Video: Lack of affordable housing gives Calgary vast majority of Alberta's homeless
Study examines causes of homelessness rates in province's two major
To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/the-school-of-public-policy-at-the-university-of-calgary/causes-of-homelessness-in-alberta
CALGARY, Sept. 29, 2011 /CNW/ - New research released today by The
School of Public Policy finds that Alberta's homeless population is
disproportionately concentrated in Calgary.
Authored by Ronald Kneebone, Herb Emery and Oksana Grynishak, the study
measures homeless shelter usage across the province in 2009. Despite
Edmonton and Calgary being similar in total population, 63 percent of
all shelter use in the province was in Calgary while only 28 percent
was in the provincial capital.
As for the causes of this large gap, the authors pinpoint three economic
factors: the supply of rental accommodation, the state of the labour
market and the rate of in-migration.
However, the authors argue that the overriding factor is the supply of
rental accommodation or affordable housing.
As Calgary's labour market expands, more and more people are attracted
to the city, therefore increasing the demand for rental accommodation.
Data used in the study indicates that there are 38 rental units per
1,000 people in Calgary.
"With a small and falling supply of rental accommodations and the local
housing market's failure to expand supply, this results in upward
pressure on shelter use," the authors write.
Meanwhile, in Edmonton there is a larger supply of affordable housing at
86 units per 1,000 people. The authors argue this allows the city to
adjust more easily to in-migration and curtails their homelessness
The authors note with concern the possibility that the recent fall in
shelter use is due to the recent slowdown in the Calgary economy and
that shelter use will increase again when the economy recovers.
Therefore, the authors recommend that ways be found "to engage the
energy and efficiency of the private sector" to increase the supply of
rental accommodations in Calgary. In this way shelter use might
permanently be reduced. Based on previous research by The School of
Public Policy, possible measures could include implementing a housing
tax credit modeled on the US Low Income Housing Tax Credit; relaxing
current rules for investors in multi-unit rental buildings on the use
of the capital cost allowance when there is a rental loss; and controls
on demolition and condominium conversions.
The paper can be found at http://policyschool.ucalgary.ca/publications
Video with caption: "Video: Lack of affordable housing gives Calgary vast majority of Alberta's homeless". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20110929_C7672_VIDEO_EN_4017.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20110929_C7672_PHOTO_EN_4017.jpg&clientName=University%20of%20Calgary%20%26%23150%3B%20School%20of%20Public%20Policy&caption=Video%3A%20Lack%20of%20affordable%20housing%20gives%20Calgary%20vast%20majority%20of%20Alberta%27s%20homeless&title=Lack%20of%20affordable%20housing%20in%20Calgary
SOURCE University of Calgary - School of Public Policy
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