skylines of Windsor and DetroitHousing affordability in Ontario is the subject of a summit March 16 and 17 of actors from government, the private sector, not-for-profit agencies, and the academy.

Summit to examine solutions to housing affordability challenges

The Centre for Cities at Windsor Law will bring together practitioners, planners, entrepreneurs, politicians, scholars, and lawyers engaged in housing policy and provision for two days of discussion addressing systemic issues in housing delivery, and the innovative solutions needed to ensure a range of affordable housing options.

The Housing Systems and Innovation Summit will run Wednesday and Thursday, March 16 and 17.

Canada is facing an unprecedented housing crisis,” says the centre’s director, Anneke Smit. “Far less housing is being constructed than is needed to keep pace with population growth.”

Dr. Smit says governments are looking to ramp up construction significantly through investment and process reform, “but we need to take a systems approach to that building, that addresses pressing issues tied to climate change, equity and inclusion, and the costs to municipalities of different approaches to increasing the housing stock.” 

Solving North America’s housing crisis involves many sectors and governments, says Centre for Cities visiting fellow James Tischler, director of development for the Michigan State Land Bank and an organizer of the summit.

“Throughout all of this work, it’s critical to recognize that housing exists and operates as a system, and systemic thinking and acting must be key to all proposed solutions,” he says. “Not to do so puts success at risk and exacerbates the very problems we see today.”

Over four 90-minute sessions, panellists will share tools and practices participants can implement now, and which can inform policy development at all three levels of government.

Organizations co-sponsoring the event include the Canadian Urban Institute, Smart Prosperity Institute at the University of Ottawa, and the School of Cities at the University of Toronto.

Find more information, including an agenda and registration details, on the summit website. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the website.

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