Authors: Michael J. Price
Fannie Mae Foundation

This article examines three purposes of social housing in Canada: macroeconomic stimulus, community development, and family self-sufficiency. It then addresses the links between social housing policy and other social policy fields. Finally, it discusses political support for social housing. Macroeconomic stimulation has been, and continues to be, a function of Canadian housing policy. Several housing programs have been used to support communities and the role of housing policy in social support will probably increase. But the contribution of housing to family self-sufficiency has been little discussed or acted on. Although housing programs are integral to social well-being, in Canada they have been separate from other social programs, and changing this situation will be a challenge. The most widely supported roles for social housing seem to be economic development; the community functions of social participation, integration, and social stabilization; and the link between housing and family economic opportunity.

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