judge-panel-high-school-competitionThis year, on November 25, 2016, Right at Home Housing Society Executive Director Cam McDonald co-hosted the annual high school case competition at King’s University along with the Leder School of Business. Each year,  grade 11 and 12 students compete teams of four; this year, the topic for the competition surrounded issues of affordable housing in Edmonton, seeking creative solutions. A panel of judges was selected, including: Anne Stevenson, president of Right at Home Housing Society; MLA David Shepherd; David Nedohin from Inner City Agencies Foundation (ICAF); Debra Jakubec from Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL); City Councillor Scott McKeen; and Martin Garber Conrad of the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF).

3rd Place Runners Upthird-place-high-school-competition

The third place team, named Team Polaris, was determined to be a strong contender for their thorough knowledge about housing issues in Edmonton. They modelled their creative solution to that of the Fast Housing Approach developed in Medicine Hat, in which those living in shelters are found permanent housing within a ten day period. They also stressed the important of raising awareness in NIMBY neighbourhoods through engaging and integrating those in affordable housing in their community.

2nd Place Runners Upsecond-place-high-school-competition

One young lady came from Victoria, BC, with a unique approach to raise awareness about housing issues not only in Edmonton, but with a potential to spread in other cities as well. The second place winner introduced the idea of “HousED” which would work with local schools and universities to distribute lesson plans to the city’s next leadership generation, employing a challenge similar to the popular “Ice Bucket Challenge” or “Mannequin Challenge”, in which students would perform a task to spread awareness about affordable housing, and then nominate two other classrooms in their school.

The Winners

Self-named Team Busy Bees was rewarded for their hard work and extensive research in the current housing issue that Edmonton is facing. They proposed a
housing project of 73 duplexes, and had already determined where these duplexes could be built: in Beverly Heights, where an old school is currently set to be demolished, assuming that similar to Habitat for Humanity, the land could be donated by the City of Edmonton. To help integrate and educate those living in the low-income properties with the rest of the community, they also proposed adding a library to the community hall that currently exists, as well as implementing a community garden.first-place-high-school-competition