October 14, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia produced for the Edmonton Journal & Edmonton Sun 48% of Edmontonians support more social and affordable housing spread throughout the city with only 29% opposed – but opposition jumps to 38% when respondents were asked about this housing going into their own backyard. The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.62 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
“There is a significant NIMBY sentiment when it comes to social and affordable housing,” said David Valentin, Executive Vice-President of Mainstreet Research. “Only 29% of Edmontonians oppose more affordable and social housing but that number jumps to 38% when we asked about their own neighbourhood. I would expect if we were polling specific projects we would see higher opposition than these numbers in the immediate vicinity.”
“Many experts will tell you that stigmatizing social and affordable housing is a problem – when you can’t spread the housing around and it’s all in the downtown it can cause significant issues and unintended consequences. On the other hand, it’s tough to stare down opposition from neighbourhood groups to these projects if you’re the local councillor. People perceive these developments lower property values and can increase crime even when that may not be the case.”
“We polled Edmontonians and found wide support for building a riverwalk similar to the Seawall in Vancouver. There are strong numbers for the project in every age and gender category.”
“Where we’re seeing a significant split in opinion is when we polled light rail transit against bus rapid transit. Younger respondents are more likely to support an LRT while older respondents are more likely to support BRTs. Of course, younger Edmontonians are more likely to use public transit so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Older respondents likely know or realize LRTs cost more money and perhaps are thinking about what that might mean in a property tax increase.”
“Lastly we asked about redevelopment plans in Rossdale. Edmontonians want to see a public-private partnership fund the project but aren’t sold on what the redevelopment should be. There are significant splits on age and many (23%) want something different than a Granville style shopping area (24%) or swimming pool (15%),” finished Maggi.