Effects of Socially-Mixed Public Housing Redevelopment on Health in Toronto’s Regent Park

Authors: James Dunn*, McMaster University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Urban Geography
Keywords: housing, health, poverty, neighbourhood, crime, Toronto
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The negative effects of concentrated neighbourhood poverty are well documented and across North America great hope has been placed on a variety of approaches to poverty deconcentration. Toronto’s Regent Park, a 69-acre public housing development that began a redevelopment in 2005, is the site of one such effort. In this study, we recruited a cohort of 132 residents who were relocated as part of the redevelopment and had a right to return. Of these residents, 59 were housed directly in brand new housing units on the site, while 73 were temporarily relocated to other public housing sites throughout the city. In this paper, we report on the effects of relocation to new housing and to relocation units in comparison to a control group of public housing residents unaffected by the redevelopment. The results show almost no evidence of harm, and small improvements in some health indicators, but much more substantial improvements in housing satisfaction, neighbourhood satisfaction and perceptions of safety from crime. The paper will address the implications of the findings for public policy related to poverty concentration and affordable housing.

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