"Everybody should have choice": Municipal & Regional Planning, Social Policy, and Housing Options for Disabled Persons in Waterloo Region, Ontario
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The purpose of this study was to analyze how municipal planning impacts housing options for disabled people in the Waterloo region of Ontario. Through analysis of relevant local and provincial planning-related documents as well as key informant interviews, it is determined that despite increased focus on ‘accessibility’ and ‘inclusion’ in high level planning documents, that group homes for disabled residents continue to be subject to minimum separation requirements within some area municipalities. Alarmingly, despite an increasingly broad definition of disability at the provincial and federal levels of government, many municipal planning documents focus primarily on accessibility for wheelchair users – excluding a significant proportion of disabled individuals. While regional and municipal planners may play an indirect role in the provision of housing for disabled people, they are restricted by provincial legislation that limits municipal powers. Thus, planning is best understood as a local layer of social policy in a complicated web of disability-related legal frameworks, including housing and accessibility policies. Evidence demonstrates that demand for publicly subsidized housing for disabled people far outstrip supply, a phenomenon exacerbated by the rising cost of housing across Canada and government retrenchment from social service provision. True universal access, or a right-based approaches to housing, healthcare, and social services, would drastically improve housing choices for disabled individuals.
Cite this version of the work
Amanda McCulley (2021). "Everybody should have choice": Municipal & Regional Planning, Social Policy, and Housing Options for Disabled Persons in Waterloo Region, Ontario. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16660