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Tag Archives: Role of government

Social assistance: Do higher benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?

As part of my PhD thesis, I did some statistical analysis in which I asked the question: “Do higher social assistance benefit levels lead to higher caseloads?” I have recently updated the data and had it published in a journal. Here’s a short summary of the journal article’s main findings. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, and is...

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Trudeau government should spend more on affordable housing and homelessness

On July 21, the Alternative Federal Budget Recovery Plan was released. The document aims to provide public policy direction to Canada’s federal government, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. I was author of the Recovery Plan’s chapter on affordable housing and homelessness, which can be accessed here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve...

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David Hulchanski class discussion

I recently participated in a panel discussion in David Hulchanski’s graduate-level social housing and homelessness course at the University of Toronto. Points raised in the blog post include the fact that all English-speaking countries of the OECD have relatively low levels of public social spending, relatively low levels of taxation, and serious affordable housing challenges. The link to the full blog post is here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research...

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Ten things to know about CMHC’s Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

In March 2020, the Trudeau government launched a new version of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). According to CMHC’s website: “Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.” Here are 10 things to know: 1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a federally-owned crown corporation. Many of us know CMHC as the federal agency that works with provincial and territorial governments to assist some low and...

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Affordable housing, homelessness and the upcoming federal budget

I’ve written a ‘top 10’ overview of things to know about affordable housing and homelessness, as they relate to Canada’s upcoming federal budget. The overview is based on the affordable housing and homelessness chapter in the just-released Alternative Federal Budget. A link to the ‘top 10’ overview is here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.

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Cost savings associated with Housing First

I’ve written a summary of a recent study I co-authored on savings to the health and justice sectors associated with Housing First (i.e., the immediate provision of subsidized housing, along with social work support, to persons experiencing long-term homelessness). The study, based on a large sample size from Calgary, finds that every $1 spent on Housing First is associated with more than $2 of savings to the public system (i.e., the health and justice sectors). The...

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Why Keynes was a socialist

In an important new book Keynes Against Capitalism: His Economic Case for Liberal Socialism (Routledge, 2019) James Crotty argues that Keynes was a socialist who advocated a much more radical economic agenda than most mainstream economists and political analysts realize. Based on a very close reading of Keynes’ work, Crotty argues that core Keynesian economic ideas should inform democratic socialism today. The conventional wisdom assimilated into mainstream perspectives is that...

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Ten things to know about subsidized rental housing in Alberta

In anticipation of next week’s Alberta budget, I’ve written a ‘top 10’ overview of subsidized rental housing in the province. Points raised in the blog post in include the following: -On a per capita basis, Alberta has far fewer subsidized housing units than the rest of Canada. -In 2017, BC’s provincial government funded more than 15 times as many housing units than Alberta, despite having a roughly similar overall population, and despite Alberta having an NDP...

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My review of Robert Clark’s book on Canada’s prisons

Robert Clark has written a very good book about Canada’s prison system. Mr. Clark worked from 1980 until 2009 in seven different federal prisons, all located in Ontario. The book is a compilation of personal accounts based on the author’s various assignments. Since prisons can be a pipeline into homelessness, I’ve reviewed the book with great interest. My review is available here. Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy....

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Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following: -One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time. -Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure. -According to the MBM, Canada has seen a major decrease in poverty over the past decade. -Also...

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