Reflection on the 2023 Canadian Rural and Remote Housing and Homelessness Symposium

Date: August 14, 2023

Author: Damilola Oyewale, MSc student in Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph

The Canadian Rural and Remote Housing and Homelessness (CRRHH) symposium hosted June 6-8, 2023 emphasized the significance of collaboration, localized solutions, and an understanding of the unique challenges faced by rural and remote communities.

Reflecting on the symposium which featured diverse efforts, several key sessions stood out:

  • One notable plenary session, titled "Shelter Pods: An Innovative Approach in a Rural Setting," explored the practicality and effectiveness of shelter pods as alternative housing models for the homeless. It highlighted how municipal governments, despite limited resources, can lead communities in creating temporary housing solutions and improving the existing housing system. Innovative and culturally appropriate homes were highlighted to mitigate housing supply issues among Indigenous peoples in northern Ontario.
  • The symposium elaborated on the roles of federal programs such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canada Greener Affordable Housing, and Housing Accelerator Fund in providing incentives to create affordable and equitable climate-resilient communities and to remove estate development approval barriers.
  • The symposium also presented case studies that showcased the use of off-site modular construction as a solution for addressing the housing crisis, considering the unique geographical and logistical aspects of different communities.

The insights and approaches drawn from this conference have the potential to inspire other communities, organizations, and government agencies to develop innovative responses to housing challenges in Canada. For more information please visit the Canadian Rural and Remote Housing and Homelessness Symposium website.  

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