The housing policy outcomes I seek dovetail with my foundational belief that when the majority of us are overworked and underpaid while rents keep rising, our ability to pursue art in our fleeting free time is sadly diminished as subjects of this economic system. Civic life suffers far too greatly for it. That's why I believe overdeveloping St. John's, where the average rent for a one bedroom would be $2400 and above, would be a policy failure and a blow to our ability to uphold our city's esteemed title, where all new art would be beholden to the curatorial proclivities of the titans of real estate.
My fear is that the diverse history of working people, and the indigenous societies that existed long before us, would be forgotten in lieu of a short term rental and AirBnB ghost town, pocked with flat design murals focus-grouped by developers, that the remaining public had little and less say in. Such a city may choose a future council that decides to shed the title as we surrender our decision making around art in the city to the private sector wholesale.
However, I believe City of the Arts is a title we can still uphold, and take pride in, if we make responsible housing decisions that build vast amounts of new homes with deep affordability along St. John's. Where the selection of art around these new apartments, townhouses, and public amenities becomes an exercise in inclusive community decision making that not only honours the diverse history of working people in this city, but looks to cultivate and celebrate a better future for all.