Home Sweet Home Summit to bring housing experts, developers from across B.C. to Kelowna

City hosting housing summit

Housing experts and stakeholders will be meeting in Kelowna this week to address housing challenges in the Central Okanagan and around the province.

The Home Sweet Home Summit is being held in Kelowna on Friday at the Delta Grand Hotel and will feature a cross-section of experts including municipal government, modular construction, education, utilities, real estate, and legal experts.

“Bringing together experts from various sectors signifies our collective dedication to finding tangible solutions for the housing challenges in our local communities," says Krista Paine, president of the Canadian Home Builders Association - Central Okanagan.

"By fostering collaboration and innovation, we aim to bridge the housing gap and make home ownership more attainable for our community."

Organizers say the summit is more than a gathering, "it's a call to action."

The organizers are hoping the interactive environment will facilitate collaboration across different sectors. "By the end of the day, the goal is to see concrete, accountable, time-defined actions that will drive positive change in the housing sector," says Paine.

The summit will explore innovative approaches to housing development, with a focus on 'missing middle housing,' which includes duplexes, row houses, and townhomes that can provide a pathway to home ownership.

The keynote speaker is Julia Deans, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, the country’s only affordable home ownership organization. Deans will encourage attendees to challenge perceived barriers to building housing and encourage imaginative and innovative solutions to the housing crisis.

“Everyone has a role to play in solving Canada's housing crisis, and that's why events like this one are important," says Deans. "At Habitat for Humanity, we know that innovative partnerships and collaboration are key to putting more families on the path to affordable home ownership. I look forward to sharing our experience doing that in Central Okanagan, and communities across Canada."

Former Victoria mayor Lisa Helps, now a part of David Eby’s housing strategy task force, will serve as a facilitator for some of the sessions.

"We are thrilled to have both Julia Deans and Lisa Helps join us alongside most of our local Okanagan municipal heads of planning, developers, home builders, engineers, legal and financial representation, and other interested decision makers,” says Daniel Winer, executive officer of the Canadian Homebuilders Association.

"Their expertise and insights will be instrumental in helping guide some of the discussions and fostering meaningful collaborations among the attendees."

Municipal representatives from Kelowna, Lake Country, West Kelowna, Vernon, OKIB, and Westbank First Nations will be at the summit.

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