National Housing Day

November 22 is National Housing Day in Canada, and while a handful of governments acknowledged the day, the government in Ottawa was definitely not one of them. Canada has the dubious distinction of being the only industrialized country without a national housing strategy. Increasingly this lack of engagement is leading to a patchworked housing landscape in Canada with other levels of government variously trying to fill in the gap, or racing to follow the fed’s example and distance themselves from housing.

The result is general underfunding of housing as compared to need, particularly in the by-definition less-profitable sector of social housing. Housing is undoubtedly a need and necessity, and the fact of the matter is that in places like the Nordic region, where governments have been heavily engaged in housing production, maintenance, and support for residents, that engagement secured a wider range of choice in housing for a larger range of residents.

Jim Silver’s new book Good Places to Live: Poverty and Public Housing in Canada, looks at four examples of how this patchwork of policy is working in the public housing sector, helping to dispel myths about public housing, and highlight the possibilities that come out of community-led, government-supported development. A great choice for your National Housing Day celebrations.

National Housing Day

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