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.

WHAT'S NEW

Upcoming 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.


Tumbler Ridge Seniors' Housing Assessment

In alignment with the CDI’s ongoing mission to draw attention to housing concerns across non-metropolitan Canada, we were given the opportunity to work with the District of Tumbler Ridge to conduct a Seniors’ Housing Assessment Study. To support this initiative, the CDI worked with the District, local seniors, seniors’ organizations, and care service providers to complete an assessment of the housing stock in Tumbler Ridge and its suitability to support aging-in-place.
To read our findings in these reports, click on this link.

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 

Marleen Morris, CDI Co-Director , was pleased to participate in a roundtable with Maryam Monsef, MP for Peterborough-Kawartha. Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, and others to discuss economic development. Marleen emphasized the need to focus on housing across non-metropolitan Canada.


October 2020

Building Foundations coverThe 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

Greg Halseth

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.