Toronto city council has decided to defer its decision on legalizing rooming houses across the city one more time. Some of you may remember that this item went to council in the summer and was deferred to this fall. So now a new report is going to be drafted and the item will then make its way back to council sometime in the new year. Perhaps a decision will be made at that point. We will see.
This is an interesting debate for many reasons, one of which is its divisiveness. Shawn Micallef wrote a searing piece in the Toronto Star over the weekend talking about how city council is showing its contempt for renters in this city and how council’s inaction is both “insulting and cowardly.” Article, here (paywall).
At the same time, we know that many/most councillors don’t want this to happen. Which is why you get comments like this (taken from Micallef’s article): “…fundamentally what we need to talk about is what we don’t talk about enough at this council … homeowners’ rights. People who invest in this city and who live in stable residential neighbourhoods, the people that pay the taxes in this city.”
I have already shared my views on this topic in past posts, but these are annoying comments. I live in a multi-family building. I build multi-family buildings as my job. And my next home is already planned to be in a multi-family building. Does that make me a second class citizen because I don’t live in a “stable residential neighborhood?” Am I not adequately investing this city?