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SWK 4422H – Social Housing and Homelessness - Elective

This course examines a broad range of social issues associated with Canada’s housing system. The focus is on the social policy implications of the problems lower income households and specific groups within the population (based on gender, ‘race’ and/or socio-economic status) have in accessing affordable appropriate housing in good quality neighbourhoods. The gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity aspects of housing issues are a particular focus and permeate all sessions. A particular theme throughout this course is Canada’s rental housing sector, which houses one third of all Canada’s households (and half of the City of Toronto’s households). This course also focuses on the growing number of people who are unhoused. People who are homeless require housing, some require support services (for physical or mental health problems, or addictions) and all require enough money to live on (jobs, job training, or social assistance). What do we mean by the term ‘homelessness’? What is the difference between the ‘old’ (pre-1980s) and the ‘new’ homelessness? Who is homeless, why, and for how long? What should be done about it? How do we prevent and eventually eliminate mass homelessness?