Housing Futures: Semester in Dialogue Library resources

SFU Library Research Guide for DIAL 390 - Housing Futures

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. Use this guide to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you have any further questions about library services, please Ask a Librarian.

  Research sources

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found, and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides, and research help in one place. Try Library Search to quickly find books, articles and information in one search.

Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references, or links to related material.


All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the Catalogue. You can look up journals by title and search for articles in them.

Canadian Journal of Urban Research
Focuses on urban theory and methodology, empirical research, problem and policy-oriented analyses, and cross-national comparative studies.

Housing Policy Debate
Focuses on affordable housing, housing related poverty alleviation and integration strategies, and metropolitan development trends.

Housing Studies
Housing research from a variety of disciplines, including political science, urban studies, history, social administration, sociology, geography, law, planning and economics.

International Journal of Housing Policy
This journal contains publications that engage in the critical analysis of housing policy, systems and practice from a social science perspective.

Journal of Planning Literature
Review articles and abstracts of recent literature in city and regional planning and design.

Urban Geography
Articles contributing to an understanding of the current and future global urban condition, with an emphasis on geography and social sciences.

Urban Studies
Research addressing the rapid changes taking place in cities and urban regions from an empirical, theoretical, or a policy perspective.

Connect to Article databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many databases provide access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request copies of articles.

  Article databases

CBCA Complete
Comprehensive Canadian periodical collection for reference and current events.

Canadian Research Index
Covers publications of research value put out by the Canadian Government.

Materials relating to physical and human geography.

International Political Science Abstracts
Comprehensive, global database providing access to abstracts and information on world-wide political science journals.

Social Services Abstracts
Includes materials relating to social work, human services, social welfare, social policy, and community development.

Taylor & Francis Online
Journals published in a wide range of subject areas, including Geography, Political Science and Urban Studies.

For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article. For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.


Search the Catalogue to find books, reports, and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Fraser - Surrey).

Searching by keyword is the best way to start. Once you have found good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.

Try the following subject headings: (To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.)

  • City planning -- British Columbia
  • City planning -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
  • Home ownership -- Canada
  • Housing -- British Columbia
  • Housing -- British Columbia -- Vancouver
  • Housing -- Canada
  • Housing -- Canada -- Statistics
  • Housing policy -- British Columbia
  • Housing policy -- Canada
  • Public housing -- Canada
  • Urban renewal -- British Columbia -- Vancouver

Below is a sample of the kinds books you might find by searching within the SFU Library catalogue using some of the search strategies outlined above.

    Limit your search to physical items at Belzberg Library by selecting Belzberg Library (Vancouver) from the Catalogue search under the Library section. 

    If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it! For a step-by-step interactive guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.

      Government sources 

    Rental Housing Task Force
    This provincial government task force has set as its mandate the balancing of BC’s tenancy laws and create fair processes to ensure safe, secure and affordable housing.

    BC Housing
    Develops, manages and administers a wide range of subsidized housing options across the province.

    City of Vancouver - Housing
    Addresses topics relating to Vancouver's housing crisis.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
    Provides insights, research, and data regarding housing in Canada.

      Selected internet sources

    BC 211
    Directory of community, government, and social services in BC.

    Homelessness Services Association of BC
    Develops and implements research and evidence-based best practices to address the causes and solutions to homelessness.

    BC Non-Profit Housing Association
    Develops and delivers research projects relating to the non-profit housing sector.

    Subject research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions:

      Writing and citing

    University Reading and Writing
    Lists sources in the library that will help you write better papers, or check out Writing for University and the writing hand-outs from the Student Learning Commons.

    Writing and Style Guides
    Will tell you how to cite your sources properly.

    Will tell you what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Take the interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism to test yourself and learn more.

    Citation or reference management tools
    Collect your journal article, book, or other document citations together in one place, and help you create properly formatted bibliographies in almost any style — in seconds. Citation management tools help you keep track of your sources while you work and store your references for future use and reuse.

      Ask us!

    If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian.