Craig Ruttan on Housing Solutions

Host Valery Navarrete shares stories about community and connection to inspire more of us to have more “us” in our lives.

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Life Without Us Episode #5: Craig Ruttan on Housing Solutions

“The box is generally a two or three story single family home and that’s about it. I think knowing that we need to get a lot more creative about how we’re living means that we need to raise that bar and enable more of that creativity. Because cities should be a little messy. ”

Craig Ruttan

Craig Ruttan bought his first home this year giving him a front row seat to the urban housing issues he was already familiar with as a public policy leader and community enthusiast.

At the outset of their search, he, his fiancé Alex, two other couples, and an individual set out to buy a four-unit home in downtown Toronto for their new cohousing community. At the end of it, Craig, Alex, and their friends, Mike and Heather, moved into a two-unit home with ambitions to expand through laneway house construction in the future.  

Host Valery connected with Craig three weeks post move-in to talk about the joy of starting to realize his and his co-owners’ vision for living in community and the choices that need to be made to replace profit with people as the focus of Toronto’s housing policy. 

Public policy leader Craig Ruttan wears a suit jacket and sports a big smile on the turquoise episode artwork for Life Without Us podcast episode five along side the episode title Craig Ruttan on Housing Solutions.
Photo provided by Craig Ruttan

 In this episode:

  • House hunting as a group
  • Evolving private rituals and traditions into shared community experiences 
  • Queer concepts of community 
  • Intergenerational wealth, white privilege, and Toronto’s homogenization by housing policy problem
  • Housing access through “densification” “as-of-right zoning bylaws,” “strata ownership,” “shared equity models” and other creative policy solutions
  • Future hopes for a community and a city

Find Craig


Find Other Episode References

Black North Initiative and Habitat for Humanity GTA Toronto Star editorial on Anti-Black Racism and Housing 

Toronto’s Laneway Suites Program

Toronto’s As-of-right Garden Suites Proposal

Types of Strata Ownership

Options for Homes

No One Should Have to Live a Life Without Us

Life Without Us aspires to be a platform for collaboration. We’d love for you to engage with us on Instagram @lifewithoutuspod and / or message host Valery directly here. Guest, co-host, and topic suggestions are welcome, as are questions you’d like answered on the show!

You can also listen and subscribe on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogleStitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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