so exceptions t this rule do exist and mus be met with accordingly. My parents are an example of the rot in society. But not providing housing to people because they aren't paying tax is ridiculous. What about students? people in between jobs? And unemployment does rise to levels in areas where it becomes almost impossible to find any proper jobs.

     

    One can argue 'move and find a job then' but it isn't so simple. There are other issues to consider. People aren't like files that can be refiled in another folder with a few mouse clicks. I find this 'service to taxpayers' idea rather capitalist and not a system for the modern welfare state. What use is a government if all it does is prop up rich people and preserve the status quo?

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    One misses the point.  Welfare bums we have always had with us.  It is endemic that some people just are not capable of supporting themselves for one excuse or another.  Government should provide for these people by founding work-houses.  No sitting around in front of the telly drinking beer while the rest of us pay the taxes that support them.

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    Yes but most people on welfare aren't 'bums'. There's temporary in-between jobbers, young students fresh from uni/high school, people made redundant etc etc

     

    I don't sit around all day. I volunteer five days a week and would do seven if the place was open at weekends. Also I don't have a tv.

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    Hmm yes well obviously in those cases. But low income housing is important. And the quota they enforce now is way too small. This isn't about individuals as much as about communities. Ghettos and high unemployment districts don't dissapear by individual triumphs but through broad changes in culture and the economy. I'm sure if my Simcities had been real there would have been the usual amount of addicts and homeless and mentally ill etc. But that doesn't mean one shouldn't go forward wit a thing because some will inevitably abuse it. People abuse capitalism.

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