Pasternak, S. and David Wachsmuth, “Use It or Lose It: Toronto’s ‘Use It or Lose It’ Campaign for Affordable Housing.” Critical Planning Journal 15, 2008.
[Winner – Soja Prize for Best Essay]
The city of Toronto is suffering from ‘abandonment issues’. A campaign of the same name seeks to help address the city’s housing crisis through the introduction of a Use It or Lose It bylaw that would see abandoned buildings expropriated and converted to affordable housing. This article discusses the campaign, suggesting that the introduction of a municipal bylaw has radical potential to address the basic need for shelter. It describes a social approach to defining ‘abandonment’ and argues that abandoned spaces can be used to challenge the North American private property regime, using Abandonment Issues as a case study.