About The Housing Fix:

A Year of Reporting Constructively

There’s not just one crisis facing Canadians seeking affordable, secure, safe and suitable housing. There are many. And most have nothing to do with conventional narratives of the poor and marginalized (though some still do). Even for today’s striving young middle class, especially in big urban centres, the price of shelter is running away from household incomes. In some of our leading cities, the housing crisis threatens residents’ ability to stay. The search for scapegoats raises ugly spectres of past discrimination. Political leaders have struggled to mount effective and credible responses.

This project is dedicated to understanding and reporting on why we have the housing crises we do, and what can really be done about them. Since 2011, our reporters have been examining the many faces and varied roots of housing that is out-of-reach in price, insecure, or insufficient for Canadians’ needs. The work accessible through this site has examined issues ranging from housing elderly minority women, to how creative faith communities are expanding social housing. While our reporting spans the country, we focus often on Vancouver—not only our hometown, but the Canadian city where the housing challenges have reached their most critical state.

The Housing Fix doesn’t end with our reporting. We hope that our stories encourage Canadians to define, demand and support public and democratic choices that advance housing security for all. In 2015, with Canadians weighing the performance and promises of their federal leaders, we brought the three major parties’ housing platforms together for voters to examine and compare—and provided a tool for people to identify each party’s candidate in their riding.

To the same end, we nurture catalytic dialogue. For the third year in a row, our Actions for Housing Now event series will work with engaged partners to convene a conversation early in 2017 among public and stakeholder groups to explore new ways of thinking about funding and developing affordable housing in Canada. (See more about our 2016 and 2015 Actions for Housing Now events here.

The Housing Fix is a project of The Tyee, an award-winning independent online news site, and Tyee Solutions Society, a non-profit society that uses traditional investigative techniques and innovative technological approaches to provide citizens with the information they need to create positive change. Its previous work has included new approaches to aboriginal education, solutions for affordable housing, practical ideas for ‘greening’ Canada’s oil sands, and more.

The Tyee and Tyee Solutions Society are pleased to partner with Megaphone, a not-for-profit magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria by homeless and low-income vendors, to jointly support contributions to the Housing Fix series by Megaphone Managing Editor Stefania Seccia.

Housing Fix events and the journalism collected here are produced thanks to the ongoing support of philanthropic funders who value the enhancement of the public conversation around housing, but who neither influence nor endorse the particular content of our reporting.

Current funders are: Vancity Credit Union, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The project is partly produced in partnership with the Columbia Institute. We are also grateful for the past support of Vancouver Foundation and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association.

Currently reporting for this project are Katie Hyslop, Christopher Pollon, Chris Cheung, and, through a special partnership with Megaphone magazine, Stefania Seccia.

Katie Hyslop has spent her decade-plus career covering education, youth, and housing issues through a social justice lens. Born and (mostly) raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Hyslop went west in 2008 to complete a masters of journalism degree at the University of British Columbia. With The Tyee since 2010, Hyslop has written extensively on B.C. education, foster care, indigenous issues, housing, and poverty, as well as appearing on radio and TV to speak on these topics.

Christopher Pollon is a Vancouver-based independent journalist whose other reporting focuses on the politics of natural resources. He has been a feature writer and contributing editor to The Tyee since 2008. His work has appeared in The Walrus, Reader’s Digest, The Globe and Mail, National Geographic Books and many more. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Peace in Peril, by Harbour Publishing.

Christopher Cheungcompleted his masters of journalism degree at the University of British Columbia in 2016. He writes on cities and migration, often with a focus on Metro Vancouver, and for the Vancouver Courier writes “Talk of the Block”, an ongoing series profiling lesser-known people and places that make up the city.

Stefania Seccia has been writing for Megaphone magazine since graduating in 2009 from Langara College’s journalism program. She is now the street-distributed monthly’s managing editor. Her work has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Province, the Windspeaker and other publications.

Chris Wood is the The Tyee’s solutions editor. Chris Wood is a journalist and author, whose work can be explored here.

Housing Fix articles are free to be republished by other media outlets. Please let us know about your interest in our material by emailing Chris Wood.

Overall management of the Housing fix project is provided by Tyee and Tyee Solutions Society co-founder and senior advisor, Michelle Hoar. If you are interested in discussing the project or associated events, Michelle can be reached here.

The Housing Fix microsite was designed by Sally Poulsen.