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I started working in social housing 40 years ago with big ideas. Like my colleagues, I saw the potential for lively mixed-income neighbourhoods, good homes to raise families, and dignity for people who had spent years on the street. 

I’ve watched some of those dreams come true. But now, as I hit my mid-60s, I wonder, “What are the fresh ideas that will house the next generation? How can we make the right to housing a reality? And what can we learn from other jurisdictions, and from our own past, to equip governments at every level to take their  rightful role in housing Canadians? 

I hope to throw open a conversation about the future of housing. My focus is Toronto, the City I know best, but I hope these ideas can stimulate good thinking elsewhere.

I am Joy Connelly. I started working in social housing 40 years ago doing street outreach at Dundas and Sherbourne. I have managed an east end co-op, developed new co-ops, managed communications for a provincial advocacy organization and, as a consultant, completed over 200 projects for federal, provincial, municipal and non-profit clients.

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