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Are the homeless hopeless? : an exploration of the policy implications of different definitions of homelessness Chung, Janet Lai Chun 1991

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ARE THE HOMELESS HOPELESS? AN EXPLORATION OF THE POLICY IMPLICATIONS OF DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS OF HOMELESSNESS By JANET LAI CHUN CHUNG B.A. The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES The School of Community and Regional Planning We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard The University of B r i t i s h Columbia A p r i l 1991 ©Janet L a i Chun Chung, 1991 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of rs?J1A»uA//7y <• /Z£6/oA/4( Pf/M/A/A The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This thesis explores why the cxanmonly used broad definition of homelessness endorsed by many analysts and academics in the contenporary literature i s not useful in devising effective housing policy to alleviate the most urgent needs of those who are without safe, healthy, permanent and affordable shelter. The broad definition views homelessness as the absence of permanent home over which inhabitants have personal control and which provides shelter, privacy, security at an affordable cost together with ready access to social, economic and cultural public services. It i s often contrasted with a narrow definition of homelessness. While the narrow definition only focus on the needs of the absolute homeless (i.e., people without a roof over their head), the broad definition employs a comprehensive perspective to take into consideration the needs of the at risk homeless (i.e., people who are at the risk of losing their home) as well. Housing analysts who endorse the broad definition of homelessness believe that by framing the issue in its wider context they may be able to induce public policy change to tackle homelessness broadly in the public agenda. However, contrary to this well-intended motive, this study finds that the broad definition may actually hinder policy decision making to respond effectively and efficiently to those who are most in need. It does so for five reasons: 1) i t s broadness is inconsistent with the ideological and political realities in a hcmeownership dominant housing system; 2) i t contains an inadequately formulated category of "at risk homeless" which ignores or dismisses the housing difficulties (e.g., affordability, suitability and adequacy) of the at risk homeowners; 3) i t fails to establish precise i i boundaries of the broadly defined homeless population mainly due to technical and political ramifications; 4) i t is weak in coalescing inter-agency, cxaxirnunity and individual support and advocacy; and 5) the broader the definition the bigger the social problem and the more the public resources required to address the issue broadly which in turn urxiermines the concept's u t i l i t y in generating welfare consensus to mobilize resources in assisting the weakest members in the crsrfmunity In order to redirect housing policy decision making to be responsive to the neediest, this thesis proposes that: 1) the potential u t i l i t y of Housing Dimension of Hamelessness must be distinguished from the "general" broad conception of homelessness so that policy specific focus can be given to each individual dimension of homelessness to facilitate immediate actions and solutions to aid each target group (e.g., housing dimension of homelessness focuses mainly on housing aspect of homelessness therefore the concept has the highest u t i l i t y for investigating housing problems and formulating housing solutions for people with severe basic shelter need. The general broad view of homelessness focuses on a l l contributing factors of homelessness equally therefore the concept has the highest u t i l i t y in investigating broader social issues such as social inequality); 2) homeless should be recategorized into five subgroups: at risk renters, at risk homeowners, street homeless, shelter homeless and by-choice homeless in order to increase the concepts' u t i l i t y for prioritizing needs and allocating public resources to aid the neediest; and 3) policies and programs for the homeless must be targeted at "shelter homeless" and "street homeless" instead of "homeless" as a general broad category to ascertain that the most vulnerable members in the cxarrnminity will receive the highest priority assistance in Canada's housing system. i i i Table of Contents Abstract n List of Tables v List of Figures v i Acionowledgements v i i 1. Introduction 1 1.1 Linking the Concept of Homelessness and Housing Policy Response. .3 1.2 Purpose 5 1.3 Methods 7 1.4 Organization 9 2. Literature Review: Definitions of Hnmplpgyaipiss and the Homeless Population 11 2.1 Defining Homelessness 11 2.2 Putting Faces to the Homeless 16 2.3 Counting the Homeless 17 3. Vancouver's Housing Issues: A Context for the Problem of Homelessness. .23 3.1 High Land Prices, End of Homeownership and High Demand in Rental Sector 24 3.2 Inadequate Supply of Affordable Rental and Depletion of Low Rent Stock 26 3.3 Unemployment, Poverty and Social Assistance 31 3.4 "Not In My Backyard" Syndrome and Affordability in Housing 34 3.5 Population Growth and Future Housing Demand 35 4. A Survey of Shelter Options far the Homeless People in Vancouver 1990. .38 4.1 A SuTttmary of the Findings in the Tables in Appendix A 41 4.2 A Surnmary of the Findings and Observations from the Survey and Personal Interviews with Professionals and Practitioners in Welfare Services 48 5. Uti l i t y of the Broad Definition of HrmplPFasnpss in Housing Policy Decisions 56 5.1 Homelessness and Hcmeownership 56 5.2 Inadequate Formulation of the "At Risk Homeless" 60 5.3 Imprecise Estimates and Allocation of Public Resources 64 5.4 Homelessness and Inter Agency Coalition Building 66 5.5 Homelessness and Welfare Consensus 69 5.6 A Surnmary of the Findings on the Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in Policy Decision and Programs Development 73 6. Rethinking the uti l i t y of Concept of HnmRlesfaTRSs far Housing Policy and Program Development: Oorncluding Comments 76 Appendix A 93 Appendix B 94 Bibliography 95 iv List of Tables Table 1 A L i s t of the Conditions Contributing to Homelessness 4 Table 2 Tota l Number of Shelterless In Vancouver 20 Table 3 Vancouver's House Prices 1990 25 Table 4 The Total Number of Shelters and Programs Surveyed 40 Table 5 A Summary of the U t i l i t y of the Broad Def init ion of Homelessness i n Housing Pol icy Decision 75 Table 6 Summary Comparison of Different Definitions of the Concept of Homelessness i n the Contemporary Literature 77 Table 7 Defining Concepts and Tentiinologies of Housing Dimension of Homelessness for Policy Decisions/Considerations 81 v List of Figures Figure 1 Private and Non-Prof i t Rental Housing Starts i n Urban B.C. 1980-1986 30 Figure 2 B r i t i sh Columbia Unemployment Rate, 1979-1989 32 Figure 3 Household Income of Family and Unattached Individuals by Income Group and Province in B.C. 1988 34 Figure 4 Net Migration i n Vancouver CMA 1984-1989 ...36 Figure 5 Evolution of Federal Hcanecwiership Programs, Canada, 1945-1988. .58 Figure 6 A Schematic Conceptualization of the Canadian Housing System with Emphasis on the Housing Dimension of Homelessness 87 v i AcOaxwledgements I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who has generously assisted me in this study. Special tributes are due to the following people. Dr. David Hulchanski, my thesis advisor, who has given me the necessary directions and professional guidance throughout the preparation in this study. His invaluable advice has turned this study from a standard academic exercise into an exciting intellectual challenge. Dr. Peter Bpothroyd, my other thesis advisor, who has inspired me with his thoughtful suggestions and cr i t i c a l input which have opened my mind to see beyond the obvious. With his sense of humour, he has thought me that serious academic inquiry can be delightful to the inquisitive mind. I must also thank the twenty four professionals and practitioners who have shared with me their knowledge and experience which have substantially strengthened the practicability of this study. Lastly, with the f u l l manuscript before me, I wish to dedicate this dissertation to my husband, Peter. Without his love, support and patience, I would never have the opportunity to experience this intellectually and academically rewarding challenge. v i i Chapter One jjrbxriuction Contrary to the coinmon perception that the widespread problem of lack of permanent and affordable shelter is only a manifestation of poverty in less developed nations, there is growing evidence that the number of people without shelter of any kind and without continuing and affordable homes in developed countries i s increasing at an alarming rate. Canada i s no exception. In 1982, the United Nations' resolution designating 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (IYSH) was adopted by a l l member countries in an effort to draw attention to the estimated one hundred million people who have no shelter of any kind and to the one billion people who lack a real home. Stephen Lewis, Canada's Ambassador to the united Nations at the time, points out that "the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless raises questions that run to the heart of the human condition and for which answers are not in any sense evident (Lewis, 1987:6)." In response to the IYSH, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada's national housing agency, served as the national focal point and supported a wide range of initiatives to identify and highlight the best means of aiding those who have extreme housing difficulties in the country. Since the mid 1980's, there has been a significant increase in research on homelessness in terms of its nature, scope, causes and solutions in the Canadian context. In particular, a new wave of research and discussion with special emphasis on the housing aspect of homelessness has been developed by housing analysts and academic experts in the hope of legitimizing the tackling 1 of homelessness as a serious problem on the public policy agenda. A close examination, however, reveals that despite the quantity and quality of the research, the Canadian government' s response to the severe housing difficulties of the bottom rung of the population has been very limited. In 1987, David Hulchanski, director of the Center for Human Settlements at the University of British Columbia, identified three criteria to measure the success of our efforts at addressing the needs of the population with the greatest shelter problems in Canada. In a background paper for a conference on homelessness in British Columbia, he stated: The International Year of Shelter for the Homeless will be successful i f Canadians throughout the country develop local, regional, and eventually national programs of action directed at three levels: 1) Political Ccmnritment regarding the iitrportance of housing issues and the need to give them adequate support and attention. 2) Policy-level Osmonritment to creating the adiiunistrative framework that wil l allow an adequate approach to housing problems on an integrated basis; and 3) Policy and Program Drrplementation, the testing, review, :Lmplementation and exchange of experience on solutions that address need and affordability (Hulchanski, 1987:Paper#2:2). To date, Canada has not shown any significant response to the issue of homelessness in terms of political cxaxrrrritment, policy decisions, and program inplementation. Rather, there is a government policy of nondecision or inaction in responding to urgent housing needs of the homeless. There may be economic, political, social, philosophical or other reasons for government not to tackle homelessness as a serious issue on the public agenda. However, one of the main reasons is that there is a terminological problem associated with the broad definition of homelessness which directly or indirectly impedes government response broadly to the issue. Therefore, this study aims at 2 exploring the reasons why the broad def in i t ion weakens the u t i l i t y of the concept i n inducing pol icy and program responses i n the Canadian housing system. 1.1 l i n k i n g t h e C o n c e p t o f H c m e l e s s n e s s a n d H o u s i n g P o l i c y R e s p o n s e In order to understand the relevance of the concept of homelessness, par t i cu lar ly the recently emerged broad perspective of the concept, i n housing po l i cy decisions, i t i s useful to take a closer examination on two other concepts — poverty and structural inequality. Table 1 consists of a l i s t of major conditions contributing to a broad concept of homelessness. With reference to th i s table, a l l the nine factors including poverty i t s e l f that have been ident i f ied as the contributing factors to homelessness can also be traced as roots or manifestations of poverty and structural inequality. This means that the concepts of homelessness, poverty and structural inequality have very s imi lar conceptual u t i l i t i e s to help understand the sources of re la t i ve deprivation i n the Canadian society. However, the reason that the concept of homelessness i s singled out for housing po l icy consideration by housing analysts and academics i s that the concept of homelessness, i n the broadest sense, has a unique conceptual u t i l i t y to draw attention to the various aspects of housing deprivation among the poorest and the most disadvantaged people in the housing system while the concepts of poverty and structural inequality are re lat ive ly weak i n focusing publ ic attention on housing pol icy issues. As w i l l be demonstrated i n the later analysis, the various uses of the term homelessness can be conceptually di f ferentiated. Further, housing dimension of homelessness can be rat iona l ly formulated to 3 Table 1 A L i s t of the Conditions Contributing to Homelessness 1. Housing Affordabi l i ty 6. Uherrployment 2. Displacement 7. Inadequate Socia l Assistance Rates 3. Deinstitutionalization 8. Family Breakdown 4. Lack Of Adequate Cornrnmity Support Services/Faci l i t ies 9. Individual Responsibi l ity 5. Poverty 10. Social Attitudes Source: A. Fa l l i ck . , Homelessness and the Homeless i n Canada: A Geographic Perspective, 1988, p.78. d i rect i n depth investigation of the complex housing aspects of homelessness i n order to a l lev iate the hopelessness of the neediest. The united Nations* designation of 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless gave a renewal in hope to those who are working hard to improve the housing conditions of the homeless i n Canada. Housing and <xaOTrrunity act iv i s t s , analysts and academics across the country responded to the IYSH by organizing conferences and workshops to f a c i l i t a t e publ ic debates and promote public awareness on homelessness. The results were a much improved and enriched understanding of homelessness as wel l as some development of loca l in i t i a t ives to address the problem i n Canada. However, th i s enthusiasm demonstrated by the grass-roots and non-government organizations in combating homelessness i s not matched by the 4 Canadian government's support in terms of housing pol icy action and program responses. On the one hand, there i s an obvious tendency for progressive housing analysts and academics to attempt to broaden the concept of homelessness i n the hope of legit imizing the issue on the publ ic agenda. On the other hand, government's maintenance of a pol icy of inaction or nondecision on homelessness in Canada sheds doubt on i t s publ ic commitment to deal with the issue broadly. Consequently, the disparity between the broad base advocacy intended by progressive analysts and the action ( i .e . , inaction) of government in Canada i s growing. Therefore, the question i s not what housing pol icy Canada has i n addressing homelessness because evidence indicates that we do not have one yet. Rather, there i s a more pol icy relevant question we should be asking: why does the broad conceptualization of homelessness endorsed by many progressive analysts and academics i n the contemporary l i terature f a i l to induce the anticipated pol icy and program responses from the Canadian government to tackle the problem within the broad context? 1.2 Purpose During the i n i t i a l stage of th i s research, i t was observed that there i s an ideological gap between the objectives of many housing analysts i n attempting to legitimize homelessness as a serious soc ia l problem by broadening the concept and the near tota l focus of government pol icy on ass ist ing homeownership. A broad def in i t ion views homelessness as the absence of permanent home over which inhabitants have personal control and which provides shelter, privacy, security at an affordable cost together with ready 5 access to soc ia l , economic and cultural public services (e.g., the broad approach to homelessness i s endorsed by David Hulchanski, Peter Oberlander, John Greve, Arthur Fa l l i ck and the Single Displaced Persons Project in Toronto). Based on th i s observation, th i s study argues that i n the context of a c a p i t a l i s t i c free market economy such as Canada, in which housing i s pr imari ly treated as commodity, the attempt by housing and academic experts to address homelessness broadly i s not an effect ive or helpful step i n inducing a government pol icy and program response to a l lev iate the extreme housing d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered by people with the least means and the most problems i n the Canadian housing system though the intention of these analysts i s indeed admirable. The main objective of th is study i s , therefore, to explore the reasons why the broadening of the concept of homelessness i n the recent l i terature has lessened rather than strengthened the u t i l i t y of the concept for devising an ef fect ive pol icy response. An effective pol icy response includes the ab i l i t y to p r i o r i t i z e needs and develop programs for people without shelter and people without secure tenure in Canada's housing system. The pol icy implications of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s assessed by c r i t i c a l l y examining i t against f i ve c r i t e r i a . The c r i t e r i a are derived from a review of the l i terature and a Vancouver case study. The case study consists of an analysis of the nature, extent and trends of homelessness and a survey of shelter options i n Vancouver. Current l i terature (e.g., P. Oberlander, D. Hulchanski and A. Fal l ick) distinguishes between the concepts of the "broad def in i t ion of homelessness" and the "narrow def in i t ion of homelessness." As wel l , i t d i f ferent iates the 6 "absolute homeless" from the "at r i sk homeless." As w i l l be shown i n the concluding chapter, these conceptual dist inctions are inadequate for spec i f ic po l icy decision making and programs development. Therefore, more spec i f ic po l icy focused conceptualizations of the different uses of the term "homelessness" w i l l be proposed for consideration. I t w i l l be also argued that the term "homeless" should be understood as comprising of f i ve subgroups of homeless people — by-choice homeless, street homeless, shelter homeless, at r i s k renters and at r i sk hcmecwners. The ultimate purpose here i s to stress that spec i f i c responses should be devised for each of these groups rather than for one general broad category of homeless within the framework of homelessness. 1.3 Methods This study uses three methods: 1) a l i terature review; 2) a case study; and 3) an assessment of conceptual and pract ica l problems of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness. F i r s t , a l i terature review with an emphasis in the Canadian context i s carr ied out to examine issues concerning definit ions, categorizations and enumerations of homelessness in the contemporary l i terature so as to lay the grounds for further discussion. Second, a Vancouver case study which consists of an analysis of the nature, scope and trends of homelessness and a survey of f a c i l i t i e s and services of shelter options for the homeless i s conducted. The or ig ina l aim of the case study was to examine issues of homelessness ident i f ied in 7 l i terature against soc ia l r ea l i t i e s by using a structured two-part questionnaire and personal interviews. During the survey study/ I talked to young people i n emergency centers; I met desperate single-mothers with children seeking refuge in c r i s i s shelters; I saw street homeless o ld men and bag lady wandering aimlessly on the streets of the downtown easts ide; and I consulted professionals who ass ist those who seek help in cr i ses or d i f f i c u l t s ituations. As the research proceeded, however, I discovered that the more empirical information I gathered on homelessness through the case study, the more I rea l ized that the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s problematic for the development of public po l ic ies to aid the people with the greatest needs. In view of th i s inte l lectua l enlightenment, findings result ing from the case study are, therefore, used as evidence for my cr i t ique that the broad def in i t ion of homelessness hinders pol icy and program development which would respond to the people who are most in need. There are three types of case studies: exploratory; explanatory and descriptive. An exploratory approach i s employed in th i s study. According to Yin a case study i s a method of empirical investigation which examines a contemporary phenomenon in i t s rea l l i f e context. He also suggests that an exploratory case study starts o f f with some rationale and direct ion, even i f the i n i t i a l assumptions might later have been proven wrong (Yin, 1989:23-30). 8 1.4 Organization There are s ix chapters. Following th i s introduction, the l i terature review in chapter two provides an overview of three key aspects of homelessness: 1) definit ions of homelessness; 2) putting faces to homeless people; and 3) enumerations of the homeless population. Chapters three and four i s the Vancouver case study. While chapter three helps identify the source, nature, extent and trends in homelessness, chapter four surveys the f a c i l i t i e s and services provided by the f i f teen emergency and special shelters for the homeless people in Vancouver. The case study shows the problems experienced by the homeless people in r e a l - l i f e context and helps to understand why the ir problems have not received pol icy actions as a f i r s t p r i o r i t y . Drawing on th is research and empirical evidence, chapter f i ve provides a synthesis of the findings in order to direct an exploratory search for the reasons why the broad def init ion of homelessness endorsed by the contemporary l i terature has weaken rather than strengthened the u t i l i t y of homelessness against f i ve pol icy decision making c r i t e r i a . I t closes with an summary assessment of the u t i l i t y of a broad def in i t ion of homelessness for housing po l icy and program decisions. Chapter s ix completes the regaining task of th i s study: 1) i t conducts a thorough reconceptualization of the various uses of the concepts and terminologies of "homelessness"; 2) i t recategorizes "homeless" population into f i ve subgroups for future policy considerations; and 3) i t proposes the most ef fect ive potential uses and pol icy implications of each individual 9 concept i n a systematic manner. This thesis concludes that the concept of homelessness has potential u t i l i t y for housing pol icy and program development to a l lev ia te hopelessness among the most vulnerable members of the cxirimunity i f i t i s redefined strategical ly to focus on spec i f ic categories. The highest p r i o r i t i e s should be given to assisting "shelter homeless" and "street homeless" i f they have reached the c r i t i c a l mass. The provision of housing should be based on the c r i t e r i a to provide permanent and affordable shelter that meet the basic safety and health standards to enable decent corrmunity l i v ing . 10 Chapter Two literature Review: Def initions of Hrmelessness and the Homeless Population 2.1 Defining Hanelessness A review of l i terature on homelessness reveals a s igni f icant lack of consensus on how the problem should be conceptualized and how the issue should be framed. The contemporary world has viewed the issue from many d i f ferent perspectives and has not yet agreed on which courses of action are appropriate solutions. Homelessness as a socia l problem has evolved from a process of co l lect ive def in i t ion rather than existing independently as a set of soc ia l arrangements with an in t r ins i c makeup. According to Hulchanski, a soc ia l problem i s a unique configuration of events and behaviours, unique because some condition or situation i s singled out for attention, and ef forts to solve the problem influence the course of soc ia l change. This i s the starting point for the p o l i t i c a l debate over po l icy options. Unt i l then, the p o l i t i c a l debate i s over whether or not there i s a problem society ought to address (Hulchanski, 1987a:2). The def in i t ion of the problem of homelessness has s igni f icant soc ia l , economic and p o l i t i c a l implications in public pol icy. For example, i f homelessness i s defined as a housing problem, then the response w i l l focus on housing solutions. I f homelessness i s defined as a mental health issue, then the ef forts w i l l be channelled primarily toward public health pol icy and programs. If homelessness i s defined as a poverty problem, then the answers 11 to the problem w i l l be heavily based on irrcome assistance programs. If homelessness i s perceived as a temporary problem, then the response to the problem tend to be short term in scope. In other words, the way the terms homelessness and homeless are used depends upon the reason for ra i s ing these issues in the f i r s t place. To date, a variety of formulations of def init ions of homelessness have been developed. They vary in scope from narrow and exclusive to broad and comprehensive. The cxammonly accepted def in i t ion of homelessness, however, i s simply the most narrow view of homelessness which i s the lack of a roof over one's head. This restr ic t ive approach i s problematic because i t ignores other elements such as basic health and safety, security of tenure and af fordabi l i ty , which together constitute the essential foundation for healthy cxaxrmunity l i v ing . For those who endorse a narrow view, homelessness i s rooted in individual weaknesses (e.g., people sleep in streets "by the i r own choice.") This l imited view of homelessness i s based on two assumptions: 1) people have rea l options; and 2) re lat ive ly few people are seriously deprived of shelter. Therefore, in the event people become shelterless, i t i s the i r own preference not to choose other available options. By attr ibuting the causes of homelessness to free choice, therefore, society should not be held responsible for the trag ic consequences of people sleeping on the streets and i n public parks. The def in i t ion proposed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), for example, closely para l le l s the narrow interpretation of the problem: 12 Homelessness refers to people in the streets who, i n seeking shelter, have no alternative but to obtain i t from a private or publ ic agency. Homeless people are distinguished from those who have permanent shelter even though that shelter may be physically inadequate. They are also distinguished from those l i v ing in overcrowded conditions (US, HUD, 1984:7). In a s imilar fashion, many p o l i t i c a l conservatives i n the united States seem to believe that the government has l i t t l e obligation to care for the homeless i n the i r country. This attitude i s perhaps best exemplified by the President Reagan's often quoted remark that "the homeless are homeless, you might say, by choice (Bassuk, 1984:45)." On the contrary, many analysts and academics who adopt a broad view recognize many aspects of "relat ive deprivation" inherent in homelessness are rooted i n stxuctural deficiencies, not the mere lack of physical shelter. Homelessness i n a wider context i s seen as neither a temporary condition nor a product of a mono-causal factor. Rather i t i s a multi-dimensional soc ia l , economic, p o l i t i c a l and physical event. In th i s respect, to develop a pol icy or programs to a l lev iate homelessness i s a d i f f i c u l t task because no simple solution or quick f i x alone can resolve th i s inordinately complex housing problem. Instead, solutions require p o l i t i c a l ccommitment and widely based involvement of government, industry, non-profit organization, community as wel l as homeless themselves. The United Nations has employed a comprehensive def in i t ion of homelessness. The broad def init ion proposed by the U.N. contains two main categories: 1) absolute homelessness, referring to individuals l i v i n g on the streets with no physical shelter; and 2) re lat ive homelessness referr ing to people l i v i n g i n homes that do not meet basic health and safety standards. 13 Within th i s broad approach, the U.N. 's focus i s on a l l aspects of "human settlements": good qual ity housing units; security of tenure and personal safety; access to safe water and sanitation; proximity to employment opportunities; education f a c i l i t i e s and health services; and af fordabi l i ty . This comprehensive conception of homelessness i s a sharp contrast to a narrow def in i t ion of the issue. Similar to the UN's broad conception of homelessness, the Canadian contribution to the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless i s another example which supports a broad perspective of the problem. According to th i s broad def in i t ion, homelessness i s the absence of a continuing or permanent home over which individuals and famil ies have personal control and which provides the essential needs of shelter, privacy and security at an affordable cost, together with ready access to socia l , economic and cultura l publ ic services (Oberlander and Fa l l i ck , 1987:11). In short, homelessness means much more than mere lack of permanent physical shelter. I t i s also imbued with a variety of opportunities and a set of relationships which are v i t a l to person's security and well-being i n the cxjnrmunity. In addition, there i s a trend in academic c i r c le s to extend the conceptualization of homelessness to include other aspects of emotional and psychological well-being perpetuated by the notion of a "home." The concept that a heme i s more than a physical shelter adopted by John Greve two decades ago becomes even more popular now with progressive analysts i n the recent l i terature. According to Greve, 14 what seems to be crystallizing from the present concern with definitions is a distinction - and an awareness for the need for such a distinction - between "houselessness" and "homelessness." There is a trend away from the former - from the view that homelessness means simply being without acxxmimodation - to a recognition of homelessness as a more complex state, scmething imilti-dimensional, involving the quality of l i f e , and particularly of relationship between members of a family (or household), and not just the possession of a roof over one's head. The emphasis is shifting away from "house" towards "home" with a l l this implies psychologically and emotionally (Greve, 1964). In explaining the important elements that constitute a home, the report of the Single Displaced Persons Project, initiated by a group of directors and clergy of Toronto inner city churches, wrote that the most obvious element of hcmelessness is the lack of housing; but just a "home" is more than physical shelter, homelessness includes a lack of this base for the rest of life's activities. "Home" is associated with personal identity, family, relationships, a role in the cxjrnmunity, privacy and security, and the possession of personal property. Homelessness or the lack of a home affects a l l these areas of an individual's l i f e (Bosworth and Freiler, 1983:7). Recent evidence suggests that for analysts and academics who adhere to a broad definition of homelessness believe that the causes of homelessness in Canada are varied, changing over time and are different from city to city (Oberlander, 1987:6). The number of homeless is growing and the composition of homeless population is changing. Clearly, the political debate over homelessness is more than developing a statement to describe an emerging social problem. How the nature, scope and causes of homelessness are defined significantly influences the types and scope of policy and program response required to remedy the problem. To date, few governments are willing to accept the broad definition of homelessness 15 endorsed by the U.N. and many progressive academics while many are treating the problem within the narrowest scope. 2.2 Putting faces to the homeless Within the context of a broad def in i t ion of homelessness, the homeless i n the 1990s are a heterogeneous group: they come from a l l walks of l i f e , of a l l ages, of both genders, of a l l races and with vast ly d i f ferent experiences. Most, however, share poverty as well as the i nab i l i t y to exercise control over the i r l i ves . The tradit ional stereotypes of an "indigent vagrant who has opted out of society into a bott le, " "skid row," "bag lady," "bum," "transient" and "tramp" (which are typ ica l images of homeless within a narrow interpretation of homelessness) are no longer adequate images of homeless within the broad view of the problem. Developing along the notion of a broad perspective of homelessness, today's homeless i n the Canadian c i t y such as i n the City of Vancouver can be divided into two main groups: 1) absolute homeless which include people who wander on the streets or "take a break" in drop-in centers during the day. When night f a l l s , they either sleep on streets and i n open publ ic places or seek refuge i n emergency centers or s i t through the night i n some "hang outs" (e.g., the Dug Out) or cheap restaurants in the downtown eastside; 2) at r i sk homeless people consist of many groups: low income families which face unaffordable rent hikes; tenants who are on the edge of being forced out of the i r hemes because of conversion or demolition; mental patients and substance abusers who have to move from rooming houses to rooming houses due to discriminatory practices of landlords; disabled persons who have l i t t l e or no 16 choice in renta l market; young people who have family or personal problems that are affect ing the i r l i v ing arrangements; and battered women who cannot or too scared to return to abusive situations. As the cxfmposition of homeless changes, there are more young people, single women and single-mothers with chi ldren i n the homeless population in Canada. Within the broad framework of homelessness, the homeless of the 1990s can surprisingly lock more l i ke the neighbor next door rather than the "old bums in rag seeking refuge underneath cardboard on the streets. " 2.3 Counting the Homeless To th i s date, no accurate, re l iab le and acceptable enumeration on the s ize of homeless i s available in Canada whether the def in i t ion i s based on a narrow or a broad conception of homelessness. The d i f f i c u l t y i n establishing a commonly acceptable estimate of the homeless mainly stems from the lack of consensus on what constitutes homelessness and who should be counted as homeless. As the disagreement on def init ion of homelessness continues, the composition of homeless remains urxletermined and the accurate s ize of the population of homeless i s impossible to quantify with soc ia l and p o l i t i c a l acceptance. Apart from the conceptual problem of determining who ought to be counted and why, there i s also methodological problem in conducting a s c i e n t i f i c estimation of the number of homeless. In rea l i ty , a l l o f f i c i a l s t a t i s t i c s about housing conditions re ly on an address. Ironical ly, absolute homeless people by def in i t ion are people without a permanent place to stay. Without an address i n which absolute homeless can receive mail, they exist l i t e r a l l y 17 outside society 's formal tracking system. Hence, th i s becomes a technical problem in accurately measuring the s ize of the absolute homeless i . e . , the population which the narrow def in i t ion of homelessness i s so le ly concerned with. On the other hand, to obtain a precise estimate on the at r i s k homeless population which i s based on the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s even more d i f f i c u l t . The at r i sk homeless are a f l u i d and mostly inv i s ib le population. Their s ize fluctuates with factors, such as economic conditions, ava i l ab i l i t y of support services, supply of affordable housing and severity of weather conditions. As a result, the exact measurement of at r i s k homeless population i s technical ly hard i f not impossible to produce for the purpose of housing pol icy decision making. The ultimate measurement of the s ize of homeless individuals depends on the c r i t e r i a selected in defining homelessness. If measurement i s taken according to homeless individuals without physical shelters within the context of the narrow def in i t ion, then a small number w i l l occur. Instead, i f estimate i s based on the notions of absolute homeless and at r i sk homeless emerged from the broad def in i t ion of homelessness, then a much bigger number w i l l l i ke l y result. A frequently c i ted survey on homelessness w i l l i l l u s t ra te th i s point. In 1986, the Canadian Council on Social Development (CCDS) estimated that between 20,000 and 40,000 absolute homeless people l i ved on the streets in Canada (McLaughlin, 1987:5). These figures were low estimates because they exclude the people who were at the r i sk of being homeless (Young, 1987:34). Moreover, the CCSD later i n i t s National Inquiry on Homelessness also pointed out that appropriately 4.5 mi l l ion people i n Canada l i ved below 18 the S ta t i s t i c s Canada's lew income cut off l ine. This was a s igni f icant increase over 1979 when 3.7 mi l l ion Canadians l ived i n poverty (McLaughlin, 1987:9). The Urban Core Workers Association i n Vancouver conducted an "Urban Core Shelterless Survey" from November 1989 to A p r i l 1990. The report emphasizes the d i s t inct ion between shelterless and homeless. Shelterless are individuals who have no roofs over the i r heads. They sleep i n alley^ways, parks, abandoned buildings, or under viaducts or bridges. In th i s connection, [they] found people l i v i n g i n parked areas or vans a d i f f i c u l t group to categorize as some of these vehicles can afford a f a i r l y cozy shelter with considerable amenities. Cross walk was another i l l - f i t t i n g item as the people staying there do have a roof over the i r head, but they sleep on chairs and sofas, not beds - and can only stay from midnight to 6:00 a.m. The homeless, other than those who lack of tenure or inappropriately housed, are ones who go to emergency shelters (Buckley, 1990:1). Buckley, exsmmittee member of the Urban Core of Shelterless, points out that findings from the report though not " s c i en t i f i c a l l y precise" would certa in ly be used as "an indicator" to i l l u s t ra te the nature and the extent of homelessness based on a narrow def init ion in Vancouver. The survey counted an average of 46 (41 male and 5 female) shelterless people during the s ix months of the survey period (Table 2). The average age of the shelterless people was thirty-seven. The youngest was eighteen and the oldest was seventy-five. The survey areas d id not include West End and Mt. Pleasant which would have undoubtedly raised the count. The reasons for being shelterless included: alcohol abuse (overwhelming majority), evictions ( fa i r ly high), alcohol and drug abuse, transients, 19 psychiatr ic problem, inab i l i t y to access Ministry of Social Services and Housing (MSSH), the lack of affordable housing and by choice (a few). Table 2 Total Number of Shelterless In Vanoouver Date Total No. Male Female Nov.89 45 37 8 Dec.89 43 42 0 Jan.90 42 40 2 Feb.90 43 37 8 Mar.90 50 41 9 Apr.90 54 51 3 Source: Urban Core Shelterless Survey Summary, November 1989 to A p r i l 1990., Urban Core Shelter Committee. The majority of survey sheets had no summary comments. The next noticeable observation on the l i s t was "unkempt" and '•malnourished". Quite a few observers noticed "sores, broken ankle, stab wounds, hepat i t i s and gum disease" on the shelterless. Three of the more disturbing comments were "steal ing to eat", "seen in the garbage container" and "doesn't want to l i ve anymore." In terms of the to ta l numbers of shelterless people, the figures were almost ident ica l to those of the survey conducted three years ago i n the s imi lar areas in Vancouver. However, the report c lear ly pointed out the number of "turn-aways" was r i s ing and the "length of stay" was increasing at 20 an alarming rate in emergency centers in the study. The current conditions of Vancouver's emergency centers w i l l be discussed in detai l s i n the survey of shelter options' for homeless people in Vancouver in chapter four. The concluding comment of the Urban Core Shelterless Survey signals a warning that Canadians cannot afford to take l i ght ly : What [the] s ix month's survey indicates i s that we should not be complacent: the alarm bel l s are ringing now. What we appear to have i n Vancouver i s a situation where there are not a large number of shelterless people l i v ing in the streets - at least not yet. There i s a growing number of homeless, however, and as such th i s i s a strong indicator that our situation could quickly change within a few short years or less, and we could easi ly become l i ke most major North American c i t i e s where the shelterless are legion (Buckley, 1990:3). The d i f f i c u l t i e s involved in enumeration of homeless population are deep seated in soc ia l and p o l i t i c a l values although they are often masked as technical problems. As Hulchanski points out, the "methodological problem... i s minor compared to the broader conceptual problem of deteanruning who ought to be counted and why (Hulchanski, 1987:3)." The controversy over who should be counted and why they should be counted i s a foca l point of divergent and conf l ict ing interests, intentions and objectives. No methodological technique can resolve the philosophical, p o l i t i c a l and soc ia l ramifications surrounding the issue of homelessness. As long as the disagreement in def in i t ion of homelessness remains, the estimation of the precise s ize of homeless population continues to be a major technical obstacle for pol icy decision and program development to ass ist those who are suffering the lack of basic shelter need. 21 The truth i s that no matter whether Canadians choose to define homelessness broadly or narrowly, people with severe basic shelter problems exist i n our country. Ignoring the problem does not mean that i t w i l l automatically go away. The research evidence sadly points out that even the lowest estimate reveals the disturbing fact that something has to be done now i n order to stop the situation from deteriorating further. As Hobson points out that the actual s ize of the homeless population i s not the important issue. Whether or not, Canadians believe that there are 20,000 or 100,000 homeless people in Canada, we must accept the fact that there i s a large number of people in our country who are homeless or who l i v e on the edge of homelessness. Too large a number for such an aff luent country as Canada (Hobson, 1988:12). 22 Chapter Three Vancxxrver's Housing Issues: A Context for the Problem of Homelessness No rat ional housing pol icy decision can be made without considering the soc ia l , economic and p o l i t i c a l consequences i t implies because i t affects a l l segments of i t s populace. Similarly, no relevant housing po l icy on homelessness can be formulated without examining the conditions of the entire housing market. This chapter presents an analysis of the housing market in Vancouver. The examination focuses on housing problems experienced by a l l residents, homeowners and non-horneowners, rather than on the homeless people alone. The rationale for taking th is approach comes from the be l ie f that a thorough understanding of housing trends and to ta l housing needs of the entire cortmoiriity w i l l better illuminate the causes of and trends re lat ing to homelessness. The City of Vancouver i s at an important crossroads. In the early 1970's, the City planned for l i v a b i l i t y and af fordabi l i ty , creating the South Shore False Creek and Champlain Heights neighborhoods. The issue i n 1988 i s whether low- and moderate- income households w i l l be welcome i n Vancouver (Murphy, 1988:28). Today, af fordabi l i ty i s s t i l l the top pr io r i ty housing issue Vancouverites have to resolve. A recent survey conducted i n July 1990 indicates "an astounding 96 per cent of a l l respondents i n Vancouver and 85 per cent i n the rest of the region f e l t their children would not be able to af ford to l i v e i n the neighbourhood where they grew up (Vancouver Sun, November 10,B2,1990)." Affordabi l i ty i s a complex housing issue. I t i s affected by loca l , regional, national and global forces. Among other factors, 23 high land pr ices, the lack of supply in low end rental units, unemployment, poverty, inadequate socia l welfare assistance, the NIMBY syndrome, and strong population growth are the key determinants attr ibuting to the problem of housing af fordabi l i ty in the City of Vancouver. 3.1 High Land Prices, End of Hbmeownership and High Demand i n Rental Sector Following a period of economic stagnation in the early 1980's, Vancouver experienced a slow but healthy economic recovery. During Expo1 86, Vancouver had attracted international attention. After the Expo, the economy was booming again and demand for housing was strong. As demand for houses goes up, land pr ices escalate. Consequently th is triggered a pr ice surge i n the housing market. In the City of Vancouver, the median house pr ice on the west side was $350,000 in 1989, up 35 per cent from $270,000 in 1988. Hie median pr ice for condominiums increased at 9 per cent to $140,000 i n 1989 for a new two bedroom. According to CMHC, the City of Vancouver had only a 0.4 per cent vacancy rate for the entire region and fewer than 300 vacancies at any given time during the th i rd quarter of 1989 (Vancouver Sun, October 24,1989). In the beginning of the 1990s, Canada i s i n another round of economic recession. Vancouver's housing market i s affected. C r i t i c s say prices for homes have already "bottomed o f f . " Nevertheless, a closer examination reveals that median se l l i ng prices for re lat ive ly affordable homes i n suburbs are s t i l l r i s ing . In October 1990, the greatest price drop for s ingle detached house was recorded at 8.8 per cent on the West Side i n Vancouver. However, the sale prices of houses on the west side neighborhoods are already so costly 24 that most of the houses are out of reach even for the middle income families, not to mention the working poor (Table 3). The high prices on houses have prevented low- and mcderate-irKone famil ies from gaining access to hcmveownership. The rental sector, therefore, by default becomes the remaining viable housing option for them. Rents surge i n response to the heightened rental demand. Consequently, the r i s e of house pr ices has created a chain reaction negatively affecting a f fordabi l i ty of housing for many people, part icular ly the lew income renters. Table 3 Vancouver's House Prices 1990 Vancouver Area Median Price Median Price Median Price % Change Oct. 1990 3 Mo. Ago 1 Year Ago 1 Year Burnaby 220, 000 220, 000 214, 000 + 2. 3 Coquitlam 170, 000 175, 000 178, 000 - 4. 5 Vancouver East 235, 000 240, 000 215, 000 + 9. 3 Langley 160, 000 155, 000 114, 000 +40. 4 Maple Ridge 140, 000 150, 000 120, 000 +16. 7 North Delta 155, 000 155, 000 136, 000 +14. 0 North Vancouver 200, 000 215, 000 190, 000 + 5. 3 Port Coquitlam 160, 000 165, 000 155, 000 + 3. 2 Richmond 212, 000 210, 000 215, 000 - 1. 4 Surrey 150, 000 160, 000 128, 000 +17. 2 Tsawwassen 185, 000 185, 000 170, 000 + 8. 8 Vancouver West 360, 000 375, 000 400, 000 - 8. 8 West Vancouver 260, 000 250, 000 262, 000 - 0. 8 Source: The Vancouver Sun, October 30 p.C7., 1990. 25 3.2 Inadequate Supply of Affordable Rental and Depletion of Low Rent Stock 3.2.1 Market Response to Demand far Affordable Housing A c r i t i c a l factor contributing to the scarcity of low rent supply i n the housing market i n Vancouver i s "market fa i lure " i n the rental sector. Conventional wisdom believes in rental market equilibrium. It assumes that whenever demand goes up supply matches. However, empirical evidence indicates d i f ferent ly : as Vancouver's demand for affordable rental r i ses , supply remains low. The market i s not responsive to the kind of demand which cannot generate p r o f i t for developers. But developers are building. In the late 1980s, condominium conversions and demolition of apartment buildings to create s i tes for upscale condo development reached unprecedented levels. The most v i s i b l e demolitions in 1989 occurred in one of the c i ty of Vancouver's most aff luent neighborhoods in Kerrisdale. Hundreds of households were affected. Many were senior tenants and long term residents in the area. If City Council approves the 18 demolition permits, 370 affordable rental units in Kerrisdale would be replaced by 250 luxury cordcminiums, i . e . , a loss of 370 affordable and desirable renta l units in the c i ty of Vancouver. Connaught Place i s one of the recently completed development in Kerrisdale. Sale prices for the new condos i n Connaught Place are l i s ted from a low $850,000 to $1.75 mi l l ion per un i t . The estimated rents for these units would be at least $3,000 a month while the previous units in the three-storey walkups have rents i n the range of $550 to $600 a month (Vancouver Sun, October 2,1990). 26 In addition, three of the four major segments of the City of Vancouver's renta l stock are being threatened: the purpose-built rental apartments; the secondary suites in some neighborhoods; and the rcoirLng housing stock i n the [>3wntown Eastside (Hulchanski, 1989:7). Private rental starts dropped from 1071 i n 1982 to 88 in 1986. If the depletion of rental stock i s traced back i n recent history, the cumulative negative impact of the loss becomes even more alarming. From 1973 to 1976, s ix inner-c ity neighborhoods in Vancouver lost 2,400 renta l units, and from 1976 to 1981 another 1,000 units per year lost, mainly i n the inner c i t y as wel l . Further, from 1976 to 1981 the number of res ident ia l hotels and lodging-houses on the edge of Vancouver's downtown declined from 1,200 to 450 (Ley, 1985). I t was estimated that renters in the "core housing need" (households that spend more than 30 per cent of to ta l income on suitable and affordable housing) rose from 35 per cent to 46 per cent in the City of Vancouver between 1980 to 1985 (McAfee, 1989:3). Moreover, the number of households paying more than 50 per cent of the i r income on shelter has doubled since 1981 (Hulchanski, Eberle & Stewart, 1990:18). 3.2.2 Governments Response to Demand far Affordable Housing a.) The C i t y ' s Response: At the municipal leve l , the chances of getting more supply of low rent housing from the City i s at best minimal. "After many years of innovative responses to the housing need of lower-income households, the City of Vancouver has also become passive" in meeting the lower end 27 housing demand (Murphy, 1988:28). The secondary suites review program has cost the City $1.2 mi l l ion to legal ize just 63 suites in the 4 year long process while threatens the existence of 260,000 affordable rental units i n the City (Vancouver Sun, November 3,1990). Moreover, the i l l e g a l suites review program also affects potential ly the majority of the 260,000 landlords who re l y on the rental income to assist the i r mortgage payments, maintenance and improvement of the i r houses. The City of Vancouver's i n i t i a t i ve to create the Vancouver Land Corporation Properties on c i t y land lease basis to supply affordable housing for moderate income families i s at best to be considered as a small contribution to a big hccjsing problem. The lack of appropriately zoned land also re s t r i c t s the potential to increase supply of units i n Vancouver. According to the planning department, 70 per cent of the res ident ia l land i n the City i s currently zoned for single-family dwellings (Planning Department, October 12,1990). This indicates that zoning has not kept pace with changing demographics and household trends. Moreover, the City has amended i t s by-law to reduce bulk in an e f for t to discourage monster houses. I t has not, however, real ized that at the same time the by-law also reduces potentia l ly the number of legal rental units coming on stream. In the suburban areas, the problem i s not the shortage of raw land. Rather the issue i s the suburban governments' preference toward single family or upscale multiple res ident ia l housing. A l l factors combine have exacerbated pressure on the supply of affordable housing in Vancouver. b.) The Senior Governments: Under the Br i t i sh North America Act (1867), housing i s a provincial responsibi l i ty (though the provincial government 28 delegates other housing related powers such as land use and zoning to municipal i t ies). Murphy c r i t i c i ze s the Br i t i sh Columbian government for defining for i t s e l f a very narrow mandate in public housing. In addition, since 1983, the provincial government has drast ica l ly cut back on renter ' s r ights by eliminating the Rentalsman's Off ice, and terminating the renter ' s tax cred i t while retaining a tax credit for homeowners (Murphy, 1988:30). At the national leve l , the federal government has t rad i t iona l l y re l i ed on housing programs as well as tax incentives for ass ist ing hcmvecwnership and stimulating private rental supply. Social housing unit al locations are generally few and are often susceptible to budget cutback. Figure 1 shows the number of renta l housing starts from 1980 to 1986. During th i s period, v i r t ua l l y a l l the rental units have been subsidized. The Canada Rental Supply (CRSP) and the Multiple Unit Residential Building (MCJRB) which are rental housing tax incentive programs, account for the majority of the private rental s tarts from 1980 to 1984. The supply of the private rental dropped dras t i ca l l y once these programs were over. Hulchanski contends that the "private renta l sector cannot and w i l l not supply the new renta l housing B r i t i s h Columbian needs now or in the future" (Hulchanski, 1987:Paper #3:6). In spite of the t ight housing conditions, the federal government continues to cut back on socia l housing unit al locations especial ly to the co-op sector. In the City of Vancouver, social housing starts have fa l l en from 7,175 i n 1981 to 425 in 1988 - the lowest level i n the decade i n Vancouver (Hulchanski, 1989:4). 29 Figure 1 Private and Non-Profit Rental Housing Starts in Urban B.C. 1980 - 1986 No.Starts 15000 n i97nn 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 Source: CMHC, Housing Statistics: B.C. & Yukon Region, January 1987. Research evidence also reveals that there i s a withdrawal of political commitment by the provincial and the federal governments toward the supply of low rent housing. This is sad news. Since the market is not responsive to social needs, the City of Vancouver needs the federal government who tends to have the money and the provincial government who tends to have the jurisdiction and the social and health facilities to play a key role in increasing the supply of low rent housing. Therefore, until there i s a renewal of governments' corardtment toward the increase in supply of low rent 3 0 housing, i t i s almost certain that the problem of a f fordabi l i ty w i l l get worse before i t gets better. 3.3 Unemployment, Poverty and Social Assistance His tor ica l ly , Br i t i sh Columbia's economy i s based on resource extraction. Mining and f ishing are the two major sources of employment i n the province. However, jobs in the resource industries are usually seasonal and extremely susceptible to international change in demand. In fact, th i s becomes one of the reasons that B.C. has a long record of high seasonal f luctuation i n employment. In the late 1980s, the Vancouver's regional economy has improved markedly. As well, Vancouver's economy i s sh i f t ing from a primary resource and tert iary base to a quanternary and service sector economy. Presently, service industry has become the fastest growing sector providing 70 percent of the province's employment. But the growth i n employment occurs mainly in low paying, part-time and seasonal jobs related to the hospi ta l i ty and tourism industries. Unemployment in Br i t i sh Columbia had been over 10 per cent from 1982 to 1988 (Figure 2). For many years, B.C's unemployment rates were higher than the national averages. Although the unemployment rate had fa l l en s l i ght ly to 9 per cent i n 1989 following a sustained period of high unemployment i n the 1980s, the rate of unemployment in rea l i t y i s much higher. Usually, the " o f f i c i a l unemployment" figures are 40 per cent lower because they do not re f l e c t the numbers of the "hidden unemployed" (those discouraged or too frustrated to f ind work), the underemployed, the ones who cannot participate 31 in labour force due to the lack of appropriate supporting services and the people on government training programs. Figure 2 British Columbia Unemployment Rate 1979 - 1989 16 Per Cent 14 12 / x 10 / x / ^ 8 6 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 Source: Statistics Canada, Historical Labour Force Statistics Cat. 71-210 Consequently, the historical high unemployment in B.C. becomes a major factor attributing to the persistence of poverty in the province. The number of poor families in the province almost doubled in four years from 65,000 in 1980 to 120,000 in 1984 and the real household incomes in Metropolitan Vancouver declined between 1980 to 1985 (Hulchanski, Eberle & Stewart, 1990:19). This occurred in spite of the growing number of dual income 32 famil ies. The number of people receiving income assistance under the Guaranteed Available Income for Need (GAIN) program has increased from 124,300 in 1980/1981 to 232,200 in 1984/1985. Even with the assistance of GAIN, many welfare recipients are having a problem in catching up with the high cost of l i v i n g in Vancouver. According to the Social Planning and Research Council of B r i t i sh Columbia, for the GAIN rates to be equal to the average basic costs of l i v ing , increases of between 30 per cent to 70 per cent are necessary (SPARK, March 1987). Another disturbing fact on poverty i s the polarization between the poor and the r i c h . Nearly one th i rd (32.2%) of a l l households i n B r i t i sh Columbia have a household income under $20,000 while over one th i rd (37.2%) have a household income of over $40,000 (Figure 3). The End Legislated Poverty Coal i t ion of Vancouver draws attention not only to the s ize of the growing poor population but i t also points out the increasing depths of poverty. More people are getting poor. And the poor are suffering greater depths of poverty. About 245,000 B.C. residents, including 85,000 chi ldren depend on welfare rates that range from 39% to about 52% of the poverty l ine. Another 210,000 are o f f i c i a l l y unemployed. Many more are unemployed but not counted. In addition, because wages are getting lower and part-time work i s on the increase, 52% of poor people work. The number of poor B.C. families increase by 85% between 1981 and 1985 (End Legislated Poverty Coalit ion, Vancouver, 1987). This signals yet another reason for concern about the adequacy of the current soc ia l welfare assistance in affecting people's a b i l i t y to afford adequate housing. 33 Figure 3 Household Income of F a m i l y & Unattached Individuals by Income Group & Province in Brit ish Columbia 1988 Per Cent 20* under-10 10-15 15-20 20-30 30-40 40-50 50-60 60-70 70-75 75+ Thousands of $ Average Income: 36,167 Median Income: 31,167 Source: Statistics Canada, Cat. 13-207-36 3.4 "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) Syndrome and Affordability in Housing The primary objective of participatory neighbourhood planning i s to provide a medium to facilitate the exchange of views and negotiate trade offs so that government and conmunity can arrive at compromises in policy decision through a democratic process. The impacts of citizen participation on the supply and affordability in housing in Vancouver is a complex issue. However, the Not In My Backyard mentality commonly exhibited by mighborhoods toward 34 developments i n the City has d irect ly or ind irect ly affected the dwindling supply of housing units in the Vancouver housing market. Although oppositions to developments are not always flawed i n pr incip le, they do have several short term negative effects i n the t ight housing market i n Vancouver: 1) NIMBY has d irect ly or indirect ly reduced the supply of housing units coiling on the market; 2) NIMBY has led to the uneven or inequitable share of density among neighborhoods; 3) NIMBY has caused part of the increase i n production cost and f i na l sale pr ice on housing units ; and 4) NIMBY has lengthened the approval and development processes. Of course public part ic ipat ion in pol icy decision making i s necessary and has i t s undebatable merits, part icu lar ly i n a democratic system. However, the NIMBY mentality exhibited by neighborhoods in Vancouver toward developments has d i rec t l y and ind i rect ly l imited the potential supply of housing units which i n turn contributes to the tightening of market conditions that i s in t r i ca te ly linked to homelessness. 3.5 Population Growth and Future Housing Demand Since the mid 1980s, Vancouver had experienced a sustained growth in immigration. According to CMHC, net migration increased 151 per cent from 1984 to 1988 with an annual average gain of 28,419 (Figure 4). Further, a recent provincia l government study also indicates that the B r i t i sh Columbia's population i s growing faster than any other province. The population growth rate i s nearly double of the national average. Presently, B.C.'s population growth rate i s at 2.6 per cent while Canada as a whole i s at 1.4 per cent. The study also reveals that the population of B.C. w i l l r i s e to 4.7 mi l l ion 35 Figure 4 Net Migration in Vancouver CMA 1984 -1989 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 14871 1984 31801 21190 1985 1986 36882 1 37354 1987 1988 Source: Statistics Canada (CMHC: Vancouver branch database) from the current 3.1 in 25 years (Vancouver Sun, October 2,1990). This population growth trend implies that demand in housing from migrants into the City of Vancouver will remain high in the ccsning years. At the same time, the demand for housing generated by local demographics is also strong. In the 1990s, new households formation becomes higher due to the increase in single person families, as well as a large number of baby boomers entering into their 30's and 40's. In view of the projected growth in 36 immigration (interprovincial and international) and the increase in new household formation by local residents, the demand for housing in the rental and owner occupier housing sectors i s going to remain strong i n Vancouver, unless appropriate housing decisions are formulated and in i t i a t i ves are implemented i n response to meet the growing needs, the housing squeeze i s l i k e l y to continue. In the long run, many more people w i l l be pushed down and out of the housing system to jo in the homeless i n emergency shelters and on streets. 37 Chapter Four A Survey of Shelter Options f or the Homeless People in Vancouver 1990 Homelessness i s at the root of almost every urban a f f l i c t i o n we suffer; joblessness, malnutrition, substance abuse, v iolent crime, i l l i t e r a c y . People become remarkably se l f - su f f i c ient when they get a roof over the i r heads, but without stable housing, they just can't function. A l l the money that governments spend on health, job training, crime prevention and economic development i s wasted i f we can't house people. Which makes the provision of housing the bedrock of any economic po l icy (Olive, 1988:7). In the midst of economic prosperity in the late 1980s, there are increasing numbers of homeless people seeking refuge i n emergency shelters, t rans i t ion houses and drop in centers in the City of Vancouver. The new homeless are a heterogeneous group. The objective of th is survey i s to gather empirical evidence to examine the ava i l ab i l i t y , adequacy and appropriateness of exist ing program responses to meet the housing needs of homeless people in the City of Vancouver by surveying the f a c i l i t i e s and services offered at various types of shelter options with special emphasis on emergency centers. Through a two-part questionnaire and personal interviews, th i s survey i s designed to gather f i r s t hand information and informed opinion from practit ioners who are working c losely with the homeless population. The survey i s l imited in several aspects. Not a l l the relevant agencies are surveyed though the intent i s to select a representative cross section of the kinds of shelter and programs that are most closely related to meet the needs of the homeless population. Moreover, the survey only represents a 38 "snapshot" of the extent and the problems that are encountered by the selected agencies and the i r c l iente le. Therefore, information col lected i s not su f f i c ient to be taken as conclusive findings. However, the survey findings can be used as va l i d indicators toward a deeper and better understanding of the source, nature and trends of homelessness in Vancouver. This survey of shelter options for homeless people was conducted during October and November 1990. Fifteen shelters were surveyed. Three of the shelters o f fer both emergency as well as residency programs. Nine of the shelters provide emergency shelter service while nine others have re la t i ve ly longer terms of residency programs to meet the dif ferent needs of the i r c l ient s . In th i s survey, the tota l number of beds offered by the nine emergency programs i s 230 and the tota l number of beds offered by the residency programs i s 824. The number of women who use the drop i n center in the Vancouver downtown area i s 80 on average each day while the maximum number of women using the center i s 150 per day in 1990. In addition, o f f i c i a l s and management personnel were interviewed from St. James' Social Services Society, Triage Outreach Program and Anchorage Job Training Program (terminated September, 1990) (Table 4). In to ta l , eighteen practit ioners were interviewed from the shelters and s ix others were interviewed from other related program services. The information collected from the f i e l d survey i s documented i n appendix A i n a series of tables under eighteen headings: mandate, services offered, restr ic t ions, maximum stay, average stay, hours of operation, cost to c l ient s , number of beds, occupancy rate, percentage of repeaters, number turn away, c l i en t types, c l ient source of income, reasons for seeking 39 accommodation, agency referred to, agency referred from, change in demand in 1990 and source of funding. Table 4 The Total Number of Shelters and Programs Surveyed Name of Shelter No. of Beds No. of beds in Other Program in Emerg. Prog. Longer-Term Residency Catholic Charity 80 Alexander Res. Central City Central Mission Dunsmuir 30 Evergreen Surrey 10 Ishtar 12 Lookout 42 Powell House Richmond House 8 Sancta Maria 8 Triage 28 Owl House 12 YWCA 8 Women's Center 28 132 20 (Drug&Alcohol) 120 (Intermediary care) 165 39 42 272 80 avg/day (Max 150/day) Total 230 824 80 visits/day The summary of this survey findings and observations is presented in two parts. Part one highlights the quantitative findings from information provided in the tables. Part two summarizes the qualitative findings and observations that cannot not be shown in tables. 40 4.1 A Summary of the Findings in the Tables i n Appendix A 4.1.1 Mismatch in supply and demand of facilities and services raises questions i n adequacy of services and discretionary powers of managers. The philosophy and resources of the agencies have a strong influence on the nature and qual ity of services and f a c i l i t i e s provided to c l i en t groups. Over ha l f of the agencies surveyed have mandates which r e s t r i c t the i r service to e i ther men or women of over the age of eighteen. This means that the under 18 year old c l ients have to f ind refuge elsewhere. Although s ix agencies would accept both male and female c l ients, the proportion of female c l ients accepted i s generally rather small (e.g., only 5 per cent of the Alexander & Central Residency are "female). This raises question on su i t ab i l i t y and effectiveness of the "mixing" arrangement of both male and female c l ients in the same residency. Five agencies would accept adults with children but only two of them (one i n Richmond and one in the City of Vancouver) would accept family with both parents. According to Ms Barbara Charlie, the program co-ordinator, the Owl House i s the only place in the City of Vancouver that would accept famil ies with both parents. However, as the number of famil ies requiring emergency services grows, there i s insuff ic ient spaces to meet the changing needs of homeless families seeking assistance from the shelters. In 1990, the demand for shelter services increased substantial ly. This has d i rec t l y or indirect ly caused the agencies to became more cILscximirating i n the selection process for reasons of maintaining "security, peace and 41 order." Seven of the f i f teen shelters 1 program managers or cx>-ordinators e x p l i c i t l y indicate that their agencies would not admit "trouble makers." Some of the agencies even keep a "bar l i s t " or "black l i s t " i n order to guard themselves against individuals who behave poorly. Sometimes, the objective standard of what constitutes trouble making behavior i s hard to determined. These decisions are generally based on the discretionary power of the admitting agents. Since over two thirds of the agencies 1 occupancy rates have reached 90 to 100 per cent regularly, there are many absolute homeless people going around looking for shelter services. In turn, agents have to exercise more discretionary power in selecting the types of c l iente le they want to serve while the absolute homeless people have less options open to accommodate the i r immediate needs. 4.1.2 Insufficient, funding creates problems i n provision and maintenance of adequate leve l of s taf f ing and services fo r homeless people. Cl ients usually come to shelters with multiple needs. They require a<3crarimodation, food, clothing, psychiatric and emotional counselling, welfare assistance and legal a id services etc. Fourteen of the f i f teen shelters surveyed of fer either emergency, residency or a combination of the two programs for c l ients who are seeking assistance. However, over two thirds of these shelters are not fu l l y equipped to meet the cl ients* needs. Some agencies do not of fer food (e.g., Alexander and Central Residence and Women's Centre). Others do not have professionally trained staf f to of fer medical attention, emotional, behavioral and/or psychiatric counselling. 42 Recently, due to the t ight housing market conditions and the deinst i tut ional izat ion of psychiatric patients in the City of Vancouver, there i s a s igni f icant increase in the number of psychiatric patients who are seeking shelter services, part icular ly in emergency centers. Lookout, Owl House and Women's Centre are having an especially d i f f i c u l t time i n stretching s taf f to cope with the increase in demand for f a c i l i t i e s and services. These gaps between the c l ient s ' needs and services provided by shelters can be attributed part ly to the insuff ic ient funding and understaffing of agencies. This i n turn lowers the shelters' leve l of services i n meeting the needs of the homeless people. 4.1.3 Increase i n demand and c l i en t s ' prolonged period of stay have seriously undermined shelters ' capacity t o accommodate c r i s i s s ituations. A l l of the f i f teen shelters surveyed indicated a noticeable increase i n demand for the i r services in 1990 compared to the previous two years. As wel l , they have also predicted that th i s upward trend w i l l continue i n 1991. In addition to the larger number of homeless people that the shelters have aaxfmmodated, the increase in demand for services i s ref lected by the near saturated ciccupancy rates, the large number of turnaway and se l f re ferra l s , more frequent telephone inquiries, prolonged average stays and long waiting l i s t s . According to Ms Karen O'Shannacery, executive director of Lookout, i t has an occupancy rate of 101% and i s currently turning away 70 to 75 individuals each month (this figure represents only one th i rd of the actual number of people being turned away). Further, c l i en t ' s average stay at 43 Lookout has also s igni f icant ly lengthens from 9 nights in 1988 to 13 nights i n 1989, the longest being 208 days. The situations at other agencies are not better. The average stay of c l ients in the other eight emergency shelters i s between one to two weeks while the maximum stays are usually one to two months. These prolonged periods of stay by c l ients in the emergency shelters have seriously urriermined the shelters 1 capacity to function i t s ro le i n the provision of emergency service to acxxsnmodate c r i s i s s ituations. In addition, the extended period of stay by c l ients in the residency programs also increases the backlog of the homeless people in gaining admission into tenancy programs. 4.1.4 When emergency shelters are f u l l , cheap restaurants and "hang outs" by default become the shelter option of last resort far homeless. During the survey period, the occupancy rates i n the nine emergency shelters were recorded between 90 per cent and 101 per cent. This high level of demand for services has caused problems in terms of the provision of emergency acccrarnodation for c l ients who are seeking help. It has also created delay in linkages to services with other supporting agencies (e.g., relocating c l ients to other emergency centers). According to Mr. John Talbot, manager of the Catholic Charity Men's Hostel, when the hostel i s f u l l , he w i l l have l i t t l e choice other than referring his c l ients to the Dug Out in the downtown eastside which i s a "hang out" that offers free coffee, tea and a warm shelter for people to s i t through the night. Other emergency centers also have s imi lar problems. Consequently, when the emergency shelters are f u l l and there are no places to go, the cheap restaurants in the downtown area and the "hang outs" have by default become the shelter option of last resort for 44 people who are i n shelter crises before they have to h i t the streets and shiver i n the cold. 4.1.5 The change i n composition of the new homeless creates gaps between demand and supply of f a c i l i t i e s and services. The survey reveals that the tradit ional stereotype of homeless as transients and old male bums who have opted out of society i s inadequate and misleading. The people who are seeking refuge in emergency centers, t rans i t ion houses, drop in centers and heavily subsidized low rent shelters in Vancouver are diverse. They consist of transients, unemployed, former psychiatr ic patients, schizophrenics, drug abusers, alcoholics, immigrants, refugees, destitutes, families, single parents with chi ldren, women i n abusive situations, and runaway and problem youths. The composition of the homeless i n the 1990s i s changing. Among the new homeless, the number of psychiatric patients, younger people, immigrants and refugees from out of town, single women, single mothers and low income families are increasing i n a noticeable rate. The records of over 90 per cent of the emergency shelters surveyed and the drop in center indicate a marked increase in the number of psychiatr ic patients following the provincial government's pol icy of deinst i tut ional izat ion. This represents a major sh i f t of c l i en te le from a predominance of the tradit ional alcoholic to mental patients. But many shelters are not equipped and staffed to provide psychiatric assistance to the c l ient s who are seeking help. 45 Moreover, Triage, Dunsmuir, Sancta Maria, Richmond House, Alexander and Central Residency and Lookout have indicated that clients who are coming to the shelters to seek assistance are getting younger. According to the record of Lookout, the average age of clients in 1988 was 38.6. In 1989, the average age of the clients showed a significant drop to 33.4. Triage and Richmond House have a large number of 18 to 20 year old clients. Further, nine of the fifteen shelters surveyed point out that they have accommodated more immigrants and refugees from out of town in 1990. This clientele comes from a l l over the Lower Mainland and across the country. Some of the clients are coming from the interior of B.C., Calgary and Alberta while others have arrived from as far as Montreal, Toronto and Charlottown. Although there are usually more people coming from out of town to take advantage of the mild weather in Vancouver during the cold season, there is a noticeable increase in the number of clients earning from out of town in 1989 and 1990. As well, Catholic Charity House, Durismuir House, Owl House have also recorded a marked increase of refugees who are referred to them through the immigration office, MSSH and the police. The population of homeless women and families are growing too. Owl House, Evergreen Surrey Emergency Shelter, Ishtar, and Women's Drop In Center have recorded marked increase in single women and single mothers' caseloads. Ms Karen Tully, coordinator of the Women's Drop In Centre, contends that there is a serious lack of affordable and appropriate shelter options for women with mental, emotional and physical problems, particularly in the downtown area, because many of the subsidized or emergency shelters are just for men. Only 46 four of the fifteen shelters surveyed would allow single mothers with children despite the rapid increase in demand for service in this client group. The change in composition of the new homeless has created a discrepancy between the availability of appropriate shelter options and the clients 1 needs. This means that there is an urgent need for broader range of shelter types to bridge the gap. 4.1.6 Social welfare system often maintains people i n the revolving door of poverty. More than two thirds of the agencies indicate that the number of the "familiar faces," "repeaters," and "regulars" are increasing. Of the six agencies that can provide estimates of repeaters, four of them have short term repeaters or regulars between 50 to 60 per cent. Records from the other two agencies show a rate of 10 per cent repeater in Richmond House and about 37 per cent of the clients return within a period of three months to Lookout. The large number of repeaters reflects in part the fact that the welfare system's shelter component (appropriately $250 per month) is so low that welfare recipients cannot afford permanent and decent housing with the welfare assistance in the tight housing market in Vancouver. As a result, many have to d r i f t in and out of temporary shelters in search of a roof over their head. 47 4 . 2 . A Summary o f t h e F i n d i n g s a n d O b s e r v a t i o n s f r o m t h e S u r v e y a n d P e r s o n a l I n t e r v i e w s w i t h P r o f e s s i o n a l s a n d P r a c t i t i o n e r s i n W e l f a r e S e r v i c e s 4 . 2 . 1 T h e d i v e r g e n t p e r c e p t i o n o n t h e n a t u r e o f h o m e l e s s n e s s r e f l e c t s t h e p e r s i s t e n c e o f a l a c k o f c o n s e n s u s o n t h e d e f i n i t i o n s o f t h e p r o b l e m . Although the twenty four informants interviewed may not have the same opinion on causes and solutions of homelessness, they do perceive homelessness, whether i t i s i n a narrow or broad sense, as undesirable and unnecessary i n a country as ri c h as Canada. Eighteen interviewees contend that the general concept of homelessness means more than just the lack of physical shelter. In a broader view, homelessness i s caused, they say, partly by the client's i n a b i l i t y to afford a permanent home, the lack of family and coranunity support, the eroded right to housing, as well as being powerless i n a whole range of negative societal conditions, such as i n pay equity, substance abuse and abusive situations. However, the other six of the interviewees perceive homelessness i n much narrower terms. To them, homelessness i s an unfortunate condition i n which people "have no places to go," "have no roofs over their heads," "have to sleep on streets, on top of garbage tanks or on park benches" and "don't know where the next meal w i l l come from." Four of the interviewees tr u l y believe that the absolute homeless are either acting by their "own choice," "don't want to conform," "are taking a free ride" or "deliberately bring i t on themselves." 48 This divergent perception of homelessness i s a re f l ec t i on that our society has yet to come to an agreement on who should be counted as homeless, who deserves soc ieta l assistance, and how should homeless be helped. 4.2.2 There i s disagreement on the adequacy of welfare assistance but interviewees unanimously agree that affordable housing i s the key factor cxantributing to homelessness i n Vancouver. At least s ix of the twenty four professionals contend that the issue of homelessness i s more than the problem of sufficiency of welfare assistance. Mrs. Gutteridge, founder and board of director of the St. James Social Services, points out that "homelessness i s not just the lack of a home. I t i s a re f lec t ion of the c l i en t s ' lack of ab i l i t y , both soc ia l and psychological, rather than mere the insuff iciency of welfare assistance." "People should buy only what they can af ford. " Therefore, "throwing money away would not improve the s i tuat ions. " "The c l ients need help in improving the i r l i f e management s k i l l such as i n welfare cheque management (Gutteridge, interview, November,1990)." Mr. Frank Kan, manager of the Alexander and Central Residence, thinks that i f some welfare recipients do not "waste" so much money on "bott les , " "c igarettes, " "returning and giving favors" and "taking tax ies, " they should have su f f i c ien t funds to hold on to un t i l the next welfare cheques are due. Mr. Taylor, coordinator of the Dunsmuir House, believes that some of the c l ient s are taking a " free r i de . " And Mrs. Hewitt of EXansmuir house who has fourteen years of experience in the "helping people business" also agrees that 49 "throwing more money away doesn't help improve the welfare dependency of c l i en t s . " She contends that "society must learn how to stop g iv ing." "Society must learn how to give so l i t t l e that people s t i l l have incentive to keep working." Among the s ix interviewees who hold a pos it ive view on the suff ic iency of welfare assistance, many of them sincerely believe that even i f welfare recipients do not have money there are s t i l l plenty of places organized by community and church charity groups that would o f fer absolute homeless with free shelters, free food and free clothing to help them through cr i ses. Although there i s disagreement on the sufficiency of welfare assistance, there i s unanimous opinion that the lack of affordable housing i s the main factor contributing to the problem of homelessness in Vancouver. Ms Robin Hamilton of Evergreen Surrey Emergency Shelter and Ms Karen Tu l l y of the Women's Center point out that rents in the City of Vancouver are "out of l i n e . " For example, Ms Hamilton indicates that currently i t would cost $445 to $500 a month to rent a decent one bedroom apartment i n the suburban area in Surrey. Ms Karen O'Shannacery, executive director of Lookout, contends that "the number of welfare abusers i s very small." But the gap between the shelter components (about $275 per month) and the market rents (about $475 on the Eastside and $570 in the West End for a one bed room apartment, CMHC, A p r i l , 1990) i s so big that i t i s almost impossible for welfare recipients to rent any decent, adequate and affordable housing in the overheated housing market in Vancouver. Consequently, many c l ients have to d r i f t i n and out of emergency shelters to avoid ending up on streets. 50 4.2.3 "Supportive housing11 i s a viable housing option far the homeless to regain dignity and self-sufficiency. Fifteen of the eighteen interviewees in the survey of shelter options believe that the lives of many clients have been so "disoriented" by the vicious circle of poverty, mental illness, joblessness, eviction and personal or family problems that only about 2 per cent to 5 per cent of them are capable of getting r i d of their welfare dependency and becoming self-reliant once they have been trapped in episodes of homelessness. Although the estimated rates of clients who regain self-sufficiency are low, they are not totally hopeless. Realizing that housing alone cannot solve the multi-faceted problems that homeless people face, many practitioners do reckon that "supportive housing" is one of the feasible alternatives that would provide a better chance for homeless people to stabilize their conditions and get back on their own feet. Ms Gallagher of the YWCA, Ms O'Shannacery of Outlook, Ms Tully from the Women's Center, Ms Hamilton from Evergreen Surrey Emergency Shelter, Ms Sutton from Powell House, Ms O'Brien from Triage and Mr. Taylor from Dunsmuir trust that "supportive housing" i s one of the viable means that could help their clients to regain control of l i f e in a "stabilized" and "supportive" environment ("Supportive housing" means the provision of stable, secure and affordable living environment together with necessary support services, such as l i f e s k i l l training, medical or psychological counselling etc.). 5 1 4.2.4 Mutual help creates a sense of self far the nameless. To encourage mutual help among c l ients has a posit ive impact to improve the qual ity of l i f e for c l ients. The Women's Center has c l ients volunteer to s taf f the reception desk. Durismuir House has residents of fer informal assistance to help one another i n solving personal problems (e.g., exchange opinion in job hunting experiences). Triage has c l ients volunteer to share housing keeping routine. Sancta Maria House encourages residents to prepare the i r own breakfast to suite their own taste. Although these are minor respons ib i l i t ies for c l ients to take on, they may be the necessary big step for c l ients to reestablish their sense of se l f . Therefore by providing a chance for c l ients to participate meaningfully i n a supervised environment, the mutual help system enhances the poss ib i l i ty of c l ients to l i ve a normal l i f e . 4.2.5 "Wrong mixing" of clients i s a mistake. I t causes more harm than good to c l ients i f the i r needs cannot be served accordingly. At least f ive of the eighteen interviewees from the survey of shelter options point out that the increase of psychiatric patients following the deinst itut ional izat ion of mental hospitals i n B.C. has an adverse impact on the "order" and "peace" of the shelters surveyed. Mr. Talbot, manager of Catholic Charity Men's Hostel, says that " i f psychiatric patients and substance abusers are put together they often cause trouble." Mr. Ted Browcliff and Ms Judy O'brien, coordinators of Triage, also indicate that the inappropriate mixing of psychiatric patients with disabled persons would not work: they often aggravate and hurt each other. Consequently, the wrong 52 mixing of c l ients also undermines the effectiveness of services provided by shelters. In order to better help c l ients and improve ef f ic iency of services at shelters, a wider range of shelter options for c l ients i s necessary. 4.2.6 Protection of the existing stock of affordable and good quality SH^H-CT-options i s necessary. According to Ms Karen O'Shannacery, executive director of Lookout, the City of Vancouver has already lost f ive emergency shelters in the recent years. As wel l , Dunsmuir House and Catholic Charity Men's Hostel are experiencing pressure from the development cxammunity because of the shelters ' proximity to the central business d i s t r i c t in the downtown area. Unless some deliberate and preventive measures are taken to protect these valuable stock of shelters i n Vancouver, the homeless people i n the City w i l l have less chance of getting a roof over their heads and have to sleep on streets i f the housing situations i n the City continue to tighten. 4.2.7 Smaller projects are easier far neiqhbxarnocds to accept and better blend into the comnmity. Among the f i f teen shelters surveyed, the Owl Place and Sancta Maria House are two of the better physically designed projects observed i n terms of the i r hominess and friendliness in appeal. Their designs are better because they look l i k e any other ordinary single detached homes rather than intimidating inst i tut ions. Their designs are consistent with the neighborhoods where they are situated. Therefore they are more eas i ly accepted and better blend into the neighborhoods. More importantly, the 53 in ter ior designs of these two projects also give a feel ing of "home11 to those who are desperately seeking security and safety from the outside world. 4.2.8 Job placement program is a necessary step to oomplement l i f e s k i l l s trairiing program in order to enable clients to participate i n society. Having a l i f e s k i l l training program for homeless people i s not suf f ic ient because the chances that no one wants to h i re them are high. In order to i n i t i a t e solution to a d i f f i c u l t situation, many agencies have t r i ed to provide employment opportunity for their c l ients within the agencies. According to Ms O'Brien, cx»rdinator, Triage has t r i ed to arrange employment placement for the i r c l ients within the agency and from outside. For example, a female c l i en t i s currently hired to provide domestic services i n Triage. Ms Sutton also t r i e s to employ c l ients to assist domestic work i n the Powell Place. Though the kinds of jobs that c l ients are able to do are usually low pay manual or domestic work, nevertheless, these jobs have great benefits i n s tab i l i z ing c l i en t s ' conditions to enable participation i n society. 4.2.9 Prevention of homelessness i s a more preferred option than "bandaging" homRlessnRSS "after the fact." Ms Gallagher of the YWCA and Ms Hamilton of Evergreen Surrey Emergency Shelter strongly believe that the current system of emergency shelters i s a only a passive response to catch people after they have fa l l en through the " soc ia l safety net." Relying on th is reactive tac t i c of "bandaging" homelessness "after-the-fact" cannot make the problem go away by i t s e l f . Instead, government should take on a more responsive ro le in the prevention of 54 homelessness by a combination of methods. For a long term solution, a plan to increase the supply of "supportive housing" must be emphasized. At the same time, a suf f ic ient stock of "short term shelter/emergency options" must be maintained to acxrararodate c r i s i s situations. More importantly, the three levels of government should take greater responsibi l i ty to increase the supply of affordable housing in the City. Last but not the least, municipalit ies should exercise the i r ro le in "pressuring the senior governments to demonstrate greater commitment in financing and ef for t i n a l lev ia t ing the problem of housing deprivation for those who are the weakest members in the cxsmmunity (O'Shannacery, interview, November, 1990)." 55 Chapter Five U t i l i t y of the Broad def in i t ion of Hrnielessnpss i n Housing Pol icy Decisions There are two major concerns in the assessment of the u t i l i t y of the broad concept of homelessness: 1) the u t i l i t y of the concept as an analytic framework and a heurist ic device to understand an untidy and complex soc ia l r e a l i t y ; and more importantly, 2) the concept's effectiveness i n helping to bring structure and organization to the pol icy decision making process. Bearing these two concerns in mind, the following i s an exploratory search for the usefulness of the broad concept of homelessness i n affecting housing po l icy choices and programs. A set of f i ve po l icy making c r i t e r i a has been ident i f ied to guide th i s assessment. 5 .1 Homelessness and Bomecwnership: the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i n a homeownership dominant housing system. No feasible housing pol icy can be effect ively formulated without considering the var iet ies of constraints and conditions present i n the exist ing housing system. In order to f u l l y comprehend the implications of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness in the decision making process, current po l i cy and programs that dominate the housing market mechanisms must be examined. Nationally, i n the f i f teen years following the end of World War II, Canada was transformed from a nation of renters to a nation of homeowners. 56 Despite of the recommendation of the Marsh and Curtis Reports (Canada Parliament 1944), the 1940s and the 1950s were dominated by po l icy responses to f a c i l i t a t e and stimulate construction for homeowner ship. According to Rose, "the best conclusion we can arrive at concerning national housing pol icy from 1945 through 1964 i s that the government of Canada was strongly i n favor of the attainment of homeownership by every family (Rose, 1980:35)." From the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, the federal government had also introduced and implemented a variety of financing instruments, tax incentives and housing programs i n an e f for t to encourage homeownership and stimulate market supply of new homes (Figure 5). In terms of provincial programs, B r i t i sh Columbia, for example, terminated the renter 's tax credit i n 1983 while retaining a tax credi t for homeowners. There are 60 per cent homeowners and 40 per cent renters across the country. This rat io has not changed much since the 1960s. This implies that the Canadian national housing pol icy of promoting homeownership i s very much preferred by a l l three levels of government. This preference i s due to the fact that homeownership i s an e f f i c i en t and effect ive way to pr ivat ize costs associated with the provision of housing. Another reason that homeownership i s a preferred option to provide housing i s that h i s to r i ca l l y housing pol ic ies and programs are in t r i ca te ly l inked with macro economic pol icy. For a long time, governments have been using the production of houses as an economic too l to create jobs and stimulate economy. 57 Figure 5 Evolution of Federal Home Ownership Programs, Canada, 1945 to 1988 I M S 1950 1980 1988 joint Federal Mortgage Leans NHA Mortgage Insurance Direct Federal Mortgage Loans Capital Gains Tax Exemption for Home Owners Assisted Home Ownership Program (AHOP) First Tine Home-Buyers Cram Program Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan (RHOSP) Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) Caraffum Home Insulation Program (CHIP) Canada Mortgage Renewal Plan (CMRP) Canada Home Ownership Stimulation Plan (CHOSP) Canada Home Renovation Plan (CHRP) Mortgage Rate Protection Program (MRPP) 1935 w 1954. with •jjptgwto' lenden since 1954, protect* lender in c**e of del«ih 19S"7 to 1967. maliial loating f w n i i n m 197Jtal97S. 94^00 n>ortr«ggi , J I H m i L • • • • 1974 to 1975, SSOOasbfntt t . $46JnnIlioa 1974 lo 1985.ua « pwcbMc o f ft b a n s trace 1974, appro*. 1 $5,000 RRAP been* o 1977K.19**, rSSnuL m a " , erf. S400eacb 1981 lo 19S3, Jsunai rate anrwirlir. 1982 lo 1943. aOSJOOgrtDta. SSOOOcftcfa 1912to 1983. 121.500 gram, t a n . S3000eftch • since 1984. bslercxt rue iasurance tcheme Source: J.D. Hulc+ianski., School of Ccanmunity and Regional Planning, The university of British Columbia.,4/88. 5 8 The governments' coimitment to vase housing for economic management i s easy to understand because of i t s tremendous economic mult ip l ier effects on the nation's economy. Goldberg points out that i n 1980, the to ta l output in the Canadian economy as measured by the gross national product (GNP) amounted to approximately $228.1 b i l l i o n . Total investment in new and existing housing units during that year amounted to $13.9 b i l l i o n (1/3 of a l l construction), or 4% of GNP, excluding operating expenditures for heating, l ight ing, furnishing, property taxes, and maintenance and repairs. I f we also add the operating costs of just over $2.8 b i l l i o n for repairs and maintenance, $24.3 b i l l i o n for rent, imputed rent (rental value of owned housing) and heat and l ight , and $11.6 b i l l i o n for household furnishings and equipment, the tota l for housing and housing-related expenditures r i ses to $52.6 b i l l i o n , or 18.2% of GNP in 1980 (Goldberg, 1983:6). From the evidence above there i s no doubt that the governments' commitment to homeownership i s so l id. It i s very l i ke l y that the Canadian governments w i l l continue to fu l l y support and, i n housing po l icy issues, emphasize homeownership in the future. On the contrary, the p o l i t i c a l commitment to provide subsidizing low rent housing i s uncertain. To sum up, the Canadian government's attitude towards homeownership i s the following: 1) homeownership i s the preferred housing tenure due to low government d i rect expenditure requirements; 2) since homeownership represents the majority tenure in the housing market (60% of Canadian households), the bui lding industry that i s responsible for th is supply i s a huge economic generator and an anti-recessionary device; 3) in general, homeowners have re l a t i ve l y high consumer purchasing powers. As such they are considered a great economic mult ip l ier in the goods and services sector; and 4) hameownership tenure generally serves Canadians' housing needs wel l except for a small minority. For these reasons, i t i s obvious that the pol icy of 59 homeawnership w i l l continue to be a high pr ior i ty on the governments1 po l icy agenda. At the same time, i t can also be quite safely said that the problem of homelessness w i l l remain as a peripheral issue in the housing scene. Because of the huge publ ic expenditure required to address the broadly defined homeless problem, the government's present inaction on homelessness w i l l l i k e l y pers i s t . In short, as long as most of the cost of housing provision can be privat ized, the provision of subsidized rental housing w i l l l i k e l y remain ad hoc, piecemeal, fragmented, reactive and residual. Social housing pol icy and programs become mere by-products contingent on economic conditions rather than necessary provisions to meet social needs. Because of the huge expenditure required and the lack of economic incentive to provide soc ia l housing, the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness in inducing po l icy responses i n re l iev ing the harsh housing conditions of the homeless i s very low i n a housing system dominantly based on homeownership. As wel l , homelessness i s unl ikely to induce federal and provincial governments to redirect the i r housing p r i o r i t i e s . 5.2 Inadequate Formulation of the "At Risk Homeless": the broad def in i t ion of homelessness contains the category of "at r i s k homeless" which i s inadequately formulated to f a i r l y address housing needs of a t r i s k homeowners. The research and empirical evidence of th is study points to the fact that analysts who want to define homelessness broadly have f a i l ed to define the concept of the "at r i sk homeless" consistently according to the i r 60 cxsnprehensive formulation of homelessness. In general, analysts either tend to neglect homeonwers who have problems in terms of adequacy, suitability and affordability in housing (i.e, the at risk homeowners) or they are quick and ready to dismiss the category of at risk horneowners entirely from their analysis even i f they recognize the serious housing problems that many of the hcsrveowners encounter. For analysts who insist on using a broad interpretation of homelessness, their intentional or unintentional exclusion of the "at risk homeowners" from the "at risk homeless" is problematic. Similar to renters, there i s a large number of homeowners who also have various kinds of serious housing problems. To illustrate this, the following are some examples: 1) homeowners who live in substandard housing with poor amenity and infrastructure in rural and small remote communities; 2) homeowners who have insufficient or unstable financial means for mortgage repayments (e.g., the working poor homeowners and homeowners who are facing layoff and unemployment due to economic recession); 3) homeowners who live in substandard housing due to the lack of financial means to keep up with maintenance (e.g., seniors who are relying mainly on old age security or small pensions); 4) homeowners who are emotionally or psychologically deprived of a "home" (e.g., battered women); and 5) native homeowners who live in isolated land reserve with l i t t l e employment opportunities and badly developed infrastructure. In his critique on housing crisis, Malpass also clearly points out that i t is a common misconception that people generally think that homeowners are beneficiaries rather than victims of homeownership. 61 lcw-irKXfme purchasers are in many ways victims of hornecwnership rather than beneficiaries, in the sense they live in the poorest quality housing, which they cannot afford to maintain or improve to a satisfactory standard, they pay a high proportion of income on mortgage repayments and obtain least assistance with their housing costs. It is argued that the policy of homecwnership is not accompanied by mechanisms for channelling help to those in greatest need (Malpass, 1986:20). Moreover, as of the early 1985, CMHC had already brought our attention to the housing problems experienced by both the renter as well as owner households. According to CMHC's estimates, more than 500,000 renter households cannot afford physically adequate and uncrowded acxxmmodation and nearly 200,000 homeowners in Canada have serious housing affordability problems (CMHC, 1985:10). Further, using the criterion of adequacy, suitability and affordability and data from 1985, CMHC also developed a profile of the extent to which Canadian households experience one or more of the three housing problems and the incidence of core housing need among these households. According to CMHC's estimates, of the 8.75 million private households, housing problems were experienced by 33.8 percent of a l l households - 28 per cent of owner households and 44 per cent of renter households. In other words, nearly one million owner households were having housing problems concerning either adequacy, suitability and/or affordability. Another problem is that even i f analysts recognize the serious housing deficiency that many of the homeowners face, they often choose not to include the "at risk homeowners" in their analysis. They manage to do that simply by justifying that the at risk homeowners are not the neediest group. For example, Murray contends that 62 a l l these [ownerhouseholds] may have had serious housing problems, but they d id have housing. They are at the medium leve l of jeopardy; they are not at the bottom end of the continuum of uncertainty. Thus these household do not represent the focus of th is book - those without shelter and those with no fixed address - but they are the households from which the homeless are most l i ke ly to be drawn (emphasis added, Murray, 1990:19). Of course analysts have the r ight to establish the i r boundaries i n performing the i r inte l lectua l inquiries. An analyst has the r ight to confine h i s or her analysis solely on the housing problems of the homeless renters and non-homeowners. But i t becomes very disturbing and problematic i f too many analysts are taking a sectional or incomplete interpretation of the "at r i sk homeless" category i n their analyses while ins ist ing that a broad def in i t ion of homelessness should be adopted for the purpose of pol icy decision making. Available research and empirical evidence support the conclusion that the formulation of the "at r i sk homeless" population based on a broad def in i t ion of homelessness in most of the l i terature reviewed at best represents only the majority but not the entire population which i s at the r i sk of being homeless. The intentional and/or unintentional exclusion of the "at r i s k homeowners" from the "at r i sk homeless" population i s unfair . I t i s not only contradictory to the ideological goals of the comprehensive def in i t ion that many of the analysts have ambitiously attempted, i t also obscures the thorough understanding of the concept of the "at r i s k homeless" as well as urxiermines the magnitude of homelessness within the broad def in i t ion of the problem. Besides, the broadening of the concept of the "at r i sk homeless" adds rather than eliminate problems in terms of producing re l i ab le and accurate estimates of the homeless population. 63 Given these conceptual and technical ramifications in the inadequate formulation of the "at r i sk homeless" population, i t can be concluded that the concept of the "at r i sk homeless" i s of very l imited use i n helping pol icy makers to c lear ly , fu l l y , and accurately, identify the i r target groups for the purpose of f a i r l y addressing the housing needs of at r i sk renters as well as at r i s k homeowners. 5.3 Imprecise Estimates and Allocation of Public Resources: the u t i l i t y of a broad definition of homRlessness in producing reliable estimates for allocating public resources. Public resources are l imited and housing budgets are small compared to health, education, and other expenditure categories. Therefore, housing po l icy decisions ought to be made on the basis of re l i ab le and accurate estimates of need. According to Fa l l i ck , without re l i ab le estimates of the scope and the scale of [homelessness], there i s l i t t l e l ikelihood that governments w i l l commit scarce resources (particularly financial) to these issues, and consequently, the chances of implementing systematic and effective strategies to reduce the problems of the homeless are lessened (Fal l ick, 1988:260). Among many reasons, the d i f f i cu l t y in accurately measuring the s ize of the homeless population mainly stems from the lack of consensus on how homelessness should be defined. The disputes over def init ions are not simply about scholastic issues. They involve defining the goals of soc ia l welfare po l i c ies . The broader the def init ion, the bigger the s ize of the homeless population. The bigger the problem, the greater the actions and resources 64 needed to remedy the situation. For these reasons, the def in i t ion of homelessness, for public pol icy purchase, becomes extremely p o l i t i c a l . In terms of public resource al location, pol icy responses to the three aammonly found definit ions of homelessness in society are as follows. F i r s t , the decision to have no o f f i c i a l def in i t ion of homelessness implies that there i s no problem and, log ica l ly, no pol icy response i s required. Second, a narrow def in i t ion implies that only a small number of people are experiencing the problem therefore there i s no need to al locate extra resources, hopefully the agencies can tough i t out within the existing budget. Third, a broad def in i t ion implies that a large number of people i s affected and homelessness i s a serious soc ia l problem. In this case, a major redirection of public resources i s necessary to address the problem and the cost to remedy the s i tuat ion would be astronomical. Among other things, there are three main problems contributing to the unsettled issue of how homelessness should be defined in Canada. F i r s t , the federal government of Canada has no o f f i c i a l def in i t ion of homelessness. In B r i t i sh Columbia, neither the provincial government, the municipal governments, nor CMHC have an o f f i c i a l stand on the issue. Governments' non responsive attitude to homelessness i s contradictory to the broad view of homelessness advocated by progressive analysts. Second, the images of homeless projected by media typica l ly represent the narrowest conception of homelessness. Again, th i s i s inconsistent with the broad def in i t ion of homelessness endorsed by analysts. Third, many people, part icu lar ly the ones who are being ident i f ied as the "at r i sk homeless", are reluctant to be label led as the "homeless" within the broad framework of homelessness. 65 In short, these three factors combined seriously af fect the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness in producing a soc ia l ly and p o l i t i c a l l y acceptable enumeration of the homeless in Canada for two reasons. F i r s t , the broad def in i t ion of homelessness favored by many housing analysts and academics has not received the same level of socia l and p o l i t i c a l acceptance by either the three levels of government, media or people who have housing d i f f i c u l t i e s . As the contest of interests continues, the def in i t ion of the concept of homelessness and the boundaries of the homeless population remain undeterrnined. Subsequently, the enumeration of the homeless i s impossible. Second, even i f the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s accepted, the inv i s ib le and vo l a t i l e nature of the at r i sk homeless prevents i t from producing credible s ta t i s t i c s as basis for public expenditures. Therefore, without the u t i l i t y to substantiate a socia l ly and p o l i t i c a l l y acceptable estimate of the homeless population, the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s not very useful i n producing re l iab le estimates for the purpose of a l locat ing scarce publ ic resources part icular ly in periods of f i s c a l restra int . 5.4 HcmeleF«nef»f: and Inter-agency Coal i t ion Building: the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of homelpssness i n coalescing inter^agency support and advocacy i n housing pol icy decision making and program development. A housing pol icy aimed at assisting people with no shelter of any kind and people at the r i sk of loosing their homes implies that a course or courses of action have to be adopted so as to increase the supply of low rent and soc ia l housing. A pol icy i s a series of decisions. In order to rea l i ze these decisions, actors are needed to formulate the pol icy and implement the plan. 66 At the operational leve l , there are yet another three problems with the u t i l i t y of the broad concept of homelessness in helping to develop a strong coa l i t ion among the agencies advocating housing pol icy for the homeless: 1) the variety of labels used to describe the homeless by housing and welfare agencies implies differences in organization agenda which impede inter-agency coa l i t ion i n advocacy work for the homeless; 2) the broad spectrum of housing issues ident i f ied with the broad view of homelessness undermine the concept's u t i l i t y in targeting and p r i o r i t i z i ng pol icy choices for the homeless; and 3) the lack of c lear ly ident i f iable ccmmunity-based advocacy groups on the issue of homelessness severely weakens the poss ib i l i ty of mobilizing coranunity support and advocacy to advance the urgent housing needs of the homeless. Since departmentalization i s the way that our society i s organized, conf l i c t s result ing from inter and intra agency cooperation are inevitable. The broad def in i t ion implies that a large number of welfare agencies and organizations are involved in delivering services and assistance to the large number of homeless people. Among the agencies that are ass ist ing the homeless, there are conf l ic ts in the i r organizational objectives, contests in funding, as well as struggles in power sharing. Very often, the label of "the homeless" has to be modified in order to suite the aiding agency's organizational goals. Consequently, the term "homeless" i s being hidden, blended or substituted with other labels such as the ones mentioned previously. Although the blending of the labels does not necessarily work against the objective of helping the homeless, i t contradicts the intention of those who attempt to use the broad def in i t ion to exemplify the magnitude of homelessness. As well, the differences in label l ing also lead to the dispersion of resources and the inhibit ion of the formation of a strong 67 coa l i t ion between the housing and other welfare agencies in advancing the urgent need of decent and affordable housing for the homeless. Moreover, the complex issues that the broad def in i t ion of homelessness come to stand for do more harm than good in s o l i c i t i n g conmunity and in ter -agency* support. The baggage of the label of homelessness i s heavy but i t plays a l imited ro le in coalescing col lect ive action. Because complex negative soc ia l issues requires huge public expenditure with l i t t l e economic and p o l i t i c a l incentive for government and society to act on. Therefore the more complex the issue of homelessness that analysts package i t , the less the chance that homelessness would gain i t s legitimate status i n the public agenda. Further, a closer examination of the results of the research and survey points to another disturbing fact. Although homelessness i n a broader sense i s a very serious problem in Vancouver, there i s no organization advocating affordable housing for the "homeless" under the banner of "homelessness." This means that there are no prominent organizations or agencies that are act ive ly involved in housing advocacy for the underprivileged with either the word "homeless" or "homelessness" in their organizations' names (see Appendix D for a l i s t of names of housing advocacy organizations in Vancouver). This fact cannot be taken l ight ly. Names stand for ideologies, goals, objectives, directions and advocacy of organizations. The organization names can be the important linkages between the c l ients and the agencies. The lack of exp l i c i t endorsement for the homeless and the issue of homelessness from community and publ ic groups ref lects the weak mobilization force that the concept of homelessness has in uniting public support. 68 In short, the differences in label l ing of the "homeless" people have greatly undermined the poss ib i l i ty of forming a strong coa l i t ion to advance the housing needs of the "homeless." The complexity i n the formulation of the issues of homelessness i n s t i l l s economic and p o l i t i c a l skepticism rather than incentive to al locate resources to tackle the problem. F ina l ly , the lack of d i rect advocacy from public, non-profit and coximunity groups has severely weakened the poss ib i l i t y of gaining a strong public support to pressure government response in a l leviat ing the worsening housing situations of the homeless. In view of these weaknesses associated with the broad def in i t ion of homelessness, i t becomes clear that the concept i s not useful i n coalescing inter-agency support and advocacy in housing pol icy decision and programs development for the homeless in the comrrjuriity. 5.5 Homelessness and Welfare Consensus: the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of hcmelessness i n generating welfare consensus i n the Canadian society. A soc ia l problem such as homelessness does not exist i n a vacuum. The nature of the problem i t se l f , the way i t i s perceived, and the kinds of solutions considered as feasible are shaped by economic, p o l i t i c a l and soc ia l conditions, as well as by general bel iefs prevalent in society at a part icular time. Therefore, the examination of the issue of homelessness raises many philosophical, soc ia l and pol icy implications. And the s ign i f icant question concerning these inquires i s whether such an examination results i n transforming our overwhelming feelings toward the homeless into actionable solutions. 69 The collapse of Keysian welfare consensus has s ignif icant soc ia l , economic and p o l i t i c a l implications on housing pol icy decisions. The weakened welfare consensus not only results in budget constraints on soc ia l spending including housing but also reinforces society 's negative attitudes toward the homeless. Po l i t i c a l l y , homelessness i s a negative soc ia l problem that government would l i ke to forget rather than be reminded of because i t i s embarrassing and expensive to resolve. Homelessness ref lects governments' fa i lure in performing the i r constitutional duty to maintain "peace, order and good government" because "good" governments do not, would not and ought not l e t the i r people suffer the pl ight and desperation of being "homeless" especial ly in a country as r i c h as Canada. Therefore homelessness i s a p o l i t i c a l stigma which governments are reluctant to accept. They would rather treat i t as a side issue. Another reason why the Canadian governments are s i l ent about the issue of homelessness i s that not everyone i s affected by i t . Mainstream economists contend that housing conditions are generally good and improving. According to Murray, at a maximum, there are only 1 per cent of Canadian population on the streets or in the emergency shelters or hostels (Murray, 1990:44). For th i s reason, Canada i s not faced with a social-economic epidemic i n homelessness. Rather some economists believe that homelessness i s merely a temporary and minor problem existing among a small segment of population i n our society. 70 Besides, not everyone agrees that a l l the causes ident i f ied to exacerbate homelessness are necessarily bad. For instance, some po l i t i c ians t rust that gentr i f icat ion i s not necessary a negative thing to society. Gentr i f icat ion i s much praised for rejuvenating inner c i t i e s and for adding tax revenues to strapped c i t y governments; i t i s also much celebrated for creating cosmopolitan and urban communities. The process have been promoted and f inancia l ly assisted by a l l levels of government (Fa l l i s , 1990:58). In other words, homelessness may be considered as a necessarily minor soc ia l cost to generate the much needed economic benefits for the wider society. On the contrary, governments1 less than lukewarm attitude toward the a l lev ia t ion of homelessness i s not entirely without reasons. In some way governments are s t i l l deterred by the economic hurts of the slum clearance and urban renewal programs in the 1950s and 1960s. According to Rose, in Vancouver.. .and in many other ccmmunity the monetary costs which can be more or less d i rect ly attributed to blighted housing and the slum environment have been enormous when compared with the revenues derived by the loca l municipality from the normal property tax assessed against land and property in their neighbourhood (Rose, 1967:47). Consequently, on the economic side of the equation, the broad def in i t ion of "homelessness" in the current housing system i s equivalent to "public subsidy," "locked in expenditure," "drain on public purse," "foregone revenue," "economic burden," "transferred income," "expensive costs" and "economic waste" to governments as well as the general public. While on the moral side of the equation "socia l conscience," "eth ics , " "equal i ty," " soc ia l jus t i ce " are usually grossly undervalued by the society at large. Against the 71 t ide of the pervasive negative societal attitudes toward the broad issue of homelessness, those who are compassionate to the sufferings of the homeless f ind i t doubly d i f f i c u l t to marshal the necessary wide publ ic support within the broad framework of homelessness. Besides, society does not think that every one deserves help. In his cr i t ique on People and Public Housing Policy, Rose points to the fact that not everyone believes i n the eff icacy of housing and welfare assistance. For those who are skeptical about socia l assistance, they hold the view that some famil ies do not change with improvement in housing and the physical environment. A proportion of family i s beyond the help of our soc ia l services and beyond the fundamental changes i n the i r housing accommodation and physical environment (Rose, 1967:46). I t i s precisely these kinds of negative perceptions of the homeless people that accord the residual character to the issue of homelessness. In summary, the collapse of welfare consensus in Canada i s another main reason that a housing pol icy developed around the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s unl ikely to be supported by government and society. "Homelessness" symbolizes fa i lure that po l i t ic ians, publ ic and individuals are reluctant to admit. "Homelessness" requires huge expenditures to f i x but some po l i t i c ians and people are skeptical of the uncertain effects of soc ia l housing pol icy and program response. As well, some people believe that a portion of the homeless people are beyond help while others are self-induced homeless. Consequently, society has not yet agree on who deserves assistance from society. A l l factors combined constitute a good case for not acting on the problem of homelessness. This in part explains why Canada s t i l l does not have a spec i f i c housing pol icy or rather has a pol icy of inaction on 72 homelessness. Without the power to generate p o l i t i c a l and soc ia l support, the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s not useful i n mobilizing large scale redistr ibut ion of public resources for the development of pol icy and programs to ass ist the large number of homeless people result ing from the broad conception of the problem. 5.6 A Summary of the Findings on the Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in Policy Decision and Programs Development Table 5 presents the summary of the findings of th i s thesis on the u t i l i t y of the broad def in i t ion of homelessness in housing pol icy decision making. The research and empirical evidence from the l i terature review and the Vancouver case study concludes that the broad def in i t ion of homelessness i s too controversial and too imprecise for spec i f ic pol icy and programs development i n ass ist ing those who do not have shelter of any kind and those who are at the r i s k of loosing their homes. I t does so for the following f i ve reasons: 1) The huge public expenditure required and the lack of economic incentive to deal with the large population of homeless ( i .e . , the absolute and the at r i sk homeless) result ing from the broad def in i t ion of homelessness runs contrary to the dominant ideological and p o l i t i c a l rea l i t i e s in a homeownership focused housing system. 2) The broad def in i t ion of homelessness contains the category of "at r i sk homeless" population with i t s focus on low income renters i s biased and unfair i n recognizing s imilar housing 73 d i f f i c u l t i e s experienced by the at r i sk homeowners. 3) The broad def init ion of homelessness imposes great d i f f i cu l t y , i f not an impossibil ity, i n producing a soc ia l ly and p o l i t i c a l l y acceptable enumeration of homeless due to the controversial nature of the concepts in establishing precise boundaries for the target group. 4) The broad def init ion of homelessness i s weak in coalescing wide inter-agency and community support and advocacy to advance the desperate shelter need of the large number of homeless because of differences in organizational agenda, economic and p o l i t i c a l skepticism in eff icacy of soc ia l assistance and no-direct advocacy to pressure policy response. 5) The broad def in i t ion of homelessness creates a bigger soc ia l problem that weakens the concept's u t i l i t y in generating welfare consensus to mobilize resources in assist ing the homeless. In short, the broad def init ion of homelessness has lessened rather than strengthened the u t i l i t y of the concept in devising pol icy decision, p r i o r i t i z i n g needs and developing programs to a l lev iate the severe housing problems for those without shelters of any kind and those at the r i sk of loosing the i r homes in the Canadian society. In order to improve the u t i l i t y of the concept of homelessness for po l icy decision making and programs development, a redef in i t ion of the concept based on a more focused interpretation and a more precise categorization of the homeless population are necessary in the following chapter. 74 Table 5 An Assessment of the U t i l i t y of the Broad Def in i t ion of Hrwi^lfaggryaty; i n Bousing Po l icy Decisions An Assessment of The Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in Housing Policy Decision Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in a Homeowner-ship Dominant Sousing Market Utility of the Broad Definition of Homeless-ness in Fairly Addressing Housing Needs of At Risk Home-owners Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in Producing Reliable and Accurate Estimates for Allocating Public Resources Utility of the Broad Definition of Homelessness in Coalescing Inter-agency and corimunity support and advocacy Utility of the Broad definition of Home-lessness in Generating Welfare Consensus (1) irrelevant (2) not useful (3)*Limited Use (4) Useful (5) Very Useful * Subject to Improvement or Modification of the Concept. 75 Chapter Six Retliihking the Utility of the Concept of Hcmelessness far Housing Policy and Program Development: Concluding Ccnments Given the int ractab i l i ty of many socia l problems, the ro le of analyst i s to locate problems where solutions might be t r i ed . If the analyst i s able to redefine problems in a way which makes seme improvement possible then th i s i s as much as can be expected (Ham and H i l l , 1984:6). 6.1 Conceptual Confusion and Ambiguity in the Contemporary Literature on Hcmelessness The l i terature review points to the fact that the key concepts and terminologies used in discussion of issues relat ing to homeless individuals are conceptually confusing, ambiguous and inadequate. To demonstrate the va l i d i t y of th i s cr i t i c i sm, a summary of the comparison of contents implied by d i f ferent uses of the concept of a narrow and broad view of homelessness i s presented i n Table 6. The two major sources of conceptual confusion and ambiguity are discussed below. F i r s t , the confusion results from the lack of d i s t inct ion between the d i f ferent emphases i n the study of homelessness. There are at least two possible areas of emphases in the study of homelessness — the study of the issue of homelessness as a "general" social problem (e.g., soc ia l inequality) and the study of the issue as a " spec i f ic " socia l problem, (e.g., the housing dimension, geographic dimension, mental health dimension or welfare suff ic iency dimension of homelessness). Such inte l lectua l d i s t inct ion i s subtle but s igni f icant i n influencing an analysts' conceptualization, 7 6 Table 6 Summary Comparison of Different Definit ions of the Concept of Homelessness i n the Contemporary l i te ra ture 1.Concepts with People Emphasis i n H. Causes Housing Conditions Homeless(1) Homelessness(1) a) absolute (housing issue) homeless b) at r i sk homeless Homelessness(2) Homeless(2) a. absolute homeless mult i -causal factors but the main cause i s the lack of permanent and affordable housing, other factors includes poverty, domestic violence, & substance abuse, de inst i tut iona l iz -ation ,unemployment. structural deficiency a) a lack of a roof over one's head or a lack of a continuing or permanent and affordable home. b) a lack of permanent and affordable home, security of tenure,privacy, personal control, access to family & cxsmmunity support/services. no roof over one's head and lack of permanent shelter e.g., emergency shelter i s not permanent shelter Homelessness(3) Homeless(3) by own a. absolute choice homeless no roof over one's head 2.General Concept People Cause Contributing Factors Homelessness(4) (broader soc i a l issue e.g. soc ia l inequality) Homeless(4) a. absolute homeless b. at r i sk homeless multi poverty & income problem, causal factors mental health, inadequate but the main cause soc ia l assistance rates, may be one or a cxmbination of these factors. deinst itut ional izat ion, Unemployment, family breakdown, lack of adequate Community support f a c i l i t i e s and services individual responsibi l i ty Support Serv ices/Faci l i t ies Social Attitudes 77 selection of research method and formulation of solutions in dealing with the problem. For example, i f homelessness i s viewed as a general soc ia l problem, then emphasis i s on soc ia l iriequality, i . e . , equal weight of emphasis i s given to each individual factor. If homelessness i s perceived as a housing problem, then special attention i s focused on the dynamics in housing market. I f homelessness i s studied as a problem unique to certain locations then analysis concentrates on geographic factors. However, the poss ib i l i t y of applying the concept of hcmelessness to the study of one unique aspect of th i s complex issue has seldom been c lear ly identif ied by most analysts and academics in the l i terature reviewed (with the exception of Fa l l ick. ) This in turn undermines the usefulness of the concept as a functional too l i n guiding in-depth investigation of the various aspects of homelessness. The second kind of conceptual confusion and ambiguity comes from the inadequate formulation of concepts and terminologies found i n the homelessness l i terature (including Fa l l i c k ' s formulation.) I t must be stressed that the only exist ing terminologies that are commonly used by housing analysts and academics to draw conceptual dist inct ion between the comprehensiveness and exclus iv i ty i n the scoping of homelessness are the terms "broad" and "narrow." However, analysts do not always state c lear ly whether a "broad" or "narrow" view i s used i n the i r text (e.g., E. Bassuk's "The Homelessness Problem" (1983); N. Kaufman's "Homelessness: A Comprehensive Pol icy Approach" (1984) and T. Main's "The Homeless of New York (1983)," etc.) Many simply assume there i s suf f ic ient common understanding and agreement on the concept of homelessness, whereas, in rea l i ty, the lack of consensus on the def in i t ion of the concept i s s ignif icant. 78 Moreover, even i f the researchers do point out whether they are using a "broad" or "narrow" def in i t ion of homelessness, these two loosely defined dist inct ions are s t i l l very problematic. On the one hand, the broad def in i t ion of homelessness, i . e . , hcmelessness(1) i n Table 6, i s inadequate because the term i t s e l f i s actual ly not broad enough to include the category of a t r i s k hcmeowners and the housing d i f f i c u l t i e s that the a t r i s k homeowners encounter. On the other hand, the narrow def in i t ion of hcmelessness i s not spec i f i c enough when i t i s being used i n housing l i terature. Simply by looking at the term "narrow def in i t ion of homelessness" in housing l i terature, readers have no way of knowing exactly whether homelessness(2) ( i .e . , a somewhat narrow def in i t ion of homelessness) or whether homelessness(3) ( i .e . , the narrowest conceptualization of homelessness), or whether both homelessness(2) and (3) are being referred to by analysts i n the i r text. In addition, the similar kind of conceptual ambiguity i s also found in the use of the terms "homeless" and "absolute homeless." As indicated i n Table 6, there are at least three different meanings implied by the term "homeless" and "absolute homeless" depending on the spec i f ic context they are being used i n housing l i terature. Without qual i f icat ions i n the text (which i s usually not the case), these terms are very confusing for readers. 6.2 Reconoeptiial i zation of Homelessness and Recategorization of the Homeless Population fa r Investigation of the Housing Dimension of Hcmelessness In order to improve the u t i l i t y of the concept of homelessness i n the investigation of the housing dimension of homelessness, a recategorization of 79 the homeless population and a redefinit ion of the di f ferent concepts of "homelessness" would help resolve much of the unnecessary conceptual confusion. 6.2.1 Table 7 presents a recommendation for a comprehensive approach to conceptualizing the complex housing dimension of homelessness. This study proposes that f ive conceptualizations of homelessness can be adopted. The term "housing dimension of homelessness" i s the main conceptual framework under which four other more problem speci f ic concepts of homelessness are found: the at r i sk homelessness; shelter homelessness; street homelessness; and by-choice homelessness. As well, the people, causes, def in i t ions, most effect ive potential usage, and pol icy implications of each d i f ferent concept are provided in the Table 7. For example, the concept of housing dimension of homelessness refers to the absence of continuing or permanent and affordable shelter (e.g., emergency shelters are not permanent shelters) of any kind that meet the basic health and safety standards ( i .e. , the minimum standards established by the community which essential ly ref lects the publ ic ' s willingness to pay) to enable healthy cxHranunity l i v ing . In the study of the housing dimension of homelessness, there are f i ve categories of homeless people that analysts can examine closely. They include the by-choice homeless, street homeless, shelter homeless and at r i sk renters and at r i sk homeowners ( i .e. , at r i s k homeless). The causes for the i r housing d i f f i cu l t i e s are raulti dimensional. Among other factors, lack of permanent and affordable housing, unemployment and poverty, deinst itut ional izat ion, domestic violence and substance abuse are some of the 80 Table 7 Defining Concepts and Terminologies of Housing Dimension of Hcmelessness for Policy Decisions/Considerations Concepts People Causes Housing Conditions Most Effective Potential Use Policy Implications Housing Dimension of Homelessness At Risk Hcmelessness Shelter Hcmelessness Street Homelessness (2) (3) (4) Homeless (1) by-choice homeless street homeless shelter homeless at risk homeless (a) at risk renters (b) at risk homeowners At risk Homeless a. at risk renters b. at risk homeowners Shelter Homeless Street Homeless multi-causal factors but the main cause i s the lack of  permanent and  affordable housing. Other causes include poverty, deinstitutionaliz-ation, domestic violence, sub-stance abuse & unemployment etc. multi causal factors primarily rooted in market disequilibrium multi causal factors rooted in market failure and social inequality multi causal factors rooted in market failure and social inequality absence of continuing or permanent and affordable shelter (e.g., emergency shelters are not permanent shelters) of any kind that meet the basic health and safety standards (i.e., the ndnimum standards established by cctrtnunity) to enable healthy ccmnunity living. hidden housing situations in which renters and/or homeowners suffer substandard living or at the risk of loosing their continuing or permanent and affordable shelters. visible absence of afford-able and permanent shelters e.g., people who have to resort to emergency shelter as the only shelter option or people who are forced to take temporary shelter in abandon buildings. the most visible absence of affordable and permanent shelters e.g., people who are forced to sleep on the streets when emergency shelters are f u l l or when conditions in emergency shelters are too intimidating. improve the understanding of the complexity of the worst kind of mani-festation of housing deprivation. improve understanding of the relationships of different sub-groups in housing system, particularly relationships between shelter and street homeless in terms of the sources of homelessness. focus efforts and resources for policy and program  solutions to alleviate homeless-ness in its visible form. focus efforts and resources for policy and program  solutions to alleviate homeless-ness in its visible form. no specific policy and program response are needed to address this broadly defined aspects of hcmelessness because the concept i s s t i l l too imprecise and too controversial for specific policy action though i t highlights the urgent housing needs. no specific policies or programs are needed to be developed within the framework of home-lessness to respond to the housing needs of at risk homeless. Rather their needs are better addressed in other exist-ing housing frameworks e.g., senior housing, low cost housing, housinc for the disabled persons. specific policy and programs responses with special emphasis to provide permanent housing at an affordable cost is a necessary priority, e.g., housing for the homeless persons or supportive housing etc. specific policy and programs responses with special emphasis to provide permanent housing at an affordable cost is a necessary priority, e.g., housing for the homeless persons or supportive housing etc. By-Choice By-choice Homelessness Homeless Own choice the most visible absence of a roof over one's head e.g., people who chooses to sleep outside rather than in emergency centers or people who choose outdoor l i f e as a preferred lifestyle. improve understanding of the sub-groups of homeless population. no specific policy action and response i s needed because i t i s inappropri-ate for society to interfere with individual freedom and choice. 81 major factors that contribute to the adverse housing situations experienced by these people. The concept of housing dimension of homelessness can be used most e f fect ive ly to y i e ld an in-depth urderstanding of the complex nature of the systematic housing deprivation generated by the homeownership-dcminant housing system in Canada. I t should not, however, be used as the conceptual framework for po l icy response to homelessness because the concept i s s t i l l too broad for spec i f i c action and program development. /Among other reasons, the concept includes imprecise target populations ( i .e. , the at r i sk homeless and by-choice homeless) that create rather than minimize problems i n legit imization as wel l as i n enumeration of the homeless. Therefore, i t i s recximmended that no spec i f i c pol icy response to homelessness should be developed based on the broad framework of "housing dimension of homelessness." 6.2.2 Conceptual Differences between the Broad Definition of Homelessness and the Housing Dimension of Homelessness At th i s stage, i t i s important to point out the two s ign i f icant conceptual differences between the formulation of the housing dimension of homelessness in th i s thesis and the broad def in i t ion of homelessness advocated by contemporary l i terature. F i r s t , most importantly, the concepts in the housing dimension of homelessness focuses on the absence of shelter for individuals while the broad def init ion of homelessness emphasizes the lack of homes. "Shelters" are physical structures which can be determined by objective standards set by public processes whereas "homes" are subjective value judgement which cannot be objectively measured. In order to frame the 82 issue i n a more operational manner, th i s chapter recommends the use of the term "shelter" rather then the term "home" as the objective c r i te r ion for housing provision. Second, the definit ions of the dif ferent concepts in the housing dimension of homelessness do not include the concepts of "privacy", "personal control " and "access to corimunity support/services" that are endorsed by the broad def in i t ion of homelessness. However, th i s should not be taken to mean these factors are not important. The problem i s that for pract ica l pol icy decision making purposes, the incorporation of these subjective factors impedes rather than mobilizes co l lect ive action to address the problem. Consequently, the emphasis of housing dimension of homelessness i s focused on the more objective aspects of housing such as health and safety standards. The term "shelter, " therefore, avoids confusion with the general term "housing" and the subjective term "home." 6.2.3 The Housing Needs of At Risk Homeless and By Choice Homeless should be Addressed Differently from the Housing Needs of Street Homeless and Shelter Homeless Although the concepts of at r i sk homelessness and by choice homelessness (as defined i n Table 7) are relevant to the study of housing dimension of homelessness, th i s study finds that they are not appropriate concepts for devising spec i f ic housing pol icy and program responses for people who do not have permanent and affordable shelters of any kind. 83 The operational problems involved in the concept of at r i s k homelessness are s imilar to the f ive d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent in the broad def in i t ion of homelessness except that the formulation of the category of at r i s k homelessness i s more complete by including homeowners. However, such inclusion expands the scope of the d i f f i c u l t y rather than placing t ighter boundaries on the problem for solution ident i f icat ion purposes. Among other things, the d i f f i c u l t y in developing a soc ia l ly and p o l i t i c a l l y acceptable enumeration for both the at r i sk renters and at r i sk homeowners population i s greater than counting the at r i sk renters population alone. Therefore, for pol icy and program development purposes, i t i s more strategic to address the housing needs of the at r i sk homeless under other exist ing housing frameworks such as "affordable housing," "seniors housing," "housing for core needy," "housing for disabled persons," or "housing for s ingle parent." In other words, the at r i sk homeless' housing needs would be better met i f these needs are addressed under existing well defined categories such as "core needy," "seniors," "single-mothers," or "disabled persons" rather than under one general broad category of "homeless". In fact, the Canadian government and the th i rd sector have been devoting much of the i r ef forts in improving the housing conditions of the at r i sk category through the non-profit housing program even though the people being helped are not ca l led at r i sk homeless and their housing needs are not met d i rec t l y under the framework of homelessness. For the by-choice homeless, we must recognize that in a democratic society such as Canada, i t i s not appropriate for society to interfere with individual freedom and choice no matter how small or how big th i s population 84 i s . There i s ultimately very l i t t l e pol icy makers can do to change the by-choice homeless who are adamant about their l i f e s ty le . As a resu l t there i s no need for spec i f ic pol icy actions and program response for the by-choice homeless. 6.2.4 Street Hcmelessness and Shelter Homelessness are the Targets f a r Pol icy Response under the Framework of the Housing Dimension of Homelessness This study proposes that pol icy action to address the acute housing needs of people who do not have permanent and affordable shelter of any kind should be targeted at the "street homeless" and the "shelter homeless" population. Street homelessness i s v i s i b l e absence of a roof over one's head and shelter homelessness i s v i s i b le absence of continuing or permanent and affordable shelters. In other words, street homeless and shelter homeless are people who lack permanent and affordable shelter of any kind that meet basic health and safety standards ( i .e. , the minimum standards established by the community). In short, the street and shelter homeless are the neediest group requiring housing assistance in the Canadian housing system. By focusing pol icy decision and program responses at the levels of street homelessness and shelter homelessness, there are def in i te advantages over the much advocated choice of responding to the needs of homeless within a broad def in i t ion of homelessness. F i r s t , street homeless and shelter homeless are more precise target populations and their number can be determined with minimum controversy about their enumeration. Second, the housing needs of 85 street homeless and shelter homeless are more serious (from a soc ia l welfare point of view) than the at r i sk renters and the at r i sk homeowners. This implies that p r i o r i t y for the al location of public resources should be accorded to the street and shelter homeless. Third, by separating the by-choice homeless from the street and shelter homeless i n po l icy formulation, program design and program implementation, i t may reduce (but not eliminate) soc ia l and p o l i t i c a l resistance in taking actions to address the housing needs of the neediest i n our ccramunity. 6.3 A Wholistic Approach is Necessary far Conceptualizing the Housing Dimension of Homelessness This study also concludes that the investigation of the housing dimension of homelessness must not be conducted in i so lat ion of the housing system as a whole i f the goal i s to obtain a thorough understanding of the deep rooted causes and effects of the various types of homelessness. A wholist ic approach, a system view, must be adopted. Figure 6 i s a schematic conceptualization of the Canadian housing system with a focus on the housing dimension of homelessness. The housing condition above the red l i ne in the diagram represents the ideal state of market equilibrium in which homeowners and renters can obtain secure and affordable housing in the market. However, housing condition below the red l ine s ign i f ies housing system fa i lu re i n which the housing needs of certain groups of people are not met. The at r i sk homeowners and at r i sk renters ( i .e. , at r i s k homelessness) are 86 Figure 6 A Schematic Conceptualization of the Canadian Housing with Emphasis on the Housing Dimension of Homelessness Homeowners with no problems i n tenure security and affordability Renters with on problems i n tensure security and affordability e.g. Stablization Supportive Housing At Risk Homeowners i i i • i i i -" ~ T ~ i i i i t i i i i i I ! i i I I itr_ At Risk Renters i I Street Homeless — market equilibrium — — signs of housing problems — main sources of homelessness possible sources of homelessness mmm preferred remedial solution for street homeless and shelter homeless 87 the ear l ie s t manifestation of housing system problem. At th i s stage, prevention of shelter and street homelessness i s possible i f appropriate remedial measures are taken for the at r i sk groups. On the other hand, i f the at r i s k homeless population becomes greater, then shelter and street homelessness w i l l l i ke l y increase. This study contends that when at r i s k renters and at r i sk homeowners are squeezed down to the bottom of the housing system, they w i l l f i r s t seek refuge in temporary shelters (e.g., emergency shelters or trans i t ion houses). However, i f temporary shelters have no roam for them, people w i l l be forced to sleep in the streets or publ ic places thereby result ing in the worst manifestation of housing system fa i lu re — street homelessness. From the research evidence in th is case study, i t i s reasonable to postulate that i f the number of at r i sk homeless in the City of Vancouver continues to grow then more people w i l l be forced down and out of the housing system. Since almost a l l the temporary shelters surveyed i n th i s study indicated very low vacancy rates, i t i s log ica l to predict that more and more at r i s k renters and homeowners may be forced onto the streets i f the housing situations for the at r i sk homeless and shelter homeless continues to worsen. 6.4 There i s Mare Hope far the "Homeless" i n the Redefined Paradigm of Hcnielessness Are the homeless hopeless? There i s no easy answer to th i s immensely complicated issue. The f i r s t step i s to put the question back into the or ig ina l context in which i t i s being raised: whether th i s problem i s best approached from a broad or narrow def init ion of homelessness as suggested by 88 the l i terature reviewed or whether i t i s best approached from the paradigm recommended by th i s study. If the question i s based on either a broad or narrow def in i t ion of homelessness as i n the l i terature and the goal i s to attain permanent and affordable homes for the at r i sk and the absolute homeless people, then the homeless are quite hopeless. Due to conceptual deficiencies, i . e . , the technical, economic, soc ia l , p o l i t i c a l and philosophical problems inherent in both the broad and narrow def init ions of homelessness discussed ear l ier , the u t i l i t y of the concept, part icu lar ly the one based on a broad view, in affecting pol icy action and program response in meeting the housing needs of the homeless ( i .e . , the at r i sk and the absolute homeless) i s very low. In other words, the prospect of the homeless in obtairiing secure and affordable homes i s quite grim. On the other hand, i f the question i s approached within the context of the reconceptualization of homelessness suggested i n th i s study and the goal i s to use the concept for advocating a pol icy response to provide permanent and affordable shelter for the street homeless and the shelter homeless, then the s ituation of a l l the f ive categories of the homeless ( i .e . , the at r i s k renters, at r i sk horoowners, shelter homeless, street homeless and by-choice homeless) are becoming more hopeful. The at r i sk homeowners are more hopeful because the ir housing d i f f i c u l t i e s are no longer being ignored; the at r i sk renters are more hopeful because the ir housing needs are being addressed v ia the other commonly 89 accepted housing frameworks; the shelter and the street homeless are more hopeful because the ir extreme housing needs are becoming less controversial and better defined; and the by-choice homeless are more hopeful because society would restrain from interfering with the i r choice and freedom. In th i s sense, the homeless (which refer to the f ive new subgroups) are not hopeless. 6.5 Excess Optimism should be avoided and Continual Advocacy i s Necessary However, th i s optimism must not be over estimated. Even though the proposed approach based on the housing dimension of homelessness i s focused only on the neediest groups, i t does not necessarily mean that society and po l i t i c i ans are wi l l ing and ready to tackle the issue as the i r f i r s t p r io r i ty . Like a l l other soc ia l welfare issues, homelessness, part icu lar ly the housing dimension of homelessness, i s a tough issue because of i t s enormous economic, soc ia l , p o l i t i c a l and philosophical implications. Therefore, soc ia l and p o l i t i c a l resistance i s to be expected. As well, i t must be recognized that no substantial e f fort i s to be accorded u n t i l street homeless and shelter homeless have reached the c r i t i c a l mass. Although reccceptualization of homelessness and recategorization of the homeless population improve the potential u t i l i t y of the concept i n inducing spec i f i c action response to aid those with least control and most to lose, i t i s only a necessary, but not suff ic ient, f i r s t step to bring about rea l soc ia l change part icu lar ly in terms of program delivery. Continual research, advocacy and solution strategy formulation are prudent to resolve the many 90 more problems that are s t i l l in the way of reaching the goal of eli iturating the worst manifestation of housing deprivation in the Canadian society. 6.6 A Rational Challenge to Tackle the Housing Dimension of Homelessness Empirical and research evidence reveals that the appeal for moral conscience often cannot gain much mileage toward the quest for action response i n soc ia l welfare issues from the mainstream, even though we cannot to ta l l y discount the compassion in humanity. However, i f soc ia l consciousness cannot convince most of us to dig deeper into our pockets, then may be we should t ry to use economic rat ional i ty to learn some lessons from other north American c i t i e s . According to Kaufman, Homelessness i s a costly social problem. It i s not only cost ly, however, i f we allow i t to continue to expand and increase i n scope... As reported i n the New York Times (19/2/83), New York has gone from an annual budget for homeless programs of $18 mi l l i on i n 1978 to $135 m i l l i on in 1983. What i s sad to note i s that the problem has not been solved even with that kind of money (emphasis added, Kaufman, 26:1984). Two points deserve deeper considerations. F i r s t , the sevenfold increase in expenditure needed to contain the wider spread of homelessness i n New York i s not a scarce tac t i c . Rather th is i s the socia l and economic r e a l i t y of what would happen in Canada's urban future i f we do not take serious action on the problem of homelessness now. Second, to gloss over the swelling number of homeless by merely adding more temporary f a c i l i t i e s now does not mean that the problem w i l l lessen or disappear in the years to come. Conversely, without getting to the roots of the problem by placing equal or greater emphasis on long term solutions, the 91 adverse negative effects of homelessness w i l l l i ke ly cumulate i n the future. As the scope of the problem expands, the high quality of l i v a b i l i t y that Canadians currently enjoying w i l l very l i ke ly shrink. As wel l , the costs to remedy a bigger problem w i l l log ica l ly escalate. 6.7 Sustainable L i vab i l i t y Tomorrow requires Responsible Action Today The two valuable lessons that we have learned from the blue pr int of sustainable development are that: 1) we should not leave less of what we have got now to our future generations; and 2) we should not mortgage our grandchildren's future to satisfy our present needs. Leaving the issue of homelessness unaddressed now i s imposing a decrease in qual i ty of l i f e for our future generations; and leaving the f a i r share of costs unpaid now in a l lev ia t ing street homelessness and shelter homelessness, i s deferring, not eliminating, the expense of cleaning up the soc ia l ly manufactured "human pol lut ion" i n our l i v ing environment for our children and grandchildren. The choice i s c lear. 92 HOMELESSNESS IN METROPOLITAN VANCOUVER: SURVEY OF SHELTER OPTIONS FOR THE HOMELESS 1990 Set 1 Page 1 of 3 Name and Address Mandate Services Offered R e s t r i c t i o n s C a t h o l i c C h a r i t y Ken's Ho s t e l 150 Robson St. Vancouver emergency s h e l t e r s f o r men and d e s t i t u t e s s i n c e Oct.1958 acconi/ phone, l i n e n meal t i c k e t s ($7 at r e s t . o f own c h o i c e ) , s t a t i o n a r y 18+, p h y s i c a l l y mobile no drug or alc o h o l non v i o l e n t no t r o u b l e makers C e n t r a l and Alexander Residence 42 E. Cordova St. Vancouver low coat housing f o r people have no other options, e v i c t e d or have r e l o c a t i o n prob. about 10 years ago accom., r e f e r r a l t o other support s e r v i c e s f o r food or inf o r m a t i o n , f r e e cofee and sneaks, maid s e r v i c e once wkly s i n g l e s male or female, 18+, r e s i d e n t s i n the community, p h y s i c a l l y able and mobile, no t r o u b l e makers C e n t r a l C i t y M i s s i o n 233 Abbott St. Vancouver provide care f o r the needy i n the East End & f a c i l i t i e s i i i the Community si n c e 1907 intermediary caret accom., food, doctor care; a l c o h o l & drug treatment and co u n s e l l i n g must meet long term care requirements by p r o v i n c i a l Govt, p h y s i c a l l y mobile no severe pay. prob. no emergency s h e l t e r Dunsmuir House f o r Men (The S a l v a t i o n Army) 500 Dunsmuir St. Vancouver a f f o r d a b l e accom. f o r men wi t h low-income . s i n c e 1950 accom., food, c o u n s e l l i n g , maid s e r v i c e s , networking to s o c i a l s e r v i c e s . no sub. abusers, l l t O O l o c k up, male only 19+ no t r o u b l e makers Downtown East s i d e Women's Centre 44 Z.Cordova St. Vancouver Drop i n center f o r women 6 c h i l d r e n o f f e r s resource and a safe place t o reorganize l i f e s i n c e 1978 a place t o stay i n day time, p r o g . a c t i v i t i e s , s h o w e r s & laundry, o l o t h i n g , coffees t y p e w r i t e r , photocopierfiphone emerg. bus f a r e s , r e f e r r a l s f o r s o c i a l fi l e g a l s e r v i c e s women only, no a l c o h o l or drug Set 1 Page 2 of 3 Name 6 Address Mandate Services Offered Restrictions Evergreen Surrey Emerg. Shelter 6 Comm. Res. Center 13468A 72th Ave Surrey temporary shelter infor..support 6 ed. for women & men with children who are physically(Sex-ually & emotionally abused or threatened (tran.house since 1988) accom./ food, laundry infor . / counselling, advocacy for battered women no severe psy. prob., no drug & alcohol, women 19+, must be physically mobile, no l imit on childrens' age or sex. Ishtar Transition House Langley safe place for women 6 children to stay and support while sorting out options since 1973 accom,food, counselling, no drug or alcohol no boy over 14 no psy prob. Lookout Emergency Aid Society 346 Alexander St. Vancouver housing' S emerg. shelter for men £ women with varied needs and h&v<* l i t t l e or no options since 1972 accom., food, support service, relocation to permenant housing advocacy for c l ients ' needs act ivi ty progs./friendship no trouble makers (barred l i s t ) / no severe psy. p a t i e n t s , no substance abuserB Powell Place 329A Powell.St Vancouver sanctuary for women & children in c r i s i s & in needs since 1977 accom., food, entertainment, l i f e sk i l l s training networking to social service, follow up i f required women S their children, no boys older than 15 no substance abusers Richmond House The Salvation Army 11820 Aztec Road Richmond emergency shelter for young men & Residents in Richmond since 1987 temp, shelter, food, Informal counselling, information on various services no trouble makers,15+, from 8i00am to 4i00pm have to be out, do not allow to have money, no single female. Set 1 Page 3 of 3 Name & Address Mandate Services Offered R e s t r i c t i o n s Sancta Maria House 2056 W 7th Ave. Vancouver long term s h e l t e r i n f amily s e t t i n g f o r women with s i n c e r i t y t o make a change over 20 years p r i v a t e accom., food, t y p e w r i t e r , laundry/ c o u n s e l l i n g , TV, reading room 18+ women only no drug or a l c o h o l , p h y s i c a l l y mobile Triage 906 Main St. Vancouver provide s h e l t e r & se r v i c e s t o ' s o c i a l l y m i s f i t s ' s i n c e 1982 accom., medication food, l i f e s k i l l s t r a i n i n g , l i m i t e d employment placement 18+,must be s o c i a l l y m i s f i t w i t h no funds Owl House 1906 W 15th. Vancouver Ave. emergency .shelters f o r f a m i l i e s , i n c r i s i s with no money since 1975 accom.,food, r e f e r r a l s , l a u n d r y no c o u n s e l l i n g , no baby s i t t i n g no substance abusers, no psy. prob., p h y s i c a l l y mobile YWCA 580 Burrard St. Vancouver mission i s to provide low cost and emerg. s e r v i c e t o needy & women i n c r i s i s s ince 1905 long and short term low cost accom.,weekly maid s e r v i c e , f i t n e s s , l a u n d r y , TV, kitchen f a c i l i t i e s , food f o r refugee. no t r o u b l e makers no substance abusers no serious psy., no male guests are permitted above lobby without permission. Set 2 Page 1 of 3 Name S Address Maximum Average Hours of Cost to No. of Stay Stay Operation Client Beds Catholic Charity Men's Hostel 150 Robson St. Vancouver no limit reassessment i f up to 3 mons a week 4t00 pm to 11:30 pm no charge 80 beds Central & Alexander Res. 42 E.Cordova St. Vancouver no limit unless incapable of taking care of themselves couple of months 24 hours $95-$150 for singles per months Centrali 132 beds Alexanderi 28 beds Central City Mission 233 Abbott St. Vancouver 90 days for Drug 6 Alcohol no l imit for long te^ rm care hospitalisation for acute clients 61 days for Drug & Alcohol treatment prog. 8 years for long term care 24 hours $16.35 for 20 beds Drug 6 Alcohol prog. $20.40 for 120 beds long term care Dunsmuir House for Men (Sal.Army) 500 Dunsmuir St. Vancouver no limit e.g.few weeks to 20 years a week for emerg couple of months for residency 24 hours $260 private rm. $8 per bed night 165 private rms. 30 beds in dormitory Downtown Eastsida Women's Center 44E.Cordova St Vancouver during operating hours N/A Ft M/T/TH & llam-5pm Wil2pm-5pm holidays closed mostly free except photocopying & laundry by donation maxi no. of v i s i t this yr i s 150 per/day aveg. 80 per/day Set 2 Page 2 of 3 Name £ Address Maximum Stay Average Stay Hours of Operation Cost to Client No. of Beds Evergreen Surrey Emerg. Shelter & Comm. Res. Center 13468A 72thAve Surrey 30 days longer i f necessary 2 weeks 24 hours no charge 10 beds Ishtar Transition House Langley 30 days extension i f necessary 2 weeks 24 hours as of Sept.17, 1990. no charge 12 beds (4 rooms) Lookout Emergency Aid Society 346 Alexander St. Vancouver Emerg. C : as short as possible Tenancy Aidsi depending on situat-ion. Emerg.Centert 13 nights Residenoyi 1 mo. to a yr. Emerg. Ser. Emerg.prog.ino charge 24 hours i f MSSH ref.or $21.40 Tenants Aidsi Residency prog.t 8am to 12pm $256 monthly for rooms 7 days wkly $115 monthly for meals Emerg. Centeri 42 beds Residency: 39 beds Powell Place 329A Powell St Vancouver a month *«~ longer i f necessary one month or longer 24 hours no charge 40 beds Richmond House The Salvation Army 11820 Aztec Road Richmond 30 days a week 24 hours no charge 8 beds r Set 2 Page 3 of 3 Name & Address Maximum Stay Average Stay Hours of Operation Cost to Client No. of Beds Sancta Maria House 20S6W7thAve Vancouver no l imit 3 years 24 hours $420.00 monthly 8 rooms Triage 906 Main St. Vancouver no l imit but once obtain funds must clear out 3 weeks 24 hours No MSSH pay $21.20 28 beds 3f Owl House 1906 W 15th Ave. Vancouver one month 2 weeks 24 hours pay by MSSH or $16.00 per day 12 beds paid by MSSH 3-4 bedB $16.00 per day xWCA 580 Burrard St. Vancouver yes about 13 to 23 stay year round about 50 stay from Sept to May one to nine 24 hours $415 to $450 monthly months for single rooms, $365 monthly for subsidised rooms (about 10* rooms) 272 bedstsingleStwins 8 bedstwomen in cr i s i s $15 per/bed,free i f no money, 3 rms always held open for refugees J Set 3 Page 1 of 3 Name & Address Occupancy % Repeater Number turned Client Client's Rate Away type Income Catholic Charity Men's Hostel 150 Robson St. Vancouver 90% 2900 bed/nights annually 60% N/A refugees, (Latin Americans 6 Asian),unemployed destitutes usually no money some on GAIN Central S Alexander Res. 42 E . Cordova St. Vancouver Central) 98.86% Alexandert 98.8% N/A N/A welfare recipients, pensioners, small % UIC recipients approx.35%! age 45-59 5% female GAIN 32%;OAP 39% HPIA 13%/UIC 6% D.VET 4%>Work 3% Work Pension 3% Central City Mission 233 Abbott Vancouver > 85% for Drug £ Alcohol seasonal f luct . 89% long term N/A those don't feel mentally 6 physically safe in comm. 95% GAIN Pension Vet. Pension Dunsmuir House for Men (Sal. Army) SOODunsmuir St. Vancouver 95.8% could be 100% i f housekeeping can keep up n/a N/A retired men & vet. welfare recipients students, working men parolee, refugees and out of town cl ients GAIN OAP VET. PENSION Small % UIC Small* wages Downtown N/A 65% Eastside regulars Women's Center 44E.Cordova St Vancouver 65% sub.abusers. GAIN marked incr. psy.patients HPIA following single moms, deinstitut- prostitutes ionalitation Set 3 Page 2 of 3 Name £ Address Occupancy Rate % Repeater Number turned Away Client type Client's source Income Evergreen 97% N/A Surrey Emerg. Shelter & Comm. Res. Center 13468 A 72th Ave Surrey *» Fiscal Year runB from Apr i l 1 to March 31 *SS0i 89-90 *3S0i 88-89 *250» 87-88 battered, sexually £ emotionally abused women £ their children GAIN Ishtar Transition House Langley 75%-100% N/A N/A women in abusive situation OAIN Lookout Emergency Aid Society 346 Alexander St. Vancouver Emerg.prog.i 99*. Tenancy prog.t 100% 30% return within 3 months 70 to 75 monthly represents only 1/3 actually recorded mental patients GAIN substance abusers HPIA legal £ physical OAP ailments Powell Place 329A Powell St Vancouver 98% 50% Approx. 10 substance abusers/ GAIN in a month new immigrants, OAP depending on battered £ evicted UIC £ season women, psy.patients HPIA i f have children Richmond House The Salvation Army 11820 Artec Road Richmond 75% average summer low winter 90% 10% do not turn away young men 17-21, prob. with family or with the law runaway, sub. abuser GAIN UIC J Set 3 Page 3 of 3 Name & Address Occupancy % Repeater Number turned Client Cl ient 's Rate Away type Income Sancta Maria House 2056 W7th Ave Vancouver 100% N/A 3-5 cal ls daily sub.abusers, battered & abused women, runnaway, age 28-68 GAIN Triage 906 Main St. Vancouver Owl House 1906 W 15th Ave Vancouver 100% 100% 65% N/A about 70 monthly 6-12 daily substance abusers,psy, handicaps unemployable 50% Native,75% single mothers, 1/3 from out of town, monstly from 20s-30s immigrants 55% GAIN, HPIA GAIN assistance from immigration office YWCA 580 Burrard St. Vancouver 75% average N/A N/A women in transition battered women, working women, students refugees GAIN HPIA UIC & Wages Set 4 Page 1 of 3 Name & Address Reason for seeking Agencies Referred Agencies Change in Source Accommodation to Referred from Demand in 1990 of Funding Catholic Charity Men's Hostel 150 Robson St. Vancouver no home and no money The Dug Out where one can s i t through the night MSSH, police, immigration office concerned c i t izen , community group noticeable increase in refugees from Latin Amer. & Asia MSSH Church £ Public Donations Central £ Alexander Res. 42 E.Cordova St. Vancouver no place to go, eviction, unable to find affordable housing 'recommend' clients to OVRD's low cost housing near by ( i .e . the Blood Alley) MSSH, police, words of mouth, Vet. Af fa irs , received more enquiries increase in psy. patients CMHC 2% low financing, Staffed by City of Vancouver, B.C. Housing Central City Mission 233 Abbot St. Vancouver unable to care for themselves required treatment or counselling no referral long term care unit of the Ministry of Health more, particularly mental and psy. patients 60% Govt. 40% Clients 6 Donation's Downtown Eastside Women's Centre 44 E.Cordova St. Vancouver seeking housing/emerg shelter, legal infor. in psy .cr is i s , food, addiction problems, f i l l i n g applications N/A self referrals , friends marked increase following deinstitutional-ization. 1/3 City Mt.Pleasant Bingo Assoc. United Way, donations Dunsmuir House for Men (Salvation Army) 500 Dunsmuir St. Vancouver seeking affordable housing, companianship Dormitory i f not full,rooming houses or. near by hetels MSSH self referrals , inter agency ref. town clients marked incr. of refugees S out of Rents MSSH Church Donations Set 4 Page 2 of 3 Name 6 Address Reason for seeking Agencies Referred Agencies Change in source Accommodation to Referred from Demand in 1990 of Funding Evergreen Surrey Emerg. Shelter 6 Comm. Res. Center 13468 A 72th Ave Surrey physically & emotionally abused victims has no secure place to stay transition houses or hotels self referrals , MSSH, transition house, police more, 1 more bed is added this year. MSSH 6 Donations CMHC low interest Mortg. Ishtar Transition House Langley l iv ing in abusive situation other transition house or emerg. shelter in Lower Mainland self referrals , doctors, MSSH, comm. agencies increased MSSH Lookout Emerg. Aid Society 346 Alexander St. Vancouver no appro.shelter options, req.assist-ance in* medication/ hygiene,behavoral prob other emerg. centres, MSSH MSSH,self referral , d i s t r i c t offices emerg. services Qov.fi sis.agencies 99% in 1989 101% in 1990 avg.13 ngts 1989 avg. 9 ngts 1988 60% Mental -Health Services 40% MSSH Powell Place St.James Soc.Ser. 329 A Powell St. Vancouver women in abusive situations, lack of affordable housing need a break to reorganize l i f e Owl house, Kate Booth, YWCA walk i n , MSSH 6 other agencies *W»women *C»ehi ldren increased 40 beds 1990 35 beds 1988 28 beds 1986 *696W&453C 1989 •500W&400C 1988 MSSH operating funds, St. Social Services Society owns building Richmond House Salvation Army 11820 Aztec Road Richmond temp.shelter needed before long term accom. is available taking a 'free ride' other agencies MSSH mainly OutsideiRich.Res. now 40%i60% before 50%i50% increased)teenagers contract with Set 4 Page 3 of 3 Name & Address Reason for seeking Accommodation Agencies Referred to Agencies Referred from Change in Demand in 1990 Source of Funding Sancta Maria House 2056 W 7th Ave Vancouver can't cope with temptations on the streets, no money for market housing waiting l i s t E.Fry, Homestead self referral MSSH, j a i l , correction centers, police overall 90% approx also out of town clients Triage 906 Main St. Vancouver no shelter multi probs, avoid isolation & loneness wanting to quit addiction, need help Lookout MSSH,Jail, Hospital, anyone more psy. patients 4 yrs ago 12-14 in Summer & 20 maxi; Now $72 per day per person 2/3 from Min. Health S $21.20 26 year round from MSSH Owl House 1906W15thAve Vancouver no place to stay evicted abusive situation Lookout, Powell Place, NewDawn Recovery Home for Women, Homestead MSSH, no self ref. increased planning to open another house MSSH, YWCA 580 Burrard St. Vancouver City safe & affordable accom.,accessible women in abusive situations, close to work. MSSH during day time, at off hours refer to emerg.shelters, i f in cr i s i s would let clients sleep on couches with blankets MSSH self referral hospitals, other social service agencies, housing registries marked increase in psy. patients less refugee a b i t more of clients from back east & out of town Hotel Revenue United Hay Grants from Province & Fed. Government donations Appendix B A List Of Names Of Crrganizations that are Actively Advocating or Prcrviding Housing far low Income and Special Needs Groups in Vancouver. 1. Affordable Housing Advisory Association 2. B.C. Housing Coalit ion 3. B.C. Women's Housing Coalit ion 4. Columbia Housing Advisory Association (Co-op Low Cost) 5. Downtown Eastside Residents Association (DERA) 6. End Legislated Poverty 7. Entre Nous Femmes Housing Society 8. Fraser Valley West Unn Housing Society (Native Indians) 9. Kerrisdale Concerned Cit izen for Affordable Housing 10. K i t s Housing Registry 11. Kitsalano Neighbourhood Planning Committee 12. L i t t l e Mountain Tenants Association 13. Lower Mainland Community Housing Registry 14. Lu'ma Native Housing Society 15. Mavis/McMullen Housing Society (Single Women/with Children) 16. Mult i Service Network 17. New Westminster Tenants Association 18. Red Door Housing Society 19. Residential Tenancy Branch 20. Senior Housing Information 21. Single Mothers Housing Network 22. Tenants' Rights Coalition 23. UEL Tenants Society 24. Urban Core Workers' Association (Urban Core Shelterless Committee) 25. Vancouver's Housing Registry 26. Vancouver Housing Registry 27. Vancouver and D i s t r ic t Public Housing Tenants Association 94 Bibliography Bassuk, Ellen L. (July 1984) "The Hcmelessness Problem." Scientific American, Vol. 251, No. 1, pp. 40-45. Blumer, Herbert (1976) "Social Problems as Collective Behaviour." Social Problems, 18(3):Winter:298-306. Bosworth, B i l l , Erich Freiler, et al (1983) "The Case for Long-Term, Supportive Housing." Toronto: Single Displaced Person's Project. Buckley, L.Ralph (1990) "Urban Core Shelterless Survey: November 1989 - April 1990." Urban Core Shelterless Committee., the Urban Core Workers Association., pp. 1-5. Canada, Consultation Paper on Housing 1985, Ottawa. Canada (September 1987) "New Partnerships - Building for the Future., Proceedings of the Canadian Conference to Observe the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless." Ottawa, Canada. Canadian Council on Social Development (January 1977) "A Review of Canadian Social Housing Policy." Ottawa, Canada. 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Fallick, Arthur L., Glen Drover, Shirley Marcus and Peter Smith. (1987) "A Place to Call Home: A Conference on Homelessness in British Columbia., the university of British Columbia, Canada., May 15-16. Fallis, George (1990) "The Urban Housing Market." Housing the Homeless and Poor. Edited by George Fallis and Alex Murray, University of Toronto Press, pp. 49-82. Gilbert, Leslie J (November 1989) "Housing Trends and the Role of Public Policy in Generating Homelessness: A Case Study of Vancouver, British Columbia." M.A. Thesis, the university of British Columbia, Canada. Goldberg, Michael A. (1983) "The Housing Problem: A Real Crisis." A Primer on Housing Markets, Policies and Problems. The university of British Columbia. Ham, Christopher and Michael H i l l (1984) "Policy and Policy Analysis." The Policy Process in the Modern Capitalist State, Harvester Press. Hobson, Blake (1988) "Beyond the Edge: The Homeless, Homelessness and the Law in Canada." mimeo, pp.1-27. Hulchanski, J.David (April 1987a) "Who are the Homeless? What is Homeless? The Politics of Defining an Emerging Policy Issue." U.B.C. School of Community and Regional Planning, Discussion Paper #10. Hulchanski, J. David (May 1987) "Seven Background Papers for: A Place to Call Home." A Conference on Homelessness In British Columbia. Hulchanski, J.David (1988) "Do A l l Canadian Have a Right to Housing?." UBC Planning Papers, Discussion #14. Vancouver: university of British Columbia. 96 Ifalchanski, J. David (June 1988) "Canada's Housing and Housing Policy: An Introduction." UBC Planning Papers, Canadian Planning Issues #27, the University of British Columbia. Hulchanski, J.David (April 1989) "Rental Housing Trends in the City of Vancouver." CHS Research Bulletin, Vancouver: Center for Human Settlements, the University of British Columbia. Hulchanski, J. David and Glenn Drover (1984) "Housing Subsidies in a Period of Restraint: The Canadian Experience." Research and Working Papers #16, Winnipeg: University of Winnipeg, Institute of Urban Studies. Hulchanski, J.David., Eberle, Margaret., Stewart, Dana (September 1990) "Solutions to Homelessness: Vancouver Case Studies, A Review of Canadian Initiatives." Center for Human Settlements, the University of British Columbia, CMHC. Oberlander, Peter H., and Arthur L. Fallick (1988) "Hcmelessness and the Homeless: Responses and Innovations." A Canadian Contribution to IYSH 1987, the Center for Human Settlements, the University of British Columbia, Canada. Jenkins, John R.G. and Shankar A. Yelaja (1986) "Introduction: The Allocation of Social and Economic Resources in Canada in the 1980s." Interdisciplinary Research Seminar, Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada, Occasional Paper #3:1-7. Kaufman, Nancy K. (Winter 1984) "Homelessness: A Comprehensive Policy Approach." Urban and Social change Review, Vol. 17, pp. 21-26. Kuttner, Robert (1987) "The Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice." the University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. Ley, David (1985) "Gentrification in Canadian Inner Cities: Patterns, Analysis, Impacts and Policy." Ottawa, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Lewis, Stephen (Mat 1987) "Opening Remarks to B.C. Conference on Homelessness: A Place To Call Home." Edited by Arthur L. Fallick and J.David Hulchanski, pp. 6-13. lang-Runtz, Heather and Doyne C. Ahern (September 1987) "New Partnerships - Building for the Future." Proceedings of the Canadian Conference to Observe the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Ottawa, Canada. 97 Maclennan, Ian (March 1967) "Housing for the Moderate and Low Income Group." Papers from The Questions of Housing. Edited by Hilda Symonds. A Conference sponsored by the School of Community and Regional Planning, the University of Br i t i sh Columbia, Canada, pp. 37-40. Main Thomas J . (Summer 1983) "The Homeless of New York." The Public Interest, No. 72, pp. 3-28. Malpass Peter (1986) "The Housing Cr i s i s . " Cream Helm Ltd., Provident House Burre l l Row., Beckenham, Kent. Marcuse Peter (June 1980) "The Determinants of Housing Po l ic ies . " Papers in Planning PIP 22. Mendelson, Michael (1986) "Universal ity Vs Selectivity in the Al location of Social Resources in Canada in the 1980s." Edited by John R.G. Jenkins and Shankar A. Yelaja. Interdiscipl inary Research Seminar, Wi l f r id Laurier University, Canada, pp. 7-35. McAffee, Ann (May 1989) "Br ief to the Housing Symposium." Vancouver: C i ty of Vancouver Planning Department, br ief prepared for Housing Symposium. Mishra, Ramesh (1990) "The Collapse of the Welfare Consensus? The Welfare State i n the 1980s." Housing the Homeless and Poor. Edited by George F a l l i s and Alex Murray. University of Toronto Press, pp. 82-115. Murray, Alex (1990) "Homelessness: The People." Housing the Homeless and Poor. Edited by George F a l l i s and Alex Murray. University of Toronto Press, pp. 16-48. Murie, Alan (1983) "Housing Inequality and Deprivation." Heinemann Educational Books. London. Murphy, Derek, Graeme Br i s to l and Marnie Healy (Winter 1988) "The Po l i t i c s of Housing in Br i t i sh Columbia: A Grassroots Perspective." Canadian Housing. Vol.5, No.4. pp. 28-30. Nelson Maricia Z. (March 1985) "Street People." The Progressive, Vol. 49, pp. 24-29. Olds, Kr i s (1989) "Mass Evictions in Vancouver: The Human T o l l of Expo1 86." Canadian Housing. 6(1)-.Spring:49-52. 98 Olive, David (1988) "Unshelter Lives; You Think You Know the Homeless Unt i l You Talk to Them." Toronto L i fe . 22(18):November:94-99. Richards, Janet (1981) "The Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977: A Study i n Pol icy Making." School for Advanced Urban Studies, C l i f ton, Br i s to l . Rose, Albert (March 1967) "Ctammon Human Housing Needs." Papers from the Questions of Housing. Edited by Hilda Symonds. A Conference sponsored by the School of Ccmimunity and Regional Planning. The University of B r i t i sh Columbia, Canada, pp.26-32. Rose, Albert(March 1967) "People and Public Housing Pol icy." Papers from the Questions of Housing. Edited by Hilda Synmonds. A Conference sponsored by the School of (Community and Regional Planning. The University of B r i t i sh Columbia, Canada, pp. 45-51. Rose, Albert (1980) "Canadian Housing Po l ic ies . " University of Toronto, Butterworth and Company (Canada) Ltd., Canada. Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.(1987) Update Regaining Dignity. Social Plarining Council of Metropolitan Toronto (January 1983) "People without Homes: A Permanent Emergency." Toronto, Canada, pp. 1-17. Stern Mark J . (June 1984) "The Emergency of the Homeless as a Public Problem." Social Services Review, Vol. 58, pp. 291-301. Swanstorm, Todd (1989) "No room at the Inn: Housing Policy and the Homeless." Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. 35:81-105. Thurow, Lester (1975) "Generating Inequality: Mechanisms of Distribution i n the U.S. Economy." Basic Books Inc., New York. United States, Department of Housing and Urban Development(1984) "A Report to the Secretary on the Homeless and Emergency Shelters." (Washington, D.C.: HUD, Off ice of Policy Development and Research), the United States. 99 Young, Nei l (1987) "Homes for the Homeless: A r ight, not a cOTimodity." Canadian Housing, 4(3):34-35. Yin, Robert K. (1989) "Case Study Research: Design and Methods." Newbury Park, C.C.: Sage Publications. 100 Newspaper Articles: Dunbar MacKenzie Community News. Campbell;s Non Partisan Approach Makes Affordable Government the Key." Pre-election Promotion Materials, November, 1990. Hume, Stephen. "Facts a l l Wrong in Poverty Generalization." Vancouver Sun, October 10, 1990. Hume Stephen. "For Some, F isca l Incentive are f ine, Social Spending a F r i l l . " Vancouver Sun, October 15, 1990. Lindsay, Judy, "VLC gets Undeserved Flak for Building Affordable Apartment." Vancouver Sun, October 20, 1990. Stannard, Laura. "New Act no Real Help to Renters with Children." Vancouver Sun, July 26, 1990. Vancouver Courier. "Empty Apartment Make Perfect P o l i t i c a l Footbal l . " November 7, 1990. Vancouver Courier. "Is the Secondary Suite Review Program Working?" November 11, 1990. Vancouver Courier. "Real Housing c r i s i s a decade away." November 7, 1990. Vancouver Sun. " I t ' s Goodbye to Kerrisdale for these Renters." March 13, 1989. Vancouver Sun. "Renters Irked By Luxury Condos." September 2, p.Cl, 1989. Vancouver Sun. "For Richer, For Poorer - Ronald Reagan's Legacy: those with money got more. Those who had l i t t l e , suffered.. . " July 12, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Rentals to the Rescue (VLC's newly bu i l t 52-unit project at Boundary and Will iam)." September 28, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Homeless Family Packs Up Tents in Langley." January 30, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "No Room at Inn for Homeless." February 20, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "B.C. Population Growing Fast, Aging Quickly, Study Report." October 2, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Subsidized Apartment Rents Raised." October 11, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "As Rents Rise, his Mobile Home i s a Car." October 11, 1990. 101 Vancouver Sun. "B.C. Ministries Asked to Cut Budgets in Face of Recession." October 15, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Policy Forcing Single Mothers to Seek Work to be fought." October 20, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Housing Issue Key to Vancouver Election Campaign." October 20, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Vancouver House Prices Decline." October 30, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Squatters Occupy Two More vacant Homes: 800 units of unoccupied housing eyed by City's homeless population." October 30, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "B.C. 's Poor Can't Afford Healthy Diet, Report Says." October 17, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "NDP Hopefuls Call For Suite Changes." November 3, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Cope Urges Planning By Neighbourhood." November 6, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Contractor In Catch-22 Faces Destroying Good Houses." November 8, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Growing to Extremes: critical Decisions Needed Now as Trends Point to One Million More People in Region within 20 Years." November 10, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Megacity: Density." November 12, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "We Won't Know What We've Got T i l l It's Gone." November 13, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Politics: Vocal Citizens Band Together to Force Politicians to Act from a Local, rather than Regional Perspective." November 13, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Not-in-my-neighborhood Attitude Clouds Planning." November 13, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Squatters Build Blockade to Slow Planned Eviction." November 13, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Shaping Our Future. Managing the Next Two Decades: Here are a Few Things You Can Do." November 17, 1990. Vancouver Sun. "Vancouver-area Vacancy Rate s t i l l National Low, Survey Shows." November 24, 1990. 102 A List of Shelters Visited and Practitioners Interviewed for the Survey of Shelter Options in Vancouver 1990 1. Anchorage Salvation Army Service 248 East 11th Ave Vancouver (2775 Sophia St.) Captain Champ Ex-program coordinator 2. Central City Mission 233 Abbott St. Vancouver Alex Reivin Director 3. Catholic Charities Men's Hostel 150 Robson St. Vancouver V6B 2A7 John M. Talbot Manager 4. Central Residence & Alexander Residence 42E Cordova St. Vancouver V6A 1K2 Frank Kan Residence Manager 4. Downtown Eastside Women's Centre 44 E.Cordova Street Karen Tully Coordinator 103 5. Dunsmuir House 500 Dunsmuir St. Vancouver V6B 1Y2 Gordon Taylor Counsellor Mrs. Hewitt Administrator 6. Evergreen Surrey Emergency Shelter & Coram Shelter 13468 A 72 Ave. Surrey Robin Hamilton Supervisor 7. Lookout Emergency Aid Society 346 Alexander St. Vancouver V6A 1C4 Karen O'Shannacery Executive Director Glenn MacDonald Social Service Aid 8. Powell House St. James Social Services 329 Powell St. Vancouver V6A 1G5 Yvonne Sutton Co-ordinator 9. Richmond House The Salvation Army 11820 Aztec Road Richmond V6X 1H8 Gordon Taylor Co-ordinator 104 10. Sancta Maria House 2056 West 7th Ave. Mary Soya Manager 11. St. James Social Services 330 Powell St. Vancouver Mrs May Gutteridge Founder and Board of Directors Ms. Kathy Swain Executive Secretary 12. Owl House Society 1906 West 15th Ave. Vancouver V6J 2L3 Barbara Charlie Coordinator 13. Triage 906 Main St. Vancouver Judy O'Brien Coordinator Ted Browcliff Coordinator Paul Upton Resident 14. Triage Outreach Project 349 Powell St. Vancouver 105 Berry McArthur Program Coordinator 15. Ishtar Transition House Langley Peggy Brown Child Care Coordinator 15. YWCA 580 Burrard St. Vancouver Karen Gallagher Director 1 0 6 A List of Academics and Professionals Interviewed and Agencies contacted: 1. CMHC Vancouver Branch Lee Owen Information Off icer Chris Social Housing Services Division 2. DERA 9 East Hastings Vancouver Darryl Watt Researcher Deborah Weisbert Advocacy for Residential Tenancy Act 3. Dr. Fa l l i ck , Arthur L. 4. Murphy, Derek united Way 1625 West 8th Ave. Vancouver 5. The Tenants Rights Coalition 203-2250 Commercial Drive Brad Haughian 6. SPARC 106-2182 West 12th Ave. 107 

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