With a massive spring thaw on the horizon, many Regina residents may be dreading the whoes of homeownership. However, while Regina homeowners work to prevent basement flooding, Regina City Council is working to ensure that everyone in the Queen City has somewhere to call “home”.
With vacancy rates at an all-time low, housing is shaping up to be the number one priority for the City of Regina this spring.
A number of initiatives designed to increase the availability and affordability of housing have been announced, including the recent approval of the Mayor’s Housing Summit by City Council this week. The summit was a central point of Mayor Michael Fougere’s platform leading up to October’s municipal election, and will be modeled after the successful National Infrastructure Summit which Regina has hosted and organized for the last two years.
Regina Housing Summit
The housing summit (which will take place on May 13th and 14th) will provide stakeholders with a chance to connect and discuss ideas for improving the availability of affordable, attainable housing in Regina and across the province, and will be attended by representatives from every level of government. Registration for the event will cost $275 per person (you can buy your tickets here), but registered, non-profit housing organizations will each be able to send two representatives free of charge. At Monday’s City Council meeting Mayor Fougere emphasized that “All people affected will have a voice at this summit”.
The Mayor’s Housing Summit will be held at the Hotel Saskatchewan with a theme of “Housing in a Growing Economy” and will host speakers and discussion panels on three areas of focus: Supply of Rental and Affordable Housing, Innovation in Housing, and Partnerships. Much of the direction for the summit will be drawn from the Comprehensive Housing Strategy, a key part of Regina’s overarching Official Community Plan “Design Regina” (which also includes plans for transportation, culture, and neighbourhood planning).
If you can’t make it to summit on May 13th and 14th, or can’t find the $275 registration fee in your budget, have no fear. The City of Regina will be holding an open house for public input on the Comprehensive Housing Strategy on Thursday, April 18th in the Canadian North room of the Ramada Hotel (need a map?). City administrators will give presentations on the strategy at noon, 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., with an opportunity for questions and comments to follow each presentation.
Housing in Regina Top Priority
Though housing is a top concern for the city, Mayor Fougere is confident that the low vacancy rate is a growing pain that Regina will overcome on its way to becoming a bigger and more vibrant city. On Wednesday Fougere told the Regina chapter of the Saskatchewan Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs that “Anyone who can’t get excited about our city changing isn’t paying attention”. For more on the Mayor’s housing Summit, check out the City of Regina’s website.