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Unaffordable Housing: Market Failure or Market Success

January 31 @ 1:00 pm 2:30 pm

Join us on January 31, 2024 for our first webinar of the New Year. Ricardo Tranjan and David MacDonald will discuss whether the current housing market is a failure or a success concerning how it impacts access to affordable, accessible housing.

Image reads: Unaffordable housing: Market Failure or Market Success Speakers Ricardo Tranjan and David MacDonald. A dark curly-haired man with a close-cropped beard and mustache looks to the left; he wears a dark blue blazer and a pale blue shirt. A cleanshaven white man with a receding hairline and dark framed glasses looks to the right, wearing a grey blazer, a black neck tie, and white shirt.

Ricardo Tranjan’s 2023 bestseller book, The Tenant Class, has generated much attention and controversy in public policy circles. A core argument in his book and other writings is that There is No Housing Crisis. “The rental housing market is designed to funnel income from working-class families to the property-owning class, and as far as this goal is concerned, it works like a charm.” 

In this talk, Ricardo will present the theoretical and historical foundations of his argument and make the case for the need to re-politicize the housing question. He will share stories about social movement building across Canada, highlighting the little support the tenant class receives from established civil society organizations. His presentation will set the stage for a discussion about what it means for housing advocates to go on the offensive, a call he made in his most recent Policy Options op-ed.

Ricardo Tranjan is a political economist and senior researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Previously, Tranjan managed Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and briefly taught at universities in Ontario and Quebec. His early academic work focused on economic development in Brazil, his native country. His current research is on the political economy of social policy in Canada. He is the author of two books: a scholarly analysis of Participatory Democracy in Brazil (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) and the national bestseller The Tenant Class (Between the Lines, 2023). Ricardo holds a PhD from the University of Waterloo, where he was a Vanier Scholar. A frequent media commentator in English and French, he lives in Ottawa. X: @ricardo_tranjan

David MacDonald will moderate this discussion with Ricardo Tranjan. David joined the CCPA as its Senior Ottawa Economist in 2011, although he has been a long-time contributor as a research associate. Since 2008, he has coordinated the Alternative Federale Budget, which takes a fresh look at the federal budget from a progressive perspective. David has also written on a variety of topics, from child care to income inequality to federal fiscal policy. He is a regular commentator on national policy issues, often speaking to the CBC, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Canadian Press. 

Click the button below to register to join us.