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Episode 07 - When a House is not a Home, with Alyssa Brierley

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What happens when capital markets and individual landlords control access to a fundamental human right?

A house or condo has changed from being a place to live, and a shelter for families, into a profit-making business – something to help us retire earlier.

Join us as Alyssa Brierley, human rights lawyer, explains the reasons for the global housing crisis, shares real-life stories of tenant eviction and discrimination, and challenges us to put people before profit.

In this episode

We talk about:

  • Acknowledging the land we’re on

  • Homelessness – it’s not just on the streets

  • Two reasons for the housing affordability crisis

  • Why tenants are being evicted into homelessness

  • Financialization – the business model of de-housing vulnerable people

  • How landlords legally, but immorally, coerce tenants into leaving

  • Landlord fraud – evicting tenants on false pretenses

  • Housing as a human right, vs. a market commodity

  • The privilege and responsibility of landlordship – enabling the right to life

  • CERA's work for tenants’ rights

Guest bio and references:

Alyssa Brierley is a human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA). Alyssa previously served as a United Nations advisor on the right to food, and a policy advisor to the provincial government and Ontario College of Teachers. She is currently completing her PhD in political science, and has done extensive work researching and defending various human rights, including housing and health.

Contact CERA and Alyssa:

Find CERA on:

Find Alyssa on:

Other resources:

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Episode Transcript

Please note: the transcripts attempt to stay true to the essence of each conversation, while maintaining clarity and readability. As a result, certain "filler" words, and nuances of tone, emotion and emphasis will be missing.


If you're able, you're strongly encouraged to listen to the audio podcast. Transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human editors, and may contain errors.

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Music Credits for this Episode

Intro Music:

What Words Can't Describe, by Vlad Gluschenko

License: CC BY 3.0:

Outro Music:

Beautiful Modern Rock Pop Guitar All Goodness Background Music, by Royalty Free Music

License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0:

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