The National Occupancy Standards (NOS) are guidelines primarily used in social housing to determine the number of bedrooms required for housing applicants based on the gender, age and relationships of household members. Within the context of British Columbia's ongoing housing crisis, adherence to the NOS has become a barrier to housing for many families, most often including those who have experienced violence, immigrant and refugee families as well as Indigenous families. This study analyzes the issues stemming from the NOS and common approaches to guiding occupancy. Methodologies used in this study are a literature review, assessment of existing policies and expert interviews. The findings determine recommendations for more inclusive occupancy standards moving forward that ensure families have the autonomy to choose what is appropriate housing for themselves and to decrease the risk of housing precarity as a result of overly prescriptive occupancy standards.
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Thesis advisor: Zhu, Yushu
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