Consider the matter of social housing in Toronto, which does little to keep its residents properly sheltered:
A group of about 30 tenants of the Toronto Community Housing Corp.-owned building at Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road marched into the management office Thursday with a litany of complaints that includes chunks of ceiling falling, an infestation of mice and roaches, and a week without hot water and heat.
"I've pretty much duct-taped everything, just to seal the mice and the roaches and the bugs [from] coming in," said Sherry-Ann Goordeen.
Goordeen, who has lived in the building for five years, says part of the damaged ceiling once fell on the head of her seven-year-old son.
The tipping point, however, was a week without hot water or heat that extended through the cold Easter weekend.
To keep warm, tenants used ovens and slept fully clothed. They are demanding a rebate for the week of inconvenience and that other problems be addressed.
No surprise that the city houses its poorest in a manner to rival the worst slumlords.
The city has no economic incentive to keep its housing habitable: theirs is a captive market, kept marginally alive on social assistance (another antonym) and reminded daily that it cannot survive without the city's beneficence.
And naturally, such housing tends to attract not those who have merely fallen down on their luck, but those who are fighting to keep from getting back on up it.
We will see more of these stories as Toronto continues to deny that it is on the brink of bankruptcy, as New York was in the 1970s.
And we will be told that everyone else is to blame, and to pay, for Toronto's plight.