People who are renting a place to live in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality may soon receive a mail survey from a researcher at Cape Breton University. Dr. Catherine Leviten-Reid, an associate professor in the Community Economic Development program within the Shannon School of Business, is conducting this research in partnership with a local non-profit that does housing work, called the Cape Breton Community Housing Association (CBCHA). This research is being conducted as a way to understand the experiences of renters locally.
“While some data is collected by Statistics Canada on rental housing in the CBRM, it really only scratches the surface with respect to understanding how and why local residents may have to move frequently, how they may struggle with paying their rent and how accessible they feel their housing is,” says Leviten-Reid.
Community members who receive the survey will be asked about how often they have moved in the past couple of years, whether they have had problems finding housing, and whether they have problems paying their rent, among other things.
This research falls within the broader context of housing and homelessness work currently being done by a number of partners including CBCHA, Public Health (NSHA) and CBU. These groups have recently conducted a count of the number of homeless in CBRM. The survey on rental housing expands that focus by looking at people who are housed, but who may have problems paying their rent.
“This work is unique in that it is one of the few research projects that we know about in Canada that looks at the experiences of renters in a community like this one – a community where there is a significant degree of poverty and disinvestment,” says Fred Deveaux, Executive Director of CBCHA.
Anyone with questions about the survey can contact Dr. Leviten-Reid, at email@example.com or 902-563-1661.