With the 2022 National Conference on Ending Homelessness less than a month away, I am excited to discuss a doctoral research project I have been working on. This research project seeks to create a framework to address anti-Black racism in the housing and homelessness sector. This blog will provide an overview of the goals, methodology and implications of the research.
This research aims to highlight the history of Black people in Canada. It will explore how colonial systems have continued to exacerbate the negative experiences of Black people in the housing and homelessness sector based on racial discrimination and prejudicial practices and policies. For instance, we know:
- There is a substantial gap in data collection on racialized communities. Cities like Toronto and Vancouver have only recently identified various ethnic groups in their Point-In-Time counts. These cities documented an overrepresentation of Black people experiencing homelessness. Other cities in Canada have previously collected administrative data for ethnicity under the following broad categories: Caucasian, Indigenous, Other, and Unknown.
- According to the Canadian Housing Survey, in 2021, Black and Indigenous Canadians were 2 times more likely to be evicted compared to White Canadians. This same study found that 12% of Black and 13% of Indigenous respondents had experienced an eviction in their lifetime compared to 7% of respondents who identified as neither Black nor Indigenous.
- According to Forced Out: Evictions, Race, and Poverty in Toronto, neighbourhoods with a higher concentration of Black renters reported higher eviction filing rates.
- According to a 2009 study conducted by the Centre for Equality Accommodation (now known as the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights), Black people seeking housing faced discrimination based on race, family status/or place of origin. This report also found that 1 in 4 single parents who were Black experienced discrimination when searching for rental housing in Toronto.
- Over a third of Black renters are in core housing need
The developed framework aims to create a paradigm shift that validates Black experiences and elevates the voices of Black Canadians to bring awareness to the need for Black inclusion and targeted interventions that provide equitable housing options for Black communities.
This research will be conducted using an equity lens, incorporating design science research (DSR) and autoethnographic research methodologies. The framework will be developed through examining and reflecting on my professional practice and personal experiences, literature reviews, and consultations with key informants, Black people with lived/living experiences, and community of practice stakeholders.
Research participants will be consulted using semi-structured interviews and discussions to:
- Inform the design and development of the framework
- Provide concluding feedback and evaluate the results of the framework
Research participants will include:
- Individuals who are experts in the anti-Black racism sector
- Black people with lived/living experiences of housing insecurity, homelessness, and anti-Black racism
Potential Implications for Practice and Policy:
- Creating a safe space for Black people to share their stories will bring awareness to the gaps in the housing and homelessness sector and inform solutions.
- The framework can be used by planners, policymakers, politicians, funders, and service providers to address discrimination and inequities among Black people experiencing housing hardships and homelessness.
This research is essential, as it highlights the unique issues faced by Black communities in their search for equitable housing—an issue that has largely been ignored and unacknowledged. This research draws attention to the gaps in the system and, through consultation with key informants and Black people with lived/living experiences, it will provide a framework that raises awareness and addresses anti-Black racism in the housing and homelessness sector. Preliminary findings from the research will be discussed at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness.
This post is part of our #CAEH22 blog series, which highlights research on preventing and ending homelessness that is being presented at the 2022 National Conference on Ending Homelessness, Nov 2-4 in Toronto, ON. Learn more about Cecile’s work through her presentation within the Spotlight on Race and Racism in Housing and Homelessness session on Wednesday, November 2 at 10:00am to 11:30am.