With incomes unable to keep up with soaring rental costs, Councillor Pat Atkinson calls for partnership among the federal, provincial and municipal governments to address the problem of low vacancy rates and high demand for rental properties in Saskatchewan. Read more at The Star Phoenix.
City counsellors call for a united voice in requesting the provincial government review the Residential Tenacy Act. Politicians from 33 municipalities agreed the act subjects tenants to a costly, time-consuming, and ineffective system that is difficult to navigate due to its bureaucratic and legal complexity. The resolution put forward by Judy Villeneuve, Counsellor from Surrey, calling for READ MORE
A Halifax councillor wants the provincial government to look into limiting rent hikes before demand for housing rises and is calling on the Halifax Regional Municipality staff to look at the pros and cons of re-establishing provincial rent controls, which were abolished in the 1980s. Currently, only BC, Manitoba, Ontario and PEI limit the size READ MORE
A Place to Call Home: Edmonton’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness inspired by the Housing First principle that providing people with housing and supports prepares them to successfully build a new life for themselves. The City of Edmonton and the Government of Alberta have all worked in collaboration to house and support 1789 Edmontonians READ MORE
Saskatoon joins a number of other Canadian cities in passing a bylaw allowing seniors on fixed incomes to defer increases to property taxes enabling them to stay in their homes longer. Read more at News Talk 650.
The affordable task force released a list of recommendations that could potentially help those in the middle income households (ranging from an individual income of $21,500 to a combined household income of $86,500). Some of the recommendations include; expediting applications that address affordable housing, developing the Cambie corridor for higher density rental housing, and leveraging READ MORE
Calgary’s most recent homelessness count saw an 11.4 % drop since the last count in 2008. Calgary’s homeless count includes those in shelter beds and temporary housing. The decline can be attributed to the city’s adoption of the “housing first” model. The model was developed in the United States and designed with the basic principle READ MORE
Every three years Metro Vancouver conducts a street homelessness survey, with volunteers combing the streets, alleys, and parks looking for individuals sleeping outside. This year’s count showed Vancouver’s street homeless population fell by 82% compared with the survey conducted in 2008. The city has made a concerted effort to provide more shelter beds while waiting READ MORE
In a recent poll by the Columbia Institute, 15.8% of British Columbians have named housing and homelessness as the most important problem facing their community, up from 14.3% last year. Columbia Institute Executive Director Charley Beresford says “These numbers show a rising concern about housing and homelessness in communities across BC. They are a call READ MORE
A two-part series in Megaphone Magazine explores the rise of homelessness in the suburbs and what municipalities are doing to address the issue. Read the article here .
A recent study from the Neptis Foundation, titled “Growing Cities,” examines the very different trends in city planning and growth in Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary. Vancouver is touted as the densest city with the least urban sprawl, thanks in part to proactive city planning in the 1960s and 70s. Calgary has the highest degree of urban READ MORE
“How Canada Performs: A Report Card on Canada compares quality of life in Canada with peer countries, and publishes comparisons in a report card that measures the following categories: Economy, Innovation, Environment, Education and Skills, Health, and Society. In the most recent report, Canada received one “B”, 2 “C”s and 9 “D”s. Countries with the READ MORE
A recently published study in the Harm Reduction Journal finds that injection drug users rank security issues, such as housing and physical safety, above concerns about catching diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Activists suggest that housing is a key issue in preventing AIDS infection, and emphasize the need for secure, barrier-free housing for street-involved populations. Read READ MORE
Your health is not defined soley by your physical attributes – it also includes aspects of your social life and environment. Watch the video “ Population Health: The New Agenda ” to learn more about the social determinants of health.
The Future of the Region Sustainability Dialogues is the latest outreach component of the Sustainable Region Initiative. It is intended to stimulate discussion and debate among decision makers, and foster new and diverse thought on regional issues such as housing, industry, labor and immigration, drugs and crime, regional economy, energy, and agriculture. Find more information READ MORE
Vancouver’s new mayor has pledged to end homelessness by 2015, a considerable challenge that will require solutions that go beyond asking the federal governmnet and the province for more money to address the issue. Megaphone Magazine , Vancouver’s street paper has republished an article from the Tyee listing 50 ways to help the homeless.
New Westminster city councillors are asking staff to move ahead with the implementation of density bonuses. The city is offering bonuses to developers in exchange for amenity contributions. Amenities include affordable housing, child care, civic lands and buildings, parks and open spaces, public art and specific types of transportation infrastructure were appropriate. The City has READ MORE
The Canadian Labour Congress believes now is the time to invest at least $10 billion in infrastructure projects from public transit to affordable housing. In an open letter 80 prominenet Canadian economists called for similar measures. Read more in the Tyee.
Author and developer Howard Rotberg’s new book Exploring Vancouverism: The Political Culture of Canada’s Lotus Land (Mantua Books) offers 11 key steps in creating affordable housing. Many of these strategies have been employed to great success in other provinces, most notable Ontario. Some of the key steps include: levying a business tax on unoccupied condo READ MORE
With one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country, Victoria BC is considering a ban on the demolition of rental units with more than 3 units, unless they are deemed unsafe for human habitation. The proposed "housing emergency by-law" would require developers build subsidised or affordable suites when redeveloping a site. The legislation follows READ MORE
Report on the Consultation on Human Rights and Rental Housing in Ontario was released by the Ontario Human Rights Commission in mid-June 2008. The report finds that all levels of government, as well as public and private sector landlors, discriminate against immigrants, refugees, single parents, the disabled, aboriginals, and the mentally ill. Such discriminating acts READ MORE
This new tool-kit from Smart Growth BC looks at eight tools and strategies local governments can use to deliver market and non-market affordable housing in their communities. It also features examples of best practices across BC.
A report released in 2008 by the Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA) and SFU shows that homelessness among adults with severe addictions and/or mental health illnesses is prevalent in both urban and rural settings and that providing adequate housing and support for these individuals would result in a net cost READ MORE
This is Part 3 of the Centre for Civic Governance’s recent publication, Leadership Makes A Difference. It includes articles by Smart Growth BC’s Executive Director, Cheeying Ho, Victoria City Councillor Dean Fortin, Executive Director of Housing California, Julie Spezia, and North Vancouver Mayor Darrell Mussatto. Download it here .
A 2 minute video clip from CBC News about a great initiative in Vancouver – an affordable housing project for artists over age 55. View the clip here .
This detailed report from Smart Growth BC includes policies and programs for affordable housing, strategies, non-governmental models, projects, and case studies from around Canada and the U.S. Download it here .
A lesson guide developed by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness, the BC Federation of Teachers, SPARC BC and the Vancouver Art Gallery, this guide is designed to engage teachers and students in learning and activities related to Homelessness Action Week. Download the guide here .
Coquitlam recently adopted a new housing strategy. Based on a community consultation process, the strategy includes current and ongoing actions; a three year work program and long term actions. Click here to download (pdf)