They have a similar set up in the U.S. According to Wikipedia "The Housing Choice Voucher Program provides "tenant-based" rental assistance, so a tenant can move from one unit of at least minimum housing quality to another." The phrase at 'least minimum housing quality' does not sound very homey to me.
Let's face it least minimum housing quality can slip pretty quickly into not housing quality in a hurry. The recent headlines of Toronto's Mayor Tory with his hand out to the provincial and federal governments for Capital Repairs in order to stop future closure of much needed subsidized units are an attestation to that fact.
Then there's the fact that the vouchers are only good for 30 days when many landlords (including TCHC) demands a tenant give 60 days notice.
Furthermore, there is the intrusiveness not only for those in need of a voucher, but, also for the landlords as the units need to be inspected to see if they actually meet the minimum standards.
Finally, there is the suburbanization of crime. Stats indicate that once housing vouchers are part of a communities rental economy there is incentive for undesirables to explore and expand into new territories.
Even if I was still all gung ho about the proposed Portable Housing Benefit, I would very much run the risk of ending up in a community that (from the outside) may look very different but would eventually inherit some, if not all, of the imperfections of my current neighbourhood.
That's not a risk I am willing to take. The evil that I know (and that knows me) is far better than the evil I don't.
Leave a Reply.