Building An Invitation To Direct Housing Policy In Ontario, Canada

two storey white sided building with five front doors
A home for five families, circa 1937. Despite being urgently needed, few buildings like this are being constructed today.

A collection of residents in Ontario, Canada, have been meeting to discuss how public policies and programs could end homelessness and make housing more affordable. The group includes people from all walks of life including farmers, working people, Indigenous people, academics, developers, housing providers and people from different political parties. The group has reached a consensus about an effective housing program.

The consensus position, which is called Five Ways Home, is being shared on the internet and social media. Very briefly, the five are:

    1. building in the right places
    2. building a wide variety of housing types
    3. building smarter and faster
    4. investing heavily in non-market, affordable housing and
    5. making housing affordable and part of liveable communities

Ontario’s residents are encouraged to dip into the content and add their voices in support of Five Ways Home’s policy directions.

Five Ways Home stands out by talking openly about the competing ideas for how to end homelessness and increase the supply of affordable housing. This open approach lets readers themselves assess the thinking behind Five Ways Home.

Five Ways Home is obviously intended for an Ontario audience. However, the approach of building a consensus view among a diverse group of individuals is a model worthy of consideration in any jurisdiction.

Five Ways Home is posted at the Alliance for a Liveable Ontario: Five Ways Home