Mark Holmgren, executive director of the Edmonton CDC, Leo Wong, founder of MacEwan University’s Round House, and Andrea Burkart, executive director of End Poverty Edmonton huddled together one evening at the Roundhouse and talked about the possibilities that might be revealed if cross sector and cross industry stakeholders came together to explore potential innovations for reducing the costs of designing, building, financing/funding, and operating affordable housing. As well we are looking for pathways forward that address sluggish bureaucracies and complicated rules and costly processes.
A particular goal is to identify innovations that allow for the construction of affordable housing that have low end or below market rents and do require tenants to be dependent on subsidies.
We are in the process of applying for some funding to cover the costs of research, design jams, and ultimately a daylong innovation lab at the Roundhouse. Our intent is to design an innovation journey map that will result in groups continuing innovation work after the innovation lab.