The Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART) is a project based at the University of British Columbia. It aims to provide evidence-based assessment tools and strategies to improve housing outcomes in Canada. HART is a valuable resource for anyone interested in affordable housing policy and research.
HART is a collaborative effort between academic researchers, community partners, and policy makers. They all work together to create practical solutions for improving housing outcomes across the country. The tools were developed by the UBC Housing Research Collaborative. This is a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Penny Gurstein at UBC and Dr. Carolyn Whitzman from the University of Ottawa. Researchers from the University of Waterloo and from different departments across UBC also contributed to the project.
The HART team is working with governments, housing providers, and advocates across Canada to redefine how we measure and address housing need.
HART focuses on developing housing assessment tools. This enable researchers, policymakers, and community groups to evaluate the housing requirements of diverse populations. The tools rely on evidence-based methodologies that draw from comprehensive research and analysis of housing data, as well as the experiences and needs of those directly affected by housing policies and practices.
HART has also developed a range of assessment tools that are specifically tailored to different populations and contexts. They provide data tools that offer detailed information on housing supply and demand. Before HART, there wasn’t a standardized method in Canada to assess housing needs by income and future population growth at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. Instead, planners have typically used a variety of tools with mixed results.
An interactive mapping tool is a key feature of the platform. It allows users to visualize data on a range of housing-related topics. These include rental affordability, housing supply and demand, and demographic trends. The map can be customized to focus on specific geographies. Users can filter data by a range of variables such as income, household size, and tenure type. This makes it a powerful tool for exploring and analyzing housing data at a granular level.
HART also contains other useful resources, including a glossary of housing terms and resources and further readings.
These tools can be used by anyone. HART’s data is open-source, replicable, and easy-to-use. They use the most reliable, robust disaggregated data in Canada to deliver insights into housing for every community.
One of the most impressive aspects of HART is its commitment to data transparency and accessibility. Anyone interested in affordable housing policy and research can download and use all the data and tools available through HART, as they are publicly accessible. This level of transparency and openness is critical for building trust and engagement with community stakeholders. It also ensures that housing policy decisions are based on accurate and up-to-date data.
Overall, the UBC Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART) is an important resource for anyone interested in affordable housing policy and research in Canada. By providing evidence-based assessment tools and strategies, HART is helping to ensure that housing policies and practices are responsive to the needs and experiences of diverse populations, and that everyone in Canada has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate housing.
The collaborative nature of HART’s work brings together academic researchers, community partners, and policy makers. This a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing complex social issues such as affordable housing.