CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Nov. 23, 2016) -
Embargoed Until 1 p.m. (MT)
Close to 200 affordable housing stakeholders from across Alberta gathered in Calgary today to attend the 12th Annual National Housing Day event in Calgary. The Opening Doors Conference, the premier National Housing Day event in the province, saw a keynote address from Chris Burckhardt, Chief Operating Officer of Mercy Housing (USA), an international housing expert who has helped develop affordable housing across the USA for over 35,000 residents. Chris presented on how health outcomes are directly tied to safe, secure, affordable housing, and how providing affordable housing can be shown to provide a quantifiable return on investment in communities where it is built.
The conference was opened by Mayor Naheed Nenshi who spoke about the urgent need to address the local shortage of affordable housing and what the City of Calgary, and fellow Calgarians, are doing, and can do about it.
"With so much unprecedented focus on affordable housing and housing affordability this conference has served as an opportunity for us to think more strategically and collaboratively as a sector, celebrate what we have all accomplished and come together to plan for the future" says Kim O'Brien, Chair of the Conference Committee and Executive Director of Horizon Housing Society.
Delegates from across Alberta came together to share best practices being implemented across the province to add more affordable housing to communities, explored the changing profile of housing in Alberta, and learned more about strategies taking shape among all orders of government. A panel discussion was held with federal, provincial and municipal representatives each sharing their respective governments' housing priorities and updates on the various stages of development and implementation of their affordable housing strategies.
The Conference was held in commemoration of National Housing Day, which has been officially recognized by the Government of Canada since it was declared in 2000. The day sees local events to raise awareness about housing and homelessness across Canada.