Non-Profit Housing in All New Public Buildings >> Advent Policy Brief #9

As a renter, I'm acutely aware of rising prices for places to live. I thought the situation was bad in Ontario having lived in two consistently high-cost housing markets in Toronto and Ottawa. Renting in high-cost cities is like an ache, a deep constant ache. It sucks, and it's going to keep sucking, but it's predictable. 

It's different kind of bad in New Brunswick. The rental experience in New Brunswick is more like someone fired a shotgun at my Adam's apple. New Brunswick's renters have the weakest protections in Canada including no rent increase caps. Add COVID lockdowns spurred the largest gain in domestic migrants for the province in 46 years, and voila: 

Provincial powers regulate rental markets, but the federal government has a role to play too, particularly with supply. My ninth Advent Policy Brief suggests that role ought to include planning non-profit housing units in every suitable new building the federal government constructs, as well as funding suitable projects built by provincial and municipal governments. 

The thought came to me in 2018 at a citizen consultation for the new joint Library Archives Canada-Ottawa Public Library. I would need to hear a hella good reason why putting a couple of floors of condos into a well-designed community-oriented facility like the new Ottawa central library is a bad idea.

Ādisōke, your new Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility.

Just think of how many quality non-profit units would come online if all new public service office buildings, museums, hospitals, courthouses, art galleries, and community centers had 2 floors of condos worked into the designs.