The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response for People who are Marginalized

The current public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we socialize with eachother, how we access health care, and our economic conditions over a short period of time. For people who are marginalized, these changes may cause decreases in income, loss of social support and community connections, unstable home environments, more substance use withdrawal and overdose, and growing mental health concerns. Some responses to the pandemic, like physical distancing and financial challenges, are likely to last for months.

Providing Resident Support: Incorporating lived experiences into the development process

Due to the lack of investment from the Federal and Provincial governments for affordable housing and the low number of housing cooperatives formed in the last 30 years the co-op housing model is outdated. In response to a need for affordable housing in Vancouver, BC the Community Land Trust (CLT) has recently opened two newly built housing cooperatives as well as affordable housing option with non-profit partners. This research project aims to identify an engagement framework for the development/redevelopment process of CLT projects.

A Clean Energy Plan for CleanBC: Informing the development of BC’s clean energy future

CleanBC is British Columbia’s recent climate strategy outlining how the province plans to transition from fossil fuels to a clean and renewable energy system. The plan contains targets that are meant to set a pathway towards a more sustainable future; however, Pembina Institute recently recommended that the government develop a clean energy plan to back up the CleanBC strategy by outlining more specifically how clean energy is going to be used to achieve the province’s clean energy targets (Riehl, Tam Wu & Kniewasser, 2019).

Community Building for New Housing Co-operatives: Innovating to address scale, inclusion, and contemporary living

Due to the lack of investment from the Federal and Provincial governments for affordable housing and the low number of housing cooperatives formed in the last 30 years the co-op housing model is outdated. In response to a need for affordable housing in Vancouver, BC the Community Land Trust (CLT) has recently opened two newly built housing cooperatives. This research project aims to identify tools and best practices to foster a sense of belonging, ownership, and community in newly formed housing co-ops with members from mixed socio-economic backgrounds.

Opportunities for Alleviating Indigenous Energy Poverty in BC

Indigenous communities, especially those in remote locations, experience much higher rates of energy poverty than the rest of British Columbians. Energy poverty occurs when an individual allocates a disproportionately high percentage of their income towards household energy costs. The negative repercussions of energy poverty are not only economic, but also social, physical and environmental.

Community Land Trusts: Exploring civil society’s role in reconciliation and the housing crisis

This research project aims to explore how civil society organizations in Metro Vancouver might devise Community Land Trusts that allow their property interests to intersect with their social mission. Metro Vancouver Alliance, a broad-based community organizing alliance of faith, labour, community, and education sectors, previously conducted listening campaigns identifying reconciliation and affordable housing as common priorities. Some MVA faith institutions have expressed interest in redeveloping their property through CLTs to serve this shared social mission.

Better Benchmarks, Better Urban Design

This project will assess the value in measuring sustainability outcomes according to place-specific baselines rather than universal thresholds set by rating systems and frameworks. It seeks a stronger foundation for sustainable design that can acknowledge place-specific factors. Ultimately, this work will lead to the establishment of a decision-making protocol about sustainable design options and outcomes that can be applied in a range of contexts, for better choices, made more justifiably, better understanding of impact, and a better sense of progress across projects.

Analysis and Integration of Real-Time Mobility Data for the Cascadia Corridor

In order to design and operate more efficient urban transport infrastructure networks along the Cascadia Corridor, improved spatial and temporal data is required to understand travel activity patterns.

Toolkit: Alternative Models for Affordable Housing

Metro Vancouver is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. While responses to the crisis have tended to focus on our most at-risk populations, the reality is that even with a stable income, the high cost of housing is one of the primary reasons people and families of all ages are leaving the region. This research project will explore non-profit development of affordable ‘workforce’ rental housing for household’s earning between $20,000-$100,000 per year.

Eastside Works: Information System Support and Evaluation

EMBERS Eastside Works (EW) is a new low barrier employment centre in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. EW helps people in the Downtown Eastside make connections to the world of work, earn income, and improve their livelihoods. The proposed research will work with EW to develop a database and information system that fits their needs, while informing a larger UBC research study on individual’s economic activity and how it affects their health and well-being in the downtown eastside.

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