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public housing

Public housing generally means housing that is built and operated by the state, either directly or through partners.



Historical Form


As a perceived solution to homelessness and poverty the form of public housing is constantly evolving.

Early examples:


Poor houses…

1945 - 1980’s:


The tendency through this period was to start fresh with mega-projects. Numerous cities saw large tracts of inner-city neighbourhoods bulldozed to make way for the new housing projects.

The goal was to provide bold, modern buildings surrounded by green-space for the occupants. In reality many of these “projects” created less safe places for the poor.

In North America there are many “projects” built during this period which are presently being condemned, torn down and redeveloped.


1990’s - present


In Canada through the 1990’s there was little or no government funding available to build housing. During this time, the existing stock of housing has been allowed to deteriorate and has been downloaded from different levels of government wishing to save money.

2005 – 2010


In Ontario there has been promises from all levels of government to provide funding for affordable housing in fall 2005.

In Toronto Regent Park? and Don Mount Court?, two well known downtown housing projects, are being redeveloped. When complete, the number of public housing units on site will be less than at present, but a commitment to replace the existing number of units has been made. The redevelopment is being financed by encouraging market value housing to be built on site in a mixed income neighbourhood.


Examples of public housing types










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