Quantifying Housing Needs in Western Newfoundland

The Community Mental Health Initiative, Grenfell Campus Memorial University, Building Resilience: Community Engaged Research Lab and the members of the Community Coalition on Housing & Homelessness have partnered to study housing in western Newfoundland, with funding in part from the Government of Canada through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. This project seeks to quantify and describe rental housing stock as well as determine the number and type of homeless persons (including the hidden homeless) in western Newfoundland, specifically the Humber Valley-Deer Lake-Bay of Islands region.

In addition to document review, renters and landlords were asked to share their experiences through landlord and tenant surveys. A service-based count was also conducted in 2021. The aim of the project is to help guide decisions in providing housing facilities for those in need in the province, and also contribute to the knowledge of community housing support groups and organisations. The research findings will support community groups’ evidence-informed decision-making, strengthen partnerships, provide evidence for policy changes, and identify the need for potential housing projects and initiatives.

A public town hall to share preliminary findings was held on December 1, 2021, with a final report expected to be out soon. The project is currently in the Knowledge Mobilisation Phase. This is to disseminate the findings among governmental institutions, service providers and the general public which includes both landlords and renters. Funding has also been secured for a jurisdictional scan through Mitacs to build on the project findings. The new project will identify policy and program options to improve access to housing in rural Newfoundland.


  • Stephen Decker, PI, Grenfell Campus
  • Kelly Vodden, Grenfell Campus,
  • Amanda Asiamah, Grenfell Campus, MAEP student
  • Genevieve Blankson, MAEP Graduate
  • Rasheed Ature, MAEP student
  • Leanna Butters, Grenfell Campus, PhD student
  • Michelle Porter, FormerProject Coordinator/Co-investigator, Grenfell Campus
  • Jade Kearley, Community Mental Health Initiative (Lead Organization)  
  • Deborah Moynes-Keshen, Newfoundland & Labrador Housing  
  • Mike Kearley, Vine Place Community Centre  
  • Abigail Oppong, PhD student, Grenfell Campus