Congress recap blog _header

Highlights from the 2024 CHRA National Congress in Fredericton

09 May 2024

Leah Blunden, CHRA Communications Manager


From April 9-11, we hosted over 500 attendees, speakers, tradeshow exhibitors, and sponsors at the 2024 CHRA National Congress in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Congress week began on an auspicious note, with our staff team and Board witnessing a total solar eclipse in Fredericton, one of the best places in the world to view this once-in-a-lifetime event.

This year, Congress took on a more casual atmosphere and this tone permeated the Convention Centre and events throughout Fredericton, making the event feel optimistic, spontaneous, and fun. Connections were made and ideas shared – truly the best of what Congress has to offer.

Read on to see some of the highlights.


Indigenous Innovation Forum

The Indigenous Caucus hosted the second annual Indigenous Innovation Forum on April 9. Nearly 150 attendees enjoyed an urban

Indigenous housing development panel, a Four Corners of Indigenous Housing session, updates from NICHI, and more, hosted by Facilitator Madelaine McCallum who kept the energy up and moved attendees through the day’s events.

We thank Elder Charlie Nicholas for opening and closing the day's events and Local Host Committee member Christin Swim for her hard work in organizing and supporting the 2024 Indigenous Innovation Forum, as well as all the speakers and participants.


Pre-Congress Courses


On April 9, we hosted two pre-Congress courses in cooperation with CIH Canada. Justin Rain returned for a second year with his course The Curious Case of Housing Policy in Canada, and Charla Huber offered a new course for CHRA/CIH Canada:  Looking at the Housing Sector with an Indigenous Lens.



This year’s Congress sessions were thoughtfully curated, influenced by the overarching themes of inclusivity, anti-discrimination, innovation, and community-building. We heard from speakers from across the country with varied experience and backgrounds working to improve their communities. Session topics included housing development; inclusive housing solutions; initiatives that are addressing discrimination, colonialism, ableism, and other inequities; enlisting data in the fight against homelessness and housing precarity; innovative partnerships; supportive housing; advocacy, and more.

The ever-popular Congress mobile tours took attendees to see some of the amazing work being done by housing providers in Fredericton and Saint John.



The Congress Kick-off marked the official start of Congress on April 10. CHRA Executive Director Ray Sullivan and Board President

Margaret Pfoh welcomed attendees and special guests including Elder Dr. Maggie Paul, who opened Congress with wise words and song, performers Sisters of the Drum, and Fredericton Mayor Kate Rogers. CMHC’s Houser’s Den closed out the programming for the day, with Housing Supply Challenge applicants pitching their innovative ideas to our judges in a Dragon’s Den style format.

Day two began with Keynote Speaker, Economist; Energy, Trade, and Financial Markets Expert; and Bestselling Author Jeff Rubin, who spoke about Canada’s current economic climate and its impact on housing. For the final session of Congress, we tried something a little different: Fredricton theatre troupe Solo Chicken Productions entertained us with an improvised performance to send attendees away on a lighthearted note.


Black Caucus

This year, thanks to overwhelming interest, CHRA’s first-ever Black Caucus Lunch took place at Congress on April 10. The event was well-attended, and participants discussed the potential for forming a Black Caucus within CHRA as well as pressing issues such as the importance of Black-led housing initiatives and strategies. Attendees were so engaged that a second Black Caucus Lunch was held the following day.


Social events

We know that networking is one of the most important aspects of Congress, and attendees had ample opportunity to meet up with

colleagues and make new connections and a variety of social events held during Congress this year.

Like Congress itself, this year’s social events took on a more casual, relaxed tone. From the Indigenous Caucus Social on April 8 to the Closing Party on April 11, attendees enjoyed good food and good company while experiencing local Fredericton hospitality. Some highlights were the Indigenous Maker’s Market during the Indigenous Caucus Social, the Welcome Party, co-hosted with the Community Housing Transformation Centre, where attendees were encouraged to dress like they did in high school, the President’s Kitchen Party with an Indigenous Twist at the Delta Fredericton, and the Closing Party at Fredericton Brewery, Picaroon’s Roundhouse.


Save the Date

The 2025 CHRA National Congress on Housing and Homelessness is taking place April 29-May 1 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We hope to see you there!

Stay tuned to our Flash newsletter and communications channels for more information and to be notified when we launch the call for session proposals this fall.

See photo highlights of the 2024 Congress.

Check out these excellent visualizations from SHS Consulting's Adrienne Pacini, summarizing the Canadian Housing Acquisition Fund session and the Keynote address from Jeff Rubin below.