Posts tagged ‘Housing’

July 27, 2011

The complex origins of vacant and abandoned homes in a neighbourhood

Recent lessons from the housing crash in the United States described families simply walking away from their homes, leaving their front doors unlocked, because they couldn’t afford to carry their mortgages anymore. Financial abandonment is one of the starkest reasons residences are left untended.

However, like most things, it’s always more complicated. Just how empty and derelict does a building have to be to be abandoned? The octogenarian who lives only in two rooms of her house, having sealed off the rest, still holds domain over it all. But what if she was hospitalized? And then sent to long-term care? And then failed to pay her taxes?

In my neighbourhood, I can think of eight homes that, depending on the definition used, are vacant or abandoned. None of them, that I know of, are haunted or marijuana grow-ops:

  • After a fire started by a basement tenant put one family out of their new and hard-earned home, their re-building was abandoned because of lack of funds and the complexity of (re-)building without a contractor.  That’s been about ten years now since they lost their dream.
  • Another house on the same street also suffered a fire. The house attached to it also suffered damage. Neither household had insurance to re-build. It took two or three years for the first home to be sold to a speculator, who hired cheaply, and then sold it with fresh paint and pot lights “as is.” The family moved out of the attached house, and the landlord rented to a poorer tenants less able to complain.
  • There are three other homes in the neighbourhood where elderly residents have moved to homes for the aged, none of them interested in selling. One of these homes has been empty for over twenty years, the other fledges various young family members every few years, and the third has rats for inhabitants.
  • Another family home in the neighbourhood was sold to the owner’s brother who had no interest in living in it nor in renting it out. It has sat, preserving the family capital, for a quarter century.
  • Another home was bought by a resident in the adjoining house, so as he could enjoy some peace, but the cost of re-zoning the properties to make them a single home is too prohibitive. So, officially, that home is empty.
  • A final house in my neighbourhood acts as a storage locker for a couple who live across the street from it. Vans are unloaded into and out of the house but no one lives there. Census-takers knock futilely every five years. (Another neighbour tells me of a similar house a few streets away which someone else uses to keep their cats and dogs housed – and yes, it smells.)
When this was a working-class neighbourhood, houses were cheap, and few took note of these alternate uses. This was long before housing prices climbed, when only affordable housing activists and a few academics saw such rough, unused gems as valuable housing stock.
In 2008, the Parkdale Activity Recreation Centre (PARC), an activist group called Abandonment Issues and York University’s City Centre partnered to look at cycles of reinvestment and disinvestment in the Toronto area. They explored the housing cycles that happen as neighbourhoods are abandoned and then “discovered” again, creating a small building boon of condos and flow of capital. Some good pressure was raised over the issue but not much changed on the legislative front.
Nowadays neighbours are more likely to talk about the property values of these half million dollars homes left derelict or vacant.
In response to the idea of impact on local property values and the loss of additional housing stock as shortages grow, some other municipalities have adopted “Use it or Lose it” laws.
The City of Toronto’s Affordable Housing Office may, too, be exploring the issues these vacant and abandoned homes create. That’s good news if it doesn’t just provide new fodder for housing speculators.

April 7, 2011

Saunders: The important functions of receiver communities (and how we get in the way)

Doug Saunders ARRIVAL CITY

Image by Jenn Farr via Flickr

Doug Saunders, author of Arrival City, spoke last week to the School of Public Policy and Governance at University of Toronto’s Munk Centre. His presentation flowed over description of the functions of communities which act as the first landing zones for urban migrants, describing the ambitions.

Arrival city neighbourhoods, or what are sometimes called receiver communities, are often found at the end of a transit line or in some other inaccessible corner of a city.  There, often a cluster of people from a similar place or the same village will have settled. In whichever urban area they are found, these are places of social mobility and change or they are places of failed dreams.

Having just returned from the Libya-Tunisian border for the lecture and book tour, Saunders began with “the Arrival City at the centre of the Arab Revolutions,” the neighbourhood of Bulaq in Cairo. It’s a place, he said, most people from Cairo would avoid. This was, though, the first neighbourhood into Tahrir Square for the rebellion against Mubarek. It had a history of such movements. Bulaq was a neighbourhood which, cut off from opportunities in the main parts of the city, had developed its own middle class, one which collided with the established Cairo middle class. It was, Saunders explained, a place of thwarted ambitions.

These receiver communities are found in the west, and the east, and the south, Saunder explained, like the French banlieux today at the edge of the capital; South Central Los Angeles, where the Hispanic residents have settled and invested in their new neighbourhoods; and Dhaka”s “place of the fallen” where the city’s “housecleaners, servants and prostitutes,” who serve the middle class, live. There are more, he said, like the “arrived overnight” neighbourhoods of Turkey, Brazilian favelas, and the neighbourhoods in Iran which fomented the 1979 rebellion. Saunders even described the historical neighbourhoods of 1789 Paris, where French villagers had settled, pushed there from the subsistence farming they had left behind, tipped quickly into early support of the French Revolution.

Receiver communities vary in their stability, but the trend of migration to urban areas is international.

Citing Professor Ronald Skeldon‘s work, Saunders explained how migration from rural to urban areas evolves from a rural family with an urban income source inevitably, although not always linearly, towards an urban family with rural roots. Education, he explained, is a key to this transformation.

It’s a mistake to see these places as static, as places which support a vital settlement function, Saunders said.

The state, Saunders explains, began to invest in these neighbourhoods after 1848 and into the 20th century. However, their role as places of transition is misunderstood, governments may interrupt or even damage their core functions.

We must think of these places as sets of functions rather than simply as locations, as places which, if they work well

  • foster networks, and act
  • as rural development support systems
  • as integration mechanisms,
  • as urban entry platforms,
  • as a social mobility channels, for the creation and distribution of social capital.

Within Toronto, Saunders has profiled Thorncliffe Park, but Parkdale, Crescent Town, Rexdale, or Scarborough Village could also all stand in. At one point, Kensington Market, or the Danforth, or Little Italy all served these functions, providing a landing place for city newcomers and now where social mobility has transformed them into desirable neighbourhoods. They are places where newcomers are able to get a foothold, and if it function correctly, connect to the rest of our city.

The drive for success is something North Americans, as the children of immigrants understand.

Saunders cited an example of how people from the same Turkish villages settled in Berlin and London and Istanbul with very different outcomes, because each of these areas offered different possibilities for integration. Understanding these complex dynamics can be challenging. Unlike the simplicity offered in a Millennial Village, it is harder to track the educational outcomes or the impact of remittances.

If an arrival city fails, isolation occurs.Rebellion bubbles up, informal economies thrive, and, as things worsen, crime, gangs and poverty emerge out of the “impediments to the natural ambitions” of these places. Protective conservatism can emerge, explaining how some immigrant communities are more conservative than the source villages from which residents emigrated. In another example, Saunders showed the audience pictures of a Dutch neighbourhood. Immigrants had settled here away from the city core, in low-rise apartments, where “it was easier to communicate with North Africa than with other Amsterdam residents.”

“It was a bottom rung, without the next two rungs,” Saunders said. So the grassy verges were converted, and the bottom floors of apartment buildings became retail and industrial working spaces. Densities were increased. It looked a lot like Spadina Avenue or New York’s Lower East Side, he explained. Regulations were pushed aside, and now they have become places where the rungs are visible, places which are succeeding. This Dutch neighbourhood has even created its own community police force, which includes a truancy patrol, unheard-of in laxer parts of the city.

Saunders warns that we are doing arrival cities wrong around the world. We need to do a few things to make sure these places work, he said:

  1. Start with the physical structures. As Jane Jacobs said, get planners and government out of the way of residents. Link these centres to other places. Transit is key to accesing the main city’s labour market, customers, and educational opportunities. Street lighting and home addresses raise property values (something residents monitor, he said, as closely as your average Torontonian obsesses over house values).
  2. Removing “bureaucratic” barriers is also key. Requirements for licensing hinder the emergence of small businesses. (The recent GTA Summit Alliance heard that 19 separate licenses and permits are required in Toronto to open a bakery.) Bureaucratic racism also hurts these communities. Black American settlements in northern states, for instance, had highways landed in the middle of their arrival cities.
  3. Citizenship barriers must also be lowered, not simply at the national level, but within the city. Postal code racism by employers is well-documented. If a large population of people sees no pathway to full citizenship, than they will see no reason to buy a house, to pay taxes, to send their children to higher education, because they see no future. Instead, newcomers will find a way to survive outside these structures, and sometimes outside the law. Countries, like Canada, have to be “very, very careful,” with reliance on temporary, foreign workers who cannot access full citizenship, Saunders warned.

Saunders concluded saying each of these have to be done in concert. No matter if it seems costly, Saunders said. Building the infrastructure to support them, including such basics as childcare, will save greater expenses later.

Arrival cities have the potential to be the next middle class or to be a continual source of problems.

His analysis and solutions, Saunders acknowledged, would be unsatisfactory to those people seeking a market solution and, also, to those looking to state actors to solve societal problems. It is, probably, why his solutions will work.

December 1, 2010

How scared should we be about bed bugs?

Adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius

Image via Wikipedia

Knowing I work at WoodGreen Community Services, which has been on the forefront of the bedbug issue for a while, a friend asked me how nervous she should be about going to a movie theatre that night.

Her fear sprang from the furor causes when a tweet wrongly accused Scotiabank Theatre of harbouring bed bugs and the widespread media coverage how the bugs are sweeping Manhattan’s toniest locations.

“Or how about subways and street cars?” she asked.

“Go,” I said. “If you’re nervous, strip off when you get home, bag your clothes and then launder and dry them.”

We are not (yet) at the point you have to stop going out into public spaces.

Some activities are riskier, such as

  • moving residences (especially if it’s into an apartment building — so make sure to ask),
  • travelling (check those head boards and mattress seams), or
  • picking up second-hand furniture off the street (no more boulevard shopping).

I still trust the Toronto Transit Commission – especially safe in the winter when most of its vehicles sit outside overnight, freezing. And I think movie theatres – and other entertainment venues – were so shaken by the Twitter furor, that I expect discreet inspections are done regularly.

The good news, this week, was the attention that bed bugs generated at the municipal and provincial levels. If we manage our own surroundings cautiously and if coordinated and proactive actions are taken, bed bugs will be well-managed.

A community bed bug committee, composed of residents, tenant associations, non-profits, government reps and broader networks recently adopted a “Bedbug Mani-pest-o” outlining five key points:

  1. Build a public education campaign to raise awareness on the rising incidence of bed bug infestations, the methods of dealing with them and to de-stigmatize bed bugs
  2. Establish standard protocols for treatment of bed bugs
  3. Develop and promote a consistent community response that includes funds to support vulnerable populations to reduce financial barriers to eradicate bed bugs
  4. Conduct widespread monitoring of bed bug incidences across the Province
  5. Draft and enact legislative policies that support quick and effective responses to bed bugs

Liberal M.P.P. Mike Colle has taken almost all of these and built them into his recommendations to the province, only shying away from the legislative piece.

N.D.P. Cheri DiNovo has introduced a bill to license landlords.

The Toronto Board of Health and the City of Toronto are both lobbying for more resources, arguing that early interventions will ensure bed bugs don’t spread further.

Solutions are emerging.

For the moment, we can sleep tight. Just don’t let the bed bugs bite.

September 23, 2010

The "right" to choose your neighbours becomes an election issue

Just as the Annual YIMBY (Yes In My BackYard) festival is being organized for October 16 at the Drake hotel, Nimbyism is being re-visited in the Beach municipal election. Both events seem to be about having policy-makers listen to residents, but the difference lies in the inclusive lense that is used. Debates about what occur in a community often spill over into who will live in a neighbourhood, whether they be students or those living with life challenges.

A friend in the Beach tells the story of a church building which moved through three different applications to convert to affordable housing, each time being denied because those living nearby raised concerns about the proposed new mothers, or seniors or other populations who were to be sited there. The current controversy, about a new building opening on Gerrard at Woodbine, has convinced me to attend tonight’s All Candidate meeting as a case study of the tension between service-providers, policy-makers and local residents.

The HomeComing Community Choice Coalition circulated the following letter:

Thursday evening, September 23, there is an all candidates meeting in Ward 32 (Beaches) and one candidate is calling on voters to come use their voices based on their “right to be angry about the location of supportive housing at 1908 Gerrard Street East”. (at Woodbine)

In November 2007, neighbours heard that a private developer intended to build an apartment building on the site – and planned to rent the apartments to people living with mental illness under an agreement with Houselink Community Homes.  The development was zoned for the intended use, so there was no need for public consultation.  A number of area residents spoke against the development at the Affordable Housing Committee meeting dealing with the funding for the development.  As a result, City staff were directed to host a public open house with the local community in consultation with the office of the local Councillor Sandra Bussin.

At the public open house a number of concerns were voiced, many of which were related to the approval process and lack of consultation.  Other concerns were related to the people intended to live in the development:

  • that the area was overly represented with social housing
  • the impact of the housing on the community in terms of safety and security
  • whether there would be sufficient support provided to the tenants
  • the perceived lack of support services in the area

Confronted by a number of angry residents, Councillor Bussin stood her ground and defended both the process and the right of people to live in communities of their choice.  At the subsequent Council meeting to approve funding for the project, Councillor Bussin expressed her shame at the behaviour of her constituents.  Almost all of the Councillors present also rose to speak in support of funding for the project and to denounce those who would exclude people from the community based on a disability.

Now almost three years later, the building is ready for occupancy.  Graffiti calling Councillor Bussin a traitor was painted on hoardings at the building a year ago and recently similar graffiti attacking Bussin has been painted on the building itself.

Finally, within the past few days, a leaflet has appeared apparently from Martin Gladstone, a candidate for City Councillor, calling the process flawed and accusing Councillor Bussin of working against her constituents and shutting them down (attached).

While HomeComing Community Choice Coalition does not endorse any candidate for public office, we are concerned that this Councillor is being targeted for standing up for the rights of people to live in communities of their choice.  We have often affirmed that people do not have to ask the permission of their neighbours to live in a community and the neighbours do not have a right to be informed or consulted before new housing is built, if the only issue is the disability of the people who live there.

We will be at the meeting Thursday evening and hope that others will be there as well to say thank you to Councillor Sandra Bussin for standing up in the face of angry residents to say to the new Houselink tenants: “Yes in My Back Yard!”

HomeComing Community Choice Coalition

“We promote the rights of people with mental
illness to live in the neighbourhood of their choice.”

Postscript: So when the issue came to the floor tonight, Sandra Bussin’s hecklers called out, “It’s the process! Process!”  They knew, at least, it would not have looked well to be seen as picking on people living with mental illness.

January 14, 2010

Healthy People, Healthy Places: Stats Can update

This week, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information have released a retrospective look in the latest issue of Healthy People, Healthy Places to mark the 10th anniversary of the Health Indicators project.

The retrospective look at a range of health determinants. Two quick highlights relevant to neighbourhoods:

  • Canadians’ sense of community belonging has grown over the past decade and now about two-thirds of us report a strong or very strong sense of community belonging. Teenagers reported the highest levels.
  • 13.7% of Canadians lack access to acceptable housing. This is defined mainly as affordability. The stats are broken down by
    • place of residence (by province – Ontario was second worst),
    • housing tenure (owners/renters – renters do the worse) and
    • demographic status (seniors, immigrants, single parents and individuals living alone all faced the most challenges).
December 29, 2009

Neighbourhood vitality in Toronto's towers

Toronto’s residential towers are flung far across the city’s inner suburbs, tossed over subway lines or sprinkled along ravines and major roadways, further from transit. E R A Architects made the strong case for the renewal of these urban structures, and the City’s (now being re-branded) “Mayor’s Tower Renewal Project” has focused resources on these vertical neighbourhoods.

Wading into the issue soon will be a new United Way Toronto report on housing and neighbourhood vitality, tentatively titled (until the marketers get a hold of it),The Role of Housing in Neighbourhood Vitality: An investigation into the impact of high-rise living on personal well-being and neighbourhood vitality. It will examine the quality of housing in these mainly private marker towers located within the poor neighbourhoods in Toronto’s inner suburbs; it will also measure residents’ satisfaction levels, the impact on health and well-being for themselves and their families, their attachment to the neighbourhood and the experience of various populations groups within this housing stock.

United Way laid the groundwork for this study as part of its Building Strong Neighbourhoods focus. Part of this earlier work was laid out in an exploration of the elements of neighbourhood vitality. That report went so far as to recommend useful data variables which could be drawn from primary and secondary sources.

Scheduled for release sometime in the first half of 2010, the donor-funded report is a rigourous and sweeping undertaking with a total survey interview sample of 2800 tenants and additional focus groups. York University researchers (led by Robert Murdie) are already undertaking to replicate the survey in the Parkdale neighbourhood.

The data collection was completed through the fall with a team of interviewers and 3 field coordinators. Data cleaning and analysis are now underway.

The research is being done in partnership with the

  • Social Housing Services Corporation, looking at the potential of a provincial roll-out
  • Toronto Community Housing, to compare social housing tenants and private market renters
  • Toronto Public Health, to understand the impact of housing on health
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to inform the new provincial housing strategy
  • City of Toronto, to create a a baseline of knowledge and also test the limitations of the complaints process, and
  • Apartment Association of Greater Toronto, who has provided access to private market rental stock.
October 17, 2009

Neighbourhood De-fence

The De-fence Project is coming to Riverdale.

One of my favourite direct action groups is the Toronto Space Committee’s De-fence Project. With an obvious sense of fun, the group encourages homeowners to take down the front yard chain-link fences which were popular in many downtown neighbourhoods.

The fences were considered an improvement when they began their spread in the 1970s over the higher wooden fences of earlier times. The open links allowed air flow while maintaining security. Yet, as the De-fence crew says, our front gardens end up looking like jail yards.

I remember the delight my family felt when a former neighbour with a large, ill-mannered dog moved away. Our delight was compounded because the new neighbour was glad to have us take down the fence between us, and to simply allow the day lilies define our border.

The Globe and Mail’s Architourist’ Dave LeBlanc wrote a recent article the movement to neighbours sharing their yards rather than fencing them. His focus was on the suburbs.

Join the De-fence volunteers Sunday October 18th, and bring pliers and work gloves, if you’ve got them.

11am: 180 Riverdale Avenue
Noon: 173 Riverdale Avenue
1:30: 157 Withrow Avenue
2:30: 124 Wolfrey Avenue.

GOOGLE MAP: http://tinyurl.com/ylyr6b5

For further info, contact: defence@publicspace.ca

September 11, 2009

Homeless students

It must be September. The headlines are filled with stories about school and students.

On the Labour Day week-end, both the New York Times and the Toronto Star must have thought they would keep with the economic temper of the times and published front page stories about homeless students.

Although children in shelters are perennial, research on the topic in Canada is sparse. Social Planning Toronto produced one of the only Canadian research studies on the topic. The report, Lost in the Shuffle, made concrete recommendations for school boards, schools, shelters and parents. Published in 2007, its findings still stand a read.

Tags: ,
July 7, 2009

A distinction between houses and homes

WoodGreen is hosting a South African delegation from a sister community agency this month, and the discussions are rich. There is much we share in common, but much also to learn from each other.

For instance, today, we watched a documentary on the Tent City residents. Over lunch, a guest confessed that he kept thinking how, in South Africa, 4 million people face this same tenuous housing situation. He complimented the sturdiness of the erected structures, but agreed that Canadian winters were a motivation for additional reinforcement. We also talked about the good work of people like Josie Adler, who recently visited Toronto and spoke to the Toronto Neighbourhood Research Network, and who works to make Hillbrow a Neighbourhood reclaiming community, building by hijacked building.

The most valuable story around community–building was how entire neighbourhoods, for 40—50,000 people had sprung up in the 1990′s building spree, with a only single school or community centre to serve new residents. As a Minister of Housing described it afterwards, government had concentrated mistakenly on building houses, rather than homes. To fix this, the Ministry of Housing was given a broader mandate and renamed the Ministry of Human Settlement.

May 5, 2009

A white resident’s dilemma: gentrification or segregation?

A Twitter friend, @JessieNYC, a smart and progressive woman who lives in New York City, worried recently about the selection of her new home. She had two choices: to live on the Upper East Side, a high income and mainly white neighbourhood, or to move to another apartment in East Harlem. Her choice was essentially to remain, isolated, in a white enclave or to become a gentrifier.

Gentrification is an issue about which I think a lot, but have hesitated to write about specifically because this is so personally about my neighbourhood. However another Twitter user I follow recently posted a link to Life, Inc., a searing analysis of gentrification and racial politics in Brooklyn, New York. So I have decided to take the plunge; these are things that have to be debated.

For the past fifteen years, my neighbourhood has been changing.

Renters have been displaced as homes are converted to single family dwellings. Front-yard vegetable gardens are being replaced by granite rock and Japanese maples. Median income is rising. The occupational classes of my neighbours have been changing. Where I used to live next to taxi drivers, railway conductors, sales clerks, hotel maids and medical secretaries, I now live among a range of fashion, acting, film and visual artists and writers, and professionals such as social workers, librarians, teachers, and museum curators.

And the neighbourhood is now less racially diverse. Where my (mixed-race) children could see their Chinese heritage reflected around them, where they learned to greet older adults as Po-po or Gong-gong, many of these families have moved away, almost always to be replaced by a young, white couple and a large dog, pleased to be able to afford to enter the housing market on their two incomes. One of the kindergarten teachers at the school where my kids, now in high school, attended, was surprised to realize this year that every child in her morning class is white. When my children were young, she had less than a handful of student who were white.

When I whined about these demographic shifts, a Facebook friend called me out. “Tough living where others want to live, isn’t it?” he said.

Even Jane Jacobs defended gentrification, saying this “unslumming” showed the desirability of a neighbourhood and improved the neighbourhood.

Others have admonished: Change happens!

So I have struggled to articulate my discomfort with these changes.

They are threefold:

  1. The economic drivers of the change
  2. The racial impacts of gentrification
  3. The homogenization of the neighbourhood

1. The neighbourhood change is as a result of economic forces. CUNY Professor Neil Smith provides some insight into the dynamics of these shifts (See the blog Racialicious for more). The forces underlying these moves and improvements to the the neighbourhood are economic – nay, capitalistic, rather than a reflection of social forces or personal decisions.

Smith elaborates, denying “our goal is some rigidly conceived `even development’. This would make little sense. Rather, the goal is to create socially determined patterns of differentiation and equalisation which are driven not by the logic of capital but genuine social choice.

People will maximize their return, so if that means selling out while prices are high, so they will move.  At the neighbourhood level, this plays out as high residential mobility, as prices continue to rise, and people’s price point is reached. (I remember when the first house on our street sold for over $250,000. My older neighbour crowed to me, “Diane, we’re quarter-millionaires!”). When my neighbours move away, they are having their rental housing sold from under them, or, as owners, are cashing in and moving further away, often outside the city.

These individual actions have a cumulative impact.

2. These neighbourhood changes play out racially, as well. In a city as diverse as Toronto, what plays out economically plays out racially. And because income and race are correlated here, upwardly mobile neighbourhoods are becoming whiter. Professor David Hulchanski’s work is bearing this out (see my previous post on racial divisions tracking income polarization).

The racial composition of my neighbourhood has shifted, and whites are becoming the dominant racial group here, the very opposite dynamic of what is happening demographically in the city.

3. Perhaps the most telling symptom of gentrification, is that this demographic shift is unidirectional.

Gentrification happens, in stages. And, as working class has shifted to artistic class, the upper class (and higher housing prices) cannot be far behind. The downtown city core of Toronto has become a destination.

Some of neighbours are just fine with that. Often, these same some, upon their arrival here, find the rough granularity of the neighbourhood disturbing. Often, they moved here thinking they have purchased a good bargain, just at the edge of one of the high-income neighbourhoods around us, and they mistake this neighbourhood for that one. It’s not long before they are disappointed and organizing a petition.

Or, sometimes, they thought the “colour” would be nice. And, yet, their singular arrival usually displaces an East Asian family. (Stats Can data shows one in five ethnic-Chinese people left the neighbourhood between 2001 and 2006.)The only in-migration to the neighbourhood, besides whites, are some South Asians and Urdu-speakers because the mosque and commercial district is in walking distance (Their numbers doubled, so that now they comprise 5% of the local population).

The answer to these three problems, the economic, the racial, the homogenization, is to purposefully plan for mixed neighbourhoods. Left to wider economic forces, the poor (and, by corollary, people of colour), are continually displaced.

So what to do, after all this awfulizing? Mixed neighbourhoods!

Sometimes, as discussions of mixed income neighbourhoods erupt, wealthier neighbourhoods often object to the idea of affordable housing being built in the neighbourhood. However, the response from one wise woman was, where do you want the woman who cares for your child at the daycare or serves you coffee in the morning to live? Is she a part of our community, or not?

Gentrification happens because of income inequality, an issue which is continuing to grow.  While these are issues, created at an entirely different levels, they are played out locally, within and between our neighbourhoods.

So my reply to my Twitter friend’s dilemma was, whether she stayed within the white enclave where she lives, or moves to a more diverse neighbourhood, I knew she would work to build an inclusive place. It’s the only fair thing to be done.

More:

Income polarization tracking racial divisions

“Are there limits to gentrification? Evidence from Vancouver”

Mixed picture on mixed income: Moving in on poor neighbourhoods

 

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