This is a tough topic for me as I choose to live in an adult-only building (18 units, inner-city Calgary) and would like it to stay that way; however, I always read your posts on this topic (because I can see it is important) and I clearly see that for people with children (ie single moms) it can be very challenging to find a desirable place to live. I didn’t view adult-only buildings as discrimination before and I’m honestly not sure that I do now. I see it as choices made: I chose not to have kids and others did; I choose to live in an adult building; landlords choose to whom they wish to rent their private properties.
I work a full-time job and I come home and study and write papers at night and on weekends. If there were babies and toddlers (and older kids) in my building I would hear them at all hours of the day and night and it would affect my sleeping and my already tenious study habits. I need and want a level of control over the environment I live in. Sharing space with children takes away a lot of that control. It isn’t that kids are undesirable – it’s that they are unpredictable (in terms of noise control) and often disrespectful (in other words, if I asked some kids running loudly through the hallways of my small building to please keep it down because I’m studying, I have probably a 50/50 chance of them being quiet or taking it as an invitation to get louder).
Of course MANY children are raised to be respectful; the problem is that I don’t have control over which children (ie parents too) are allowed to live beside, below, and above me.
If there’s a drastic, unfair shortage of good affordable housing for parents and their children then I absolutely agree that something needs to be done to address the shortage. I don’t have the answer.
Jenn works in a post-secondary institution and is a grad school student. She lives and works in Calgary.