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Panel Discussion: [Re]defining Affordability

  • Library and Archives Canada 395 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N4 Canada (map)

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The word ‘affordability’ itself is somewhat innocuous, however when combined with the concept of housing it generates varied and strong ideas and opinions. This year’s Ottawa Architecture Week will explore this complex issue throughout the week, including an in-depth investigation at this year’s Panel Discussion.

For decades, our country has experienced a market-driven approach to housing which has generated stratification within our cities and created a series of counter-points throughout our culture; young vs. mature, community vs. individual, vulnerable vs. wealthy, quality of living vs. material wealth, renter vs. owner, resulting in several problems we’re now facing, including:

  • a lack of affordable social housing for vulnerable and low-income Canadians,
  • a real-estate market that’s created a housing affordability crisis asking ownership impossible for many and even the prospect of renting difficult
  • a complex planning and development processes influenced by numerous, competing factors including housing market trends, rates of local and regional incomes, transportation, zoning and land use policies, which determine viability of housing typologies.

What is affordable housing? Or housing affordability? Are they the same idea or completely different issues? Who can help make housing affordable? Whose responsibility is affordability? Who can champion affordability?

The Panel will discuss these and other topics throughout the course of the evening. We're honoured to have the following guests join us for this event:

  • Anthony Leaning, CSV Architects
  • Saide Sayah, City of Ottawa Affordable Housing Unit Program Manager
  • Ray Sullivan, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation Executive Director
  • Norma Jean Quibell, ACORN Ottawa

Following the discussion, the audience will be invited to join the conversation with questions and ideas. All are welcome to stay afterwards to network informally with our guests over drinks.