Collective demands for just housing

The following are our collective demands for housing:

  1. We need self-determination and control over our own homes:
  • We need to be treated as adults and as any other ‘9-5’er would in their own homes
  • The housing needs to fall under the Residential Tenancy Act and our names need to be on the agreement
  • Strong tenant councils should govern the operations of all housing facilities so we can meaningfully participate in decision-making about our homes and lives
  • There should be in-house job opportunities in all positions so that we can participate in running the buildings
  • It is our desire to own and operate our own buildings, run by and for low-income people
  1. We need affordable housing and not institutional, supportive housing:
  • We need to greatly increase the stock of independent, affordable housing at welfare rates
  • Punitive, paternalistic, and institutional rules create homes that are not welcoming or safe
  • We need to be treated as capable human beings, as ‘normal’ renters, because we are!
  1. We need permanent homes and not temporary shelters or transition housing:
  • We are often offered temporary and transitional housing with bureaucratic processes for getting a bed and securing shelter
  • We need to feel secure without risk of eviction
  1. No policing/surveillance in housing:
  • We need to be treated as people and not criminals
  • No police involvement in housing
  • We need to be given proper notice before our rooms are searched by staff
  • Our guests are our friends and family. We need to be able to have guests over without sign-ins, checks, and searches.
  1. We need processes of accountability for housing service providers:
  • We need a process for making independent complaints that will not impact our housing status
  • No daily rule changing/arbitrary rules
  • No applying rules differently to different people based on favouritism, likes and dislikes, etc.
  1. We need better and more diverse housing options:
  • Like any other group of people we have diverse needs. A one-size-fits-all model of congregate housing doesn’t work for everyone. Some people would like a piece of land to shelter outside, or microhousing, or to be able to live more collectively in a shared house so street families can stay together, or other housing options. Each of us is the expert on what kind of housing will best meet our individual needs.
  • We need better options for youth, veterans, and couples
  1. Elements of good housing:
  • Privacy and space
  • Proper maintenance of building
  • Pets allowed
  • Guests allowed (no sign in/checks/searches)
  • Couples can sleep together
  • Staff should treat people with respect and as equals
  • Be able to cook own food/cook in own room
  • Workshop space
  • Communal space for meetings/swap shop
  • Private bathrooms
  • Secure individual storage

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