Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy

Dr. Colin Phillips is an up-and-coming scholar in Canada’s homelessness sector. He has an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star titled “Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy.”

Points made in the opinion piece include the following:

-The City of Toronto has worked hard to develop good practices on the ground to address homelessness.

-But, like all of Canada’s major urban centres, it can’t properly address homelessness without substantial increases in funding from the federal and provincial governments.

This opinion piece is quite timely, as a new “national housing strategy” is expected to be unveiled by the Trudeau government later this month.

On Monday, the Calgary Homeless Foundation will be publishing a peer-reviewed report authored by Dr. Phillips. That report’s focus will be Toronto’s Streets to Homes program (a program that provides immediate access to housing to persons experiencing homelessness).

One comment

  • Letter to Editor (unpublished) with footnotes

    Re: Why Toronto needs a national housing strategy, Colin Phillips, Nov. 11, 2017

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/11/12/why-toronto-needs-a-national-housing-strategy.html

    Can Canada afford tens of billions of dollars for high-tech fighter jets, updated warships, armed drones and state-of-the-art frigates? That question seldom deters. A majority government simply decides what it wants and allocates sufficient monies.

    Can Canada afford several billion dollars to house the homeless and create affordable housing for low-income families? That question is often asked and provides politicians with a suitable excuse. However, the federal government can always make funds available and can always build housing if desired since it owns a central bank. Canada does not lack a trained workforce nor construction materials.

    The problem is not economics, but political power. The military-industrial complex has greater influence over awarding of federal contracts than urban street people sheltered in cardboard boxes.

    Footnotes:

    1. Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
    Martin Gilens and Benjamin

    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

    2. William Mitchell is Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

    British Green’s leader can’t say “we will increase the deficit”!

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=30293

    She could have simply said – “If we are in government, then the British people will understand we issue the currency and we will pay for this by increasing the deficit and instructing the Bank of England to credit the necessary bank accounts to facilitate the purchases.”

    That is the plain truth of it.

    They can do that. If there is a need for 1/2 million more social houses then they should do that as long as it is within the real economy’s capacity to provide the housing.

    If it is not in the capacity then they would have to assess priorities and perhaps have to raise taxes to withdraw spending capacity from the private sector.

    Simple macroeconomics.

    3. Liberals promise extra $62B for military over next 20 years, THE CANADIAN PRESS, June 7, 2017

    http://torontosun.com/2017/06/07/liberals-to-top-off-defence-spending-by-14-billion-annually-by-next-decade/wcm/07f5bd6b-4f96-47eb-abff-26c2c28530d2

    The Trudeau government committed Wednesday to spend $62 billion more over the next two decades for a major expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces…..

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