Saturday, March 12, 2011

Toronto’s Backward on Public Housing: Get ’em Out, Not In

Toronto’s Backward on Public Housing: Get ’em Out, Not In: FCPP - Frontier Centre for Public Policy

I can't argue with a thing that Margaret Wente has written in this article. Public housing shouldn't be a right, and it shouldn't be intergenerational. Public housing should be a step up, not a support, and those that make use of public housing should know that from the start. Policies should be clear that there is a certain time limit on benefits at which point tenants are expected to graduate to lesser and lesser helpful programs. Policies should be in place to ensure that all working age households do not have the majority of their income coming from government sources (welfare programs, etc) for an extended amount of time.

Now, here's the kicker. Policies should be in place to reduce the number of senior housing units over time, not increase them. I disagree with Ms. Wente's assertion that many elderly and disabled will always require subsidized housing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, the current crop of seniors may always need subsidized housing, but that is because their rulers have been telling them since the 60s that it's okay, that the government will take care of them for the rest of their lives - that they don't need to sock anything away for retirement. Sadly, for the last 20 years, people of my generation have been told the exact opposite, and as a result, you will see a larger and larger number of the current generation retiring in 25-30 years with no dependency on the retirement systems in place. This should have the effect of reducing the number of social housing units necessary. Moreover, if we add in the introduction of RDSPs and other wealth transfering vehicles for disabled persons, it is entirely likely that in a generation no disabled persons should require any subsidization.

At least, that's the dream.

No comments:

Post a Comment