Built 50 years ago, Regent Park is one of the oldest and largest concentrated public housing communities in Canada. The community occupies a 69-acre site just east of the downtown core of Toronto and is home to 7,500 people living in 2,087 social housing units. Over the next 15 years, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), which owns and manages Regent Park, will demolish and re-build the entire community in six phases. The community will grow to 5,000 units of mixed income housing, including rent-geared-to-income social housing units, market rentals, and privately owned condominiums. The “new” Regent Park will have improved services, better designed public spaces and will involve community members in its governance.
How does your housing affect your health? This is the key research question posed by the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) West Housing and Health Study, a research project that is currently taking place in four locations: the City of Toronto, the City of Hamilton, and the Regional Municipalities of Halton and Peel. CRUNCHsmall With the support of the local housing authorities, we are inviting people who are on the waiting list for Rent-Geared-to-Income, or RGI, Housing, to learn about their life and how they have been feeling. Participation in our study involves completing a questionnaire with an interviewer, at different points in time, over a few years. Some participants will also be invited to do additional interviews where they can tell their stories in more detail. As participants’ housing situations change over time (or, if they stay the same), we will continue to learn about how their health has changed (or, if it has stayed the same). This study is the first of its kind in Canada; we are learning about study participants’ housing and health over a few years and not just at one point in time. We will explore how changes in neighbourhood quality, housing quality, and housing affordability may affect physical and emotional health over time.
The Hamilton Neighbourhoods Study is a research project looking at the changes that are taking place in neighbourhoods across Hamilton, particularly in the neighbourhoods which are a part of the City's "Neighbourhood Action Strategy." We ask residents questions about what they like about their neighbourhood and what they would change, as well as questions about their daily lives and their health. Results of the study will be used to help make Hamilton’s neighbourhoods safe, happy and healthy places to live. Neighbourhood groups and the City of Hamilton can use the information to figure out what’s important in the neighbourhoods we are studying, and how the Neighbourhood Action Strategy is making a difference. Our researchers are knocking on doors in certain neighbourhoods from May 2013 until the end of autumn 2013. We will be back again in about two years to follow up with the people who did a survey with us in the past, so we can see what has changed.
Does where you live influence how much you walk? Walking is the most common, easiest and most affordable form of physical activity, and some neighbourhoods are more "walk friendly" than others. The Ontario Movers Study is a survey of people's activities, particularly walking. Participants in this study fill out an activity log immediately before they move, and one year after they move.
Transitions to Home is a Housing First program. Housing First is an evidence-based intervention model designed to quickly rehouse people experiencing long-term or multiple occurrences of homelessness. Participants are provided with access to treatment and therapeutic supports if they want, but Housing First doesn’t require that they access treatment prior to being housed or comply with treatment to maintain their housing. This study evaluates the impact of the Transitions to Home program in Hamilton, and is available in English and French.
According to the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, “inequities are killing people on a grand scale.” In all wealthy economies, the least well off tend to have relatively poorer health, even though they are typically living well above subsistence levels and have higher income levels than their counterparts in much poorer countries. Evidence also suggests that countries with a highly unequal distribution of income have poorer population health outcomes than those having a more egalitarian distribution of income. This hypothesis has been widely debated since the early 1990s. CRUNCH's income inequality project is designed to address two recently-identified research needs: - multi-level studies that separate the effects of area-level income inequality on individual health from the effects of individual-level socio-economic variables, and - studies using consistent measures of both the main independent variable (income inequality) and the outcome (population health).
The diabetes rate in the Region of Peel almost doubled between 1995 and 2005. During this time, Peel welcomed more than 200,000 immigrants, many of whom are considered to be at high risk for developing diabetes. The Diabetes Atlas for the Region of Peel provides a geographic perspective on the patterns and relationships between diabetes and neighbourhood characteristics, including socioeconomic status, ethnicity and immigration, and the built environment. Special attention is paid to access to healthy foods and features that encourage or discourage physical activity. The results will be used by Region of Peel decision-makers to identify target groups, implement programs, address the burden of obesity and chronic disease, and adopt policies that will favour healthy active living and healthy food choices.
Hamilton has many great neighbourhoods, in all areas of the city. One of the things that makes a neighbourhood great is its visual appeal. The buildings, landscaping, tree canopy, street activities, signage and commercial activities and other features are all things that make neighbourhoods appealing and memorable. In this project, we are planning to use the brand new MUVR System (Mobile Urban Video Recording System) to capture a few seconds of video and audio on every street in Hamilton.