As part of the National Housing Strategy, the Collaborative Housing Research Network was created to support innovation and housing solutions. The Network is a joint initiative between CMHC and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. It brings together a unified group of researchers and stakeholders. The Network is comprised of 5 research teams and the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative. The Collaborative acts as the knowledge mobilization hub for the Collaborative Housing Research Network.
Each of the 5 funded research teams and the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative will be coordinated by a project director. We’d like to introduce you to the leaders of the teams:
Dr. Jim Dunn, McMaster University, Ontario
Leading the Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative hub is Dr. Dunn, under his leadership, the hub will:
- broker meaningful collaboration
- strengthen housing research capacity
- amplify the impact of timely, relevant and rigorous research
Dr. Damian Collins University of Alberta
Dr. Collins leads the research team focusing on sustainable housing and communities. His team will identify requirements to build resilient and sustainable community housing sectors in Canada.
The objectives of the research team are to:
- develop consensus on substantive definitions of ‘resilience’ and ‘sustainability’ as they apply to community housing
- identify ways for providers to improve their resilience and sustainability, and measure their impacts of their initiatives
- conceptualize how the National Housing Strategy will shape the sector
- decide on research priorities for community housing over the next 5 years
Dr. Julia Christensen, Memorial University, Newfoundland
Dr. Christensen heads up the research team that focuses on northern Canada. This team will build new, innovative partnerships to address a series of identified challenges for the north.
This program of reserach has 3 interrelated objectives:
- identify knowledge gaps on northern homelessness and housing insecurity
- mobilize knowledge on northern homelessness and housing insecurity
- detect opportunities for adapting housing and housing-related social service policies, programs and models for northern contexts
Dr. Sarah Canham, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
The Aging in the Right Place research team is led by Dr. Sarah Canham. Her team conduct research to help build capacity and additional supportive housing to meets the needs of older people experiencing homelessness.
This program of research aims to:
- develop a 3-City Promising Practice Supportive Housing Network comprised of an interdisciplinary team
- identify Promising Practices for housing and shelter design, health, social services, and income supports that promote aging in the right place
- establish identity markers that affect older people experiencing homelessness’s ability to age in the right place
- co-create a comprehensive research proposal that identifies key case study sites to be evaluated in Phase 2 of the proposed Project
Dr. Catherine Leviten-Reid, Cape Breton University, Nova Scotia
Dr. Leviten-Reid leads the team that focuses on programs helping low-income Canadians with housing affordability. The team is looking at how different affordable housing approaches affect vulnerable Canadians, focusing on:
- rent-geared-to-income stock (such as public housing)
- rent supplements, which are provided directly to landlords to help bridge the gap between 30% of income and shelter costs
- housing allowances, which are provided directly to the tenant so they can live in market or community housing
Dr. Penny Gurstein, University of British Columbia
Heading up the research team focused on the concept of balanced supply of housing is Dr. Gurstein. This team is guided by 4 overarching questions. Does the housing system have the right balance of:
- housing tenures, for example rentals, owned, co-ops, and socials
- built form and location, like sub/urban, apartment, townhome and detached
- cost and type relative to local earnings versus outside investment or short-term rental demand
- evidence of any current (im)balances in housing markets affecting population health, demographic engagement and/or economic stability?
Everyone in Canada deserves a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. The Collaborative Housing Research Network will provide the innovations and the evidence necessary to help make this a reality.