Federation of Canadian Municipalities Quality of Life Reporting System, measures of community affordability

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Mitchell, Karen L.
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Despite a longstanding interest in measuring the quality of our life there is a lack of consistent tracking and reporting of social issues on a national scale. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in an attempt to rectify this problem, worked in conjunction with sixteen municipalities to develop a framework from which to monitor Quality of Life in Canadian municipalities. The FCM Quality of Life Reporting System is comprised of ten indicators. This practicum focuses on the design, development and implementation of just one of the indicators, community affordability. The purpose of the Community Affordability Measure (CAM), is to measure the relative affordability of Canadian communities and changes in their relative affordability over time for both the community as a whole (CAM 1), and for what is referred to in this study as the 'modest income population' (CAM 2). The CAM is an index of the ratio of the income of the residents to the cost of living within the municipality compared to the aggregated experience of all the participating municipalities. This measure allows municipalities to determine where they stand on a national basis in relation to the quality of life their residents can afford. The initial results have provided baseline quantitative data from which future changes will be tracked and reported.