Our CHRA webinar series deals with the full range of housing issues in Canada. These informative sessions showcase housing experts, leaders and decision-makers as they profile leading research and projects, promising practices and connect both CHRA members and non-members with discussions on the most relevant housing and homelessness issues and solutions.

Upcoming Webinars | Past Webinars


CHRA’s Fall 2017 Webinar Series! 

POSTPONED - INAC's Urban Programming for Indigenous People

This webinar has been postponed into the new year.  A date will be posted in the near future. 

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will be joining us for a discussion on funding opportunities for urban Indigenous Peoples through their Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples (formerly the Urban Aboriginal Strategy).  The new programming, bolstered by Budget 2017 investments, provides support to address challenges faced by at-risk community members, including Indigenous women, and provides funding to organizations that offer programs and services meeting the needs of urban Indigenous Peoples and support the transition to life in urban centres. 

Note that while this webinar presentation will be in English, a bilingual Q&A session will follow afterwards.


Annie Comtois, Manager, Urban Programming for Indigenous People

Mylène Paul, Social Policy Analyst, Urban Programming for Indigenous People



CHRA Town Hall on the National Housing Strategy

Part 1 - CHRA Town Hall on National Housing Strategy

Part 2 - CHRA Town Hall on National Housing Strategy


Tenant Engagement and Supportive Services

November 21st 2017,

Carol Charlebois, Executive Director of Metro Non-Profit Housing Association in Nova Scotia who will discuss the Association’s unique approach to small scale, grassroots tenant engagement through their Placement and Continuing Care services, and how they work to integrate tenants into building management and strategic planning and decision making processes; and,  Heather Rattanavong, Wrap Around Services Coordinator of Camponi Housing Corporation in Saskatoon who will discuss Camponi’s Tenant Engagement Strategy, and Wrap Around Services Program for their largely Indigenous tenant base.


Carol Charlebois, Executive Director, Metro Non-Profit Housing Association

Heather Rattanavong, Wrap Around Services Coordinator, Camponi Housing Corporation  



Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing by Enbridge

October 25th 2017 

Energy efficiency can vary depending on the building design. Imagine being able to compare hundreds of design options and their impact on energy efficiency and construction costs – before you start. An innovative program in Ontario from Enbridge Gas Distribution lets you do just that. It helps project teams identify energy efficiency opportunities and incentives early in the design phase, when they can have the most impact on energy savings. The program uses a web-based energy modelling tool to provide the building owner and design team with real-time feedback on energy efficiency opportunities. Using basic building information known from early design, energy models are automatically built. During this webinar, you will learn about this innovative program including a case study of a completed social housing project. As well, you will also learn about other affordable housing programs in Ontario that Enbridge Gas Distribution offers.

Please note that Enbridge affordable housing programs are only available in Ontario.


Cam BlackEnergy Solutions Consultant, Affordable Housing, Enbridge Gas

Ryan Schwartz, EIT, LEED® Green Associate, The Weidt Group


Innovation and Partnerships in Youth Homelessness

September 26, 2017

What does innovation concerning youth homelessness look like and what's required to achieve it? Steve Gaetz, Melanie Redman and Ayon Shahed will present new ideas and models for changing the landscape of services and support systems for homeless youth. Starting with what youth homelessness looks like in Canada, the webinar will highlight a housing first framework for youth. 

Launched in April 2017, the Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab, will showcase how this work can be accelerated in communities across Canada. The project aims to ensure that young people have housing stability as well as family and other supports to stay in school or access training and employment. In the first two years of the project (Phase One), demonstration projects on Family and Natural Supports Program, Youth Reconnect and Housing First for Youth, Housing First for Youth Exiting Care, and Housing First for Indigenous Youth are taking place in 10 Canadian cities: Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray. Over 1,300 youth and their families will participate. The project is delivered by a partnership between A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, two provinces (Ontario and Alberta), and dozens of community partners.

Since January 2017, Choices for Youth in Newfoundland & Labrador, have been mobilizing around a new Social Innovation Project that seeks to demonstrate how these innovations can be applied to support programs for transformative outcomes and intergenerational impact. Specifically, this part of the webinar will explore how social enterprise and a family focused approach can be embedded as critical components of the support provided to at-risk and homeless youth. The project will work with 490 youth, helping them achieve stability in family life, mental health, education, employment and housing.


Melanie Redman, Executive Director, A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness in Canada 

Download Melanie's Presentation here

Ayon Shahed, Director of Strategic Development, Choices for Youth

Download Ayon's Presentation here

Stephen Gaetz, Director, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness & Professor, Faculty of Education at York University

Download Stephen's Presentation here


Accelerating Affordable Rental Development: The City of Toronto’s Open Door Affordable Housing Program 

March 21, 2017

Access to affordable, safe and well-maintained housing is an urgent issue for far too many low- and moderate- income families, couples and single people in Toronto and across the country. Toronto has for well over a decade provided funding and financial incentives for the development of affordable rental housing, however much more needs to be done to provide better housing outcomes for all.

Toronto City Council approved the Open Door Affordable Housing Program in summer 2016 to accelerate affordable housing construction by private and non-profit organizations through:

  • Providing City financial contributions including capital funding and incentives such as exemptions from planning fees, development charges and residential property taxes;
  • Fast-tracking the planning approval process for affordable housing through the Open Door Planning Service, and;
  • Unlocking opportunities on private, public and non-profit land for affordable housing, through working with Build Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission, the Toronto Parking Authority and Toronto Community Housing, among others.

This webinar will look at the partnership model Open Door is built upon, and how the program is designed to scale up Toronto's affordable housing efforts. You will also find out how and why the Council supports Open Door as a citywide initiative. This webinar will also be an opportunity to learn about some of the most recent and innovative pilot developments in Toronto.

Speaker: Sean Gadon, Director, Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto (ON)


Download Sean's presentation here


Understanding the Fundamentals of Real Estate Valuation in a Social Housing Environment

February 15, 2017

Interested in learning more about property valuation? This session will discuss the fundamentals of real estate valuation and how the appraisal report can help you to make informed real estate decisions. 

Discussion will include:

  • Highest and best use;
  • Zoning, land controls and permitted uses;
  • Understanding the different valuation methodologies. 

Whether you’re looking to finance, assess market rent, make capital expenditures, sell or purchase in the non-profit and social housing sectors, or assessing the feasibility of converting or developing a project, join this webinar to find out why a valuation expert could be instrumental to your team of experts to maximize your real estate assets. 

Speaker: Nathalie Roy-Patenaude, AACI, P.App., Director-Counsellor, Professional Practice of the Appraisal Institute of Canada (Nat’l)

Download Nathalie's presentation here

Building Sustainable Communities – The In’s & Out’s of Project Development

January 24, 2017

Building affordable housing that promotes sustainable practices for the built environment is a goal of many towns and cities across Canada – particularly in emphasizing a focus on fostering community, business investment, jobs and smart growth.

But is it realistic, one might ask, to expect local governments and non-profits to attain such goals through the use of local planning practices and partnerships alone? We say, yes it is!

Hear from The Sustainable Communities’ partnership of the Government of New Brunswick and the Harbourside Cohousing seniors project in British Columbia who are each making sustainable, affordable community integrative design work.

The Sustainable Communities’ partnership of New Brunswick has developed a truly integrated planning approach called ‘Building Sustainable Communities with Design’ (or SCD Approach).  It provides community leaders with information on how:

  • they are performing regarding fiscal impacts and density promoted;
  • they can position themselves at the world level to attract investments and knowledge workers, and;
  • to build to respond to climate change issues and implement sustainable building practices when developing communities.

A few communities in New Brunswick have implemented the SCD Approach and have seen ‘smart growth’ and ‘new urbanism’ practices flourish within fiscally responsible budgets. ‘Le Village en haut du Ruisseau’ in Dieppe (NB) will be featured as a testament to what sustainable planning practices can look like in Canada.

Harbourside Cohousing is also showing that building sustainable development is possible today, and has responded to the needs of an aging population in creating their ‘Senior Cohousing’ project in Sooke (BC). The project will showcase how it came to fruition through collaboration with future residents on a shared commitment to a:

  • ‘Built Green Canada Gold’ standard of sustainability and energy efficiency by design that promotes healthy aging in place;
  • collaboration with the architect and cohousing project manager to create a built form that nurtures an innovative culture with connections to broader society, while enhancing use of green space, and;
  •  offers affordable strata-titled housing in a supportive environment for aging residents to thrive.  

Join this interactive webinar to learn more about alternative development models, concepts and principles around the SCD Approach, response to seniors’ cohousing projects, and examples of implementation.


Margaret Critchlow, Director, Canadian Senior Cohousing Society & founding member, Harbourside Cohousing (BC)

Daniel Savard, Planner & Member, Sustainable Communities Partnership, Department of Environment & Local Government, Government of New Brunswick (NB)

Download Margaret's Presentation here.

Download Daniel's Presentation here.

Download Daniel's Presentation here (In French/En Français)


Driving New Housing Supply Across a Range of Affordability Options

December 13, 2016

From a new private sector cohousing development in Saskatoon, to a non-profit charity focused on providing safe, affordable housing in Ottawa – don’t miss out on this webinar showcasing how new housing is getting built across a range of affordability options.

Hear from Radiance CoHousing who will share the challenges and successes they have encountered while building a new family oriented condo development in the urban centre of Saskatoon, set to break ground in the spring of 2017. Learn more about the cohousing model, as well as the design, financing, sustainability and neighbourhood impacts of the project, along with the management and community principles cohousing fosters.

Ottawa’s Multifaith Housing Initiative (MHI) will also join us to discuss a number of projects underway, including The Haven, a 98 unit mix of town homes and low rise apartment buildings featuring multi-use community space and accessible, affordable units set for completion in the spring of 2017. MHI will also speak about their Veterans House, utilizing a supportive Housing First model to be built entirely through fundraising, and will further address issues such as NIMBY’ism encountered through their mixed-tenure condo development at Somerset House.

Shannon Dyck
 and Michael NemethRadiance CoHousing Team (SK)
Suzanne Le, Executive Director, Multifaith Housing Initiative (ON)

Download the Radiance CoHousing Team's Presentation Here

Download the Multifaith Housing Initiative Team's Presentation Here



The Missing Piece: How Housing Policy Benefits from a Socio-Economic Perspective
November 17, 2016

Whether new to the housing sector or just interested in delving deeper into housing policy issues, this webinar is for you.

Join us for a candid talk on the role of broader social and economic drivers impacting the non-profit housing sector as well as homelessness across Canada. This webinar will discuss how unemployment, taxation, recessions, social spending and income assistance impacts the social housing landscape, and will speak to the importance of understanding and relating these impacts to advancing housing policy analysis, advocacy and debate.  

Where might this approach take us? And how might it affect affordable housing outcomes? Don’t miss out to learn more.

Nick Falvo
, PhD., Director, Research and Data, Calgary Homeless Foundation (AB)

Download the presentation

Insights on Housing Trajectories for Newcomers and Refugees
October 11, 2016

The Syrian refugee crisis has shed light on the many gaps in the Canadian affordable housing system, as well as to the limited housing trajectories for newcomers. This webinar will explore key settlement, integration, housing and relocation challenges being undertaken in Winnipeg and Montreal to address the necessity of providing safe, adequate housing for newcomers.

You will learn about the Montreal component of a pan-Canadian survey on housing refugees by the National Metropolis Project/Homelessness Partnership Strategy (2010-11). The University of Winnipeg and Welcome Place will also share a three-year research project undertaken on housing trajectories for newcomers and Syrian refugees.

Damaris Rose
, Professor, Urban Studies, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) (QC)
Ray Silvius, Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg & Hani Al-Ulbeady, Housing Councilor, Welcome Place (MB)

Download Damaris Rose's presentation
Download Ray Silvius & Hani Al-Ulbeady's presentation

Closing the Gap on Tenant-Landlord Relations Through ‘Ready to Rent’ Certified Training
September 22, 2016

Join us to learn about Ready to Rent’s tenant education and certification model for the rental housing sector being expanded in BC. Ready to Rent BC (R2R) is helping participants to build the knowledge, skills and confidence to access and maintain housing. This combination of education and support is demonstrating results in helping people with barriers to housing increase their housing stability.

Being a good tenant requires a combination of skills and knowledge that can be learned: identifying housing priorities, applying for housing, rights and responsibilities, landlord empathy, financial management, effective communication, and taking care of your home. ‘RentSmart’ graduates receive a certificate that is recognized by BC Housing, and many housing providers and landlords, opening doors for those vulnerable to housing instability. 

R2R’s model utilizes a train the trainer and community partnership approach to deliver high quality and standardized education in communities across BC

RentEd is a complimentary course offered to housing providers and landlords interested in building their knowledge, skills and capacity for housing stability – meaning R2R builds common language, skills and understanding between both sides of the tenancy relationship.

The webinar will address Ready to Rent BC’s:

  • RentSmart and RentEd education, certificate and support model for housing stability;
  • R2R program launch and provincial/Canada wide pilot initiative;
  • Impact Measurement and results to date.

The R2R model will interest those who work with individuals experiencing housing instability or are at risk of homelessness, Aboriginals leaving reserve, youth transitioning out of care, single parents, women escaping violence, and newcomers, as well as low income seniors.

Kristi Fairholm Mader, Co-Executive Director, Ready to Rent BC

Download the presentation

CHRA Summer 2016 Member Update
June 22, 2016

Update from CHRA’s Executive Director Jeff Morrison on CHRA’s 2016-19 Strategic Plan that lays the foundation for the associations programs, research, partnerships and national advocacy.
Also discussed:

  • Status of “National Housing Strategy” consultation process, and timelines;
  • Policy positions that CHRA will be advocating for as part of that process;
  • Research projects and other CHRA initiatives;
  • Teasers on upcoming Fall 2016 Webinar Series and Congress 2017 in Halifax!

Download the presentation

Affordable Homeownership Partnerships with Habitat for Humanity Canada

October 21, 2015

Famous for their ‘sweat equity’ approach to homebuilding and interest-free mortgage payments, Habitat for Humanity Canada discuss partnership opportunities between non-profit housing providers pre- and post-expiry of social housing operating agreements to transition families into affordable homeownership.

We hear from regional Habitat affiliates from across Canada, including Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, who speaks to their partnership with Métis Capital Housing Corporation to transition five former rental properties post- expiry or federal operating subsidies into homeownership dwellings for Métis families under Habitat’s unique Aboriginal Housing Program. We also discuss the land transfer and rehabilitation strategies use to turn a former military housing base into affordable homes for thirty-three low-income families with Habitat for Humanity Northumberland

Watch on YouTube



Terry Petkau, National Director, Safety and Building Programs, Habitat for Humanity (Canada)
Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton (AB)
Meaghan Macdonald, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Northumberland (ON)

Thank you to Habitat for Humanity Canada for their generous sponsorship!

A Path To Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers
November 12, 2015

A Path to Home: Supporting Housing Needs for Newcomers (APTH) is a national program that employs best-practice principles to the resettlement support process of newcomers to Canada. The program is unique in that it views resettlement through a housing lens, prioritizing affordable and appropriate housing as a fundamental building block of the settlement process.
The program supports recent immigrants and resettled refugees who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Those who face multiple barriers to integration such as due to low literacy or education skills, minimal urban living experience, health issues, isolation, and single parent or large families are considered a priority, among others. The project is further focused on three core objectives central to a housing continuum of care, being housing access, stabilization and eviction prevention.
Our dynamic team of speakers told us more about A Path To Home – including plans to expand the program – along with best-practices, outcomes and models for success .
APTH is an ongoing national pilot project currently funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, and delivered by partner organizations the Multicultural Association of Fredericton, the YMCA of Northern Alberta in Edmonton, and COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto.
Adela Colhon, General Manager, A Path to Home, National Coordination, YMCA of Greater Toronto (Canada)
Yasmine Dossal, Director, A Path to Home, COSTI Immigrant Services in Toronto (ON)
Martine Bazira, Housing Support Worker, A Path to Home, YMCA of Northern Alberta in Edmonton (AB)
Ljiljana Kalaba, Project Coordinator, A Path to Home, Multicultural Association of Fredericton Inc. (NB)

Social Impact Models Breaking Down Barriers for Homeless Populations
December 8, 2015

This webinar featured the work of CleanStart, a non-profit social enterprise providing eco-friendly junk removal and job programs for residents with barriers to employment in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. We heard from Exeko, a progressive Montréal based social innovation agency using creativity, art and philosophy to promote social inclusion through cultural and intellectual mediations addressing homelessness and Aboriginal youth among others. 

Attendees discovered how CleanStart, a once small start-up, is moving to the next phase of expansion through the creation of comprehensive job training programs, social media outreach and flexible employee supports to marginalized individuals facing barriers to employment. We heard about the significant impacts they have made working with affordable housing and homelessness communities across Vancouver through their social return on investment model.

We learned about Exeko’s idAction Mobile program, a philosophical and cultural caravan that tours the streets of Montréal to engage citizens, in particular those experiencing homelessness. On board are books, newspapers, eyeglasses, art supplies, documentary films and writing kits, all offering the means of civic participation through access to information on current events, while providing a safe space for knowledge exchange, discussion, artistic play and self-discovery.  


Laura Barreca, Operations Manager, CleanStart, Vancouver (BC)
Nadia Duguay, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Exeko, Montréal (QC)

Social Return on Investment (SROI): Making the Case for Housing
January 28, 2016

In a world where value is most easily understood in financial terms, this webinar focused on the how and the why of measuring the impact of Social Return on Investment (SROI), and the implications for affordable, non-profit and supportive housing providers.

There has been increasing demand for impact measurement as organizations seek to expand their priorities beyond strictly financial objectives. Joined by SiMPACT Strategy Group, founding partner of The SROI Canada Network, watch this webinar to learn more about SROI tools and methodology, and the value of SROI to key stakeholders including:

  • the organization seeking to measure its social impacts;
  • the organization’s funders, clients and the public;
  • the organization’s beneficiaries and staff;
  • as well as for the affordable housing sector at large.

Learnings from this webinar will help to inform future planning, day-to-day management and project evaluation of your organization.

You will also hear from WoodGreen Community Services, who will discuss how they are using SROI to communicate the value of their Homeward Bound program which helps precariously-housed and homeless single mothers transition to economic self-sufficiency. WoodGreen will highlight the benefits of SROI as a tool for housing service providers.

Watch on YouTube

Stephanie Robertson
, CEO & Founder, SiMPACT Strategy Group, Calgary (AB)
Sydney Blum, Director of Community Impact & Strategic Relations, WoodGreen Community Services, Toronto (ON)

How to Ready Your Organization for the Trudeau Investment in Infrastructure
February 17, 2016

Infrastructure investment encompasses a significant political pledge moving forward by the Liberal government – meaning sector capacity and economic impact opportunities are ripe for the non-profit housing sector at-large.

This webinar explores what the Trudeau investment in infrastructure could mean for your organization, with a focus on implications for housing providers serving Aboriginal populations.

Hear from M’akola Group of Societies and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services who will discuss:

  • The current political climate – Federal re-engagement and the Liberal platform;
  • How new development can be achieved in the current economic and political climate;
  • Business transformation, sector capacity, growth, partnership opportunities and more…

Join this important conversation on the short-term strategies and long-term implications new Federal investment will have on the non-profit housing sector across Canada.

Remarks: Robert Byers
, CHRA Director, Aboriginal Communities, & Chief Executive Officer, Namerind Housing Corporation (SK)
Kevin Albers, Chief Executive Officer, M’akola Group of Societies (BC)
Don McBain, Executive Director, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (ON)

Watch on YouTube



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