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Cory Munden

 

By Rebecca Cohoe

Yaffle.ca is Memorial's online connecting tool. One of its most significant jobs is to provide a way for people from outside Memorial to ask for research help. With hundreds of community-suggested opportunities to choose from, your next project is just a click away. Here's one . . .

The opportunity:
Affordable housing is a major issue in this province, and not just in the capital city. According to Cory Munden, chief executive officer of the Leading Edge Credit Union, a lack of housing also poses a threat to the economic and social development potential of rural communities on the west coast of the island where he lives. As a former Port aux Basques town councillor and a current landlord, he's familiar with various perspectives on the issue and believes the problem has ramifications for a number of different stakeholders.

"We have a shortage in student housing for the local College of the North Atlantic campus, a shortage of seniors' housing and a shortage in lower income housing," he said. "From a community perspective, that's people who won't come here for school, won't retire here, won't spend money here and won't potentially settle here to raise a family."

In Mr. Munden's opinion, there are a couple of issues exacerbating the problem.
"In the last 10 years housing prices have dramatically increased, the cost of construction has increased, land availability has become nil and the incentives to get into this market have become weak," he said. "We need to get a handle on the problem, and work together to come up with some solutions."

The project:
"I'd like to see someone from Memorial provide a bit more data on the challenges and realities of rural housing challenges. We need to better understand the breadth and variety of challenges to address them," said Mr. Mundon. "I think researchers could come from any of a number of different faculties – geography, sociology, political science, business – they could all play a role, especially given the number of different groups and stakeholders who are affected by housing issues."

While some of the analysis could be done from a researcher's primary location, Mr. Mundon thinks there would be a benefit in spending some time in his region, especially in terms of interviewing and information gathering.

"There's value when you have someone on the ground. Different people have knowledge of the different segments, including the Status of Women organization, landlords and seniors groups."

Mr. Mundon also indicated that he'd be interested in acting as a community partner on the project.

Interested in learning more about this project? Think you could help? Bojan Fürst, manager of knowledge mobilization at the Harris Centre, would love to tell you more. Call him at 709-864-2120 or email him at bfurst@mun.ca.

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