Working Together so Everyone has a Good Place to Call Home


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This presentation offers critical insights on how we can work together so that everyone is adequately housed.

Michael Shapcott, Director of Housing and Innovation
Follow us on twitter @wellesleyWI

Published in: Real Estate, Business
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Working Together so Everyone has a Good Place to Call Home

  1. 1. Working together so everyone has a good place to call homeNLHHNOctober 26, 2011Michael ShapcottDirector, Housing and InnovationThe Wellesley Institute
  2. 2. Let’s get clicking!Who is your favourite accordion player? 1.  Kris MacFarlane from Great Big Sea2.  Minnie White, ‘first lady of accordion’3.  Words ‘favourite’ and ‘accordion’ don’t belong together!
  3. 3. Four observations:!" Housing insecurity deep / persistent#" Costly to people, communities, economy, government$" Federal housing / homelessness investments eroding%" No comprehensive national plan
  4. 4. Growing numbersChanging face of homelessness Hidden needs
  5. 5. Complex links between housing,homelessness, poverty, poor health
  6. 6. OECD – growing unequal
  7. 7. Bad housing makes you sick! Homelessness: Increased morbidity Increased premature morality Contextual: Individual / neighbourhood deprivation networks / friends / crime Biological / physical: Chemicals, gases, pollutants Socio-economic: Design (accidents) / crowding Affordability / energyTransportation / income / jobs Mental health: Alarming rates... especially Clinical depression and anxiety Control / meaning Collective efficacy
  8. 8. Good housing good for health! Physical and mental health: Better health outcomes / decreased health care utilization Environment / physical infrastructure: New housing, repairs, heating, noise, indoor + outdoor environmental issues, allergens, water + sanitation Community safety: Reduced recidivism among people leaving incarceration Affordability interventions: Income-based housing subsidies
  9. 9. “We are used to thinking of affordablehousing as a social and a health issue...”“However, working to find solutions toproblem of affordable housing is also smarteconomic policy. An inadequate supply ofhousing can be a major impediment tobusiness investment and growth...” Ba df bad or for peo eco ple - nom y
  10. 10. Homelessness is bad for business and the federalgovernment does not have a national plan to endhomelessness in Canada.While solutions to homelessness exist and efforts arebeing made by communities to implement solutions...the government has been unable to reduce the totalnumber of homeless...A national plan to end homelessness will clearly setgoals, objectives, metrics and outcomes and providethe proper mechanisms... September 2010
  11. 11. Federal gov’t: Housing investments have big economic impact
  12. 12. The story thus far: Ø  Deep housing insecurityØ  Poor housing = poor health Ø  Good housing = good for health, good for economy
  13. 13. What’s happening in your community?In my area over the last year, housing andhomelessness issues are:1.  Getting worse2.  Getting better3.  Staying about the same
  14. 14. UN Special Rapporteur, 2009 “Canada has a long and proud history of housing successes, and has been known around the world for its innovative housing solutions. The Special Rapporteur visited and received information about programmes, laws and policies that represent good practices... Canada can also rely on a tremendous range of academic and civil society resources.” !“There has been a significant erosion of housing rights over the past two decades. Canada’s successful social housing programme, which created more than half amillion homes starting in 1973, has been discontinued.
  15. 15. 1980s and 1990s: Era of big housing cuts- even as economy roars
  16. 16. Federal housing cuts: Federal 2011-12 Spending Estimates cut 39% in housing investments from $3.1 billion last year to $1.9billion this year, including 97% cut to affordable housing initiative, 94% cut to housing repairs and 70% cut to assisted housing. Short-term federal housing and homelessness initiatives expire in 2014: All short-term funding ends, including July 2011 federal-provincial-territorial affordable housing agreement. In addition, long-term step out of federal long-term housing commitments (started in 1996) continues...
  17. 17. $3,000,000,000 640,000$2,750,000,000 620,000$2,500,000,000$2,250,000,000 600,000$2,000,000,000 580,000$1,750,000,000$1,500,000,000 560,000 2001 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 housing program estimated h/hs CMHC corporate plan
  18. 18. Total revenues: $153 million in 2010 In 2010, 40% of NewfoundlandLabrador Housing’s total revenues came from federal government (down from 58% in 2004) CMHC contribution: $60 million in 2010
  19. 19. $3,500,000,000$3,000,000,000$2,500,000,000$2,000,000,000$1,500,000,000$1,000,000,000 $500,000,000 $- 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Federal, provincial and municipal unadjusted housing spending Can these trends continue???
  20. 20. From 1998 to 2008: As federal housing investments erode, most provinces increase housing investments
  21. 21. 2008 – unilateral housing investments per capita
  22. 22. CMHC / federal housing cuts (2011 – 2015) coming at a time when:•  feds restricting mortgage market•  # of h/hs projected to increase•  private rental market stagnant•  CMHC projecting growing surpluses ($1.5 billion in 2015)
  23. 23. Continuing the story:Ø  Erosion of federal housing investments continues Ø  Provinces and municipalities picked up some of slack… until now…
  24. 24. Federal policy priority:Reverse erosion housinginvestments:•  CAEH - New national voice•  Council of Federation•  FCM
  25. 25. Housing needs in your community?In my area, the top housing need is:1.  Unaffordable housing costs2.  Not enough housing3.  Poor repair in existing housing4.  Inadequate social / medical supports
  26. 26. Adding up numbers: 1990 to 2008 Canada: •  Median renter h/h income stagnant – up 5%•  Avg private market rent skyrocketed - up 43% •  Median renter h/h income (2008) - $33,100 •  h/h income req’d for AMR - $32,160 Newfoundland and Labrador: •  Median renter h/h income down – minus 19%•  Avg private market rent skyrocketed – up 23% •  Median renter h/h income (2008) - $25,200 •  h/h income req’d for AMR - $25,360
  27. 27. Shrinking rental housing supply - NL Primary Vacant Secondary rental units rental2011 (1) 5,023 107 xx2010 (2) 5,088 51 13,0232010 (1) 5,170 58 xx2009 (2) 5,213 51 12,896 Rental vacancy rates painfully low
  28. 28. Forecasting h/h growth to 2036 Canada:•  2006 – 12.8m households (owner and renter) •  2036 – 17.9m households New housing starts:
  29. 29. New affordable homes underCanada’s National Housing Act
  30. 30. ‘The very nature of homelessness makes accurate countsand surveys … difficult. At the provincial level, precision ofhomeless counts is not as important as having a strongunderstanding about the magnitude of the problem and thetrends. For such a complex issue, good overall informationis critical if the government is to make effective decisionsand match its programs to the problems… if the biggestcause of homelessness… is the gap between the cost ofhousing and what people can afford to pay, then theappropriate solution would be quite different than if the maincause is poor mental health and/or addictions.’ - BC Auditor General, Homelessness: Clear Focus Needed, 2009
  31. 31. Dominion Housing Act - 1935!(1) improvement of housing conditions, and(2) absorb unemployment by stimulation of construction and building industries Dominion Housing Act is a ‘comedy of errors’ and ‘an act to facilitate the financing of homes for the middle class who were not in the market.’ Percy Nobbs, Dean of Architecture, McGill University, January, 1936
  32. 32. Time for an adult conversation about housing indicators and measuresWI discussion briefby Steve Pomeroy, October 2012 Building evidence base for local, provincial, national housing plans
  33. 33. Better evidence allows:Communities to better target real needs, and assess resultsGovernments to shift incentives to reward better outcomes – performance-based measuresNPs to attract new partners and new financing…
  34. 34. Initial differences in social Population-wide Population size by determinants and health by ethnicity, averages & disparity ethnicity, immigrant immigrant status, and gender ratios status, and gender Social capital Social capital interventions Death rate Health care interventions Behavioral Chronically ill % interventions Unhealthy behavior Poor access to & obese % health care % Disabled % Education General health careinterventions access trend Undereducated (not college grad) % Low income % Adverse housing % (by low/higher income) General low income trend General adverse housing trends Jobs/income Housing interventions interventions Wellesley Urban Health Model
  35. 35. Continuing the story:Ø  Available numbers suggest big housing troubles ahead Ø  Need better evidence to better target funding and programs
  36. 36. NL policy priority:Robust housing plan builtfrom community up… withtargets, timelines, funding,accountability for results
  37. 37. Supports for collaboration / innovation?In my area, we have people and organizationsthat are able to effectively work together on goodand promising practices:1.  No2.  Yes3.  Not sure
  38. 38. Thataway Thisaway Sometimes best route isn’t obvious: Actualsign on Banff hiking trail
  39. 39. “Wicked” policy problems cannot be “solved”with a program here or an investment there.They require interventions by multiple actorsover the long term. We can’t just throw upour hands and say it all is too complex. Weneed models of policy thinking, strategicinvestment, and service interventions thataddress complex problems…Bob Gardner,The Wellesley Institute
  40. 40. “Comprehensive community initiatives have been developed to address exactlythese kinds of issues. CCIs bring together a wide range of service providers, people with lived experience, community leaders, and other stakeholders to build broad collaborations to address the roots of local problems in their specific communities.” Bob Gardner, The Wellesley Institute
  41. 41. Putting together the pieces:Wellesley Institute’s collaboration initiative:•  promise + perils of working togetherIntegrated human services management:•  linking housing + other human servicesSupporting a robust, dynamic NP sector:•  social innovation funding
  42. 42. “Moving from accidental and incidental [collaboration] to intentional and structured requires resources (from non-profit organizations and funders), knowledge exchange to share goodpractices, and a coherent structure that encourages collaboration and allows for proper monitoring and evaluation.” - WI collaboration initiative
  43. 43. Spanning spectrum from charity to social purpose business to commercial enterprise
  44. 44. Social finance /social impactbonds: Puttingprivate moneyto public good
  45. 45. Sometimes ourengagement takes us in surprisingdirections, and with ‘unusual’ allies
  46. 46. “Our survey of Toronto housing conditionsreveals thousands of families living inhouses which are insanitary,verminous, and grosslyovercrowded... Badhouses are not onlya menace: they areactive agents ofdestruction... theydestroy happiness,health and life...”Dr. H.A. Bruce,Lieutenant-Governorof Ontario, 1934
  47. 47. Thank you!