Healthy Housing

The Healthy Housing Strategy was endorsed by Council on June 25, 2018. The Healthy Housing Strategy is a 5-year plan that aims to address the community’s most pressing housing issues. The Healthy Housing Strategy was developed in alignment with the Journey Home Strategy to address Council’s top priorities of homelessness and housing diversity. 

The Healthy Housing Strategy includes 19 actions within the Strategy’s four key directions:
1.  Promote and protect rental housing;
2.  Improve housing affordability and reduce barriers for affordable housing;
3.  Build the right supply; and
4.  Strengthen partnerships and align investments. 

The Healthy Housing Strategy will be led by the City of Kelowna, however requires the collective efforts of all levels of government, public and private sectors, community partners and residents to implement and embrace the 19 actions. 

Prior to developing the Healthy Housing Strategy, the City completed a Housing Needs Assessment which paints a picture of Kelowna today, in the short‐term, and long‐term (2040) in order to understand what our housing needs are today and how they may shift over time. This Housing Needs Assessment built an important foundation for action – a strong base of knowledge contributes to robust and appropriate strategies and actions that seek to have real, measurable and positive impacts on our housing challenges. 

On May 8, 2019 the City of Kelowna and Urban Matters received a Gold Award for "Excellence in Planning" from the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC) for Equity and Inclusion in Housing Needs Assessments.  The work represents an innovative approach to understanding housing needs of our community - both today and into the future. This work included creating a new housing continuum called the Wheelhouse which introduces promotes equity and inclusion, as well as taking a resiliency and health lens.  On May 27, 2019 this award was presented to City Council.

The City of Kelowna would like to recognize Urban Matters, Interior Health and other key community stakeholders for their contributions to the project.  The PIBC 2019 Awards News Release outlines all the 2019 award winners.

On August 26, 2019, Staff presented Council with an overview of the Rental Housing Inventory for the City of Kelowna, which was one of the 19 recommended actions identified within the Strategy’s key directions. Based on BC Assessment data and cross-referenced with the City’s business license list, the Rental Housing Inventory provides a more fulsome picture of the current multi-unit purpose-built rental stock. The Inventory has also been made publicly available through two layers (Rental Housing – Primary Market and Rental Housing – Subsidized) in Kelowna Map Viewer System.

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Background

Healthy City Strategy

How communities are planned and built, and the services and resources provided within them, directly impacts people’s physical and social health. When strategically designed, built environments like homes, neighbourhoods, schools, streets and workplaces, can reduce obesity and chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.       

Housing is a community-wide issue that directly impacts people's physical and social health. As part of the Healthy City Strategy, City of Kelowna community planners and Interior Health public health practitioners worked together with a focus on the second of six theme areas: Healthy Housing.  

Healthy Housing builds on the Healthy City Strategy's Community for All Action Plan in which housing was identified as an issue for seniors, children and those with diverse abilities.