Affordable housing research at Hamilton’s McMaster University gets $1.45M for national study

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Published February 22, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Affordable housing research at Hamilton's McMaster University gets $1.45M for national study

An affordable housing research hub based at Hamilton’s McMaster University is receiving $1.45 million to monitor Canadian housing supply initiatives and their impact.

The Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative (CHEC), which will work out of a data centre at McMaster, recently signed an agreement with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to build a digital Affordable Housing Supply Monitor that will “organize and analyze data on rental housing in an accessible manner.”

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The monitor will process data from non-government organizations, municipalities, provinces, territories, and CMHC dating back to 2001.

CHEC is a network of more than 30 academics from across Canada and abroad who explore the connections between income, housing, and health.

“This will enable us to regularly report data that will give a better understanding of the supply of affordable rental housing in Canadian cities, including newly constructed units and existing affordable market rentals, which have been under threat,” said CHEC director and McMaster professor Jim Dunn.

“We’ll also make recommendations on how to track the impact of policies on equity and social inclusion.”

Creating, updating, and making available a comprehensive data set focused on affordable housing supply will provide researchers with a tool “to undertake detailed analysis and contribute to rigorous empirically-based policy development,” said Steve Pomeroy, executive advisor at CHEC and industry professor at McMaster.

The $1.45 million that the project is receiving is part of the Housing Supply Challenge, which was created by the federal government. It’s billed as an “innovative competition that encourages residents, stakeholders and experts from across the country to help Canada meet its pressing need for safe and affordable homes.”

The challenge will distribute a total of $300 million in funding over five years through the National Housing Strategy.

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