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Neighbourhood Change

link to inadequate housing and risk of homelesnees for familie 

This report explores the continuum of inadequate housing, risk of homelessness, and visible homelessness among families in Toronto’s Inner suburb highrises.  For pdf >>>>





Collective Efficacy

In April 2010 the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded a Public Outreach Grant to the University of Toronto based Neighbourhood Change research team.

Principal Investigator: Daniyal Zuberi, Social Work & Public Policy , University of Toronto

Community Partner/s:
Canadian Association of Neighbourhood Services
St. Christopher House,
Public Interest Research,
United Way Toronto
Social Planning Toronto

In an attempt to understand why some neighbourhoods have more success in addressing the effects of social-spatial inequality researchers have pointed to the role of neighbourhood processes in shaping social, educational, health, safety and crime, and economic. Evidence suggests that one such process, “collective efficacy” – the ability of neighbours to cultivate trust amongst each other, to generate shared expectations, to draw productively from social networks, and to collectively mobilise for action – plays a significant part in enhancing resilience amongst neighbours and neighbourhoods.
Plausible explanations to account for the presence or lack of collective efficacy are:
• systemic barriers (e.g., concentrations of poverty and disadvantaged ethno-cultural groups);
• behavioural and attitudinal factors; and
• the role of existing social networks and other forms of pre-existing social capital.
More policy and program oriented research is required to comprehend how community based organisational conditions and initiatives can enhance community members’ collective capacity to effect change in social inclusion, local control over assets, civic engagement, neighbourhood improvement, and the securing of resources.

There are two key questions we hope to answer:
1) What are the collective- and neighbourhood-level impacts of community-based organisations (particularly those in low-income and disadvantaged neighbourhoods), beyond their programmatic outcomes at the individual and household level?

2) What are the strategies that CBO’s can use to foster and sustain capacity for collective efficacy in these neighbourhoods? OR: How do organisations, community groups and individuals mobilise to enact and effect change in social inclusion, local control over assets, civic engagement, neighbourhood improvement, and the securing of resources, and what are the factors that contribute to their success?

Neighbourhood Change- Building Inclusive Communities from Within.
A Case Study of Toronto’s West-Central Neighbourhoods
This was a five-year community-based research initiative led by St. Christopher House and the Centre for Urban and Community Studies of the University of Toronto.  This work is funded by the Community University Research Alliance (CURA) program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The Centre for Urban and Community Studies at the University of Toronto and St. Christopher House are undertaking a series of applied policy-relevant community research projects to better understand and respond to neighbourhood change.  The project is using the local neighbourhoods within downtown west Toronto as a case study.
The core questions are:
 –         Can we preserve existing lower-income and socially and ethnically mixed, affordable neighbourhoods as various forces raise local costs (particularly housing costs) and potentially displace or exclude certain people, businesses, and community services?
–         How can people in urban neighbourhoods successfully shape the development of their environment to create a community that is socially cohesive and inclusive?
–         What can we learn from recent and emerging community practice about effective action against negative forces and support for positive forces to ensure better outcomes?
 Although considerable research has been done on globalization, its causes and consequences, this thinking has not been connected to the forces and outcomes experienced in neighbourhoods and urban districts. There is a need to revitalize the debates and, at the same time, provide policy-makers and community members with relevant and usable information, analysis, and policy options.
Centre for Urban and Community Studies
  • Community Change Project : This link will take you to the Centre for Urban and Community Studies website with many more links to this project’s maps, reports and related research about neighbourhood change.