What does it take to make a home?

By: Shafraaz Kaba, Principal, ASK For a Better World

Along with our facilitator, Shafraaz Kaba, we are beginning to work with industry experts and folks from the non-profit housing sector to think about housing affordability. We will document this journey here. Please see below for our first post detailing the start of this journey.

What does home mean to you? How about housing? And what is affordable housing? What is a shelter? Is homelessness and the lack of affordable housing triggered by our failure to deliver social supports to the vulnerable, those with low incomes, and hard to house? Or is it a function of failure of policy and ineffective funding models that do not deliver the type, scale and number of units required? Perhaps it is also a function of land values and gentrification. Speculation and the never-ending need to develop neighbourhoods for profit push out folks who cannot afford the inflation of rents. In our polarized, partisan world, are we losing the idea of creating community? Affordable housing has been a subject that has been the study of countless architectural theses, and even the focus of many architectural and builder practices. Through the Affordable Housing Solutions Lab, we will collaborate to test prototypes for Edmonton.

The Affordable Housing Solutions Lab is a partnership between MacEwan University, the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Community Development Company, and the City of Edmonton. The vision of this lab is to ensure all citizens in Edmonton have access to safe, adequate and supportive housing. It hopes to empower Edmontonians to innovate, co-create and develop effective, local housing solutions that promote social inclusion and fulfill the right to housing.

Housing. Home. Shelter. We will begin to document our prototypes through this blog. Over the course of an Edmonton winter, watch our progress and hear from the various participants on our prototyping teams. Perhaps our ideas can inspire the people working in the local housing industry, and create new models for equity and humanity.

To provoke some ideas, here is a short, 28 minute documentary on “What it takes to make a home.”


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