Affordable Housing Conference Explores Solutions to Tackle Housing Challenges in the Year of Lockdowns and Beyond
First-ever online event will confront the racism, inequities and barriers to housing in B.C. – and generate solutions for secure, affordable housing for all
VANCOUVER, BC (Dec. 1, 2020) – In a year that has challenged British Columbians to navigate two grave public health crises, with both COVID-19 and the tainted drug supply epidemic, the need for safe, secure housing has emerged as being more critical than ever.
As part of the search for solutions, this week more than 1,100 delegates and thought leaders from the community housing sector will connect in the first virtual Housing Central Conference, from Dec. 2 to 4, to find innovative new ways of creating and delivering affordable housing and supports to vulnerable British Columbians across the province.
Delegates will explore issues including racial justice and diversity in the housing system, the opioid epidemic and homelessness, Indigenous housing and reconciliation, the unique housing challenges facing seniors and youth under physical distancing protocols, and more. The conference is jointly hosted by BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA), the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of BC (CHF BC)
“The conference has always been an amazing opportunity to connect with housing leaders and frontline staff to learn how we can deliver more affordable housing options, and effective programs and services to help end homelessness,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of BCNPHA. “We look forward to meeting everyone virtually this year, because there has never been a greater need for these discussions to take place. New pandemic restrictions to stay home, and stay safe, have shown us the critical importance of ensuring everyone has a safe place to call home.”
2020 #HOUSINGCENTRAL CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
- Thought-provoking keynote and speaker events including B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry speaking on the intersection of our housing and health systems; B.C.’s new Minister Responsible for Housing, the Hon. David Eby; TED Talk presenter Dan Pallotta, Sto:lo author and poet Lee Maracle, racial justice advocates Sandy Hudson (founder of Black Lives Matter – Canada) and Stephanie Allen (co-chair, Hogan’s Alley Society) discussing how racism and discrimination manifest in the housing landscape, and the lived experience of homelessness and drug use with Megaphone Speakers Bureau’s Sekani Dakelth and Angel Gates.
- More than 45 education sessions including: From Encampment to Housing; Housing for Persons with Multiple Complex Needs; Improving Seniors’ Social Connections During COVID; Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI); Listening to Youth Voices in Program Development; as well as sessions exploring rural and remote housing challenges and NIMBYism, housing for women, creating inclusive communities and more. The Indigenous Caucus will discuss how to create a more inclusive Indigenous housing strategy than the distinction-based approach in the National Housing Strategy.
- Art Exhibition: Seeing/Being Seen featuring original works, many by artists with experiences of homelessness, mental illness, addictions and racism.
“AHMA is a proud partner of Housing Central and is honoured to continue leading the Indigenous Caucus,” said AHMA CEO Margaret Pfoh. “The focus of the Indigenous Caucus has always been to curate open dialogue about leveraging the social, economic, and housing rights of urban and rural Indigenous peoples in Canada. On behalf of our 41 members and our partners at BCNPHA, we look forward to connecting with housing and service providers from across the country at Housing Central 2020.”
Bringing all members of the community housing sector together at the Housing Central Conference ensures we are united in tackling the affordable housing and homelessness crises of today, and preparing for new challenges in the future, said CHF BC CEO Thom Armstrong.
“Today’s housing issues are complex, and we know there are no easy solutions,” Armstrong added. “But by working co-operatively, the conference can serve as a catalyst for new ideas, new strategies – and the partnerships to make new housing developments happen.”
Media Contact: Dean Pogas, Director of Communications
About Housing Central:
Housing Central is B.C.’s affordable housing conference and home to the annual gathering of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Co-op Housing Federation of BC and the Aboriginal Housing Management Association. Together, our organizations are the leading voice for affordable housing as we work toward the common cause of ensuring a safe, secure and affordable home for all residents. Visit housingcentral.ca for more information.