Housing and
Homelessness
Lenten reflections…
Michael Shapcott
The Wellesley Institute
St Peter’s Erindale, 2014
Toronto
1911
Toronto 1911:
Founding of
Wellesley Hospital
“The health of Toronto
must necessarily mean
the health of its citizens.”
!
Dr. H.A. Bruce,
Lieutenant-Governor
of Ontario...
Toronto
slum
s
transform
ed
into
good
hom
es
Bad housing makes you sick!
Homelessness:
Increased morbidity
Increased premature mortality
Mental health:
Alarming rates....
Good housing good for health!
Physical and mental health:
Better health outcomes /
decreased health care utilization
Commu...
People who
are vulnerably
housed face
the same
severe health
problems as
people who
are homeless
The health of homeless
pe...
Most
housing
needs are
‘hidden’
State of Homelessness in Canada
2013: Canadian Homelessness
Research Network / Canadian
Alliance to End Homelessness
Peel social housing wait list:
!
• 2012: 12,850 ‘active’ households (2nd worst in ON)
!
• Weighted avg wait time - 8.45 ye...
Toronto 1911:
Founding of
Wellesley Hospital
Making the
connections
Mississauga - 1971
Hulchanski - Three Cities
Mississauga - 2005
Hulchanski
- Three Cities
Government Revenues and Expenditures 2009
“After 20 years of continuous decline, both inequality and
poverty rates have increased rapidly in the past 10 years,
now ...
Selected policy recommendations for OECD
countries from Divided We Stand
•Reforming tax and benefit policies is
the most d...
Four observations:
!
!
1.Housing insecurity deep / persistent
2.Costly to people, communities,
economy, government
3.Feder...
0.50%
0.60%
0.70%
0.80%
0.90%
1.00%
1.10%
1.20%
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003...
When the feds cut a dollar in housing
investments… matching funds from
provinces, territories, municipalities,
community a...
Ontario Public Accounts
Federal housing investments
(in millions)
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2012
$1,500
$1,750
$2,000
$2,250
$2,500
...
450000
500000
550000
600000
650000
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
626,300 homes in 2007
492,500 ho...
Devolution of social housing:
!
• 1984 to 1993 - funding cuts to federal housing programs
!
• 1993 - no new funding for ne...
!
National Survey on Housing:
!
• 71% want national housing plan
• 66% want increased fed funding
• 73% want increased foc...
Article 25.1: Everyone has the right to a standard
of living adequate for the health and well-being
of himself and of his ...
Toronto 1911:
Founding of
Wellesley Hospital
John Peters Humphrey:
‘Father of modern international human rights system’
31st October 1945.  MACKAY J.:—This is an application brought
by Drummond Wren... to have declared invalid a restrictive
c...
Toronto 1911:
Founding of
Wellesley Hospital
International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights
!
Article 11
1...
! Good housing at a reasonable cost is
a social right of every citizen of this
country. . . This must be our objective,
ou...
Toronto 1911:
Founding of
Wellesley Hospital
City of Kitchener (2010)
Ontario Municipal Board
Discriminatory municipal byl...
UN Special
Rapporteur,
2009
“Canada has a long and proud history of
housing successes, and has been known
around the world...
Rowan Williams
‘The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights is
unquestionably a
landmark in the history of
moral consciousne...
‘I want to suggest some
ways in which we might
reconnect thinking about
human rights and religious
conviction – more
speci...
‘The fundamental point is not so much that
every person has a specific set of positive
claims to be enforced, but that per...
Four observations:
!
!
1.Housing insecurity deep / persistent
2.Costly to people, communities,
economy, government
3.Feder...
UN Special Rapporteur, 2009
“There has been a significant erosion of housing rights
over the past two decades. Canada’s su...
!
1.4.3 - Planning authorities shall provide for an appropriate range
and mix of housing types and densities to meet proje...
!
Municipalities are required to:
!
• develop and implement 10-year plans to end
homelessness and ensuring adequate housin...
Peel’s plan:
!
How does it
measure up?
Thank you!
www.wellesleyinstitute.com
Housing and Homelessness: Lenten Reflections
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Housing and Homelessness: Lenten Reflections

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This presentation suggests that housing and homelessness are not just concerns for the city centre. It looks at how housing insecurity is deep and persisting; how poor housing effects people, communities, the economy and government; the diminishing federal investments in housing; and our lack of a comprehensive national plan.

Michael Shapcott, Director of Housing and Innovation
http://www.wellesleyinstitute.com/
Follow us on twitter @wellesleyWI

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Housing and Homelessness: Lenten Reflections

  1. 1. Housing and Homelessness Lenten reflections… Michael Shapcott The Wellesley Institute St Peter’s Erindale, 2014
  2. 2. Toronto 1911
  3. 3. Toronto 1911: Founding of Wellesley Hospital
  4. 4. “The health of Toronto must necessarily mean the health of its citizens.” ! Dr. H.A. Bruce, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, 1934 “Bad houses are not only a menace: they are active agents of destruction... they destroy happiness, health and life… Housing conditions are bad because many families cannot earn enough to pay for decent and healthful dwellings… Not only were bad housing conditions discovered, but the presence of a serious housing shortage was also detected... The community is responsible for provision of satisfactory dwellings for those who are too poor to afford them.” The Bruce Commission, 1934
  5. 5. Toronto slum s transform ed into good hom es
  6. 6. Bad housing makes you sick! Homelessness: Increased morbidity Increased premature mortality Mental health: Alarming rates... especially Clinical depression and anxiety Control / meaning Collective efficacy Biological / physical: Chemicals, gases, pollutants Design (accidents) / crowdingSocio-economic: Affordability / energy Transportation / income / jobs Contextual: Individual / neighbourhood deprivation networks / friends / crime
  7. 7. Good housing good for health! Physical and mental health: Better health outcomes / decreased health care utilization Community safety: Reduced recidivism among people leaving incarceration Affordability interventions: Income-based housing subsidies Environment / physical infrastructure: New housing, repairs, heating, noise, indoor + outdoor environmental issues, allergens, water + sanitation
  8. 8. People who are vulnerably housed face the same severe health problems as people who are homeless The health of homeless people has gotten worse in the past 15 years. Many serious physical health conditions have become even more common among homeless people, and their access to health care has deteriorated.
  9. 9. Most housing needs are ‘hidden’
  10. 10. State of Homelessness in Canada 2013: Canadian Homelessness Research Network / Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
  11. 11. Peel social housing wait list: ! • 2012: 12,850 ‘active’ households (2nd worst in ON) ! • Weighted avg wait time - 8.45 years (worst in ON) ! Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, 2013 Individuals / families in homeless shelters ! • increase of 28% from 10,277 in 2001 to 13,131 in 2011 Region of Peel, 2013
  12. 12. Toronto 1911: Founding of Wellesley Hospital Making the connections
  13. 13. Mississauga - 1971 Hulchanski - Three Cities
  14. 14. Mississauga - 2005 Hulchanski - Three Cities
  15. 15. Government Revenues and Expenditures 2009
  16. 16. “After 20 years of continuous decline, both inequality and poverty rates have increased rapidly in the past 10 years, now reaching levels above the OECD average.” OECD (2008), Growing Unequal? : Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries
  17. 17. Selected policy recommendations for OECD countries from Divided We Stand •Reforming tax and benefit policies is the most direct instrument for increasing redistributive effects. Large and persistent losses in low-income groups following recessions underline the importance of government transfers and well-conceived income-support policies. •The growing share of income going to top earners means that this group now has a greater capacity to pay taxes. In this context governments may re- examine the redistributive role of taxation to ensure that wealthier individuals contribute their fair share of the tax burden.
  18. 18. Four observations: ! ! 1.Housing insecurity deep / persistent 2.Costly to people, communities, economy, government 3.Federal housing / homelessness investments eroding 4.No comprehensive national plan
  19. 19. 0.50% 0.60% 0.70% 0.80% 0.90% 1.00% 1.10% 1.20% 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Federal housing investments as a percentage of GDP) Government Revenues and Expenditures 2009
  20. 20. When the feds cut a dollar in housing investments… matching funds from provinces, territories, municipalities, community and business are lost
  21. 21. Ontario Public Accounts
  22. 22. Federal housing investments (in millions) Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2012 $1,500 $1,750 $2,000 $2,250 $2,500 $2,750 $3,000 $3,250 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
  23. 23. 450000 500000 550000 600000 650000 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 626,300 homes in 2007 492,500 homes in 2017 Loss of 133,800 homes 22% of entire stock Federally subsidized homes Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2012
  24. 24. Devolution of social housing: ! • 1984 to 1993 - funding cuts to federal housing programs ! • 1993 - no new funding for new social housing ! • 1995 - Ontario suspends provincial housing programs ! • 1996 - feds start to download federal housing programs ! • 1998 - Ontario starts to download provincial housing programs ! • 1998 - National Housing Act amended - focus on commercialization of national housing agency
  25. 25. ! National Survey on Housing: ! • 71% want national housing plan • 66% want increased fed funding • 73% want increased focus on homelessness
  26. 26. Article 25.1: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  27. 27. Toronto 1911: Founding of Wellesley Hospital John Peters Humphrey: ‘Father of modern international human rights system’
  28. 28. 31st October 1945.  MACKAY J.:—This is an application brought by Drummond Wren... to have declared invalid a restrictive covenant... namely, ‘Land not to be sold to Jews or persons of objectionable nationality.’... First and of profound significance is the recent San Francisco Charter, to which Canada was a signatory, and which the Dominion Parliament has now ratified. Under articles 1 and 55 of this Charter, Canada is pledged to promote ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.’...    An order will therefore go declaring that the restrictive covenant attacked by the applicant is void and of no effect.
  29. 29. Toronto 1911: Founding of Wellesley Hospital International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ! Article 11 1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right...
  30. 30. ! Good housing at a reasonable cost is a social right of every citizen of this country. . . This must be our objective, our obligation and our goal. Federal government, 1973 Hon. Ron Basford National Housing Act 1973
  31. 31. Toronto 1911: Founding of Wellesley Hospital City of Kitchener (2010) Ontario Municipal Board Discriminatory municipal bylaw on spatial separation ! “Statutory tribunals empowered to decide questions of law are presumed to have the power to look beyond their enabling statutes in order to apply the whole law to a matter properly in front of them.... The presumptive power to look beyond the tribunal's enabling statute is triggered simply where a tribunal (with the authority to decide questions of law) is confronted with "issues... that arise in the course of a case properly before” it....” Victoria (City) v. Adams (2009) BC Court of Appeal Municipal bylaw criminalizing activities associated with homelessness “The use of international instruments to aid in the interpretation of the meaning and scope of rights under the Charter, and in particular the rights protected under s. 7 and the principles of fundamental justice, is well- established in Canadian jurisprudence.”
  32. 32. UN Special Rapporteur, 2009 “Canada has a long and proud history of housing successes, and has been known around the world for its innovative housing solutions. The Special Rapporteur visited and received information about programmes, laws and policies that represent good practices... Canada can also rely on a tremendous range of academic and civil society resources.” !
  33. 33. Rowan Williams ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is unquestionably a landmark in the history of moral consciousness, one of the factors that has consistently given hope and purpose to political life throughout the globe since it first saw the light of day in 1948.’
  34. 34. ‘I want to suggest some ways in which we might reconnect thinking about human rights and religious conviction – more specifically, Christian convictions about human dignity and human relatedness, how we belong together.’ ‘It is not an academic point: in the last century, the Church in South Africa or the Democratic Republic of Germany – to take just two examples – was perhaps the most significant context in which universal, non- negotiable human dignity could be affirmed and defended. ... For rights language to lose the link with religious language and institutions would be for it to lose something historically crucial.’
  35. 35. ‘The fundamental point is not so much that every person has a specific set of positive claims to be enforced, but that persons and minority groups of persons need to be recognized as belonging to the same moral and civic world as the majority, whatever differences or disagreements there may be. And I want to argue that a proper consideration of human rights has a better chance of sustaining its case if it begins from the recognition of a common dignity or worthiness of respect among members of a community than if it assumes some comprehensive catalogue of claims that might be enforceable.’ Human Rights and Religious Faith 28 February 2012
  36. 36. Four observations: ! ! 1.Housing insecurity deep / persistent 2.Costly to people, communities, economy, government 3.Federal housing / homelessness investments eroding 4.No comprehensive national plan
  37. 37. UN Special Rapporteur, 2009 “There has been a significant erosion of housing rights over the past two decades. Canada’s successful social housing programme, which created more than half a million homes starting in 1973, has been discontinued.
  38. 38. ! 1.4.3 - Planning authorities shall provide for an appropriate range and mix of housing types and densities to meet projected requirements of current and future residents… permitting and facilitating all forms of housing required to meet the social, health and well-being requirements of current and future residents, including special needs… ! Affordable means in the case of rental housing, the least expensive of: ! 1. a unit for which rent does not exceed 30% of gross annual income for low and moderate income households; or ! 2. a unit for which rent is at or below the average market rent…
  39. 39. ! Municipalities are required to: ! • develop and implement 10-year plans to end homelessness and ensuring adequate housing for all • consult widely • ensure measurable, improved outcomes • report annually on progress
  40. 40. Peel’s plan: ! How does it measure up?
  41. 41. Thank you! www.wellesleyinstitute.com

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