February 10, 1937

CON

Denton Massey

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MASSEY:

They are starting houses this year.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

A person buying an apartment pays ten per cent down if he wants one of the A type, five per cent down for the B type, and for the C type he pays no deposit at all. The remainder of the purchase price for an A type is apportioned between the city and the state and a private lending company. It is such a mixture of cooperation and private ownership and government assistance that you can hardly tell where one begins and the other ends.

Then this H.S.B. had what I thought a very interesting scheme, and certainly a very useful one. The tenant gets six per cent interest annually on that deposit. If he chooses he need not accept six per cent but can take five per cent and let one per cent go as a premium of insurance which will provide on the death of the wage earner for the return of the entire deposit and annual rent reduction for the family is reduced by twenty per cent, thus providing security which is not provided here.

I visited one group of these H.S.B. houses where there were eight parallel blocks, built north and south so that both sides were open to the sunlight at different times of the day. Each block was separated from others by quite a wide grass plot. Each contained one hundred apartments, mostly one and two rooms with kitchenette and bath. But I should say that in Sweden what they call a two-room apartment is almost equivalent to what would be called four rooms here, because they always have a couple of extra entries or small rooms which are not counted in calling it a two-room apartment. These apartments were occupied by people earning small salaries, but they were very modern. They had laundries and drying rooms; they even had a very neat coffee room in the basement where the women who were doing the laundry could go in and

make coffee. It was part dining room and part kitchen, and was a very nice place.

The cost of these blocks of which I am speaking was very moderate. The cost of what they call a one-room apartment with kitchen and bath, which would be equivalent to what we would call a two-room apartment, was about $240 a year, with the larger ones coming higher. In addition they have to pay small sums for the laundry and the nursery. The cost of gas and electricity is not included in the figures I have given. The occupants were mostly skilled workmen receiving from 3,500 to 4.500 kroner per year, that is from $875 to $1,120. The corporation of Stockholm, in some cases I believe in cooperation with the government of Sweden, seems anxious to induce people to go into houses rather than into apartments.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Did the hon. member see the magic houses?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes, I was just going to speak of those. We spent the better part of two days looking into magic houses. Certainly they go up like magic; some of them, as far as the framework is concerned, are put up almost in a day. To induce people to go into them the houses had to be relatively cheaper than the apartments, so that the first thing the corporation of Stockholm did was to purchase large tracts of land beyond the city limits, which they then surveyed and laid out in streets. Water mains and sewers were installed and gas and electricity provided for. The projects are called garden cities, and in no case is the land sold; the leasehold is given for sixty years, the occupier paying an annual ground rent amounting to five per cent of the value of the site. In some cases rather expensive homes were put up financed by private money, but what was called the magic house was really a low priced house, almost a cottage, with a nice garden plot, for people of small means.

The corporation of Stockholm employed architects who designed many types of these cheaper houses. Then they prepared standardized material, and the workman who wanted such a house could start building it with practically no cash deposit.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
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LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

He contributed his labour.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
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UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes. He has to undertake, under the supervision of an architect, to construct the house. He goes to the warehouses where all this material is kept, selects what he needs and brings it to the lot, and usually starts the construction of the house

Housing Policy-Miss Macphail

by having a bee. He gets as many as possible of his friends to come in the morning, and they start, putting up the framework of the house. We saw one house they started that morning. We were in it before six o'clock in the evening and the framework was almost finished; the rafters were on for the roof. After that the man may hire some of his friends, or they may trade work back and forth. They try to get the outside work all done in the summer time. In the fall and winter they do the interior work, the painting and so on. Possibly both the man and his wife who are building this house have other jobs, so they can do the painting and other finishing work only when they are not busy with their regular occupations.

I was in many of the houses, and some of them are really beautiful. As a rule they are nicely furnished, because the Swedes are a very clean people with a fine sense of beauty. A four-room cottage of the kind I am now describing costs about 11,400 kroner or about $2,850. What they call landscape architects are also employed by the city to design the grounds to fit in with the house. I saw some of the raw houses where the grounds were not finished; I saw some houses where the gardens had been started, and I also saw houses where the gardens were three or four years old. These last were really beautiful, though I could hardly say that all the houses were beautiful. Some of them were pretty ugly, but they were all very comfortable.

There were many things to show how proud they were of their houses. I remember the pride with which they showed us all through, pointing out all the details. They were anxious that the H.S.B. man should let us see how splendid the housing project was. Not long ago I read an article in the Toronto Saturday Night, written by the hon. member for Greenwood, in which the hon. member mentioned the fact that these people had pride of ownership. In fact one man had a sign outside, reading "Small, but mine own."

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

About how many houses have been built under that plan?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

It must run into thousands. There are ever so many garden cities at different points surrounding Stockholm.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

All under the same plan?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
UFOL

Agnes Campbell Macphail

United Farmers of Ontario-Labour

Miss MACPHAIL:

Yes. Certainly they never will become slums; the pride of ownership will prevent that. I did not see any indication that there was not as much pride of ownership in the apartments, but there is

something about walking out of your own door into your own garden that you cannot get in an apartment. But in their wisdom the Swedes have tried to fill this gap in the life of people who dwell in apartments. In both Denmark and Sweden, as a matter of fact, anyone living in an apartment can. if he wishes, have a garden plot on the outskirts of the city, with a garden house on the plot. They are really things of great beauty, because roses grow very easily in both these countries. The garden house is often as pretty a little place as any summer house could be. Of course it is very small, it is intended only for holidays and Sundays, when the apartment dweller comes to enjoy his garden.

I did feel, after visiting Denmark and Sweden in particular, that in matters of housing and health, as in many other things, they were setting a pace for all other countries, and I think we have a great deal to learn from their experience. I do not say that we could do just what they have done, because conditions are different here, but I do think that if we start off by thinking that good housing for all the people is the greatest national investment we can make, we will be able to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of the realization of that objective.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. E. LAWSON (York South):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to return immediately to the question I suggested to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning). It seems to me that in matters of jurisdiction we are so often inclined to consider the question in regard to some involved scheme whereby the dominion in cooperation with the provinces, or the dominion in cooperation with the lending agencies, or the dominion in cooperation with somebody else, should do this, that or the other thing. I should like to suggest- and I am just making only a suggestion in that regard-that when the Minister of Finance is considering the housing problem, as apparently he is considering it, he might have advice from the Department of Justice with respect to a simple scheme, somewhat along the lines I am going to suggest.

Let me assume that the government introduced into the parliament of Canada, either by way of amendment to the present housing act-which the minister thinks has some virtue-or by a new act, a dominion housing scheme under which a commission was appointed; the government borrowed and advanced money to that commission with which to build houses; the commission constructed, in any particular province or municipality, so many houses which it sold on a rental basis

Housing Policy-Mr. Lawson

plan, such as has been outlined by the minister this afternoon, as to monthly payments. Under such a scheme would there be any question as to the jurisdiction of such a housing commission appointed by parliament to carry on?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Would the hon. member permit me to answer?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LAWSON:

Yes.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING :

I can give an illustration by pointing out that the people who bought or rented those houses would immediately be subject to provincial and local taxation which, as I was indicating, is the big handicap in developing any housing scheme to-day. We could not control that.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. LAWSON:

I realize that, but the

quantum of taxation has nothing in the world to do with the question of the jurisdiction of this parliament to do something. That is the point I am trying to make.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

The hon. member is distinguishing between slum clearance and low cost housing.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. LAWSON:

I care not whether a distinction is drawn.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

But on the point of jurisdiction surely there is a distinction.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
CON

James Earl Lawson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. LAWSON:

The only suggestion I would make to the minister in connection with jurisdiction would be that of creating a certain number of low cost houses, if the government were so inclined, after investigation.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink
LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Air. ROGERS:

But slum clearance brings up the question of jurisdiction.

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   HOUSING POLICY
Sub-subtopic:   ELIMINATION OF SLUM CONDITIONS AND PROVISIONS FOR OVERCOMING SHORTAGE OF DWELLINGS
Permalink

February 10, 1937