Are you mobilizing your community to call on governments to make stronger investments in social housing? 

Please join us! 

April 20-21, 2023

Winnipeg, Manitoba

At this event, we will develop a unified call to action and advocacy plan for social housing, where rents are geared to income, in Canada. You will learn about opportunities to change the National Housing Strategy to ensure a focus on social housing, and participate in training to mobilize your community to advocate for these changes.

Free to attend. Support for travel is possible. Information for support is available on the application form.

Hosted by: Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness; Canadian Centre for Housing Rights; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – Manitoba; Canadian Housing and Renewal Association; Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative; Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network; End Homelessness Winnipeg; Indigenous Feminist Housing Working Group; Manitoba Research Alliance; National Right to Housing Network; Right to Housing Coalition (Manitoba); and Women’s National Housing & Homelessness Network;.

Funding provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Application for the conference participation is now closed (as of April 11, 2023)

Conference lineup:

Thursday April 20, 2023 (in partnership with CHRA* at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, 375 York Ave, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3J3)

8:30 – 10:30 Social Housing and Human Rights conference attendees are invited to the CHRA keynote address by The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
Former Member of Parliament, Former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Bestselling Author. Visit the Special Events page on the CHRA website to learn more.

11:00 – 12:30 –  Aligning Social Housing with the National Housing Strategy

Presenter – Steve Pomeroy, Industry Professor of Canadian Housing Policy at McMaster University and Principal Consultant at Focus Consulting.

Canada needs more non-market rent-geared-to-income housing. We have an opportunity to utilize the National Housing Strategy (NHS) to mitigate our current housing crisis, but there is work to do to make this happen. This session will provide a broad historical review and analysis of what governments have been doing to address the housing needs of low-income Canadians and learn about the opportunities and limitations of the NHS when it comes to rent-geared-to-income (RGI) social housing and some of the key public policy ideas that are aiming to address the challenges. You’ll also hear about how some provinces and municipalities are partnering with the federal government to meet the need for RGI  housing.

2:00 – 3:30 – Developing a Unified Call to Action for Social Housing

Advocates are calling on governments to implement a range of policy solutions to address the diverse needs of Canadians experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness. While diverse solutions are needed, we cannot address these challenges without establishing social housing as a policy and funding priority. This session will bring advocates together to develop a unified federal call to action for non-market rent geared to income housing that meets the multiple and intersecting needs of the diverse range of demographics in core housing need.We will also discuss what needs to be done to mobilize our advocacy efforts at a national level.

6:00 Evening CHRA Closing Event – (Canadian Museum for Human Rights 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5)

Our keynote speaker, Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing will present as part of the closing event for the CHRA Congress and opening day of our Social Housing and Human Rights event. Leiliani’s keynote presentation will be followed by a reception to close out the CHRA Congress.

Leilani Farha is a Canadian lawyer, Global Director of The Shift and the United Nations special rapporteur on adequate housing (2014-2020). Her documentary PUSH: The Film exposed the growing crisis caused by the financialization of housing, inspiring right-to-housing advocates to scale up efforts to call on governments to take immediate action. In this keynote address Leilani will provide her insights on the crisis in low-cost rental housing, how Canada’s Right to Housing legislation can be used as a tool for housing advocates to mobilize to shift public discourse and public policy toward a renewed commitment to expand social housing in Canada.

Friday April 21, 2023  9:00 am – 4:30 pm Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Speaker: Marie-Josée Houle, Federal Housing Advocate

Organizing for Change training by Duncan Pike, Instructor, Institute for Change Leaders in partnership with Michelle Bilek, National Organizer for the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness

Participants will come together to build their capacity to collectively mobilize and advocate to make social housing a public policy priority.

Participants will:

  • understand the strategic role of storytelling in our collective movement for the right to housing;
  • learn to lead change through their personal narrative;
  • build a concrete action plan to advocate for social housing through understanding power and developing tailored strategies and tactics.

Hotel Information

Hotel options:  Humphry Inn and Suites and the Inn at the Forks (ask for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights rate of $149 – 169/night)

Fairmont hotel or the Mere Hotel are also close to the conference locations.

*Participants registered for this Social Housing and Human Rights Conference will be attending CHRA’s Congress all day Thursday April 20 at no charge. However if you want to attend any other parts or sessions of the CHRA Congress you will need to pay for and register on their website here.

If you have any questions please email: or call 204-927-3200.