Your Voice. Your Home. 
Meeting the Housing Needs of Burnaby Residents

February 1, 2019 - July 29, 2019

Residents of Burnaby and across the region are currently experiencing a housing crisis. Housing costs have risen in recent years, existing affordable homes are being lost, supply is not meeting local demand and many residents are being left behind. 

Your Voice. Your Home. Meeting the Housing Needs of Burnaby Residents was an innovative partnership between the City of Burnaby and SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, designed to engage the community and inform the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.

The project was highly integrated with the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing and demonstrated new ways to co-create solutions with residents, stakeholders and technical experts. Over six months, the process generated recommendations and engaged with more than 2,600 residents, making it the largest public engagement process ever undertaken by the City of Burnaby. Your Voice. Your Home. Meeting the Housing Needs of Burnaby Residents provided a set of unique in-person and online engagement opportunities for community members to gather and share ideas, present recommendations and engage with one another to find workable solutions. The project consisted of three phases resulting in three publicly available reports

The project was recognized by Burnaby Now! as the 2019 “Newsmaker of the Year” and the International Association of Public Participation as Runner Up for its 2020 Core Values Award in the category of “Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field.”

Project Phases

Phase 1: Generating Ideas

Everyone brings a particular perspective to the community housing discussion. 

Phase One of Your Voice. Your Home. was focused on hearing from Burnaby residents. It provided a series of engagement opportunities for the community to share their voices, ideas, experiences, as well as possible solutions. The objective was to collect as many ideas as possible from as many residents as possible, with an emphasis on diversity. It was important to ensure that Phase One included a wide-range of voices and opinions, capturing all of the different housing experiences in Burnaby.

Phase One was comprised of three main activities: the Community Housing Survey, the Community Ideas Workshop and targeted community outreach through a team of Community Student Ambassadors.

To conclude Phase One: Generating Ideas, the Centre for Dialogue published the What We Heard Report, summarizing the ideas collected from Burnaby residents and stakeholders. This report was presented to Burnaby City Council and the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing to inform the Task Force’s Interim Report which identified 10 Quick Start actions to address housing affordability.

Phase 2: Trade-offs and Solutions

Any policy or programming decision involves a carefully consideration of the possible benefits and trade-offs.  

Phase Two of Your Voice. Your Home. was about evaluating different possible housing recommendations and their respective trade-offs. The process allowed participants to build upon the ideas generated in Phase One through a series of public engagement opportunities. These activities included: a second online survey to evaluate Quick Starts, a Discussion Guide, and a deliberative dialogue through the form of the Community Recommendations Workshop. 

The Interim Report produced by The Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing and its 10 'Quick Starts' was the launch point for discussions during Phase Two. Residents were encouraged to provide their Quick Starts feedback through the second online survey. 

To conclude Phase Two, the Community Recommendations Report was published, providing a summary of the workshop recommendations. The results were presented to Burnaby City Council in July 2019, as well as the Mayor's Task Force to inform its Final Report and Phase Three of Your Voice. Your Home.

Phase 3: Action

In May 2019, approximately 100 representative Burnaby residents and community members gathered for the Your Voice. Your Home. Community Recommendations Workshop at Maywood Elementary. At this workshop, residents worked together to increase their knowledge of housing trends and facts, build empathy for different needs and perspectives and, most importantly, create a series of actionable recommendations in the best interest of all Burnaby residents. These recommendations were presented to Burnaby’s Mayor, City Council and members of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.

At the end of the workshop, residents were asked to suggest one member from their table to represent the perspectives of the group at the Your Voice. Your Home. Resident Reconvening Workshop, which would evaluate progress made by the City of Burnaby on community housing one year later. Although delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this workshop took place on Thursday February 11th, 2021.

This reconvening workshop brought together 13 Burnaby residents from the Community Recommendations Workshop to review progress on the residents’ recommendations. The reconvening workshop provided a unique opportunity to close the loop on what was the City’s largest ever public engagement process.

In a similar process, the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing was reconvened for an evaluation workshop on March 1st 2021. As part of the Final Report, Task Force members made the following commitment: “In the spirit of collaboration, the Task Force suggests that the City follow up, within 16 months of receiving this report, with a progress report on the implementation of these housing initiatives. We would support re-convening as a Task Force to review this progress.”

During the workshop, Task Force Members evaluated the City’s progress on their recommendations, provided feedback, asked clarifying questions and identified areas of priority for next steps, all while keeping in mind the perspectives of Burnaby residents.

On Monday April 12th, the Centre was pleased to present key findings from both reconvening processes to Burnaby City Council.

Both the Resident Reconvening and Task Force Workshop activities and evaluation results are publicly available in two What We Heard Reports:


The What We Heard Report presents a detailed overview of all public input collected during Phase One of the engagement process. Phase One engaged with approximately 2380 Burnaby residents to gather ideas, assess current housing needs and challenges and generate possible solutions.

The Discussion Guide presents a factual overview of housing in Burnaby and outlines five different housing approaches intended to provoke thought and enable readers to compare their own viewpoints against a wide range of housing perspectives. The Discussion Guide was created to prepare and inform Community Recommendations Workshop participants.

The Community Recommendations Report provides a detailed overview of the results and recommendations from the Your Voice. Your Home. Community Recommendations Workshop hosted on May 25th, 2019. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for a representative group of Burnaby residents and stakeholders to make recommendations to the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing and City Councillors. 

Partner Organization

The City of Burnaby is a vibrant city at the geographic centre of Metro Vancouver. It has an amazing natural environment, a strong cultural mosaic and thriving town centres. The City of Burnaby provides facilities and services that support a safe, connected, inclusive, healthy and dynamic community. As the third-largest city in B.C., Burnaby is home to more than 232,000 residents (2016 Census) and is projected to grow to 345,000 by 2041.

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