Concurrent Sessions

Unless otherwise stated, you do not have to pre-register for the workshop sessions and all sessions are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to secure a place.

Quick Links
Day 1 - Morning workshops | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Day 1- Afternoon workshops | Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Day 2 - Morning workshops | Thursday, April 4, 2019
Day 2 - Afternoon workshops | Thursday, April 4, 2019

More detailed session information, including titles, descriptions and presenters, will be made available as it is confirmed. 

RENT: Regional Education, Networking & Tradeshow
This year, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) has partnered with CHRA to deliver RENT education sessions at Congress. Join RENT on April 3rd for a broad range of interactive educational sessions, where you can learn about using your strengths to help inspire and lead others; work through issues and challenges to help improve your tenant relations; hear about new national and provincial homelessness funding opportunities, and explore how to engage local elected officials to be part of the solution to our housing crisis. RENT sessions are open to all Congress 2019 delegates. 

Day 1

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Concurrent sessions

Implementing the Step-by-Step Guide to Building Affordable Housing *REGISTRATION REQUIRED*

“Do you want to develop affordable housing in your community but don’t know where to start? Or do you have an existing project that isn’t moving forward?

The Sustainable Housing Initiative (SHI) is hosting a webinar and workshop designed specifically for small organizations and communities that have been working to develop affordable housing. If you attend the webinar and workshop, you will leave with a high level business case that can be further developed and used for discussions with stakeholders and funders.  

Over the last 14 months the SHI has been collaborating with industry experts from across the country to develop a comprehensive step-by-step guide for building affordable housing. Join this session for an overview of the process and challenges that went into creating the guide, followed by an hour-long high level workshop on how to implement the first volume for your next affordable housing development. 

Those interested in participating are encouraged to sign-up for a pre-workshop webinar that will better prepare you for the workshop during the CHRA conference.

Webinar time: March 25th 2019, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. (EST) 

*Registration is required for this session with limited space on a first-come-first-served basis. Registration deadline March 18th 2019.*

To register for the webinar and workshop, click here:

Partnerships that work: Indigenous communities, industry and affordable housing providers

Partnerships between Indigenous communities, governments, industry and non-profit organizations can be successful. This session will present examples from housing projects to community events, and demonstrate how these partnerships are mutually beneficial within the changing communities in which we live, work and play. Guidance and ideas will be offered for others wanting to start similar partnerships and to bridge gaps in their communities.

Ron Sam, Chief, Songhees Nation
Charla Huber, Communications and Indigenous Relations, M'akola Housing Society and M'akola Development Services
Carmen Driechel, Community and Indigenous Relations Manager, FortisBC

When bricks and mortar are not enough – Supportive Housing

Access to affordable housing is only one necessary element of residential stability - supportive housing is essential in the provision of housing options in a coordinated system of care. Hear from experts on the development of supportive housing, the successes of community supports in the non-profit housing sector in Quebec, and building community support for and acceptance of supportive housing and inclusive communities.

Rebecca Siggner, Manager, Research, BC Housing
Building Support for Inclusive Communities
Susan McGee, CEO, Homeward Trust Edmonton
Integrated Approaches to Developing and Operating Permanent Supportive Housing
Bruno Dion, Directeur général adjoint, FROHQC
Community Supports in Québec: 10 years of practice

Impact Investing for Affordable Housing Projects

The focus of this session is to explore innovative approaches to financing moderate to middle-income affordable housing projects. The session will focus on impact investing, what it is, and the challenges and opportunities. Vancity will discuss their approach to impact investing through supporting community partners and as investors in affordable housing projects. Katrina May will speak to her research in looking at how private capital can bridge the financial gap for these projects, and particularly what she found in documenting Catalyst Community Development’s Society’s alternative financing strategy. And, Vivacité Solidaire will present their shared-equity program based on a social economy model that leverages impact investors.

Kira Gerwing, Senior Manager, Community Investment, Vancity Credit Union
Katrina May, Pacific Housing Research Network
Marie-Sophie Banville, Développement, Vivacité – Société immobilière 

More detailed session information, including titles, descriptions and presenters, will be made available as it is confirmed


Leadership at Every Level

Inspired Leadership - Leaders are individuals who actively choose to make a positive contribution to the world they inhabit, which requires a commitment to self-awareness and conscious attention to how they show up in the world. In this course, brought to you in partnership with BC Housing and the Justice Institute of BC, you’ll reflect on the values and beliefs that support your leadership style and engage in activities that encourage you to honestly explore your own strengths and challenges in the context of solid leadership competencies. This course is applicable to anyone, whether it be in a leadership, operations, or asset management role. Limited to 30 participants. This session will run from 11:00 a.m. -  3:30 p.m. (1 hour lunch break) Note: Participants are required to attend the entire session, as this is a half-day course.

Engaging Your Municipality 

Want to learn how you can work together to better engage municipal elected officials and their staff on the issues of housing affordability and homelessness? With the federal and provincial governments having stepped up in a meaningful way to provide for safe, stable and affordable housing across the country, now is the time to engage and assist our local governments in understanding their role in retaining existing affordable units and supporting the creation of new and redeveloped non-profit housing in their communities. Through education, awareness and advocacy, and knowing what tools municipalities have in their tool box, let’s talk about how we can engage our local elected officials in being a part of the solution to our housing crisis.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Concurrent sessions

Community Housing for Resilient Communities

This session features 9 speakers from the community housing sectors of British Columbia and Quebec. They will share their inspiring stories about how they are incrementally acting to increase local control of urban land development to ensure our communities remain inclusive, diverse and resilient through development of housing as community-owned assets. The audience will not only hear 9 stories from BC and Quebec, but one collective inspiring narrative of community organizing and housing innovation in Canada. This session will be presented in English and French. Translation devices are recommended. This session will run from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Gabrielle Neamtan-Lapalme, Société d'habitation populaire de l'EST de Montréal (SHAPEM)
François Giguère, Société locative d'investissement et de developpement social (SOLIDES)
Marie-Sophie Banville, Vivacité - Société Immobilière solidaire
Laurent Levesque, Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE)
Robert Brown, Catalyst Community Development Society
Fred Mah, Chinatown Society Heritage Buildings Association (CSHBA)
David Eddy, Vancouver Native Housing Society
Leslie Shieh, TOMO Spaces
Richard Evans, False Creek South Neighbourhood Association Re*Plan Committee

Social Housing in the New Climate – Building adaptive capacity and resilience of affordable housing

Communities across the country already face notable impacts from extreme weather events occurring with higher frequency and intensity than in the past.  With changing climate, heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, extreme precipitation and flooding, are projected to increase across the province of BC and the rest of Canada. How will affordable housing providers respond? 

This session will provide an overview of the impacts of these changes on social housing tenants, buildings and programs, using social housing in BC as a case study; and share existing practices and resources that can make the housing sector more resilient.

Magdalena Szpala, Senior Strategic Advisor, Sustainability, BC Housing
Ian Cullis, Asset Management Director, BC Non-Profit Housing Association
Trevor Murdock, Climate Scientist, Regional Climate Impacts, Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium

More detailed session information, including titles, descriptions and presenters, will be made available as it is confirmed


Utilizing new national and provincial homelessness funding opportunities

New funding from federal and provincial governments seeks to maximize impacts in the housing and homelessness-serving systems through the Introduction of Coordinated Access, enhanced coordination and greater supply of new housing with supports. In this engaging session, participants will receive an overview of all new 2017-2018 provincial and federal new funding programs, as well as hear examples about how communities on Vancouver Island are utilizing new opportunities.

Working Through Tenancy Issues 

Do you have recurring issues that come up with tenants? Trying to weigh up concerns about housing tenants inclusively while maintaining housing standards and preserving the quiet enjoyment of other tenants? Join us and bring your own examples. Use this opportunity to work through issues and challenges, including legal framework, communication and other considerations. This session is café style so come prepared to problem solve!

Day 2

Thursday, April 4, 2019
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Concurrent sessions

Importance of Place: Neighbourhood deprivation and segregation in Canada and the US

This session will create a dialogue on actions that can create diverse, equitable communities and address neighbourhood deprivation and segregation. Hear about the efforts of the City of Portland to remedy historical policies that eliminated wealth from specific communities and how needs of the gentrified African American community are being addressed. In the Canadian context, meanwhile, hear about stark economic and social deprivation in the de-industrial Cape Breton Regional Municipality. In the context of ‘neighbourhood disadvantage’ and the Housing First principle of ‘normal’ places to live, this part of the session will look at the location of the most affordable market rental units in the community in the context of deprivation, and also explore whether these are in areas with fewer amenities and services.

Catherine Leviten-Reid, Associate Professor Cape Breton University;
Fred Deveaux, Executive Director, Cape Breton Community Housing Association;
Melanie MacDonald, Master’s Student, Ryerson University
Affordable Rental Housing and Neighbourhood Characteristics through Maps

Cupid Alexander, Senior Policy Advisor – Housing, Office of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler
Segregation, Gentrification and Re-intrification; a look into Portland’s journey to unify our community

Towards Integrated Solutions to Youth Homelessness

There are many opportunities for implementing preventative youth homelessness policies and practices across Canada. Within the shift to prevention we must emphasize not only innovative programs and responses, but also bold and broad sweeping changes to public systems that can prevent young people from becoming homeless.

Two case studies of how Victoria, BC and St. Johns, NL are approaching a response to youth homelessness, will be profiled. Unpacking the challenges/opportunities that come with legislation, policy, evidence based practice and system navigation will underpin the importance of an integrated response to youth homelessness.

David French, Director of Policy and Planning, A Way Home
Kelly Roth, Youth Project Coordinator, Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness
Joshua Smee, Provincial Expansion Coordinator, Choices for Youth

Architectural Co-design – Emerging Best Practices for Indigenous Housing

Engagement and architectural co-design with Indigenous people is evolving toward more sensitive approaches and culturally appropriate and environmentally sustainable housing designs. This session will showcase examples of Architectural Best Practices in Indigenous Housing Co-design both in urban communities and with First Nations.  The panel of three includes two leading architects – one Indigenous and one with experience designing in Indigenous contexts, along with the author of a groundbreaking report on collaborative co-design. Tangible benefits include housing designs that resonate with Indigenous families and communities and become a base for cultural reclamation and growth.

Louise Atkins, Member, Indigenous Caucus Working Group, CHRA
Ouri Scott, Associate Architect , AIBC, MRAIC, Urban Arts Architecture
Jackson Low, Principal, Architect, AIBC, MRAIC, Low Hammond Rowe Architects

More detailed session information, including titles, descriptions and presenters, will be made available as it is confirmed.

Thursday, April 4, 2019
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Concurrent sessions

Speed Geeking - Youth, Homelessness, Health and Housing, Partnerships and more. 

Hannah Brais, Research Coordinator, Old Brewery Mission
Interrupting Evictions: comparing provincial landlord-tenant eviction policies from a preventative lens

Caitie Burke, Project Coordinator, Stella's Circle
Home To Stay: Supporting Seniors with Complex Mental Health Issues

Danielle Juteau, Directrice -Rent supplement-Affordable housing and Waiting lists, Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal
Youth tenants engagement: The Case of OMHM

Kennan Wellar, Co-leader and Director of Communications and Julie Kingstone, Co-leader and Director of Operations,
Just Enough Support

Brenda Prosken, Director, Regional Operations Orange Hall, BC Housing
The Story of Surrey’s 135A Street Encampment: Addressing Homelessness through Community Partnerships

Mona Lee, Evaluation Manager, Pacific AIDS Network
Understanding Home: Exploring complex relationships between housing and health of people living with HIV in British Columbia

More detailed session information, including titles, descriptions and presenters, will be made available as it is confirmed.

Thank you to our sponsors



We are grateful to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, on whose traditional territory the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s 2019 Congress will be hosted. 

Translation support for Congress 2019 has been provided by the Government of Canada.

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