Breslauer, Helen J.

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Breslauer, Helen J.

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In 1972, Professor Breslauer, who was then an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, collaborated with Professor Andrews, then an Assistant Professor of Geography, to undertake a case study of a Housing Co-operative in Mississauga . Entitling their research report “Co-operative Housing: a case study of decision-making in design and user satisfaction,” Breslauer and Andrews researched the housing cooperative from its initial inception, through the design and construction phases, the formation of the co-operative association and its first full year of occupancy.

Through the use of interviews, activities diaries, and analysis of existing documents and proceedings of meetings, Breslauer and Andrews undertook to investigate both the decision-making processes in the design of the housing project and the satisfaction of users or resident members of the housing cooperative. Their research question examined the relationship between the expectations of those individuals who were instrumental in developing co-operative housing and the evaluation of various aspects of quality of life by those who use this model of housing.

Funded by federal Ministry of State, Urban Affairs Canada and in agreement with the University of Toronto, Office of Research Administration, the research project took place between January 1, 1972 and to January 1975, with the bulk of the research being carried out from December 1972 to June 1974 over four phases, each one covering about a four month period. However the analysis of existing documents and the proceedings of meetings began as early as 1971 and some of the analysis was completed in the second half of 1974 as a result of delays in funding.

The study produced 6 interim reports, from 1972 to 1974 and one 4-volume final report, dated April 1975, to the Ministry of State, Urban Affairs Canada and the University Office of Research Administration. From the final report, Professors Andrews and Breslauer produced a series of five research papers and one major report published by the Centre for Urban & Community Studies (CUSC) at the University of Toronto. These reports, all published in 1976, deal with the different aspects of research undertaken and are available at Robarts under the following titles:

“Cooperative housing project: an overview of a case study, methods and findings” (CUSC Research Paper #73)

“Reflections on the housing process: implications from a case study of cooperative housing” (CUSC Research Paper #74)

“Residential movement: choice of a cooperative housing project” (CUSC Research Paper #75)

“Cooperative housing study: a preliminary analysis of activity diary data” (CUSC Research Paper #77)

“Moving from a cooperative housing project: residents’ expectations and former members’ perspectives”(CUSC Research Paper #78)

“User satisfaction and participation: preliminary findings from a case study of cooperative housing” (CUSC Major Report #6)

In addition, Professors Breslauer and Andrews participated in the development of a course, GGR/SOC 340E: ‘concepts, methods and values in urban planning’, which they co-instructed with Professor Gad, in the Urban & Community Studies programme at Erindale College.


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