Cities in the Pub IV: The Politics of Affordable Housing

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The Last Defence Lounge
Calgary, Alberta, CA

Posted by The Urban Research Network at U of Calgary.

Join TURN as we host a panel discussion on the politics of affordable housing. Decent housing is a human right. But many Calgarians struggle to afford this basic need: about 60,000 Calgarian homeowners are over extended on their shelter costs; only half of Calgary’s households have sufficient income to afford to buy a starter home in the condominium market; and 68 % of low-income renters are over spending on shelter.

This panel discussion is timely given the recently published report, Housing in Calgary: An Inventory of Housing Supply, 2015/2016, which finds Calgary's purpose-built rental stock has been steadily declining and now rests at 27%. Despite these trends, a variety of actors in the Calgary community have mobilized to address affordable housing needs through a number of initiatives. These include the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, the political efforts of the Calgarians for Secondary Suites group, as well as the recent formation of the Calgary Housing Affordability Collective, a diverse network of housing agencies, administrators, scholars, and community leaders working in housing provision. The political conflicts initiatives like these face is the focus of this discussion.

The panel discussion will begin with a 12 minute presentation by TURN’s President, Kylee van der Poorten, who is completing her MA thesis on the politics of secondary suites. This presentation will open with a discussion about the broader political issues involved in providing affordable housing.

The questions we will discuss revolve around the general theme of the political challenges to affordable housing provision: Where are there political conflicts of interest when it comes to affordable housing? What makes it difficult to provide affordable housing? What limitations does the private market face, and what challenges is the built-to-rent and/or subsidized market facing? What do residents fear most about affordable housing in their neighbourhoods, and what strategies might be used to mitigate opposition and enhance the supply of affordable housing?

Vegetarian snacks will be provided. Please be sure to RSVP in the link above as spaces are limited.

- Dr. Jyoti Gondek, Director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies
- Jen Arntfield, Coordinator of Affordable Housing Strategy and Policy at the City of Calgary.
- Lee Provost, Coordinator of Affordable Housing Capital Development at the City of Calgary
- Maya Kambeitz, Executive Director at Norfolk Housing Association (NHA)
- Kylee Van Der Poorten, MA Candidate
- Moderator: Aida Nciri, PhD Candidate