We’re now 10 years on from the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Or, as our national mythology puts it, 10 years since Canada breathed a deep sigh of relief as the crisis mostly grazed our economy and financial system.

Ten years after the crisis, many Canadian cities are still in crisis. What follows is a look at the contours and roots of our urban housing crisis, and some avenues for exiting it in a way that would benefit the majority of people.

Here are 10 things to know about affordable housing in Alberta specifically:

1. The previous provincial government undertook important initiatives pertaining to affordable housing.

2. According to the most recent Census, 11.4% of Alberta households experience core housing need, representing more than 164,000 households.

3. Seniors living alone in Alberta face particularly high rates of core housing need.

4. Female lone-parent households in Alberta also face a particularly high rate of core housing need.

5. Members of Alberta First Nations also experience very high rates of core housing need.

6. Housing typically constitutes a larger share of spending for low-income households (compared with middle- and higher-income households).

7. On a per capita basis, Alberta has far fewer subsidized housing units than the rest of Canada.

8. Some Alberta cities have much more low-cost rental housing (per capita) than others.

9. Going forward, the impact of the federal government’s National Housing Strategy will be modest.

10. There are considerable cost savings to be realized when investing in affordable housing, especially when the tenants have serious mental health challenges.

While premiers and territorial leaders meet in Saskatchewan today to discuss the well-being of Indigenous children, youth and families, a new report released today co-authored by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) says First Nations children experience the highest levels of poverty in Canada.

“Canada is not tracking First Nations poverty on-reserve so we did,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “The findings of this report are shameful and underscore the urgent need to invest in First Nations children, families and communities. Our children face the worst social and economic conditions in the country. They deserve an opportunity to succeed. Canada has not been tracking poverty on-reserve and that’s one reason the situation is not improving. We need a combination of political will, action, cooperation among governments and sustainable investments in water, infrastructure, housing and education to help First Nations children succeed and get a fair start in life. It’s beneficial to all Canadians to close the gap in quality of life between First Nations and Canada.”

The Samaritan House’s Safe & Warm Shelter will have longer hours into the morning and be able to accommodate more overnight sleeps this coming winter after Brandon City Council unanimously approved giving Samaritan House $69,000 toward an expansion project on Wednesday. Samaritan House has also raised and set aside $20,000 itself for the project.

The shelter last winter provided 1600 bed nights. Its capability to meet community need had become a worry with overnight freezing temperatures appearing well into the month of March and the shelter only capable of staying open to March 31. According to weather data Brandon’s overnight low reached -15 as late as March 25 this past year with nights in early April falling to as far as -7 and -6. Future expansion hopes would allow an opening earlier than the current November 1 and a seasonal closure later than March 31.

The City of Winnipeg is cancelling its plans to dismantle homeless camps amid pressure from several advocates.

In May, the city released a request for proposals on its website, looking for a contractor to help discard “bulky waste” that makes up “temporary homeless shelters,” collect and dispose of biohazardous items from parks and other public areas, and collect used needles.

The city had said the request for proposals was in response to an increase in calls to 311 about needles and sharps.

A spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that the city has withdrawn the request following a meeting with several groups who work with vulnerable people.

They had expressed concerns that the plan was short-sighted and could be harmful to people who are already displaced and facing multiple challenges.

… according to Pivot Legal Society, hostile design does more than just shoo homeless people away, it engenders a city-wide atmosphere of exclusion, driving Vancouver’s most vulnerable off the street into the city’s parks.

Not only does defensive design reinforce negative stigma, but it pushes homeless individuals to set up “informal tent city structures,” where people feel a greater sense of security and community, says Meenakshi Mannoe, a community educator.

According to data released June 12, approximately 2,223 homeless people were living in Vancouver this past March, including 614 without a shelter.

Shopping carts do more than shuttle food around grocery store aisles — for members of Winnipeg’s homeless community, they often become a way of transporting all of their earthly belongings from place to place.

The problem is, it’s impossible to safely leave unattended a cart full of everything from clothes, bedding, food, tools — even cherished family photos — without the threat of someone coming along and stealing things.