Using a GIS-based Multi-Criteria Evaluation model to site optimal locations for low-income housing developments in the City of Hamilton, Ontario.
An increasing number of people are impoverished in the large urban centers. This creates an urgent need for new affordable housing developments to be created. A GIS-based multi-criteria evaluation (MCE) was created as an ideal tool for siting low-income housing in the City of Hamilton, Ontario. A variety of constraint and criteria factors were taken into consideration, including proximity to schools, medical facilities, safety services, and grocery stores. Cost-distance analysis was performed on these criteria to determine the proximity of sites to each criteria. These criteria layers were appropriately weighted and standardized. Vacant land sites within Hamilton were then given suitability scores based on their proximity to these factors using a suitability equation on the criteria and constraint layers. A suitability raster was created which showed which sites were most suitable for development. The results showed that there is a large cluster of highly suitable sites located in downtown Hamilton. From the produced raster, the ten most suitable vacant land sites were determined, all of which were located in the downtown core. These sites could potentially be used by construction companies as ideal locations to build new housing developments.