Craig Ruttan on Housing Solutions

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.  

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. 

A black and white photo of public policy leader Craig Ruttan is centred on the turquoise episode artwork for Life Without Us podcast episode five. The episode title appears in yellow box with turquoise writing: 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

On the Life Without Us podcast, Valery Navarrete shared two seasons of stories about community and connection to inspire more of us to have more “us” in our lives.

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