MA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


Horak, Martin


In major cities globally, including those in Canada, many residents struggle to find affordable housing. Canadian municipalities have a growing role in responding to this issue. The objective of this paper is to investigate the municipal-level response to issues of housing affordability in three major Canadian cities: Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. Specifically, each city has committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing as one of its primary methods of responding to this issue. This paper provides an analysis and comparison of the goals set by each of the three case study municipalities and the real increases in affordable housing stock reported in the 2010s, with the finding that Vancouver has generally set the highest goals and made the largest increases to the stock of affordable housing. A discussion of major successful affordable housing initiatives in each municipality follows, namely Vancouver’s partnerships with other agencies to produce supportive housing, and use of modular housing as supportive and social housing; Calgary’s Resolve campaign to produce affordable housing, and Housing Incentive Program to incentivize the creation of new affordable rental housing; and Toronto’s partnerships with other agencies to produce supportive housing, and revitalization of Toronto Community Housing Corporation-owned social housing units. I find that it is partnerships with other actors, and especially the provincial government, that leads to the success of these initiatives in increasing the stock of affordable housing.