UBC Theses and Dissertations
Hoping for the best : an evaluation of three inner-city housing strategies Laviolette, Tom Condon
In 1993, the federal government of Canada canceled the Federal-Provincial Housing Program. Over its twenty-year lifespan, this social housing program produced over 230,000 units of low-income housing and facilitated the development of a strong nonprofit housing sector across the country. For inner-city low-income neighbourhoods, the cancellation of the social housing program was of particular concern since the provision of decent and affordable housing provides a foundation (or starting point) for community development. Now that the federal government is no longer involved and provincial governments have either canceled their own involvement or have maintained a much scaled down social housing program, other housing strategies have come to the forefront. Two of these emerging strategies include: (1) public-private partnerships in low-income housing, and (2) the preservation of the existing private low-income housing stock. In terms of the latter strategy, for inner-city neighbourhoods, this has meant the acquisition and/or rehabilitation of the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels and rooming houses. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate the extent to which these two emerging strategies and the former social housing strategy contributed to improving the quality of life and further empowerment of inner-city low-income neighbourhoods. To do this, a set of criteria, representing both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of community development, are applied to each of three strategies. The method of analysis includes document analysis, participant observation and key informant interviews. Based on these methods and the evaluation of the three housing strategies it became apparent that the social housing strategy satisfied the criteria better than the two emerging strategies. The implications are such that public-private partnerships is a housing strategy more useful to middle-income households, whereas SRO acquisition and rehabilitation is acceptable to inner-city low-income neighbourhood organizations only if it is part of housing strategy that promotes a continuum of housing forms, including the continued provision of self contained units.
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