York collaborates on research that highlights disparities of Toronto housing crisis

skyline of the city of Toronto
skyline of the city of Toronto

New research reveals the racial, social and geographic divides of Toronto’s housing crisis, with racialized communities, newcomers and refugees hardest hit.

Luann Good Gingrich
Luann Good Gingrich

A new report jointly authored by community and academic researchers presents a unique visual portrait of rental housing disparities in Toronto and across its 25 wards. This first-of-its-kind study was co-authored by Luann Good Gingrich, associate professor in the School of Social Work and director of the Global Labour Research Centre at York University. Good Gingrich is the principal investigator on this Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded study.

The study uses individual census data records to take a deep dive into the multifaceted housing challenges faced by Toronto renters. Presented through more than 50 new maps and figures, the data reveal patterned spaces and places of exclusion at the intersections of race and immigrant status.

“Our research presents a unique visual portrait of the disparities of the rental housing crisis at the ward-level in Toronto for racialized, non-racialized, newcomer, long-term immigrant and non-immigrant populations in Toronto,” said Good Gingrich. “These findings build on those highlighted by Dr. Theresa Tam (Canada’s chief public health officer) in her recently released report ‘From Risk to Resilience’ which demonstrates that it matters where you live (place), how you live (space), and who you are (race). Our maps reveal the dynamics of social exclusion by place, space, and race – the long-standing dynamics and structures that contribute to ‘viral inequality.’”

The report’s authors call on all orders of government to: deliver on the human right to housing; address growing economic and spatial inequality and intensifying segregation in our cities tied to race and immigrant status; and ensure access to affordable, suitable, and adequate housing to safeguard human health and life in this time of pandemic and beyond.

Unsuitable Housing by Race“We suggest that all orders of government have a responsibility to take bold and immediate action to address the expanding social and economic gaps we see resulting from COVID-19. In the midst of the second wave of the pandemic, the urgency to act could not be greater,” said Good Gingrich.

The study “Spaces and Places of Exclusion: Mapping Rental Housing Disparities for Toronto’s Racialized and Immigrant Communities” was led by Good Gingrich, in partnership with Beth Wilson (Social Planning Toronto) and Naomi Lightman (University of Calgary). This work is part of Good Gingrich’s larger SSHRC-funded project entitled Tracing and Addressing Social Exclusion in Canada (TASC), a five-year research initiative which analyzes the dynamics of social exclusion.

Download the full report here.

To see examples of the ward maps, visit www.socialplanningtoronto.org/exclusion.