From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vertical Poverty

 In it's latest study on poverty in Toronto titled Vertical Poverty, the United Way looked at trends in poverty over a 25-year period from 1981 to 2006. They discovered to no ones surprise that poverty rates have soared in that period, but they also found  that poverty is not only becoming concentrated in certain neighborhoods but also in high rise apartment buildings, hence the title of this study.

"Between 1981 and 2006, family poverty in the City of Toronto rose significantly, from 13% to 21%. In actual numbers, there were nearly twice as many low-income families in 2006 as there were in 1981."

 As very few new projects have been built over the last couple of decades plus with governments at all levels,paticularly the senior ones having abandoned social housing Toronto's rental stock is aging and is showing the strains of the aging process. While the poor are getting poorer, they are paying more for housing and getting much less in return.

Here are just some of the United Way's findings

The number of high poverty neighbourhoods in Toronto has more than quadrupled over the last 30 years, from 30 in 1981 to 136 in 2006.

In 2006, almost half (46.3%) of the low-income families in Toronto were living in high-poverty neighbourhoods—up from 17.8% in 1981.

Today, 70% of the city’s high-rise apartment buildings are over 40 years old, and 60% of Toronto’s high-rise apartment buildings are located in the inner suburbs.

Inside their units, 40% of people experienced problems with washroom plumbing in the past year, 33% had problems with kitchen plumbing, and close to 25% had broken fridges and stoves.

Over a third of all tenants live in buildings where the elevators break down at least once a month.

More than 40% of people say that cockroaches are common in their building and 12% complain of 

What does this say about us as Torontonians and Canadians when we can abandon people to live in these conditions while we spend hundreds of millions on circuses (Pan/Am games) and billions more on wars. fighter jets and prisons?

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