City of Vancouver
Affordable Housing and Homelessness Public Involvement

This is what it sounds like to have your voice heard.

Hear that? That’s the sound of people’s input being listened to. When the City of Vancouver set out on a strategic plan to end homelessness and increase affordable housing in the city by 2015, one of its priorities was to get meaningful public involvement in helping to shape this strategy. That’s where we came in.



Context helped the City organize an innovative public outreach and engagement project designed to solicit the participation and input of a wide cross-section of stakeholders. The “Talk Housing With Us” campaign encompassed a series of events and public forums where people could share their ideas about how to tackle the issues of affordable housing and street homelessness in Vancouver.

These events included, among others, a Renters’ Roundtable, where people were able to discuss their issues and concerns with the Mayor in an informal setting, as well as a highly successful “Unconference” in which participants chose and led the housing topics they wanted to discuss in breakout sessions. Feedback from these various forums ultimately helped to shape the presentation we prepared for city staff that was presented to Council.

The “Talk Housing With Us” campaign engaged the general public in a conversation about one of Vancouver’s most urgent issues and, more than that, demonstrated that their voices mattered.

  • How we got people talking

    From an informal Renters’ Roundtable with the Mayor to an open space “Unconference” led by participants, we brought people together in a variety of forums to share their ideas on the issues of affordable housing and homelessness.

  • “If we’re going to build a city that has affordable housing options for everyone, we need Vancouverites to get involved.” Mayor Gregor RobertsoN