The Housing Gap

In this new documentary series, explore the affordable-housing challenges facing cities in Ontario — and around the world
By Daniel Kitts - Published on Mar 03, 2020
Mikael Colville-Andersen hosts The Housing Gap, a series of documentaries airing on TVO every Tuesday in March.



Urbanist and host of TVO's The Life-Sized City Mikael Colville-Andersen has seen cities across the globe deal with an array of different problems. But he says there's one issue he's encountered in virtually every place he's visited. 

Housing. Or, more specifically, affordable housing. 

Join Colville-Andersen for The Housing Gap, a series of documentaries airing on TVO every Tuesday in March. See how a shortage of affordable homes is affecting communities around the globe. Discover how companies are transforming real estate. And hear how people in cities all over the world are fighting back against sky-rocketing house prices and evictions. 

Visit this page to watch the series online and for additional TVO resources exploring the challenges of housing in the 21st century. 


Push (Feature version) 

This film sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, increasingly unliveable cities, and an escalating housing crisis. The film follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she travels the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of cities and why. For additional context, watch Mikael Colville-Andersen's introduction to Push. You can also read this profile of Farha and watch Steve Paikin's interview with her on The Agenda.  

A man filming in The Agenda studio

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Vancouver: No Fixed Address

As housing costs around the world continue to skyrocket, Vancouver: No Fixed Address takes an uncompromising look at the city's housing crisis, as citizens fight to preserve homes as living spaces rather than global financial commodities. Here are Mikael Colville-Andersen's thoughts on the film

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City

Jane Jacobs clashed with some of New York's most powerful people to save communities like Greenwich Village and Little Italy. She later fought a similar fight in Toronto. Those battles continue to influence debates about cities today. Watch how Mikael Colville-Andersen sets up the film

Airbnb: Dream or Nightmare?

A booking is made with Airbnb or a similar service every two seconds. But behind the numbers and glossy websites is a darker reality: nightmare tenants, fraudulent landlords, and a legal system failing to keep up. Watch Mikael Colville-Andersen share his thoughts about both this documentary and Priced Out

Priced Out

Exploring the complexities and contradictions of gentrification, Priced Out is a heartbreaking story of housing discrimination in one of America's whitest cities and the personal impact it has had on many of the community's Black residents. 

The Home Show

There is no silver bullet for all our housing problems. But, as The Home Show demonstrates, creative approaches — even such niche ideas as tiny houses, canal boats, and shipping containers — can make a real difference. Watch Mikael Colville-Andersen's introduction to both this film and Microtopia


Microtopia explores how architects, artists, and ordinary problem-solvers are pushing the limits to realize their dreams of portability, flexibility, and independence from the grid.

#onpoli podcast: The ripple effect of Toronto's housing market

As Toronto housing prices continue to skyrocket, more and more people are leaving the city and flooding into other parts of the province in search of greater affordability. In this episode, learn about how these communities are feeling the effects of Toronto's hot market — and meet one organization pushing for a radical new approach to housing.

Political Blind Date: The housing crisis

City councillors Ana Bailão and Stephen Holyday have very different takes on how to house Toronto's exploding population. Join them as they discuss their differing views on multi-residential and laneway housing, rapid densification, and more.

The Agenda: The Financialization of the Housing Market

The cost of housing — renting or buying it — seems to be going in only one direction: up. While that may be providing tidy returns for investors, it's also making it tough for many to keep a roof over their heads. To delve into the details, Steve Paikin welcomes economist Benjamin Tal, realtor Shaun Hildebrand, urban- and land-development researcher Diana Petramala, and University of Waterloo planning professor Martine August.

Read more about the ongoing challenge of affordable housing

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