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A frequently requested poll topic has been regarding housing. In August, Regional Council approved amendments to the Regional Official Plan that guide housing development through to 2051 (location, quantities, types of homes, etc). Both general interest and the recently passed updates to the Regional Official Plan were the inspiration for these housing questions. The context we provided was data directly from the Official Plan. Note: In late October, the Government of Ontario tabled Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act which may result in Waterloo Region’s Official Plan being overridden or modified. The Regional Official Plan targeted 121,000 new homes in ~28 years (by 2051). By contrast, Bill 23 requests the Region to plan for the construction of 70,000 new homes in ~8 years (by 2031).
Another frequently requested poll topic has been regarding the homelessness crisis. It is a complex and multifaceted challenge to ensure every person has a home. We chose to ask residents about just one component which relates to tackling that challenge, specifically emergency homeless shelters. The context we provided was the Waterloo Region ratio of estimated number of unhoused people to shelter capacity, as well as the same information for other comparable regions/cities. We plan to revisit this topic in the future with input from local front-line organizations.
Data Processing Methodology:
We collected location, gender & age for >90% of respondents. This allowed us to use well established statistical techniques to weight the responses in order to achieve Census 2021 demographic proportionality (for location, gender, age & every combination of those attributes as well). This is an industry standard method to process polling data and construct statistical demographic representation. Based on our sample size & distribution of responses, this poll has a statistical margin of error of 3.87% at a 95% confidence interval.
875 usable responses resulted from running ads (Twitter/Facebook/Reddit), distributing door hangers and an email campaign sent to subscribers. An additional 50 responses were received that were not used as they were identified as duplicate submissions or came from locations outside the Waterloo Region. Not every respondent answered all topics, so the topic specific sample size is specified within each topic section above.