Many years ago flames flared out of our family’s fireplace. In the two minutes it took to scoot my young children out the door and bring the fire under control, the smoke had spread throughout the house and filled my third-floor bedroom with ash.
The fire taught me that my home’s staircase functions as a chimney that can instantly spread danger to every part of the house.
What did I do about it? Nothing.
I hope all of you saw Ben Spurr’s excellent article in the August 11th Star, “Making social housing work: a TCHC success story.” The article describes the turnaround of 291 George Street — a 132-unit building that even street-hardened men were too scared to live in — into a clean and decent home.
If anything, the article downplays the building’s success. In just one year after the “turnaround pilot” was introduced: Read more…
How do you help newcomers afford their first mortgage, seniors stay in their homes longer, or students find a home close to campus? You rent out rooms. Read more…
When I wrote what I thought was a provocative call to de-amalgamate TCHC last week, I expected a deluge of counter-arguments (at least in my email box) from my housing colleagues.
But except for Gordon Mack Scott, whom I have enjoyed meeting via the comments section of my blog, the counter-case didn’t materialize.
It looks like I’ll just have to write it myself. Here are the difficulties I see in de-amalgamating TCHC. Read more…