Proposal G21-P017, submitted by Braeden Soltys
“Achieving Housing for All” was one of over 20 policy proposals that members of Green Left – Gauche verte wrote and/or promoted to help make ecosocialist solutions central to the platform of the Green Party of Canada. We are happy to announce that GPC members greenlighted “Housing for All” for adoption at the party’s Biennial General Meeting in November.
Whether renter or owner, all of us living in Canada experience the day-to-day stress of “how can I afford to live in my home?” Despite a global pandemic that at its peak put the country’s unemployment at a crushing 14%, house prices have reached record heights and continue to climb. Both Vancouver and Toronto have topped global rankings for the most unaffordable cities to live in. Worse yet, homes across the country in small towns and big city alike are being scooped up en masse by huge real estate firms.
So how does this proposal try to address this crisis of affordability? Two ways:
- Massive historic investments in public housing
- A series of land and property reforms ranging from market tools like taxation to hard caps on chargeable rent and land ownership
In this country, the standard approach to housing policy has been to make it easier for luxury condo developers to displace our poorest and most vulnerable neighbours. The goal of the private housing market is always to turn a profit on selling property. This goal puts the private market permanently at odds with the idea of “housing as a human right”. By strengthening the public housing and housing cooperative sectors, we can begin to take back the country from the stranglehold landlords and the big banks have us in.
While the immediacy of the housing crisis must be addressed, it cannot be ignored that these policies still only tinker within the margins the settler state of Canada allows. The very land which “Housing for All” policies seek to affect has been stolen under a series of genocidal programs, many of which still are in practice today. This is why it is of utmost importance to be pushing for the return of land to the nations and peoples from whom it was stolen.
Until Indigenous nations and peoples gain true sovereignty over their land, justice will never be achieved.
See the GPC votes page for details of our recommendations