Engaging with other organizations in the housing and homelessness sector helps the Federal Housing Advocate make real connections with people and combine our advocacy efforts. Last year, the Advocate spoke at more than 15 events, where she touched on key themes of advocacy, housing as a human right, and collaboration at all levels to develop solutions. Here are just a few:
- A keynote speech at the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association’s 10th annual conference, where she highlighted the importance of the non-profit sector in solving the housing crisis in Canada.
- A keynote speech at the Assembly of First Nations’ 5th National Housing Forum, where she touched on the importance of First Nations leadership and vision in reimagining housing policy in Canada.
- Housing on the Hill Day, an event on Parliament Hill coordinated by the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA). The Advocate participated in a fireside chat with CHRA Interim Executive Director Ray Sullivan, and underlined the importance of bringing together people on the front lines of the housing crisis with MPs and policy-makers.
- A keynote fireside chat in Saskatoon on the second day of the Building Community — Saskatchewan Housing and Homelessness Conference hosted by the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MN-S).
Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference
The Advocate was a keynote speaker at the November 2022 Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) conference. Her speech touched on the advocacy journey to achieving the right to housing in Canada, and the work ahead. Above all, she highlighted that her most important role is to support the power of the people in claiming their rights and demanding change.
The CAEH conference was also an opportunity to engage in workshops and symposiums with lived experts, front line workers, policy professionals, elders, leaders, survivors, funders, researchers, and activists. During the conference, the Advocate participated in the National Symposium on the Right to Housing for Women and Gender-Diverse People. The Advocate was honoured to hear their stories and strategize with these powerful lived experts and allies. In the wise words of one speaker, "Lived experts are great policy-makers."
Meanwhile, staff from the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate, along with partners at the National Right to Housing Network, delivered an interactive workshop entitled “Claiming the Right to Housing.” Staff shared about how the Advocate engages with the public through the housing submission tool. Using an interactive poll, participants shared the systemic housing issues most important to them, what they needed to put forward a systemic submission to the Advocate, and offered possible solutions to Canada’s housing crisis.
The Office’s research on financialization and encampments was also presented in two workshops led by the researchers Sue-Ann MacDonald and Caroline Leblanc (encampments) and Martine August, Nemoy Lewis, Jackie Brown and ACORN Canada (financialization).