Project Team Leader: Dr. Lisa Freeman, Department of Criminology, KPU, Lisa.Freeman@kpu.ca
My research interests include: the regulation of housing, municipal law & governance, suburban poverty, and community engaged research. My most recent work explores urban governance, public space and public libraries in the Lower Mainland. I am an interdisciplinary scholar whose research and teaching intersects in the fields of socio-legal studies, human geography and urban planning. My research focuses on the questions of law and regulation in the city, the relationship between gentrification and the suburbanization of poverty, and the role of municipal government in regulating low-income housing.
I am interested in extending my housing and regulation research to suburban municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland. So-called urban problems, such as homelessness, drug use, sex work, tent cities and other visible signs poverty have been increasing throughout municipalities like Mapleridge, Chiliwack, Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Surrey. And, these municipalities are not responding in progressive and productive ways. In Surrey, we have seen an increase in unregulated and informal recovery homes for drug users. I am interested in starting research on the shifting regulatory framework of low-income and ‘temporary’ housing in Surrey (and other municipalities). I want to document where low-income housing is situated, who is using it, and how municipal governments are responding (through increased bylaws and other forms of regulation). Overall, this research will directly impact the communities within Surrey, and will provide much-needed information for groups and low-income individuals fighting to remain in increasingly expensive and unsupportive suburban municipalities.