Area V: Imagining Community Housing Futures

What housing imaginaries shape our understanding of community housing and what are their implications for investment in the sector?

In Canada, community housing has been formed at specific junctures of welfare state transformation and through ongoing processes of policy borrowing and learning. A ‘hybrid’ sector has coalesced over time but has come under increased pressure as operating agreements expire buildings age and demand increases. It remains subsidy dependent and fragmented; however, renewed engagement by federal and provincial governments has opened space for potential regeneration. 


  1. To describe and compare the imaginaries that have structured the community housing sector at particular conjunctures, including those that inform the NHS
  2. To identify ‘subaltern’ imaginaries, such as Indigenous notions of housing that are eclipsed by dominant ways of understanding community housing yet offer alternative ways of foreseeing its transformed purpose and function

Community Housing Futures Website

The work of Imagining Housing Futures is closely aligned with the Affordable Housing Solutions lab, led by Josh Evans.

Area Lead

Joshua Evans | University of Alberta

Dr. Evans brings expertise in social marginalization and spaces of policy development and implementation. His work has examined (a) spaces of care, home, and work and their role in shaping the lived experiences of socially marginalized and vulnerable individuals, and (b) spaces of policy development and implementation and their role in the creation of healthy, enabling and equitable urban environments.

Dr Evans maintains an academic blog which can be accessed here:


Tom Baker | University of Auckland

Dr Baker’s research focuses on how public policies are made and implemented. Specifically, his research focuses on policies and practices related to homelessness, housing, social security, and drug treatment.

Larry Murphy | University of Auckland

Dr Murphy has published widely on property topics including; homeownership, social rental housing, mortgage securitisation, office development, the institutional evolution of listed property trusts, finance capital and entrepreneurial urban governance.

André-Anne Parent | Université de Montréal

Dr Parent is an expert in social inequalities and public policy analysis. 

Rob Shields | University of Alberta

Dr Shields holds a Henry Marshall Tory Chair and is a leading theorist of the materialities and cultures of urban space. 


Jeff Quirk, University of Alberta

I am developing a podcast that addresses the need to scale up community housing in response to Climate Change, acting as a catalyst for mass migration.

In the attempt to find an intersection of my previous bachelor’s degrees (The first in Motion Picture Arts Production and the second in Human Geography), I hope to find new ways to present and exchange knowledge with wider audiences through various forms of multimedia.

Meagan Miller | University of Alberta

My research will centre on physical impairment/mobility limitation and community housing in Edmonton. Using a rights-based approach, I am interested in evaluating the accessibility of community housing and interpreting the degree to which it disables/enables people with physical impairments.

I completed my BA Honours at the University of Alberta in Spanish and Latin American Studies. After graduation, I worked as the News Coordinator for CJSR 88.5 FM, Edmonton’s volunteer-powered campus and community radio station. I hope my background in audio journalism can be used to share the work of this project with a wider audience and amplify the voices of disability communities living in these facilities.

Jillian Ames | University of Alberta

I plan to offer my research project to Indigenous-led community housing providers in Alberta as a vehicle for them to investigate policy matters that are relevant and useful to their organizations. Using a decolonizing theoretical approach and Indigenous research methodologies (including community-based research), I hope to implement an innovative model in working with Indigenous communities.

I’m Métis from Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta and a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. My work experience has included training Alberta government staff on the history of colonization in Canada, the University of Alberta’s Centre for Teaching and Learning Indigenization portfolio, and frontline service delivery to vulnerable populations in Vancouver, B.C. Currently I am the president of the Indigenous Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Alberta.

In Partnership With

Community Housing Futures Website