This week saw research from the Housing Justice Project’s Penny Gurstein featured in two stories. The Vancouver Sun looked at the impact that CACs are having on affordability in Vancouver, while the Globe & Mail reported on homelessness in the city. The Toronto Star also featured the affordability stories of five Toronto neighbourhoods, using research from David Hulchanski, a professor at the University of Toronto.
Developers’ exemption doing little for Vancouver’s affordability crisis: UBC study
Research from the Housing Justice Project shows that very little of the Community Amenity Contributions charged to developers are directed toward affordable housing, despite strong evidence that such assistance is sorely needed in Vancouver. Data on how CAC funds are spent is scarce, but Vancouver’s Chief Housing Officer insists that more affordable housing units have been financed through CACs since the period covered in the Housing Justice Project’s research. Housing Justice Project principal co-investigator Penny Gurstein recommends that the city set specific targets for establishing affordable housing through the CAC program. (Vancouver Sun)
Vancouver police refute ‘spike’ in crime near new housing projects
The Vancouver Police Department has responded to an assertion made by the North False Creek Business and Residents Association, which claimed in a petition that the opening of a shelter at 900 Pacific St has led to a “spike” in crime. The VPD confirmed that they had not seen an increase in crime in the area. The organizers of the petition demand that shelters be removed from their neighbourhood. Penny Gurstein commented that relocating services to the Downtown Eastside is not a solution. Rather, homelessness is a city-wide issue, and those who experience homelessness may benefit from living outside of the Downtown Eastside. (Globe & Mail)
A tale of income inequality in five Toronto neighbourhoods
The Toronto Star traces the changes in income inequality in different areas of the city using research from David Hulchanski. The general trend shows a growing polarization in terms of wealth, which is a concern to academcis and policy-makers alike. (Toronto Star)