Podcast on housing crisis in Mississauga and Brampton cost taxpayers $55K


Published February 17, 2023 at 3:55 pm

A podcast, exploring the housing crisis in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon funded through tax dollars at $55,000, has faced some criticism.

The 12-episode series called Peel Talks Housing, approved by the Region of Peel, took some heat today (Feb. 17). A CBC news story called out the cost, about $4,583 per show, in the time of an affordable housing shortage.

“The Region of Peel is facing an affordable housing crisis,” the Region of Peel report on the podcast states. “Buying or renting a home at market rate is unaffordable for 80 per cent of Peel residents, and there is a significantly higher demand for affordable housing than available supply.”

This week the Region of Peel put out a tweet asking the provincial government to compensate Peel for a “significant revenue loss”, impacting affordable housing builds, expected from Bill 23.

The podcast series covers affordable housing and homelessness issues and highlights the Region of Peel’s efforts to help residents get and keep housing.

It can be heard on popular podcast platforms and the series is in video format on the Region of Peel website.

Peel Talks Housing is the Region of Peel’s first and only podcast series,” Region of Peel director of housing Aileen Baird tells insauga.com in an emailed statement.

Because the cost is under $100,000 and it was a pilot project, it didn’t need to through a request for proposals process. Regional council unanimously approved the podcast in February 2022, Baird said. The episodes rolled out later in the year.

peel housing crisis podcast

The idea behind the podcast was to reach people who may not understand the issues, the Region of Peel report indicates.

“Podcasts can be a cost-effective solution to reaching new audiences and inviting untapped stakeholders to join conversations around solving the affordable housing crisis in Peel,” the report states. “The return on investment is strong.”

A housing advocate told CBC, the podcasts could reach those who push back against affordable housing in their neighbourhood with NIMBYism (not in my backyard).

The podcast is meant to add nuance to the issue. Residents with lived experience of homelessness share compelling testimonies and leading housing advocates share innovative approaches to tackling the housing crisis and emphasize a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach in the podcast, said Baird.

Baird says the podcast has been successful although no numbers have been provided.

“Our audience has steadily grown, and the listener and guest feedback has been positive,” said Baird.

Baird added that they are currently evaluating the project and possible next steps.

“If we move forward with more episodes, the podcast would no longer be in the pilot phase and would go through a competitive procurement process.”

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