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We encourage you to keep checking this page as we'll be updating the Congress Agenda regularly.

All times are listed in Eastern Time

Monday, April 25

Course: Homelessness 101
This special workshop, led by social policy consultant Nick Falvo, will explore the national homelessness landscape, the major factors that drive homelessness, emerging themes, and policy solutions. Gain a better understanding of Canada’s flagship homelessness strategy, Reaching Home, and get the answer to the all-important question: which order of government is responsible for homelessness? We’ll also focus on service providers (including an overview of ‘system planning,’ - how we assess the needs of people experiencing homelessness), triage in the face of limited resources, harm reduction, emerging innovations, and staff burnout.
Course: Housing Policy (plus two additional two-hour sessions in May)
Back by popular demand! The Housing Policy Course taught by Professor Steve Pomeroy is a primer for those who have recently begun employment in the affordable housing sector and want to gain a better understanding of Canada’s housing system and how it has evolved. The legacy of past events and policies frame many of today’s challenges. Learn about the origins and characteristics of social housing programs and their legacy effects and review recent housing policy trends, challenges, and opportunities.

The additional sessions will take place on Monday, May 2, and Monday, May 9, 2022.
Indigenous Caucus Meeting
The CHRA Indigenous Caucus represents CHRA members who self-identify as Indigenous and CHRA members who understand and whose work is related to Indigenous housing and homelessness issues, including Indigenous tenant support, building operations, and cultural issues. Congress offers exciting opportunities for those who are interested in Indigenous housing, including the Indigenous Caucus Members Meeting (April 25, 2022) and Indigenous-led sessions throughout Congress, as well as a special session at the Innovation Forum. The April 25 meeting is exclusive to Caucus members and offers an opportunity to network and inform the direction of the Caucus through the upcoming year. If you are unsure if you are a member of the Indigenous Caucus, please reach out to us at info@chra-achru.ca

The 2022 Indigenous Caucus Meeting is sponsored by:
Aboriginal Housing Management Association
BC Housing
Housing Investment Corporation
Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services

Tuesday, April 26

Innovation Forum 2022: Thinking Outside the Box
This year’s Innovation Forum will showcase the most cutting-edge and sector-leading innovations in several key areas that are leading and inspiring transformation in the housing and homelessness sector.

The 2022 Innovation Forum is sponsored by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Innovation Forum 2022: Opening Remarks
Timothy Crooks, Executive Director, Phoenix Youth Programs
Jacob Gorenkoff, Director, Programs & Strategic Initiatives, CHRA
Debbie Stewart, Vice President, Innovations & Partnerships, CMHC
Ashwin Vadivelu, Manager, EllisDon Community Builders
A representative from Habitat for Humanity Canada
Innovation Forum 2022: Exploring the Efficacy of Commercial-to-Residential Conversion Projects
Many Canadian cities are facing two problems: they are in desperate need of housing and have an abundance of vacant office space. With worsening housing shortfalls, increasing rates of homelessness, and decreased demand for commercial real estate in many communities across Canada, commercial-to-residential conversion projects are one possible solution to Canada’s housing woes.

Join a diverse panel of speakers including professionals from the City of Calgary, an innovative private sector developer, and a forward-thinking affordable housing provider to explore the feasibility of commercial-to-residential conversion projects and discuss case studies on how these projects can revitalize communities.

Bernadette Majdell, Chief Executive Officer, HomeSpace Society
Sheryl McMullen, City of Calgary
Ken Toews, Senior Vice President, Development, Strategic Group
Moderator: Pam Hine, Vice President, Housing Solutions – Multi-Unit, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Innovation Forum 2022: Building More Vibrant Communities: Turning intent into reality
Housing providers and urban planners agree that creating gentle density, increasing the number of homes, and housing our most vulnerable neighbours is critical for building more vibrant, livable communities.

This session engages with the diverse perspectives of a city counsellor, an award-winning academic, and a non-profit executive as they unpack the local barriers to local housing development and how we can overcome them. Learn about available resources and research, and get takeaways from successful case studies that can be applied to your community.

Benoit Dorais, City Councillor, City of Montreal
Shelagh McCartney, Associate Professor, Ryerson University
Adam Mongrain, Director, Housing, Vivre en Ville,
Moderator: Ray Sullivan, Executive Director, Ottawa Community Land Trust
Innovation Forum 2022: Innovative Approaches to Culturally Appropriate Housing
The provision of culturally appropriate housing is key to creating healthy communities. Join our panel of representatives from three innovative housing providers who are leading by example to hear about their experiences addressing housing issues while ensuring the safe, culturally appropriate, and responsible integration of holistic services.

Sean Longboat, Program Director, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
Thomas O’Brien, Manager of Housing & Facilities, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre
Nick Sackville, VP Community Development, Big Block Construction and Central Urban Métis Federation
Moderator: Justin Marchand, Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services
Course: Building Evidence
Whether you love numbers and statistics, or they make your head spin, this full-day course will open your eyes to the possibilities of using data to tell your story. We’ll dive into housing data from CMHC and Statistics Canada to better measure the impact to housing in your community. Learn about data sources, how to access them and find resources and support to use them, how you can use data to measure the impact of your work, and gain an understanding of the limits of what we can accomplish with the current data.

This course will be led by the leadership of the Chartered Institute of Canada, the destination for education, professional standards and accreditation in Canada’s affordable and social housing sector. This day of training will complement the accredited learning program that leads to designation as a housing professional.

Wednesday, April 27

Opening Ceremonies
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Housing Journeys Reimagined
Housing Journeys Reimagined is an initiative funded by CMHC through the National Housing Strategy’s Solutions Lab program. This Solutions Lab project aims to envision a new housing journey that challenges the traditional pathway along the housing continuum, exploring different forms of tenure and financial and service models with the aim of providing tenants access to wealth-generating opportunities that exist in the ownership real estate market.

Join members of the Solutions Lab team consisting of Habitat GTA, Blue Door, and SHS Consulting to hear about how approached this challenge and to get an overview of the initial results and learnings.

Josh Benard, Vice President, Real Estate Development Habitat GTA
Michael Braithwaite, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Door
Adrienne Pacini, Principal Strategic Design, SHS Consulting
Overcoming the Challenges Facing Rural, Remote and Northern Communities: A cross-Canada discussion
French translation will be available
Rural, remote, and northern communities face significant challenges ensuring community members are adequately housed. Covering large territories with limited resources, service providers grapple with severe housing shortfalls and the growing prevalence of homelessness. But where there are challenges, there are also opportunities.

Join our panel of leaders who are working to overcome the challenges facing rural, remote, and northern communities and hear them discuss the initiatives they have undertaken, the challenges they have faced, and the opportunities for further action that will support communities like theirs across Canada.

Zain Abedin, Director of Community Development, Rural Development Network
Magda Barrera, Housing and Economics Policy Analyst, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario
Gervais Darisse, Mayor of Saint-André-de-Kamouraska and President of the “Fédération des OSBL d’Habitation du Bas-Saint-Laurent, de la Gaspésie et des Îles”
Moderator: Terrilee Kelford, Co-Chair, National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness
Hey Neighbour Collective: Building community and connectedness in multi-unit housing
A rise in feelings of loneliness and social isolation has become cause for concern across the globe, particularly affecting lower-income households and those living in multi-unit housing. Strong social connections can improve physical and mental health outcomes and increase the ability to respond to chronic stresses and rebound from acute events, and the community housing sector can help.

Join this session to learn about the Hey Neighbour Collective (HNC), a BC-based initiative made up of housing operators, non-profit agencies, municipalities, researchers, and others working with residents to build social connectedness, resilience, and mutual aid capacity in multi-unit housing communities.

Stacy Barter, Executive Director, Building Resilient Neighbourhoods
Maura Chestnutt, VP, Strategic Initiatives, Catalyst Community Developments Society
Dr. Meg Holden, Professor, Simon Fraser University
Anur Mehdic, Housing and Child Care Planning Analyst, City of New Westminster
Alison Silgardo, Chief Executive Officer, Seniors Services Society of BC
Moderator: Michelle Hoar, Project Director, Hey Neighbour Collective (SFU)
Integrating professional standards into your career and your workplace (CIH Canada)
What does it take to be a housing professional? The Chartered Institute of Housing has developed a set of tailored characteristics for the modern housing professional (Integrity, Inclusive, Ethical, Knowledgeable, Skilled, Advocate, Leadership) that make up the CIH Canada’s Professional Standards.

Together, we’ll explore the value of the standards and the supporting resources and implement them in workplace scenarios such as an annual work review, writing a job description, preparing for an interview, or addressing customer complains. The session will be interactive and make use of your drama skills, creativity, and problem solving.

Mary Clarke, General Manager, CIH Canada
Building Strong Municipal/Indigenous Relationships
French translation will be available
The City of Calgary will share their journey in identifying how they can better support the delivery of affordable housing for urban Indigenous Calgarians, while incorporating Indigenous knowledge and worldview culminating in a “What We Heard Report”. This session will also speak to Kenora’s partnerships with Indigenous agencies that take a holistic approach to housing.

Cynthia Christison, Project Manager, Affordable Housing, City of Calgary
Henry Wall, Chief Administrative Officer, Kenora District Services Board
Moderator: Marc Maracle, Executive Director, Gignul Housing, Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition Member
Fighting NIMBYism: Tools and success stories
French translation will be available
When supportive housing is proposed, neighbours, local government, and other stakeholders may have questions about what the introduction of this type of housing will mean for their community. BC Housing has released the award-winning resource Community Benefits of Supportive Housing, which provides a tool for non-market housing providers and other stakeholders to respond to some of the most common questions raised by neighbours and other community members.

Join this session to learn about the tool and how it’s being used by non-profit housing providers, planning and development consultants, non-profit housing funders, and other stakeholders to proactively build community acceptance for non-market housing.

Stéphan Corriveau, Executive Director, Community Housing Transformation Centre
Simone Lilly, Manager, Community Investment, End Homelessness St. John’s
Rebecca Signer, Manager, Research, BC Housing
Moderator: Duncan Hill, Advisor, Housing Research, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
The Oasis Project: Cross-sectoral partnerships for adults to age-in-place
As Canada’s population ages, community-based housing solutions for older adults are urgently needed. Oasis is a program driven by older adults and supported by collaborations between property management companies, health or social service agencies, community service providers, and residents.

A partnership between Brightside Community Homes Foundation, Queen’s University, and Oasis will use an asset-based community development approach to enable senior residents at Brightside to age in place, safely and independently. Join representatives from this collaboration to learn about the development and benefits of the Oasis model and hear strategies to enable implementation and sustainability of similar programs in sites across Canada.

Helen Cooper, President, Volunteer Board of Directors, Oasis Senior Supportive Living Inc.
Vince DePaul, Associate Professor, Queen’s University
Susan Moore, Director Community Development and Resident Support, Brightside Community Homes Foundation
Québec, ville inclusive
In French - English translation will be available

Vision de l’habitation 2020-2030 is City of Québec’s plan to address its housing needs. Québec aspires to create quality, sustainable living environments that meet the diverse needs of residents at all stages of life. Vision de l’habitation is the product of two years of consultation. It is not the end, but the beginning of a series of ambitious and concerted actions to make Québec an even more attractive, inclusive and innovative city.

This panel, organized by the City of Québec, will showcase three exemplary community housing projects. Each embodies, in its way, many of the principles advanced in Vision de l’habitation:
  • Lauberivière (Saint-Roch District, city of Québec): shelter and temporary accommodation of 131 rooms and studio apartments for homeless people or those at risk of becoming homeless
  • Le Piolet (Loretteville and Vanier districts, city of Québec): transitional housing projects of 22 and 15 units for youth aged 16 to 35
  • The O'Drey Group (Vanier district, Quebec City): 80 housing project promoting social diversity and meeting the needs of families, the elderly, single people and people with physical disabilities.

These three projects have contributed to the establishment and consolidation of a varied range of housing options for vulnerable and low-income people. They exemplify the “inclusive city” promoted in Vision de l’habitation. The sustained involvement of community partners and stakeholders throughout their development and in their ongoing operations is exceptional. Finally, they contribute to shaping the inclusive city of tomorrow, with all the associated issues and challenges.

To be announced
Indigenous Financing and Funding Programs
Housing providers are very familiar with the adage “Money isn’t everything, but everything requires money”. Join our panel of financing and funding experts as they share a wealth of knowledge about financing opportunities and funding programs that support Indigenous housing projects nationally, provincially, and regionally.

Nicole Church, Senior Manager, Client Relationships & Operations, Indigenous and Northern Housing Solutions, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Brian Clifford, Program Manager, Community Housing Transformation Centre
Lance Jakubec, Advisor, Client Services, Outreach & Project Development Team, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Kris Johnson, Director General, Homelessness Policy Directorate, Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Government of Canada
Moderator: Louise Atkins, CHRA Indigenous Caucus Working Group Member
Getting Started on Your Energy Retrofit
Energy retrofits are renovation projects that help to achieve high energy performance in a building which can include upgrades to anything that uses energy – from lighting, heating, insulation, to renewable energy sources. Retrofits can make housing more comfortable for residents and help lower costs for both your residents and your operating budget. Retrofits are a critical tool to reduce the environmental footprint of the housing sector with potential energy savings of up to 40-60% but undertaking an energy project can feel overwhelming.

This interactive session will help demystify how to get an energy retrofit started. Key energy concepts will be introduced in a way that makes an energy project accessible to everyone, regardless of your organizational capacity and experience. Real Canadian retrofit projects will be shared along with the strategies used to get started and lessons learned along the way. You will leave feeling inspired to start your energy journey and equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources you need to plan your next steps.

Irfaan Hasham, P.Eng, CEM, CMVP Regional Energy Coach, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
Emilie Hayes Capacity Development Advisor, Sustainable Affordable Housing, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Chad Meda Advisor, Programs Outreach, Sustainable Affordable Housing, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

This session is sponsored by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities
LGBTQ2S+ Roundtable and Social, in partnership with the CMHC Pride Network
Click here to learn more

Thursday, April 28

Keynote Address
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Le logement abordable : pour qui, pour quoi?
In French - English translation will be available
The federal and most provincial governments have moved from supporting the construction and operation of social housing with their policies and programs to advancing the broader concept of affordable housing. The goal of sustainability of publicly developed housing projects has been neglected with this shift in emphasis. Creating a space that encourages tenants to take charge of their living environment is a hallmark of social and community-based living, but new policies and programs don’t address this need. Moreover, there is no consensus on a definition of affordability: many doubt the affordability of projects in which rents are set according to median market rents rather than what households can pay.

Join our panel to get a history of the evolution of public policy in this field, an assessment of the programs implemented under the National Housing Strategy, and a critique of the concept of “affordable housing”.

Jacques Beaudoin, Directeur des affaires publiques et juridiques, Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation
François Saillant, Ex-coordonnateur et porte-paroleFront d’action populaire en réaméngement urbain
Ricardo Tranjan, Senior Researcher, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Moderator: Véronique Laflamme, Porte-parole, Front d’action populaire en réamémagement urbain
An Era of Transformation: Growing the capacity of Canada’s housing sector
We are in an era of major transformation in the community housing sector. Housing providers must undertake capacity-building projects to meet the evolving needs of the communities they serve. Join speakers from three organizations that have successfully undertaken different transformative capacity-building projects related to social enterprise models, mergers, and workforce engagement.

Explore the lessons learned from each provider’s experiences and get strategies for implementing similar projects at your organization.

Aminda Galappaththi, Vice President, Portfolio Management and EOO, Calgary Housing Company
Maya Kambeitz, Chief Executive Officer, Norfolk Housing Corporation
Olga Tasci, Chief Executive Officer, The Agency for Cooperative Housing
Moderator: A representative from Yardi

This session is sponsored by Yardi Canada
Multi-Faceted Housing Vulnerability: Concepts, measures and policy implications
The COVID-19 crisis has shone a bright light on the serious and far-reaching impacts of housing vulnerability in Canadian society, but how can we accurately define a concept as nuanced and complex as housing vulnerability? Existing policy narratives around this concept are narrowly focused on severe housing deprivations and arbitrarily specified basic needs, ignoring the cultural meanings, social relations, and residential autonomy embedded in housing.

Hear speakers from academia and communities of practice unpack the concept of housing vulnerability and its policy implications, focusing on the housing experiences of vulnerable populations, including Indigenous communities.

Esther de Vos, Executive Director, Research, BC Housing
Meg Holden, Professor, Simon Fraser University
Robynn Sadler, Director of Housing and Infrastructure, The Métis Nation of Ontario
Rebecca Schiff, Professor, Lakehead University
Yushu Zhu, Assistant Professor, Simon Fraser University
Housing and Homelessness Connections to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) inquiry cited housing and homelessness over 200 times in its final report. Listening to the voices of and supporting solutions led by Indigenous women is critical to solving this crisis.

Join our panel of speakers as they explore the connection between MMIWG and housing and learn about tangible actions housing providers can take to offer women-led solutions at all levels from national to local.

Katlia Lafferty, Chair of the Indigenous National Women’s Housing Working group situated under Keepers of the Circle and Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network
Gabriel Maracle, Policy Analyst, National Association of Friendship Centres
Cora McGuire Cyrette, Executive Director, ONWA
Unpacking the Financialization of Housing in Canada
French translation will be available
The financialization of housing is a major contributor to the erosion of affordable housing stock in Canadian cities, representing a significant existential threat to the community housing sector. Despite widespread realization that financialization is a pressing issue, it is not well-understood.

Join our panel of experts as they explore and define the financialization of housing. We’ll examine system-level and specific instances of its impacts on affordability, sector capacity, and tenant rights, and discuss ways to combat financialization through public policy and community engagement.

Martine August, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo
Andrew Crosby, PhD Candidate, Carleton University
Penelope Gurstein, Professor, University of British Columbia
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Sector-led initiatives for sector-led solutions
French translation will be available
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the key challenges facing the non-profit housing community. Through these difficult times, the affordable housing sector has stepped up. Organizations across Canada have led life-saving initiatives, transitioning our vulnerable neighbours from homeless to housed in the face of an unprecedented global health crisis.

Hear housing sector leaders share learnings and best practices from their initiatives to create partnerships between the housing and homelessness sectors, address housing stability challenges, and increase access to non-profit housing for those in need.

Christina Maes Nino, Executive Director, Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association
Irene Martin-Lindsay, Executive Director, Alberta Seniors & Community Housing Association
Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association
Gender-Based Approaches to Homelessness in Canada
Canada is facing a homelessness crisis, with women and girls impacted more than ever before. Their experiences are unique, with the challenges they face amplified by myriad of other risk factors, such as trauma and interpersonal violence. Responses to prevent and end women and girls’ homelessness require gender-based analyses and approaches to meet their unique and diverse needs.

Join this session to learn from academics and community practitioners as they discuss the status of gender-based approaches to homelessness in Canada and unpack the barriers to enacting gendered approaches and the factors that cause these barriers.

Hannah Brais, Research Coordinator, Old Brewery Mission
Amiel Houghton, Manager, Residential Services, Anova
Kate Maurer, Assistant Professor, McGill University
Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, Associate Professor, Western University
Jaclyn Seeler, Chair, London Homelessness Coalition
Provincial and Federal Indigenous Housing Strategies
Indigenous housing strategies are a top-of-mind issue for housing providers across the country. Their implementation is key to healthy communities. Understanding the history and the direction of urban, rural and northern housing and homelessness strategies is vital to understanding the landscape of our sector.

Join our panel as they discuss Indigenous-focused housing strategies from Ontario, BC and nationally.

Sara Fegelman, Policy & Research Advisor, Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
Margaret Pfoh, Chief Executive Officer, Aboriginal Housing Management Association
Moderator: Raymond Sullivan, Executive Director, Ottawa Community Land Trust
Financing and Development: Options for sustainable growth
Many steps go into taking a project from conception to turnkey, and financing and development assistance are two key elements of project success. Whether you’re building new homes or retrofitting existing units, it’s important to leverage all the resources available to you.

Join our panel to explore non-government financing and development options that can help housing providers increase housing stock in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.

Jen Arntfield, Lead, Sustainable Affordable Housing, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Howie Wong, Chief Executive Officer, Housing Investment Corporation
A representative from EllisDon Community Builders
Moderator: Kevin Albers, Chief Executive Officer, M’akola Development Society

This session is sponsored by EllisDon Community Builders
Implementing the Right to Housing: In Conversation with Canada's Inaugural Federal Housing Advocate
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