Why tack­ling poverty needs to go be­yond new af­ford­able hous­ing: Econ­o­mist

StarMetro Calgary - - CALGARY - MADE­LINE SMITH

Gov­ern­ments need to look be­yond in­vest­ing in new af­ford­able hous­ing units to ad­dress home­less­ness and poverty, an econ­o­mist says — es­pe­cially in a city with an af­ford­abil­ity gap as big as Cal­gary’s.

Univer­sity of Cal­gary eco­nom­ics pro­fes­sor Ron Knee­bone said more con­struc­tion isn’t the only an­swer: any mea­sures, how­ever small, that pro­vide more in­come sup­port or re­duce the cost of hous­ing have the po­ten­tial to al­le­vi­ate poverty and limit the num­ber of peo­ple turn­ing to the shel­ter sys­tem.

In a new re­port re­leased Thurs­day, Knee­bone said think­ing about poverty re­duc­tion from that an­gle em­pha­sizes how all or­ders of gov­ern­ment have the tools ad­dress hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity.

“There are lots of op­tions here and the city also has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to start pick­ing these up,” Knee­bone said.

“There’s a lack of imag­i­na­tion among pol­icy-mak­ers about the things they could do.”

‘We need to get se­ri­ous about this’. An­other ad­vo­cate weighs in at thes­tar.com/cal­gary

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