Housing and Being Homeless in Yellowknife

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, housing, economics, socio-economics, homeless

Principal Investigator: Abele, Frances (7)
Licence Number: 14879
Organization: Carleton University
Licensed Year(s): 2011 2010 2009
Issued: Mar 08, 2011

Objective(s): To document the factors contributing to homelessness in Yellowknife, with attention to the interaction between housing in Yellowknife and the other communities of the NWT and the particular problems faced by Dene, Metis and Inuit women.

Project Description: The project will document the factors contributing to homelessness in Yellowknife, with attention to the interaction between housing in Yellowknife and the other communities of the NWT and the particular problems faced by Dene, Metis and Inuit women. As this project is intended to be a companion study to a concurrent study of the impact of colonialism and the intergenerational transmission of harm on Northerners who are homeless, the project proposed here will focus on the policies, programs, laws and regulations –as well as the economic factors—that create and sustain homelessness in Yellowknife and associated communities.

Interviews (telephone when appropriate and in-person) will be conducted with homelessness and other community workers, with housing providers and with public servants to develop a preliminary understanding of the main factors affecting housing and homelessness in Yellowknife. All interviews will be semi-structured and will last between 30 and 90 minutes. They will be recorded by the researcher with pen and paper.

Contact with participants will be made principally through e-mail and telephone communications in advice of on-site interviews in Yellowknife. Public sector: Current and former public sector employees will be identified through (a) a literature review, (b) their positions within housing-related public sector organizations, and (c) telephone inquiries to public institutions (City of Yellowknife, Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). Private sector: Private sector actors (such as architects, private developers and private landlords) will be identified through (a) a literature review, (b) their respective roles in the provision of housing, and (c) telephone inquiries to key informants. Third sector: Third sector actors will be identified through (a) a literature review, (b) their role in providing shelter (both emergency and permanent) to low-income individuals, and (c) interview with key informants.

Arlene Hache is a co-investigator on the project. She is the Executive Director of the Centre for Northern Families. She will advise on research directions and procedures. She will identify individuals for research, set up interviews, and conduct some of the interviews herself. She will advise on interpretation as research results are analysed. Key informant interviews will take place with individuals--both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal--in their professional capacity as city officials, territorial and government staff, staff with homelessness shelters, the Friendship Centre, and anyone else who is working directly with people who need help with shelter, as well as the Dene National Office and Native Women's Association, including possibly the Band office. Moreover, this research could potentially result in more affordable housing being built and less homelessness.

A primer on northern homelessness will be prepared by Falvo, for distribution by the Centre for Northern Families. Falvo and Abele will circulate other publications to a list of “interested parties” that will be accumulated during the course of the research. Research results will be presented at suitable conferences organized by the Social Economy Network and will be posted on the Homelessness Hub website.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from March 9, 2011 to March 31, 2011.