MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Horak, Martin

Geographical Areas

London, Ontario


This paper examines the extent to which media and government discourse about public housing differs from the lived experience of public housing residents. It uses case studies of the two largest and most negatively stereotyped public housing communities in London, Ontario – Limberlost and Southdale – and it argues that there are three distinct discourses surrounding public housing in the city. The first discourse is the media, which was analyzed using a media review of the largest media outlet, the London Free Press; the second discourse is the London and Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC), which was investigated using a government policy review; and the third discourse is the residents themselves, whose perspectives were studied using focus groups. The findings reveal a counter narrative between public housing residents and mainstream policy discourse that is often used by policy makers.