The Community Development Institute (CDI) at UNBC was established in 2004 with a broad mandate in the areas of community, regional, and economic development. Since its inception, the CDI has worked with communities across the northern and central regions of British Columbia to develop and implement strategies for economic diversification and community resilience.
Dedicated to understanding and realizing the potential of BC’s non-metropolitan communities in a changing global economy, the CDI works to prepare students and practitioners for leadership roles in community and economic development, and to create a body of knowledge, information, and research that will enhance our understanding and our ability to deal with the impacts of ongoing transformation. The Community Development Institute is committed to working with all communities – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – to help them further their aspirations in community and regional development.
BC Housing Webinar Series
In partnership with BC Housing, the CDI will be hosting a series of webinars for members of the development industry, including builders, contractors, suppliers, planners, architects, and designers in understanding housing need and demand and developing successful business models. This information would also be useful for local government, regional government, economic development organizations, non-profit housing providers, housing advocates, and social support organizations.
For more information on the webinars and to register, please click here.
Mackenzie Seniors Surveys
The Community Development Institute at UNBC has been included in a partnership of stakeholders with the College of New Caledonia (CNC). The CDI is working to design and conduct a research and evaluation framework for the “New Horizons Program: Bridging the Gap”. The Mackenzie Seniors Surveys will assist in understanding the current social and economic environment for seniors in Mackenzie and help identify potential gaps and opportunities for programs and services that could enhance quality of life. To learn more and to see the first report from our first survey, click this link.
Tumbler Ridge Seniors' Housing Assessment
Professional Publications Articles
The CDI's research on non-metropolitan housing across the country has been featured in a few magazines drawing attention to the need for a more focused look at housing challenges and gaps in non-metropolitan Canada.
In PLANNING WEST, published by the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC), our article titled “Leaving the City Behind: Is Housing in Non-Metropolitan B.C. Ready?” discusses urban out-migration and the impact it has on non-metropolitan housing in BC.
In Municipal World’s Fall Newsletter, “Building Foundations for the Future in Non-Metropolitan Canada” provides a glimpse into the findings of our full length report and focuses on the housing challenges and gaps in non-metropolitan Canada that negatively impacting economic, community, and social development.
In the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) Fall issue of their newsletter PLAN CANADA, our article "Not in Stock: The challenge of meeting housing market needs and expectations in non-metropolitan Canada" draws attention to the challenges of older housing stock, an aging population, and the discrepancy between housing demand and housing availability based on population trends.
To learn more and read these articles, click here.
January 29, 2021
The CDI released a final report on housing; Building Foundations for the Future: Housing, community development, and economic opportunity in non-metropolitan Canada, by Marleen Morris, Julia Good, and Greg Halseth.
The research used Statistics Canada’s Census program data for non-metropolitan communities, defined as communities and regions with a population of under 100,000. The study found that there is a housing gap in non-metropolitan Canada; a housing gap that is holding back economic and community development opportunities. While demographic aging, the growth of one- and two-person households, and the trend to smaller family sizes point to the need for a diverse range of smaller homes, housing stock in non-metropolitan communities remains comprised predominantly of large single-detached homes that were constructed before 1980. These homes are not energy efficient, do not have the features people are looking for today, are not accessible, and are more likely to be in need of major repairs.
July 21, 2020
Dr. Greg Halseth, CDI Co-Director and Professor of Geography, is embarking on the next phase of his research into rural and small-town Canada by focusing on the critical role of local government in responding to the forces re-shaping resource-dependent communities and economies.
For further details, visit Small towns, big futures.