Affordable housing has been key to strategies of neighbourhood renewal since the 1960s. But beware the recent push in federal policy away from community or co-operative initiatives and towards individual home ownership. It embodies a uncritical commitment to the market forces that have led to inadequate housing in the first place.
"Federal policy for low-cost housing in Canada has experienced three major shifts since the 1960s, the most recent of which has been in the direction of individual home ownership. This change is not benign; it is value-loaded, and has disturbing implications for community practice. Rather than trying to decide the 'right thing to do,' community-based housing organizations are focussing on "doing the best possible with the resources available. What impact is this having on communities? What can be done to correct it?
"Although on the surface CED and housing seem to be obvious solutions to neighbourhood revitalization there are some real challenges. Therefore it is essential to carefully consider all strategies and their possible outcomes, both positive and negative, to mitigate the exacerbation of social cleavages in neighbourhoods."