A Strategic Mismatch: The Implications of Home Ownership Strategies for CED
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Affordable housing has been central to strategies of neighborhood renewal since the 1960s. But the push in federal policy away from community or co-operative initiatives in the mid 90’s and towards individual home ownership is an area that needs careful review by CED proponents. In communities like Winnipeg where entire neighborhoods have been depressed, the emphasis on home ownership represents an uncritical commitment to market forces. Moves to enhance housing street by street are indeed improving property values and people are getting into their own house, but what does this mean for low income people that cannot afford the increases. There is a deeply disturbing warning at the heart of this article. “Rather than trying to decide the ‘right thing to do’, community-based housing organizations are focusing on ‘doing the best possible with the resources’ available’. This article is a good example of how broader policy change shapes community level action and a modest reminder that absent capacity to pro-actively advance policy change through good research and political action (Neamtan, 2004), the potential for advancing CED and the Social Economy is thwarted.