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North Okanagan regional district launches creative housing contest

The Canadawide competition is being done to help directors address the lack of housing supply in RDNO

Communities within the Regional District of North Okanagan have joined together to tackle the lack of housing supply in the region by launching a creative housing design competition.

The objective is to encourage the development of secondary dwellings by generating pre-approved building plans which can be purchased at an affordable price and add housing units to our growing region.

The municipalities of Armstrong, Enderby, Lumby, Spallumcheen, Vernon, and all five RDNO Electoral Areas invite Canadian architects, designers, students, and people that are skilled in building design to participate.

Eight cash prizes totalling $24,000, and two non-monetary prizes for eco-friendly submission and people’s choice are up for grabs.

“As we are all aware, housing is in high demand with low supply, so we wanted to try an outside-of-the-box method to add units to our region,” said Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton, chair of the RDNO board of directors. “An adequate, diverse, and attainable supply of housing is critical to the strength and longevity of any community, so we hope passionate architects and designers embrace the challenge and that homeowners considering adding a secondary dwelling are encouraged to move forward.”

There is a one-storey category and a two-storey category, each with cash prizes for first, second, third and fourth place. A review panel will evaluate submissions based on affordability, design, flexibility and longevity, eco-design, and features which make the dwelling appealing to occupants and neighbours.

The plans must meet the BC Building code and design parameters set out in the terms of reference. The building plans generated through this competition will comply with each participating community’s zoning bylaws, giving homeowners across the region a wide variety to choose from.

The deadline for submissions is March 20, 2023, with the goal for pre-approved plans to be available in the summer of 2023. Find all of the details at

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About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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