Events to feature academic and community experts
According to census data from Statistics Canada, in Kelowna alone there are some 3,000 people considered at high risk of homelessness—with another 1,900 identifying as transitionally, episodically or chronically homeless.
Adding to community housing woes, Kelowna was recently ranked the eighth-most expensive rental market in Canada, with the median price of a one-bedroom unit sitting at $1,280 and two-bedroom at $1,730, according to the latest Canadian National Rent Report.
“Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home,” says Alison Conway, professor in UBC Okanagan’s department of community, culture and global studies. “As Okanagan residents, we’ve heard a lot about the issues associated with housing in our community lately, and I think it’s time we get together and identify why this is happening and find potential solutions.”
Conway has organized three public events featuring wide-ranging conversations about housing in the Okanagan and beyond. These events include input from housing experts from Toronto, Vancouver and Kelowna, who will discuss everything from homelessness and high housing costs to sustainability.
When: Monday, September 30, from 7 to 9 pm
What: Canada’s National Housing Strategy: What it means for homeownership, renting and homelessness
Who: University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski
Where: Mary Irwin Theatre, 421 Cawston Ave., Kelowna
Keynote speaker David Hulchanski, professor of housing and community development at the University of Toronto, will discuss Canada’s National Housing Strategy. He will cover the strategy in detail, including how it affects homeownership, renting and homelessness.
When: Tuesday, October 1, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. (afternoon session)
What: Panel discussion: Social housing and homelessness
Who: UBCO and Okanagan College faculty, City of Kelowna councillor
Where: UNC 200, University Centre, 3272 University Way, UBC Okanagan
David Saltman of the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council will moderate a panel discussion on social housing and homelessness.
- Luke Stack, City Councillor, Kelowna
- Gordon Lovegrove, UBC Okanagan, School of Engineering
- Ken Chau, UBC Okanagan, School of Engineering
- Kyleen Myrah, Okanagan College, School of Business
- John Graham, UBC Okanagan, School of Social Work
When: Tuesday, October 1, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Who: Opening remarks by Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran
What: Panel discussion on sustainability focusing on Indigenous and green housing
Where: Okanagan Regional Library, Kelowna branch, 1380 Ellis Street, Kelowna
After opening remarks by Mayor Colin Basran, UBCO Associate Professor Kevin Hanna, will moderate a panel discussion on sustainability focusing on Indigenous and green housing.
- John Bass, UBC Vancouver, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
- Jaimie Harris, Heiltsuk Nation
- Brian Rippy, Okanagan College, Sustainable Construction Technology
- Trevor Butler, Archineers
All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required at: politicsofhousing.eventbrite.com