Here are all of our past articles.

Focus on equity and health: Making the most of the Housing Needs Report process

The province recently introduced legislation to make housing needs reports (HNRs) mandatory for local governments. These reports, intended to better support planning for housing affordability, will be required every five years. The good news is that funding comes attached to this legislation—$5 million over 3 years. This funding presents a fantastic opportunity to communities to engage in an assessment that looks at more than just the numbers, instead prioritizing equity, health, diversity and engagement. Read on to learn more about what a traditional housing needs assessment entails, and how a health-focused assessment can make for a stronger, and ultimately more useful analysis.

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Four ways local governments can support mental health through community design

Characteristics of the built environment in which community members live, work, play, and learn have an impact on mental health. Community design decisions made today can have lasting impacts on your community, creating elements that will influence mental health for years to come. In this article, we’ve presented four potential methods by which local governments can promote mental and social wellness when designing the built environment of their community.

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What is a Healthy City Strategy?

All policies—even those that don’t directly deal with health—have the ability to enhance or hinder your community’s health and well-being. As a local government, it’s easy to think of health as being outside your mandate, strictly speaking. However, policies made by local governments in the areas of transportation, land use and community planning, housing, and more affect the social determinants of health, a spectrum of factors such as physical environments, social support networks, and healthy child development. This means that, with each policy decision a local government makes, they either enhance or deteriorate the health of their citizens. It’s a huge responsibility, and for local governments, its fundamental importance in the lives of community members means it’s one that simply can’t be ignored.

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