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#CripTheVote: Responses from mayoral candidate Carlos Gomes on Poverty, Gentrification & Housing

1. Welcome, and thanks for joining us. Please introduce yourself!

HI my name is Carlos Gomes and I'm hoping to be Hamilton's new mayor this coming elections day.

2. A recent article in The Hamilton Spectator notes that, “The usual concern is that [gentrification] may cause displacement and prevent lower-income households from moving into an area that might have suited them.”

It goes on to state that, “Hamilton is not in that position, yet, not even close. There are still many neighbourhoods, in the Lower City and also on the Mountain, that contain housing that is relatively affordable, relative, that is, to other areas in the city.”

Disabled people frequently have specific access and accommodation needs. How might gentrification within a particular neighbourhood affect them differently than it does non-disabled people? How can we ensure that analyses of gentrification are accounting for the specific access needs and experiences of disabled residents?

I understand the growing demand for power income housing for all our resident including those whom are disabled. According to the disabilities act mandate our city must b 100% accessibility by 2025. I personally feel that should've already have been 100% accessibility to all already.

3. In addition to the limited availability of affordable housing, lack of accessible housing makes it even more difficult for disabled people living in poverty to find a place to live.

If elected, what steps would you take to increase the availability of accessible and affordable housing in Hamilton?

When I become Mayor of Hamilton, I plan to convert unused building and abandoned, unsafe buildings to solve the housing issues for all residents of our city, not just for those can afford them. We need to see each other as more than a collection of numbers, we need to see each other as part of a community. A community that accepts that fact that life is hard and everyone is entitled to help regardless who they are or what they've done.

4. Disabled persons seeking to rent from private landlords often face discrimination because of their access needs (e.g., service animals) or because they do not have regular employment income. This can make it difficult or impossible to access housing through the private market. Often this discrimination is not stated explicitly, which can make it difficult to challenge through existing systems.

If elected, what steps would you take to protect disabled tenants from housing discrimination?

Like previously mention on answer 3 I plan to these facilities available everyone regardless of financial difficulties through the city of Hamilton, decreasing the need for public facilities

5. Disabled people in precarious living situations often have difficult accessing support and crisis services, both because of the inaccessibility of the services themselves, and because community outreach workers lack expertise in disability justice issues (as well as other, intersecting forms of marginalisation).

What are some things the city of Hamilton could do to improve the availability of disability-informed community support services?

I plan make city hall more accessibility to it people by having the clerks clerks office  open on Saturdays and on holidays except Christmas, thanksgiving etc.. Why should we the people have to schedule our lives around our employees? Don't kind yourselves, politicians are supposed to work for us the majority "the taxpayer" not for the 1% who don't pay taxes, but think they have the right to tell us what we need. All government buildings in Hamilton will be accessibility on Saturday unless indicated otherwise.

6. As in the case of long-term housing, inaccessibility of homeless shelters, emergency and short-term housing are an additional barrier to disabled people facing homelessness.

How would you work to ensure increased availability of accessible crisis housing in Hamilton?

Again addressed in answer #4.

7. Poverty and homelessness can themselves be disabling, as a result of trauma, lack of access to non-acute healthcare, and unsafe living conditions.

What are some strategies Hamilton could implement to reduce these effects, and to help people who have dealt with poverty and homelessness in managing their trauma?

Life will pick us up and knock us down, with more accessibility for all we can help one another learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. I feel we need a program like AA or anger management, a safe environment where people will not be judged and can address their concerns freely.

8. Keeping in mind that some disabled people are unable to work, and that working should not be a requirement for people to enjoy a good quality of life – there are also some disabled people who actively seek employment, but are unsuccessful due to discrimination from employers.

As in the case of housing, this discrimination is often not explicit, but reveals itself in the patterns of responses disabled jobseekers receive when they are able to choose not to disclose their disabilities, versus when they do.

Moreover, the employment protections offered by the AODA are very limited, and do not directly address issues of discrimination. What are some initiatives Hamilton could undertake to address ableist discrimination against jobseekers and employees, and to increase employment for disabled people who are seeking to work? First off if a person is seemed disabled and cannot work, they are entitled by law to disability cheque period. The fact that they continue seeking employment knowing they cannot physically do the work is an indication of other ore serious conditions. It's the rights of all employers to hire or not hire whomever they want, the fact that a disabled individual need a paycheck on top what the government is already providing shows that our government isn't doing their jobs in providing enough funds to address the actual cost of living Here in Canada nowadays. Disabled people should inform their potential employers of any and all limitations, besides if a person can work with disabilities? Shouldn't the question be "Why are they receiving a disability cheque in the first place?

9. Our next chat, taking place this Wednesday, will focus on the topic of transportation. What role (if any) do you envision for public transit in mediating the impact of gentrification, and how might this apply to disabled residents in particular?

First off I'm 100% against the LRT, why should our city adapt to program that has proven not to work in Toronto; a city that has twice our population? I plan to take Doug Ford at his word that if Hamilton chooses not to proceed with LRT, we can keep the half billon to address our infrastructure need. I plan to upgrade our exist transit system and keep transit here in Hamilton instead of turning it over to Toronto's Metro links, which the government would have us believe is Canadian owned. ITS NOT!

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