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Attracting young families

Students from the UBCO Capstone Group 21 consulting team updated Penticton council this week on their project focused on attracting young families to the city.

The goal according to the student project is to assist the city in establishing a strategy that would bring in more young people.

The first step in the research process was to conduct a concept test survey to identify young people's preferences for residing.

These factors were then weighted according to importance and matched with specific strengths offered by Penticton.

The first focus is to attract young French speaking professionals from across the nation through leveraging education programs and entrepreneurial activity.

The second focus relates to housing, to identify what types of properties are, or are not, available to young families and how this can be leveraged to attract new individuals.

For the former, the students suggested such solutions as implementation and heavy promotion of French educational programs targeting French families from outside the province.

For housing, they advised tailoring criteria for subsidized housing applications to provide greater financial incentive for entrepreneurs to initiate businesses in the city.

Making carriage houses a trend was also suggested. These houses or alley homes have been a growing trend in Vancouver for several years after regulations were changed in 2009.

Vancouver saw the opportunity to increase availability of housing by allowing homeowners to build legal suites with primary access through the alley.The dwellings could either be a converted garage or a purpose built carriage house with a suite over the top.

The presentation was well received by council, with Mayor Garry Litke describing it as "thinking outside the box," and Councillor Katie Robinson telling students "you really opened my eyes tonight."

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