March 1, 2023

Alina McKay is a Ph.D. researcher and the research coordinator for the Housing Research Collaborative (HRC) and Balanced Supply of Housing (BSH). Her current research with the BC Society of Transition Houses explores National Occupancy Standards and their impact on women who have experienced gender-based violence. As the research coordinator for HRC/BSH she also works closely with academic and community-based housing researchers in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal to support evidence-based solutions to the affordable housing crisis.

Victoria Barclay is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her thesis research examines the housing experiences of racialized women fleeing violence in Vancouver and Toronto and she supports the Balanced Supply of Housing project which interprets the impact of occupancy standards on women after violence. Victoria is also a Researcher at Women Transforming Cities and an ex-officio Fora: Network for Change's Girls on Boards Young Director at Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Presentation Topic:
National Occupancy Standards and Women’s Housing

Presentation Title:
Women Fleeing Violence in Vancouver and Toronto: The Issue of National Occupancy Standards

Presentation Description:
This presentation will explore the impact of Canada’s National Occupancy Standards (NOS) on women’s housing situations. This mixed-methods study draws on qualitative interviews and a quantitative analysis using data from the 2018 Canadian Housing Survey. For the qualitative analysis interviews were completed with 19 women who have experienced gender-based violence and reside in either Vancouver, BC or Toronto, ON. For the quantitative analysis logistic regression was used to explore the predictors of needing suitable housing drawing on a gender-based analysis plus (GBA+). Early quantitative findings will be presented alongside qualitative findings that reveal common experiences faced by women including limitation of housing choice, long waitlists for suitable units, family separation, and issues with relocation. The presentation will conclude with policy recommendations that can mitigate the barriers imposed by the NOS and lead to ameliorated housing situations for women who have experienced gender-based violence in Canada.

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