Feminist housing

Feminist housing
Photo by Brock Wegner / Unsplash

Special days have a special way of being irritating. I never liked International Women's Day, in particular, because since women represent roughly half the species they shouldn't need special recognition. Yet there's no denying they do. Hence my frustration.

In recent months there have been several attempts to find solutions to the housing and homelessness crisis. Including, most recently, a feminist agenda. Without falling into lazy stereotyping, we can trace the contours of such a thing. As University of Ottawa's Dr. Carolyn Whitzman says, a feminist approach to housing is one that prioritizes caring and rights. You know, as opposed to profit and financial wealth.

I discuss this in my Ottawa Citizen column this week. The gist:

As the feminist housing agenda notes, most of the solutions to the housing crisis currently being advanced are “predominantly influenced by voices from the private market and the private rental sector.” Nobody’s saying we need to silence those voices. We simply need to add the others. A model that treats housing as an investment or a financial instrument works fine for some people but not for everyone.

To solve this crisis, we need to have all voices included in how we design and implement solutions. Once we have that, we won’t need equity lenses because our vision will take everyone into consideration.

Oh, and guess what? Trudel, the business people behind the Fleur de Lys project I wrote about last week just announced another project to modify a smaller strip mall in Ste-Foy and add another 1,500 housing units. Story in French.

I have two pieces out this week, one on better clarity needed for Express Entry applicants and the other one about a private member's bill seeking to help young refugees in the care of the state as they age out of care.