Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tell Me about it: housing crisis for low income Canadians

Social Housing Investment Vital to Canada’s

Low-Income Families

What UVic student doesn't know the trials of finding affordable housing in Victoria? Check out this report release from the Canadian Policy Research Network:

December 6, 2007 – Housing, together with food and shelter, are the necessities of life, yet we know that close to 1.5 million, or roughly 14% of Canadians, a large number being single mothers and children, are in need of adequate shelter. Many are not housed at all.

Many low-income Canadians depend on government commitment to social housing to provide them with affordable housing opportunities, but over the past 15 years overall government support and investment in social housing has declined.

CPRN has successfully partnered with the Social Housing Services Corporation of Ontario (SHSC), the Knowledge Mobilization Unit of York University, and the City of Ottawa (for Infrastructure Canada’s Knowledge Building, Outreach and Awareness Program) to explore a number of critical social housing issues: strengthening housing governance, effectively considering social inclusion in design, the relationship between non-profit organizations and social housing, the challenges of city-regions and sustainable affordable rental housing, and social lives in social housing.

A Safer Haven: Innovations for Improving Social Housing in Canada by CPRN Acting Assistant Director Nathalie Pierre is a synthesis of key findings from the six research papers produced by CPRN research interns through the partnership with SHSC, York University and the City of Ottawa. The research findings demonstrate 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.

To read or download A Safer Haven, click here. For a list of the six research papers and links to read or download, click here.

A Message from CPRN President Sharon Manson Singer

Dear Friends of CPRN,

On behalf of the CPRN Board of Directors and staff, I want to thank you for your continued support in the work of CPRN over the past year.

During 2007, CPRN reorganized following the federal government’s decision to eliminate its core funding for our research and public policy dialogue program. We adopted a new business model and, most importantly, we are developing an exciting new research framework, Connecting with Canadians, which will be our focus over the next three to five years. Connecting with Canadians is based on what Canadians expect from government, business and community organizations and what they believe, as citizens, we should give back to society. It is rooted in the values and priorities of Canadians as expressed to us in deliberative dialogues over the last several years.

While these activities were underway, CPRN continued its commitment to high quality socio-economic policy research and dialogue. We produced reports and conducted dialogues on a number of critical issues including productivity, the challenges of youth transitioning from high school to the labour market and youth disengagement in our political process.

Through this work, the interest in CPRN’s work grew tremendously! There were almost 2 million downloads of our publications in 2007, an increase of 15% over 2006. All our publications are available free to the non-profit sector, academic researchers and government decision-makers across Canada as well as around the world. The continued growth and success of our Web-based distribution of research reports and information positions CPRN as the leading socio-economic policy think tank in Canada!

We are pleased that CPRN’s voice and high quality research continues to be valued. We are committed to strengthening and expanding its presence in 2008. To that end, I hope you will consider making a donation to CPRN. Click here to make your tax-deductible gift by credit card via a secure site. An e-receipt will be sent to you. Or, you can send a cheque to CPRN, 214-151 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1P 5H3.

If you or your organization would like more information on how you can support CPRN in its work, please contact

If you have already made a gift in support of our work, a heartfelt thank you. And to our new donors, thank you!

Thank you for your continued support.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Sharon Manson Singer, President
Canadian Policy Research Networks

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