Monday, 16 November 2015

National Housing Week kicks off with Build Day

Affordable housing providers and housing leaders coming together for Build Day.
National Housing Week kicked-off today with a Build Day at one of Habitat for Humanity’s build sites this morning.  Non-profit affordable housing providers along with housing leaders from the government, private and non-profit sectors came together for the event.

Left to right: Joe Deschenes Smith of Trillium Housing, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Hon. Ted McMeekin, Ene Underwood of Habitat for Humanity, M.P. Adam Vaughan, Heather Tremain of Options for Homes, Nancy Singer of Kehilla.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Hon. Ted McMeekin, and M.P. and housing advocate, Adam Vaughan, joined in the celebrations.

National Housing Week is an evolution of National Housing Strategy Day, a nationally recognized day to build awareness for housing and homelessness.  National Housing Strategy Day is November 22nd each year and was first established in 1998.

Options team members volunteering at Build Day

Today's Build Day was the first of many events in the week leading up National Housing Day on November 22nd.  The GTA Housing Action Lab has organized a series of activities and events to engage stakeholders and decision makers in the challenges of housing affordability and the lack of diversity in form and tenure of housing in our region and solutions and opportunities to address these issues.

While the week’s activities focus on a broad range of housing issues, today’s build put emphasis on models that provide a stepping stone for low income households to move out of substandard and subsidized rental housing and into the financial security that comes from home ownership.

Options CEO, Heather Tremain, volunteering at Build Day

Options CEO, Heather Tremain, summed it up nicely.  She says, “Since 2000, the average cost of housing in Canada has increased by 60 per cent while average income has only increased by 13 per cent.  National Housing Week draws necessary attention to some of Canada’s biggest and most pressing challenges and opportunities to create solutions. As providers, we know that it doesn’t have to be this way – there are solutions possible when we work together with all levels of government.”