Addressing the Issue of Housing Access and Affordability in Vancouver

Many of us live in housing conditions that are less than ideal—paying more than we can afford for housing that fails to meet our needs for a safe, healthy and adequate home. The Housing Justice Project—a UBC/Community initiative—is seeking input on the housing experiences of residents in Metro Vancouver.

Get Involved

They want to hear from you, so they are launching a survey at PlaceSpeak.  To take the survey please visit:

The survey will give researchers and community activists a clearer understanding of how issues of housing cost and quality affect individuals across the metro region.  It will help in the development of better affordable housing policies and strategies.

Please go online to do the survey and help the project by encouraging others to also do the survey.

About the Housing Justice Project

The urgency of the crisis surrounding housing affordability and access across Canada, and in Vancouver in particular, is well-known. As of the 2006 Census, nearly one-quarter of Canadian households were spending 30 per cent or more of their gross income on housing. The city of Vancouver was ranked in 2010 as the third worst in the world for homeownership affordability and its rental vacancy rates are among the lowest in Canada. This crisis is complex and results from many factors including: a rise in housing costs; a lack of appropriate government policy; too few new low-income rental units built; low rental vacancy rates; urban population growth; and income growth that has not kept pace with the cost of living.

Housing justice refers to the fair and just distribution of housing benefits in a society. Access to affordable, safe and adequate housing is key to an individual’s inclusion in the full rights and benefits of citizenship.  In a society marked by housing justice there would be a clear set of government programs, strategies and tax incentives to ensure that affordable housing is delivered and that housing benefits are distributed fairly between different segments of the population.

The Housing Justice Project looks at issues around affordable and adequate housing for all.  The Project’s focus is on Vancouver and involves three inter-related themes: public engagement, policy development, and legal advocacy. The project’s principal investigators are Penny Gurstein and Margot Young from the University of British Columbia.  Funding for the project has been generously provided by the UBC Peter Wall Solutions Initiative.

For more information on the Housing Justice Project please visit



Penny Gurstein and Margot Young, Principal Investigators,