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  Housing and Homelessness

From the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing, HomelessnessThis report, from the Senate Subcommitee on Cities outlines proposals for poverty reduction and calls for the development of an integrated national poverty strategy. Download From the Margins.

Developing New Model for Public Housing Families - The Chicago Family Case Management Demonstration is an innovative initiative designed to meet the challenges of serving the Chicago Housing Authority's (CHA) "hard to house"; residents. It involves a unique partnership of city agencies, service providers, researchers, and private foundations, all with a deep commitment to finding solutions for the most vulnerable families affected by the CHA's Plan for Transformation. This report highlights the lessons learned during the first year implementation of the Demonstration. Learn more here. [Source: Urban Institute]

1 in 4 Canada Households in Affordability Squeeze - A staggering one-in-four Canadian households are in the housing affordability danger zone - paying 30% or more of their income on housing. Even more troubling, the poorest Canadian households - renters - face the worst affordability problems. Learn more here.  [Source: CSRL-news]

Linking Social Housing and Energy Efficiency - This report explores the link between the theory, policy and practice of energy-efficient social housing. What is energy-efficient housing and why is so much social housing not energy efficient? Three case studies of social housing are used to support a series of recommendations. Learn more here. [Source: CPRN]

The Street Health Report 2007 - Fifteen years ago, Street Health, a community-based health agency serving homeless people, conducted a study to explore the health status of homeless people and their ability to access the health care system. Since then, homelessness and housing insecurity has increased in Toronto. The Street Health Report 2007 includes findings on the nature of homelessness in Toronto and its root causes. The report presents an action plan to immediately improve the health of homeless people and to ultimately end homelessness.  Access the report here. [Source: OHPE]

Innovations for Improving Social Housing in Canada -  This synthesis of key findings from six research papers produced by CPRN demonstrates that social housing plays a central role in stabilizing people's lives and helping them access social services that promote community integration and individual and family well-being. This purpose should be recognized fully by governments to strengthen and expand social housing in Canada.  Learn more here. [Source: CPRN]

Social Housing in Canada: We Can Do Better - CPRN has released four studies produced in partnership with Social Housing Services Corporation of Ontario and the Knowledge Mobilization Unit of York University.

[Source: CPRN]

Canadian Housing Equality Resources - The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA), an Ontario-based non-profit human rights organization that has spent the past 20 years challenging the systemic barriers and discrimination that contribute to homelessness and housing insecurity, has launched a new website devoted to housing rights in Canada. Visit the site here. [Source: CSRL-news]

Mental Disorders Cause of Homeless in Hospital - This report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) provides an overview of the latest research, surveys and policy initiatives related to mental health and homelessness, as well as data on hospital use by homeless Canadians. The author notes that 52 percent of homeless persons being hospitalized are due to mental disorders. Learn more here. [Source: Charity Village]

A Research Agenda for Ending Homelessness - This Research Agenda was developed in order to better inform government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and other funders about research questions that will help move policy and practice forward. Download the six-page agenda here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Study Shows Promising Results in Toronto - The City of Toronto's Streets to Homes is a program aimed at ending unsheltered homelessness in Toronto. Streets to Homes recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of the Housing First approach in ending street homelessness. Learn more here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Homelessness 'chronic' in Canada - Canada's homeless population is somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 people, while another 1.7 million residents struggle with "housing affordability issues," says an analysis of the latest research on shelter. In a report from the Calgary-based Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership, journalist and author Gordon Laird argues homelessness is now chronic and is quickly becoming one of the country's defining social issues. He makes a case for a national housing strategy and a more robust income security program. Download the report here. [Source: CBC news online]

Calgary Homelessness Summit - The Calgary Committee to End Homelessness made progress toward their goal of becoming the first major Canadian city to develop a ten year plan by hosting a Community Summit on April 23, 2007. Learn more about homelessness in Calgary here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Housing Trust Funds Growing Rapidly - Nearly 600 housing trust funds in the U.S. generate more than $1.6 billion a year to support affordable housing. Housing trust funds are typically set up by local government bodies and dedicate public resources to a distinct fund for providing affordable housing. Learn more here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Innovative Architecture - Incorporating sleek design, community-building aesthetics and energy-efficient features, a variety of inspiring neighborhood projects cropping up around Chicago prove that affordable housing and other community facilities can be cutting-edge. Learn more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Career Mapping for Chronically Homeless Job Seekers - Homeless people often suffer from disabilities that increase the challenges in obtaining and maintaining employment. The Corporation for Supportive Housing recently released a paper that homeless assistance providers can use to help chronically homeless individuals identify their employment goals and strategies with the end goal of gainful employment. Learn more here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Community Plans to End Homelessness - This report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness examines the content of local plans to end homelessness and analyzes the strength of such plans. Learn more here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Edmonton Print Shop to House City's Homeless - A former City of Edmonton print shop will become an emergency shelter this winter as part of the city's plan for dealing with a growing homelessness population. Learn more here. [Source: CSRL-news]

Blueprint to End Homelessness in Toronto - More than 30,000 women, men and children crowd into Toronto's homeless shelters annually. Many thousands more sleep on the streets or join the ranks of the "hidden homeless." There are about 70,000 households on Toronto's social housing waiting list. This blueprint aims to empty the shelters and build new homes. Read the full report here. [Source: CSRL-newsletter]

Cracks in the Foundation - Vancouver's homelessness crisis is about to get a lot worse unless immediate action is taken, according to Pivot Legal Society's report, Cracks in the Foundation: Solving the Housing Crisis in Canada's Poorest Neighbourhood. "If we continue to lose low-cost housing in the Downtown Eastside at the current rate, we can expect to be coping with at least three times the number of people living on Vancouver's streets by the time the world arrives for the 2010 Olympics," states lead report author and lawyer David Eby. Access the report here. [Source: CSRL-newsletter]

The Impact of Housing on Community - This review of scholarly theories and empirical research, published by Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, analyzes the ways in which housing markets shape initial neighbourhood conditions and drive changes in these conditions over time. In addition, it examines the impact of housing markets on communities and individuals and considers the resulting public policy responses. Read the full report here. [Source: LISC e-newsletter]

Ending Homelessness - The Partnership to End Long-term Homelessness has launched a website for funders interested in strategies and best practices for fighting chronic homelessness. The site features a searchable collection of case studies, best practices and data and trends. Specific focus areas include strategies such as prevention, supportive housing and systems changes needed to bring about the end of chronic homelessness. Visit the website here. [Source: FN&C Now]

If We Could End Homelessness - In June 2005, the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and the Greater Bridgeport Area Continuum of Care released "If We Could End Homelessness-The Greater Bridgeport Area Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness." The plan sets specific numeric goals for providing permanent housing, which allows the Continuum to strive for clear benchmarks of success. Read the report here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

In the Face of Gentrification - Balancing the revitalization of neighborhoods with reducing the displacement of low-income families poses a challenge for city officials and housing practitioners. As housing prices increase, lower-income households are at risk of not being able to live in certain areas because of the prohibitive costs and their limited earnings. This report from the Urban Institute, presents strategies used by nonprofit organizations, for-profit developers, and city agencies to ensure a place for low- and moderate-income residents. Read more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Affluent, but Needy - America's older, inner-ring first suburbs are beginning to draw national attention. A statistical analysis shows that first suburbs are undergoing a series of changes that threaten their ability to remain vital and prosperous communities during the long term. Read the article here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Malcolm Gladwell On Ending Homelessness - In a recent New Yorker article, Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author of "The Tipping Point" and "Blink," discusses controversial but effective supportive housing initiatives aimed at individuals who are chronically homeless. Read the article here. [Source: Alliance Online News]

Strategies for Preventing Homelessness - Homelessness prevention is an essential element of any effort to end homelessness either locally or nationwide. The central challenge of prevention is to target efforts toward those people that will become homeless without the intervention. Read more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Victoria's Regional Housing Trust Fund - BC’s Capital Region has one of the highest average house prices in the country. In order to build homes which are affordable to the majority of citizens, seven of the region’s thirteen municipal governments have agreed to contribute to a Regional Housing Trust Fund. This story describes the partnerships that helped build support for this landmark fund and the steps they took to make it a reality. Read the story here. [Source: The Caledon Institute of Social Policy]

Mortar and Muscle - This report looks at the experiences of families working to build their own homes through self-help housing projects across the United States. Primarily found in rural areas, self-help housing programs organize groups of families to work together, combining their efforts to build homes. No family moves into their new home until all group members’ homes are completed. In addition to helping families attain the dream of becoming homeowners, self-help housing projects strengthen communities and create informal, positive social networks. Read the report here. [Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation's Family Economic Success Newsletter]

Homelessness, Housing & Harm Reduction - This study from CMHC investigates innovative housing programs for persons who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and are substance users. Thirteen such programs from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K are profiled. The research aims to identify those housing interventions which use a harm reduction approach to effectively help target groups access and maintain stable housing. Download the report here.

Transportation & Affordable Homeownership - This study examines the appropriateness and feasibility of adopting the “Transportation Savings Mortgage” (TSM). TSMs are designed to promote locational decisions on the part of homebuyers that favour residential districts close to public transit, shops and services, generally in central areas. Transportation Savings Mortgages are studied in this report as a means of promoting home ownership in Winnipeg communities targeted for investment in local and provincial revitalization programs. Download the report here. [Source: Winnipeg Inner City Research Alliance]

Local Heroes: CAW 199 & Community Partners - Bethlehem Projects of Niagara, a nonprofit organization which provides transitional housing and life skills programs for people living in poverty, recently announced the construction of a 40-unit apartment for its clients. Two critical ingredients – a strong community network and the gift of donated labour – were responsible for laying the foundation for this successful undertaking. Opportunities Niagara, a multisectoral collaboration for poverty reduction, played a vital role in facilitating the partnership behind this initiative. Download the paper here. [Source: The Caledon Institute of Social Policy]

Housing Policy & Practice in Poverty & Exclusion - This synthesis report examines how inadequate housing can be a result of, or can lead to, poverty and exclusion. The report builds on input received at a PRI-SSHRC Policy Research Roundtable on this topic, as well as subsequent research conducted by PRI staff. In addition to exploring the interconnections between housing, poverty, and exclusion, the report outlines the current situation in Canada, and assesses ways to improve housing and poverty outcomes. Download the report here. [Source: Public Research Initiative]

Home Ownership Program Builds Stronger Community - For families without a tradition of home ownership, the barriers to owning a home can be more than just money. Cultural and language differences or the lack of trusted real estate and financial advisors can be just as daunting. An innovative program that will evolve over the next five years on St. Paul's East Side will help inexperienced purchasers and new homeowners overcome these kinds of barriers. The goal is to help area residents get and keep a foothold in the real estate market. Read more here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Workforce Housing: Good Business for Everyone - As many business leaders have come to realize, the rising cost of housing is increasingly a bottom-line concern. Like transportation and education, the availability of affordable workforce housing directly affects the ability to attract and retain an adequate, stable and skilled labor pool at competitive wages. Although they approach the workforce housing issues from different and often divergent perspectives, businesses and housing advocates have many goals in common. Read the release here or access the report from the forum here. [Source: HandsNet Webclipper]

9-Year-old Brings a Message of Love to Bay St. - A nine-year-old Winnipeg girl brought a simple message of love to Bay Street's captains of business Thursday as she pursued her quest to help the homeless – a personal campaign that has already raised $500,000 in donations. Read the article here or click here to learn more about the Ladybug Foundation. [Source: CBC Online]

Housing for Assisted Living in Inner-City Winnipeg - People with disabilities in Winnipeg who have complex health and housing needs have limited housing options. Younger adults with disabilities, for example, are inappropriately placed in personal care homes with seniors when the cost of supporting a person in his or her own home exceeds the cost of supporting him or her in an institutional setting. This report describes the findings of the Housing for Assisted Living in Inner-City Winnipeg research project that examined a variety of social issues related to the development of an assisted living housing facility for adults with disabilities between 18 and 55 years of age who have complex health and housing needs. Download the report here. [Source: WIRA]

Beyond a Front Desk: Residential Hotel as Home - In a first-ever study, urban researchers, community groups, and the Winnipeg Police united to examine the role residential hotels play in sheltering an estimated 1,000 Winnipeggers. What they found was an industry in need of support. Download the report here. [Source: WIRA]

Promoting Awareness, Building Supportive Housing - An unprecedented collaboration of nine national foundations, nonprofit organizations and financial institutions have announced a partnership to galvanize leadership and dollars to bring an end to long-term homelessness in the US over the next decade. The Partnership to End Long-Term Homelessness will dedicate more than $37 million in grants and loans to the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) and other groups working to end long-term homelessness. Learn more here. [Source: NAEH]

Supportive Housing: Alternative to Homelessness - New data released from nine cities across the country builds on earlier data which demonstrated that “supportive housing” can be a cost-effective solution to long-term homelessness. Access the data here. [Source: NAEH]

Mixed-Income Housing Developments - A report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation finds that a mixed-income approach is important in getting affordable units built, ensuring high-quality housing, and decentralizing poverty, but it is not a panacea for these complex issues. Download the report here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

Heat or Eat? - A working paper from the Joint Center for Poverty Research examines the effects of cold weather periods on family budgets and on nutritional outcomes in poor American families. The report finds that both rich and poor families increase fuel expenditures in response to unusually cold weather. However, at same time, poor families reduce food expenditures by roughly the same amount as the increase in fuel expenditures, while rich families increase food expenditures. The report surmises that existing social programs fail to buffer against cold weather temperature shocks. Read the abstract here or download the full report here. [Source: HandsNet WebClipper]

StatsCan Provides Count of Canadians in Shelters - Statistics Canada says more than 14,000 Canadians were living in shelters on May 15, 2001, providing the first official figures on the number of people living in emergency or temporary accommodations. Read the report here.

Paper on Household & Individual Food Insecurity - New on the Health Canada website from the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion - a discussion paper on Household and Individual Food Insecurity has recently been posted on the Health Canada website. This paper presents an examination of issues pertaining to the inclusion of direct and indirect indicators of food insecurity in a national nutrition monitoring system, focusing on individual- and household-level food insecurity that arises in the context of financial resource constraints. As Health Canada's plans for a national food and nutrition surveillance system evolve, further background papers will be posted on the website. Download the paper here.

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