Are Saskatoon’s Policies Contributing to Homelessness? Let’s Find Out
The University of Saskatchewan has teamed up with the Saskatoon Fire Department to delve into the social services and bylaws designed to fight housing insecurity and homelessness. Melissa McHale, from the fire bylaw enforcement division, shared that the purpose of the research project is “to look into why was this house closed in the first place? Often when we’re stepping in and closing a house, the problem didn’t appear overnight.” In cases where houses are deemed uninhabitable, the fire department issues a notice of closure as the last resort. Relocating residents from their homes is an unfortunate outcome of this process, as explained by McHale.
The overall goal of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of existing policies and to identify which policies are working and which are not. Nazmi Sari, the department head of economics at USask’s college of arts and science, expressed concerns about the unintended consequences of certain municipal policies and emphasized the inadequate nature of housing supports in terms of financial policies at local, provincial, or federal levels.
Understanding the Consequences of the Policies
The research project will include surveys of frontline responders such as fire investigators and bylaw inspectors to determine how city bylaws are impacting housing insecurity and homelessness. Melissa McHale is optimistic that the findings could contribute to the development of proactive policies that may prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place and encourage collaboration between different organizations to address the issue effectively.
Nazmi Sari echoed McHale’s sentiment, emphasizing that the project could help in identifying the right type of policies or modifying existing ones. He also pointed out that a better understanding of the root causes of homelessness is essential in creating effective policies. This project has the potential to not only bridge the gaps in current policies but also to guide and influence future policy decisions, involving the entire city and interested stakeholders.
Sub-Headline Summing Up the Main Points
In summary, the collaboration between the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatoon Fire Department holds promise for generating valuable insights and data. The research will hopefully shed light on the consequences of the city’s policies and will lay the groundwork for the development of more effective strategies to combat housing insecurity and homelessness. Ultimately, it’s a step forward in forging a community-wide response that aims to effectively address the issue. This initiative shows great potential in influencing and developing impactful policies, ensuring a more sustainable future for all members of the community.