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The Pivot / Why we need to Pivot / Housing Trends / Join the Pivot / AHSL Partnership

At the Affordable Housing Solutions Lab (AHSL) we are working to Pivot how we think about and ‘do housing’.

This comes from the understanding that adequate housing is a basic need that is essential and necessary for survival. In other words, that adequate housing is a fundamental human right.

The Pivot website is one initiative of the AHSL where we share research and information around the human right to adequate housing, start conversations about how we can be innovative, and share news and promising practices.

Why we need to ‘Pivot’ housing

Like many communities across Canada, in our city we continue to experience the consequences of a drawn out and intensifying adequate housing crisis.

Right now in Edmonton (and surrounding area):

  • Over 6400 households are on wait lists for community housing
  • 4702 households are on the wait list for the portable Rent Assistance Benefit
  • At least 80,085 renter households are living in housing that is unacceptable (in need of major repair, crowded, and/or households spending +30% of income to cover housing costs).
    • Which is almost half of all renter households (170,765)
  • Since the early 2000s, we have lost a significant amount of ‘more affordable’ rental market housing in Edmonton due to financialization (institutional or investor owners buying up rental housing)
    • In 2006: 81% of all rental housing was $999 per month or less
    • In 2021: only 26% of all rental housing was $999 per month or less

Since the 1990s, we have witnessed the steady decline of public spending into our social safety net (which includes social goods like non-market housing, health care, education, public transportation, etc.).

This means that basic needs have become more expensive and these increasing costs have been downloaded onto individuals and households. Worse yet, over the last few decades incomes have remained largely flat and have not kept pace with, let alone offset, the escalating costs of living. 

While households have been left to manage increasing and intensifying costs of living with stagnant incomes, public policy has shifted towards deregulating our housing sector. This has facilitated the financialization of housing, which ramped up during the economic / housing boom in Alberta in the mid-to-late 2000s.

By example, from 2004 to 2008:

  • the average cost of a newly built and sold single family home in Edmonton and surrounding area more than doubled (increasing 111%)
  • The average cost of these homes increased from $242,171 in 2004 to $511,989 in 2008

Our current state of housing is only escalating our prolonged housing crisis. This is not sustainable and demonstrates the urgent of need to change course.

Be part of ‘Pivoting’ the housing conversation

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The Affordable Housing Solutions Lab is a partnership between:

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