Housing policy and homelessness
Current and Completed Projects:
Understanding the intersection between justice-involvement and homelessness
In partnership with the John Howard Society of Ontario and the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, SRDC is investigating the intersection between homelessness and involvement in Ontario’s justice system. This study involves the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the housing-related challenges, barriers, and needs of justice-involved people. The first phase of the research involves a secondary data analysis of several existing datasets to determine the prevalence of justice involvement and incarceration among people experiencing homelessness in Ontario. The second phase involves qualitative data collection to explore the lived experiences of people who are released from incarceration and experiencing homelessness. The final phase of the research focuses on identifying promising practices and programs in Ontario. This research will inform recommendations on promising practices and policies to help improve access to safe, adequate housing for people who are justice-involved.
Start-end date: August 2021 - April 2023
Sponsor: The John Howard Society of Ontario
Safe, stable, long-term: Supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth along the housing continuum
LGBTQ2S+ youth face distinct barriers when it comes to securing long-term, stable housing, including discrimination and violence as well as a lack of tailored housing options and services. Yet, the literature on the subject is underdeveloped: data on LGBTQ2S+ housing and employment is limited, with the National Housing Strategy (2018) pointing to significant gaps in housing research on the needs of LGBTQ2S+ youth. This project aims to address these gaps, guided by the following research question: what are the barriers and facilitators of access to stable, safe, and long-term housing for LGBTQ2S+ youth? To address this question, we are bringing together a cross-sectoral team of experienced stakeholders in the field, including the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) and MENTOR Canada, to engage in a three-phased project of research. The first phase will include a literature review, environmental scan, and analysis of existing datasets to provide an overview of the existing housing environment for LGBTQ2S+ youth. Phase 2 focuses on qualitative data collection with LGBTQ2S+ youth with experiences of housing instability and housing service providers working with LGBTQ2S+ youth. Phase 3 runs parallel to phases 1 and 2, and involves the development of an advisory group to ensure that methodologies and findings are grounded in community contexts, and that results are shared back effectively and inclusively with communities on an ongoing basis.
Start-end date: June 2021 - September 2022
Sponsor: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Alleviating Homelessness: Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) Research (Quasi-experimental design)
This project being led by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in partnership with SRDC and Social Enterprise Toronto (SET) will provide a longitudinal assessment of the effectiveness of WISEs and compare them with other interventions for people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness. The first study of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area, the project will identify the impact of WISEs on both hard and soft outcomes including employment and housing stabilization, as well as the returns for government investment in these types of WISEs. Finally, it will identify effective practices to maximize impacts for several models of training under various circumstances. As evaluation partner, SRDC will be responsible for leading the measurement of the impact and effectiveness of WISEs on social and labour market outcomes for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness through a quasi-experimental design study. An additional objective is to build the capacity of participating WISE to measure their social outcomes using professionally designed research tools.
Start-end date: June 2017 - May 2022
Sponsor: Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Income Support in Relation to Housing in Canada and Selected Other Countries
To support the Government of Canada in developing a national housing strategy, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation engaged SRDC to research the relationship between social assistance and housing/shelter benefits, both across Canada and internationally. SRDC conducted a literature review and environmental scan of related policy instruments in all 13 P/Ts and in six other OECD countries. The comparative analyses also include policy trends and promising practices.
Start-end date: July 2016 - September 2016
Sponsor: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
National Housing Collaborative
The National Housing Collaborative engages a broad range of pan-Canadian interests to generate and advocate for the inclusion of critical ideas and policies that will guide the renewed federal role in affordable housing. SRDC was engaged by the Collaborative to assist with the policy analysis process including: scoping out policy objectives; developing a detailed research agenda; and overseeing the development of a series of policy options papers. SRDC will also work with the Collaborative to develop the final submission to the Federal government as part of the government’s consultation phase on the National Housing Strategy. The Collaborative is administered by a Secretariat, housed within the United Way Toronto & York Region. The Secretariat is funded by a funding circle that includes United Way, the Maytree Foundation, Evergreen CityWorks, and the McConnell Foundation.
Start-end date: June 2016 - October 2016
Sponsor: United Way of Greater Toronto