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New opinion piece on non-profit and co-op housing in Planning Theory & Practice

The amazing Lisa Bates guested edited an issue of Journal of Planning Theory and Practice (Vol. 23, Issue 2) focusing on “housing for people, not for profit.” This gave me a chance to explore a little more on the findings of a small study I did on the capacity of non-profit and co-operative housing in Halifax, and to refer to the amazing work of Pauline MacIntosh and her team at St. Francis Xavier University on non-profits in Nova Scotia. If you’re a non-academic, you can click here for free access to the JPTP opinion piece. This link also allows you to read the work of several other scholars on community-led housing in the UK (Anna Hope, Mary Taylor, Tom Chance), community land trusts in the US (Ruoniu (Vince) Wang, Emily Thaden, Jeffrey Lowe), and Black experiments with co-operatives and land tenure (Hilary Malson).

This opinion piece, and a presentation I just gave at the Canadian Institute of Planners Conference in Whistler, BC, allowed me to explore this topic more. In fact, I am so intrigued by the topic that I’m about to start research to find out what some of the leaders in co-op and non-profit housing are doing: what is their financing structure, what partner organizations are involved in the development of non-profit housing, and what is the type of expertise needed to build and maintain it? I’ll be in Sweden for another project, as you may know, and while there I am planning to interview housing experts in Sweden and perhaps my old stomping ground the Netherlands, which also has a strong social housing sector, though both countries have faced neoliberal pressures in recent decades. I’ll also be making good use of my sabbatical year to find out more about the Canadian non-profit and co-op sector from British Columbia and Quebec, two provinces that excel in this area. The tentative name of this project is, “How do we want to live? Exploring non-profit and co-operative housing.”

Ren

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