King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t work

If we’re serious about ending homelessness, we need to institute long-term solutions across all levels of government

King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t workThree years ago, I set out for clinic on the kind of morning like those we’ve been having in Toronto lately, where the hair in your nostrils freezes with each breath. I had walked about two intersections before I realized my fingers were stiff from cold – of course, I had forgotten my gloves. So…

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordable

As homes age, they should filter through various socio-economic strata. But construction approval roadblocks slow that process to a crawl

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordableBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The federal government’s new National Housing Strategy will benefit specific groups but doesn’t target broader affordability issues in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. The strategy includes a portable “housing benefit” of $2,500 per year, on average, to low-income households. It also proposes the construction or renovation of hundreds…

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself

The desire to love and serve others is innate in the human spirit. And those traits can help us accomplish great things as a society

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself“You get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” said writer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. There’s tremendous depth to this statement and as many interpretations as there are people on the planet. It shines in direct contrast to the ideal of the rugged individualist so…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessness

Homelessness costs Canadians big money without addressing the causes

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessnessFor most of his life, Murray Barr was an ordinary American. Everything changed abruptly when his story of personal tragedy and period of homelessness created a media frenzy. Malcom Gladwell, in his article Million Dollar Murray, used Murray as an example of how homelessness was costing taxpayers in Reno, Nevada, around $1 million despite Murray not…

Can $11 billion end homelessness in Canada?

Building structures isn't enough. But by bringing together supports and housing, we can give homes to people who struggle with health and shelter needs

Can $11 billion end homelessness in Canada?We’ve grown accustomed to seeing homeless people walk among us in countless North American cities. They’re often in the shadows, and often show visible signs of duress from addiction, mental illness or basic hopelessness. We've become desensitized to their experiences. Many cities in Europe and Australia share North America’s inability to address chronic homelessness through policy, programs…

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine Hat

By eliminating homelessness, the Alberta city has reduced the crime rate, the workload on first responders, hospital emergency visits and pressure on the courts

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine HatFormer American president Jimmy Carter said, “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” Serving those in need may seem simply like the charitable thing to do. When we look a bit deeper, however, we see that many social programs help the entire population. Even on a…

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the point

When new homes don't keep up with demand, buyers or renters bid for a dwindling pool of listings, pushing prices up and people out

Vancouver’s tax on vacant homes misses the pointBy Steve Lafleur and Josef Filipowicz The Fraser Institute VANCOUVER, B.C. Nov. 29, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Vancouver city council needs a multi-faceted approach to encouraging growth in the supply of housing in the city. It's latest strategy falls far short. Council recently approved an annual one per cent tax on the value of vacant homes. The move was made to…

A national housing strategy will save Canadian lives

Not having a home can be lethal – homelessness causes premature death, poor health and is a significant burden on our health-care system

A national housing strategy will save Canadian livesBeyond a crisis of housing and poverty, homelessness is a public health emergency. The longer people are homeless, the worse their health becomes. In emergency rooms and frontline clinics, patients are triaged based on urgency. A high-quality health system would connect these efforts to a larger plan to prevent illness and keep people healthy. Unfortunately,…

Why Canada needs a national housing strategy now

By providing secure, safe housing, we are also addressing persistent health problems

Why Canada needs a national housing strategy nowAs family doctors, we see and know the powerful effect proper housing has on the health of our patients. When you feel unwell, whether from a minor cold or a devastating terminal illness, the feeling of home, the desire for a safe and comfortable place to rest and recuperate is universal. But what if your…