Toronto, Canada – Rent workers enter the food bank in the second room of the 103 West Lodge Avenue concrete house. Isaac Capella Guerrero, a construction worker who makes $ 100,000 a year, is one of them.
A 41-year-old two-year-old man is said to be leaving westwest of Toronto; his two-bedroom house is too small for his family and he says he is tired of waiting for the gods to fix it.
The area he is going to is not as prosperous as Parkdale, and his children will switch schools. But a trip to the bank to apply for a mortgage left him frustrated with his decision.
“This country will be, at some point, a country where you will never have a family,” Capella Guerrero tells Al Jazeera. “You need to have friends, where everyone can invest $ 1,000 to rent a house. That’s what it’s going to be. Because right now, I earn some money, just like I do, as f *** [can] do you find a house ”
A matter of elections
The outrage has spread on the streets of Canadian cities in recent months, as the coronavirus has revealed the magnitude of what experts say is the problem of homelessness.
In the end, fleeing trees do not show signs of decline, placing the prospect of having homes far away from the reach of middle-class people, or burdening debt. On the other hand, the level of poverty and neglect has been revealed, as tent cities grew in urban parks, and city officials sent police to evacuate people, sometimes violently. Unexpected events have also prompted an anti-housing group in Canada, as people plan to try to prevent people from being evicted and to protect camps.
Buying a house nationwide was the worst hit in 27 years in the second half of 2021, according to analysis from the National Bank of Canada. Debt settlement now represents 45% of household income, the report found, and in places like Toronto and Vancouver, that amount is much higher.
In comparison, a recent research put a house at the top of the list of priority voters in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada’s most populous city with a population of six million. With the federal election campaign coming to an end, the housing crisis is the first with political parties for the first time this year.
The parties promised a number of things that could happen before the September 20 vote, ranging from loan programs, to tax evasion and bans for foreign buyers.
Homelessness is a major cause of the problems that exist – which experts say they say He wants to act quickly. In response, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party said so he promised “build, maintain or repair” 1.4 million houses over the next four years; the remaining new Democrats they say will build at least 500,000 houses in 10 years, while the Conservatives He said will build one million houses in three years.
Houses have changed
But Leilani Farha, a former UN Special Rapporteur on Housing, says there is a lot of exaggeration in housing, while attention should be paid to low-income Canadians, who are growing up and being forced to cross borders.
“COVID actually brought it home because COVID revealed the need for housing – and it’s hard to take care of housing. Less than a month after the epidemic – one month – 25% of rented families said they were worried they would not pay rent – or within months,” Farha said.
“And it’s in Canada, the world’s largest economy.”
Canada had the opportunity to choose from a variety of homes. Rent was cheap enough to store a nest egg that allows Canadians to buy a home, make money, and rent to spend money. The housing system is run by housing and economic development, not by putting a roof over people’s heads, says Farha, the global executive of The Shift, an organization that promotes housing as a human right, not an object.
But the system does not work the same way, and the alliance has changed dramatically, Farha said. He also mentioned pension funds or financial institutions that are destroying affordable housing, repairing jewelry, and increasing rents, which keep people out. That is why promises to build more homes should come with clear rules that ensure housing is affordable, he said.
“I don’t think any party has nailed it. I think they don’t understand the magnitude of the problem, the severity of the problem, or the urgency of the situation. And that strikes me, “Farha told Al Jazeera.
Back in the West Lodge, the units are empty in tall high-rise buildings. The house was purchased in 2018 by Hazelview Properties, a real estate trust trust, which is said to be working to address the years of neglect left by former masters.
Back in the West Lodge, the units are not empty in two houses where construction work is underway, overseen by Hazelview Properties, which purchased the house in late 2018.
But in the midst of the renovations, journalists say they are waiting for weeks to be repaired in their homes, while the unemployed groups that are being repaired are renting out a higher price.
“Empty groups mean people are leaving, being driven out, scared,” said Paterson Hodgson, a West Lodge-based photographer and member of Parkdale Organize, who helps co-workers prepare for a civil war.
Colleen Krempulec, vice president of marketing and other corporations at Hazelview, says the company has spent nearly $ 20m on West Lodge homes that were “abandoned for years, or even decades” and are in good repair.
Hazelview has installed new boilers, repaired electrical and plumbing systems, among other things, renovated the mailroom and laundry room, he said, and has fulfilled more than 3,000 maintenance and maintenance orders at West Lodge. “These are major rehabilitation projects that we hope residents of West Lodge will benefit from; it’s not just a matter of trying to push people out, ”said Krempulec.
He acknowledged that there were “plenty” of homeless people, even though the company had been lending them for almost a year. It does so in the stock market, which is a regular for those who pay rent. “There has been no request to increase the amount of work above,” he confirmed.
But Hodgson said his roommates are still being pressured to leave. The group that started repairing and restoring debt has also discovered a growing number of people are suffering from food insecurity. This is what made the food bank run by the people who work in the house every Sunday, attracting about 50 people on a regular basis.
“It was really dangerous. There were people who chose to pay rent instead of buying food. Not because of COVID. This is already happening, ”said Hodgson.
Ashleigh Doherty, a resident of Parkdale and a local educator, said the organization that has been involved during the epidemic wants to improve and seek change, not waiting for political response.
“In our opinion, we know that the only power we have is to make this happen,” Doherty tells Al Jazeera outside West Lodge. “And that includes meeting with homeowners, not just waiting for politicians to do something for us – we know this will not happen.”