Social and affordable housing has a wide range of benefits for families and for communities. However, when new affordable housing developments are announced they often face community opposition, which can be a barrier to building these much needed developments.

To better understand why communities are opposed to affordable housing and how providers can understand and respond to opposition, Civida conducted an applied research project on affordable housing and neighbourhoods, exploring the questions:

What does the existing research show as emerging strategies for responding to community opposition to affordable housing?

Are there different considerations for rural and small-town communities?

What does the existing research show about the impacts of affordable housing on neighbourhoods, with a focus on property values?

What are the impacts of affordable housing developments in Alberta on neighbourhoods, with a focus on property values?

How to Use This Toolkit

We’re pleased to share with you our full reports from this research, as well as a toolkit of eight factsheets that summarize and highlight aspects of the research.

Who is this for?  This toolkit of resources is designed for housing providers, developers, housing agencies, and the public.

How can I use these resources?  Download these resources for your use in community engagement, public campaigns, or for your own research. All we ask is that you mention Civida as your source.

Where can I find more information?  Below the toolkit, you can also find links to further external resources with more information about these topics. The full reports also site over 20 different publications used in our research.

Questions?  Please contact us at [email protected]

The Urgent Need for Affordable Housing

According to the 2018 Canadian Housing Survey, more than 283,800 households were on waiting lists for affordable housing nationally. In Alberta, there are more than 19,000 households on waiting lists for affordable housing.


What Are the Benefits of Affordable Housing?

Affordable housing has a wide range of benefits for individuals and families and for communities including  improved health, higher employment retention, increased social diversity, increased economic diversity, the prevention of homelessness, and revitalization of the area.


What Can Governments Do To Help?

Providing social and affordable housing relies on partnership, support, and collaboration from all levels of government, the non-profit sector and civil society, and the private sector.  

Policies and programs need to be aligned and not inadvertently create barriers to housing so that more people can access a home. 


Affordable Housing, Crime and Social Disorder – Facts and Myths

MYTH: Affordable housing developments cause a rise in crime rates and social disorder.

FACT: Research overall finds no significant impact on neighbourhood crime rates from affordable housing.


Property Values and Affordable Housing - Facts and Myths

Our extensive review of the literature, covering 20+ studies from 3 countries, suggests affordable housing has limited or no universal impacts on property values.


The Distinct Housing Needs of Rural Communities

Rural communities also face issues with housing need but there is significantly less research or data on the extent of housing need. This is partly because homelessness and housing insecurity is less visible in rural areas, and exacerbated by an existing lack of services.


Summary Report - Affordable Housing and Neighbouring Property Values

Our research shows there is no evidence that affordable housing has intrinsic negative impacts on neighbourhoods, and in fact more evidence that affordable housing has positive impacts on families and communities.


Summary Report - Strategies for Responding to Community Opposition to Affordable Housing

One challenge to increasing the supply of affordable housing is community opposition, often described as NIMBYism or Not in My Backyard opposition. This summary report highlights the key findings of our applied research project.


Graphics and Icons for Download

Download this zip file to use the graphics and icons from our toolkit in your own social media or graphic work. All we ask is you cite Civida as your source and tag us or follow us on social!


Full Report: Exploring the Impacts of Affordable Housing on Neighbourhood Property Values - A Literature Review and Five Alberta Case Studies


Full Report: Strategies for Responding to Community Opposition for Affordable Housing Providers


Watch our presentation from YEG Housing Month that highlights our research on strategies for resolving community opposition.

More Resources

In addition to the detailed bibliography in our reports, here are some other resources for housing providers to help address community opposition and implement these strategies.  

Community Engagement 

Responding to Community Opposition 

Housing Data 

Rural Specific Resources 


This project is made possible through a grant from the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. The Alberta Real Estate Foundation supports real estate related initiatives that enhance the industry and benefit the people of Alberta. The Foundation’s revenues come from the interest earned on public money deposited in real estate brokers’ pooled trust accounts. Learn more at



Notice to Readers

Civida has undertaken this research as a part of its research program into social and affordable housing. The greatest care has been taken to confirm the accuracy of the information contained herein. However, no responsibility is accepted by the authors, Civida, or the funders for the accuracy or omission of any statement, opinion, advice, or information in this publication. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of any individual contributor, Civida, or the funders.