Cross-Cutting Theme

How can community housing best support vulnerable groups?

The NHS emphasizes that all Canadians have a right to housing and prioritizes those who are most vulnerable due to disadvantage or marginalization.

The Cross-Cutting Theme research cluster is not an Area of Inquiry; rather, its role is to support and advise the preceding five cluster to ensure their research is attentive to the needs of vulnerable groups. It mirrors the structure of the NHS, where concern for vulnerable groups ‘cuts across’ all objectives and programs. 

Members of this cluster provide expertise, advocacy and skills to projects under the Areas of Inquiry.

Area Leads

Yushu Zhu
Area Lead | Simon Fraser University

Dr. Zhu’s research focuses on housing and community issues against the backdrop of urbanization and globalization. She pays special attention to communities of immigrants, low-income populations, and ethnic minorities.

Meg Holden
Area Lead | Simon Fraser University

Dr. Holden’s research and professional work examines how cities and urbanites change in relation to demands, plans, actions, and new concepts related to sustainable development and community wellbeing.


Jaqueline Gahagan
Dalhousie University

Dr Gahagan’s specializes in evaluating policy interventions, with a focus on gender and LGBTQ issues, particularly concerning health-promotion.

Edward Hall
University of Dundee

Dr Hall specializes in disability, learning disability, social inclusion/exclusion, and belonging.

Katie MacDonald
Athabasca University

Dr MacDonald is an interdisciplinary community-engaged researcher focused on learning in encounters with difference.

Steve Kim
Simon Fraser University

Steve’s research area is the Cross-Cutting Theme, which seeks to support and advise the five other Areas of Inquiry for the Community Housing Canada Partners in Resilience study. The Cross-Cutting Theme will define housing vulnerability in Canada and ensure the Areas of Inquiry are attentive to the needs of vulnerable groups. 

Cynthia Puddu
MacEwan University

Using community-based participatory research methods, Dr Puddu works closely with homeless youth in Edmonton, sharing their stories of difficulty and success.

Marianne Touchie
University of Toronto

Dr. Touchie’s research focuses on improving the energy performance and indoor environmental quality of existing buildings to make them more comfortable, healthy and sustainable through comprehensive retrofits. 

Rob Wilton
McMaster University

Dr. Wilton’s research is broadly concerned with the social geographies of exclusion. Much of his research has focused specifically on the experiences of people with disabilities.

Andy Yan
Simon Fraser University

Andy Yan is the director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University. Mr. Yan specializes in the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, Geographic Information Systems, neighborhood development, public outreach, social media and quantitative research.

Ellie Han
Simon Fraser University

Ellie’s research includes community building and social cohesion. She would like to delve into the research of housing vulnerability in the Community Housing Canada project. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Asian Area Studies from the University of British Columbia, Ellie entered the Master of Urban Studies program at Simon Fraser University to explore her passion for urban transformation and housing policies.

In Partnership With