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Exploring Household Location Choice Behaviour in Kitchener-Waterloo

Information Letter

Dear Resident,

You are invited to participate in the research study
Exploring Household Location Choice Behaviour in Kitchener-Waterlooconducted by Yu Huang, under the supervision of Prof. Dawn Parker and Prof. Jeff Casello in the School of Planning of the University of Waterloo.

The Region of Waterloo is building the new ION light rail transit system (LRT) not only to improve public transit options and reduce congestion, but also to help shape land development, with the goal of increasing the density of development in core areas, increasing mixed-use development, and curbing sprawl. As researchers, we are interested in how the new LRT will influence housing choices and development patterns. To support this goal, we are building models of how residential development happens (land market models) and how people move around the city once they decide where to live (transportation models). As a recent home buyer and/or seller, your opinions will greatly assist us in understanding the relationships between land markets, land-use
change and transportation in Kitchener-Waterloo. As you may know, there is a lot of healthy debate ongoing over whether the LRT will turn out to be a good or bad investment. We believe that our completed research will contribute to the public sector debate by providing evidence to support the debate about the effects of the LRT, as well as by assessing the impacts of policies designed to improve transportation and land-use patterns in K-W.

The survey will ask you about your buying/selling experience and your perceptions towards the upcoming light rail transit line in Kitchener-Waterloo. Specifically, survey questions focus on:

  1. Characteristics of the home you sold or bought
  2. Your home selling/buying experience
  3. Whether LRT contributed to your home selling/buying decision
  4. Your location choice preferences
  5. Your household characteristics and travel behaviour
To thank you for your time, you will receive a $20 gift card for your participation. Should you wish to withdraw from the study before completion, indicate that this is your wish by clicking Next till the end of the survey and selecting [No, I want to withdraw from the survey], and this incentive amount will be pro-rated based on the amount of the study that is completed. E.g. If only the first 25% of questions are completed before withdrawal, a gift card for $5 will be distributed. The amount received is taxable. It is your responsibility to report this amount for tax purposes. You may decline to answer any questions, and you can withdraw from the survey at any time[1]. However, we do need the address(es) of the home that you bought and/or sold to use your survey results in our research, as we use your address(es) to generate data about the surrounding neighbourhood. Any family member can assist to fill out the survey, but each household can only participate once. You can choose either the web-based survey (http://bit.ly/kwhousing or http://fluidsurveys.com/s/housing-survey/)or the paper survey to participate[2].

It is important for you to know that all the information you provide is completely confidential. No individual-level information from any survey response will be reported in publications, other than quotes that are used with permission.  Quotes will not be associated with any information that could identify a participant. All survey data will be electronically archived and stored in a password protected folder on a password protected computer stored in a locked room at the University of Waterloo for a minimum of 15 years. You can withdraw consent to participate and have your data destroyed by contacting us within this time period. Only those associated with this study will have access to these records. It is not possible to withdraw your consent once papers and publications have been submitted to publishers. All records will be destroyed according to University of Waterloo policy.

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through a University of Waterloo Research Ethics Committee (ORE#19555#). However, the final decision about participation is yours. If you have questions for the Committee contact the Chief Ethics Officer, Office of Research Ethics, at 1-519-888-4567 ext. 36005 or ore-ceo@uwaterloo.ca

Finally, if you have any questions regarding this study or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact myself, Dr. Dawn Parker or Dr. Jeff Casello by email or telephone as noted below.

Thank you for your consideration in participating in this important study.
Yours Sincerely,

Yu Huang,
PhD student, School of Planning, University of Waterloo
yu.huang@uwaterloo.ca, 519-888-4567 x31545
Dawn Parker, Professor, School of Planning, University of Waterloo
dcparker@uwaterloo.ca, 519-888-4567 x38888
Jeff Casello, Professor, School of Planning, University of Waterloo
jcasello@uwaterloo.ca, 519-888-4567 x37538


[1]If you decide to withdraw your participation during the online survey process after giving consent, any information you have entered will not be used in this study. Information collected for sending the gift cards and/or sending project updates will not be linked to the study data in any way, and this identifying information will be stored separately from the rest of the survey data, then destroyed after the gift cards and/or project updates have been provided.

[2] The web-based survey is hosted through FluidSurveysTM, a service provided by Survey MonkeyTM, a corporation of the United States of America. When information is transmitted over the internet confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. University of Waterloo practices are to turn off functions that collect machine identifiers such as IP addresses. The host of the system collecting the data such as Survey MonkeyTM may collect this information without our knowledge and make this accessible to us. We will not use or save this information without your consent. If you prefer not to submit your survey responses through this host, please contact myself at yu.huang@uwaterloo.ca or leave a message at 519-888-4567 x31545 so you can participate using the paper-based questionnaire. The alternate method may decrease anonymity but confidentiality will be maintained. Alternatively, you can choose not to sign up for the study.


Consent Form

If you agree to participate, please read and check the consent form before you start the questionnaire.

By signing this consent form, you are not waiving your legal rights or releasing the investigator(s) or involved institution(s) from their legal and professional responsibilities.

I have read the information presented in the information letter about a study being conducted by Dr. Dawn Parker, Dr. Jeff Casello, and Yu Huang of the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo. I have had the opportunity to ask any questions related to this study, to receive satisfactory answers to my questions, and any additional details I wanted. I am informed that I may withdraw my consent at any time without penalty by advising the researcher.

Are you a recent home buyer or home seller in Kitchener-Waterloo? (You bought or sold your house within last 12 months)

(This survey is only open to recent home buyers or home sellers in Kitchener-Waterloo.)

With full knowledge of all foregoing, do you agree to participate in this study?

Do you agree to the use of anonymous quotations in any thesis or publication that comes of this research? (Optional)