Here To Stay: Affordable Housing Solutions Presented by the 30Network - CityHive Vancouver
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Here To Stay: Affordable Housing Solutions Presented by the 30Network

Housing affordability continues to be a hot topic in Vancouver, and it affects everyone from your neighbourhood barista to students to tech workers in Mount Pleasant. Although there has been a lot of conversation about solutions for the affordability crisis, youth have been mostly left out of key decision making; however, the 30Network stepped up to the challenge to change the direction of this conversation towards youth-generated solutions. Over the last two months, CityHive & YouthfulCities convened these 30 urban leaders under 30 to understand housing challenges and create projects to work towards solutions. On May 10th, 2017 the 30Network presented their project ideas at their launch event ‘Here to Stay: Housing Solutions By Youth’ at SFU Woodwards Djavad Mowafaghian World Arts Centre.

The room was buzzing with energy and excitement around an event that offers positive opportunities and tangible solutions from an entirely youth voice. Unlike most events that focus repeatedly on the problems surrounding housing in Vancouver, the 30Network has spent the last two months exploring the possibilities of solutions. This cohort has spent hours delving into the causes, sharing stories and experiences, consulting with experts, conducting research, and brainstorming ideas in order to best inform and explore what Vancouver needs.

After Mayor Gregor Robertson’s opening address to the 30Network and attendees of the event, the 6 project teams pitched their solutions to the audience and judges. The judges of the evening were Paul Kershaw- Founder of Generation Squeeze, Shauna Sylvester- Director of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue and Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of SFU Public Square, Danny Oleksiuk- Co-Founder of Abundant Housing Vancouver, Abigail Bond- Director of Housing for the City of Vancouver, and David Hendrickson- Special Projects Manager for the Real Estate Foundation of BC.

First up was Empty Nests, the project seeking to connect young renters and a mature homeowner population in order to tap into existing affordable housing opportunities.

Next up- WTH: Where’s The Housing? aims to build a network of young advocates for housing across the region.

The third presenters of the evening was the 50 Small Things team. This project built 50 actions that young millennial renters can take on housing in Vancouver.

Community POP! was up next to present their solution around creating affordable pop-up communities for Vancouver’s hidden homeless.

HousedUp offers solutions for first-time renters looking to break into the market by building trust between these marginalized renters and landlords.

Finally, Flatform explained their model as a social enterprise that has developed a curated subletting website promoting secure, attainable, and flexible housing for creatives working in the Gig Economy.

The winners, as voted by the judges and audience were Empty Nests (first place) and Community POP! (second place). The prizes were monetary awards to allow these teams to get their project off the ground. First prize winners won $5000 and second place winners won $1500.

CityHive and YouthfulCities brought together 30 youth leaders under 30 from all over Metro Vancouver as the 30Network on Housing Affordability to get a youth perspective on housing in Vancouver. These 30 changemakers have brought their passion and ideas on housing to co-create innovative solutions for an affordable future. The goal of the 30Network was not to gather housing experts to create the solution to affordable housing. If there was an easy, overnight solution that could be found by putting a bunch of housing experts in one room, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now. Instead, the aim of the 30Network was to connect leaders from a range of urban areas – artists, students, sustainability enthusiasts, transportation nerds, and the list goes on- to collaborate and stretch beyond silos and sectors. With strong diversity, a range of experiences, a dash of expert support, and a collective interest, these creative minds were able to co-create innovative solutions by harnessing their creativity and incorporating perspectives that are often left out of the conversation.

These projects did not end on May 10th. Each project has started to carry forward in different ways. Stay tuned for where these projects go on our blog, or follow us on social media.

Special thanks to Vancity Credit Union, Cities4People, the City of Vancouver, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Generation Squeeze, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, LandlordBC, HCMA Architecture + Design, Embark SFU, SFU Woodwards, and RADIUS for their generous support in making the 30Network possible.

More pictures from the event can be found here

Here’s a little taste of what the 30Network is all about:

This post was written by Claire Crowther of CityHive.

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