“YOU CAN’T CHOOSE YOUR NEIGHBOURS, YOU CHOOSE HOW TO ENGAGE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS:” A critical examination of Good Neighbour Plans in Edmonton, Alberta

March 15, 2024

A Good Neighbour Plan (GNP) is intended to integrate affordable or supportive housing within communities by offering a developer and/or operator-led plan to address potential community concerns and offer a communication mechanism for prospective neighbours to contact the developer/operator should issues related to the building’s operations arise. GNPs are produced by developers with City input to detail how they will be “good neighbours” to the community and explain how they will deal with any issues that come up. However, there are concerns within Edmonton’s affordable housing community that these GNPs may not be achieving their intended claims .

GNPs have an important function of opening dialogue between affordable housing providers and the communities they are moving into. On the one hand, they allow developers to assuage any fears or concerns the community has and can act as a “starting point” to more intensive community engagement and relationship building. On the other hand, GNPs are structured in a way that exacerbate conflict, and in doing so reinforce stereotypes about people who live in affordable housing, and can embolden Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) beliefs and behaviours.

The Edmonton Social Planning Council (ESPC) interviewed experts working in the development and operation of affordable housing in order to learn how they understand GNPs within their own work. This report will describe what
developers and operators understand the function of GNPs to be, as well as the impacts they have on their organizations, tenants of affordable housing, community building, and wider efforts towards equity, diversity, and antiracism. Ultimately, this study will outline housing providers’ perspectives on whether or not GNPs are actually needed when developing affordable housing in Edmonton, and if there are better ways of engaging with one’s

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Executive Assistant

A critical examination of Good Neighbour Plans in Edmonton (Click on image)
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