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Achievements of

VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 17

									                              Your national ally for affordable housing
                     Votre alliée nationale pour le logement à prix abordable




                                              Report on
                                              Achievements and Goals


                                               February 2003




Canadian Housing and Renewal Association / Association canadienne d’habitation et de rénovation urbaine
130 Slater Street, Suite 408           Tel: (613) 594-3007                  130, rue Slater, bureau 408
Ottawa, Canada K1P 6E2                 Fax: (613) 594-9596                   Ottawa, Canada K1P 6E2
e-mail: info@chra-achru.ca                                                Website: www.chra-achru.ca
                                     Mission

The health and well-being of our communities and our country depends on everyone in
Canada having access to appropriate, secure, decent, affordable housing.

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) is the national voice for
affordable housing for low- and modest-income households, and the national network
for building capacity in our communities to meet housing needs.

CHRA promotes greater public understanding of housing needs and solutions by
researching affordable housing issues and outcomes, and designing, monitoring,
evaluating and advising on the development of socio-economic policies affecting
housing.

CHRA encourages and enables the sharing of housing information with local
communities, across the country and internationally, to build and support the capacity
of our communities to meet their housing needs.
                                Contents

2002 Achievements                                     1
1. National Advocacy                                  2
2. Affordable Housing Initiatives                     4
3. Research Projects Underway and Completed in 2002   6
4. International Exchange                             8
5. 2002 Congress in Ottawa                            9
6. Publications/Communications                        9

7. Staffing                                           10


2003 Goals                                            10
1. National Advocacy                                  10
2. Affordable Housing Initiatives                     11
3. Research and Policy                                11
4. 2003 Congress in Toronto                           13
5. International Exchange                             14
6. Capacity Building                                  14
7. Publications/Communications                        14
2002 Achievements

2002 saw affordable housing continuing to rise on the federal agenda along with
recognition of CHRA’s importance. Several significant events took place.

For the first time ever, CHRA concluded a three-year             Documents Produced in 2002
funding agreement with the Canada Mortgage and
                                                                 Expiry of Social Housing
Housing Corporation (CMHC) that will enable CHRA to               Operating Agreements, A
expand its ability to share information and help promote          National Roundtable
the creation of more affordable housing in Canada. The           Ideas that Work: Best Practices
new agreement enables CHRA to create a new staff                  in Affordable Housing
position at the Ottawa office to promote capacity                 Management
building. Working closely with CMHC, this person will            Municipal Initiatives: Stemming
develop new resources and materials for workshops                 the Loss of Affordable Rental
and interactive learning possibilities to help                    Housing

organizations and individuals seeking to create affordable       Exploring Tax Based Measures
housing in Canada. The goal is to gather and                      to Attract Private Investment for
                                                                  Affordable Housing: Discussion
disseminate the wealth of information that exists                 Paper
nationwide, and build on housing successes so
that others can access the data and materials necessary          Exploring the Potential of
                                                                  Affordable Homeownership
to support their own community-based projects. CHRA               Insurance Products in Canada:
will work to bring people together, virtually or by means         Discussion Paper
of regional workshops, to learn what works best and how          On Her Own: Young Women
affordable housing can be created in communities across           and Homelessness in Canada
Canada.
                                                                 On Her Own: Young Women
                                                                  and Homelessness in Canada
In addition to the annual congress, the new three-year funding agreement will also
enable CHRA to deliver two regional meetings and a national symposium, in 2003,
that focuses on policy themes of broad national application.

By the end of 2002, the Government of Canada had signed agreements with 10
provincial and territorial governments, including British Columbia, Quebec,
Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia,
Manitoba and the Yukon. The federal government has committed $680 million over
a five-year period for affordable housing. Matching contributions are to be provided
by the provincial and territorial governments and municipal, private and non-profit
partners. These funds are expected to produce between 25,000 and 30,000
affordable housing units across the country.

In November, the Prime Minister’s Caucus Task Force on Urban Issues, headed by
Member of Parliament Judy Sgro, released its final report, Canada’s Urban Strategy:
A Vision for the 21st Century. This document recommends ways for the federal
government to work more effectively with the other levels of government and makes
specific and achievable recommendations to the Prime Minister for the development



CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                                    1
of affordable housing in the nation’s urban regions. In its press release, CHRA
welcomed the release of the Sgro report and endorsed its recommendation that the
government commit itself to a national affordable housing program. CHRA will
continue to lobby for a national housing strategy and will meet with officials to
ensure that housing for low- and middle-income Canadians is addressed.

In May, Member of Parliament Libby Davies brought forward Bill C- 416, an act to
provide for adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians, to the House
of Commons for discussion and debate. Under this Bill, the right to adequate
housing would have been formalized and enshrined in Canadian law. While the Bill
was not voted on in the House, discussion was lively.

At this year’s Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference, the Minister of
Industry, the Honourable Allan Rock, and former Finance Minister Paul Martin spoke
of the need to keep Canada’s urban centres strong and competitive. They also
discussed the importance of addressing affordable housing, modern infrastructure,
clean air, transportation and homelessness.


1. National Advocacy
Meetings with Ministers, Members of Parliament and Senior Officials:
Throughout the year, CHRA met with several senior government representatives to
promote the organization and the views of its members. CHRA met with the
Honourable David Collenette, the new Minister Responsible for CMHC, the
Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and
members of the National Capital caucus. CHRA also worked closely with CMHC
officials on the new CHRA/CMHC Agreement.

In May, CHRA President John Metson, Past President Robert Cohen and Executive
Director Sharon Chisholm met with the Assistant to then-Minister of Infrastructure
and Crown Corporations, the Honourable John Manley, and CMHC Vice-President
Doug Stewart. CHRA urged Minister Manley to enhance the affordable housing
program and find ways to build capacity across the community and municipal sectors
to develop new affordable housing. CHRA believes the discussion was promising and
with the release of the Sgro report, there might be more active debate on what kind
of housing initiatives Canada needs and how housing fits within an urban strategy.

CHRA met with Minister Collenette’s Ottawa staff in September to discuss the
importance of affordable housing. CHRA stressed that the health and well-being of
our communities and our country depend on all Canadians having access to secure,
decent, affordable housing. Brian Klunder, the Minister’s then-Special Assistant on
housing issues, was receptive to CHRA. He spoke about Minister Collenette’s




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                       2
commitment to housing and stated that the federal government takes the need for
affordable housing seriously.

Submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance: In
November, President John Metson and Executive Director Reid Rossi met with all
members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance during public
hearings in Toronto. CHRA urged the government to make a sustained and
substantial investment in affordable housing. CHRA also made the case for the
government to increase significantly its spending levels on creating new housing and
preserving and renewing the existing housing stock.

National Partner of Campaign 2000 Continues: In May, following release of
Campaign’s 2000’s report, Putting Promises into Action: A Report on the Decade of
Child and Family Poverty in Canada, CHRA joined the Campaign in its presentation to
the National Children’s Agenda Caucus Committee of the Liberal Party. In 1989, one
child in seven lived below the poverty line. By 1999, that number had jumped to one
in five. Among other indicators, the report cites the decline in the production of
affordable housing, from close to 25,000 units in 1989 to fewer than 2,000 units in
1999, as a factor causing increased child poverty. The report also states that
Canada’s lowest-income families with children experienced falling incomes
throughout the past decade and were worse off by 1999, whereas other families had
gained some ground. The gap between the lowest and highest income groups
increased from a difference of 9.5 times in 1993 to 11.5 in 1999. Members of the
committee were interested in the status of Aboriginal children, both on and off
reserve, environmental contaminants and their effects on the unborn, a housing
strategy, universal readiness-to-learn initiatives, and a national child care strategy.

Review of the Supporting Community Partnerships Initiative (SCPI): In
March, CHRA participated in a roundtable session to review SCPI. CHRA asserted
that while a focused effort is needed to develop emergency plans for the homeless,
there is also a desperate need for a national housing strategy that focuses on long-
term requirements for affordable housing. CHRA noted that the federal government
is spending $753 million over three years on SCPI and only $680 million over five
years on affordable rental housing. It was also noted that SCPI needs to address
systemic issues related to homelessness. In addition, roundtable representatives
identified the need to focus on family and community when addressing Aboriginal
homelessness. While some participants saw a need for an urban strategy, others
noted that homelessness is also a growing concern in rural and small towns.

Response to the review of the Social Union Framework Agreement: In
October, CHRA provided a submission to the review of the Social Union Framework
Agreement (SUFA). CHRA expressed support for the SUFA plan to set a working
protocol to involve governments and third parties in the setting and monitoring of
the social agenda. However, CHRA noted that to date, governments have focused on
defining how the agreement affects their relations with each other, and more


CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                        3
attention should be paid to achieving partnerships with third parties, including
community organizations.

Romanow Commission on the Future of Health Care: The Romanow
Commission held Citizens’ Dialogue sessions across Canada. Several organizations
submitted briefs on the significance of poverty and exclusion as major determinants
of population health and well-being. CHRA supported the Canadian Health Coalition’s
statement, Standing Together for Medicare: A Call to Care, which refers to housing
as a key determinant of health.

Federal consultation on the Residential Renovation Assistance Program
(RRAP): CHRA provided input into the CMHC evaluation of federal housing
renovation programs, which include the Residential Renovation Assistance Program
(RRAP), the Emergency Repair Program, the Home Adaptations for Seniors’
Independence program, and the Shelter Enhancement Program. CHRA conveyed
support for continuing the RRAP programs and called on its members to voice their
support during the consultation process.

Housing and Health: CHRA participated in a consultation committee with
Dr. James Dunn of the University of Calgary on the relationship between housing
and health and is committed to further collaborative research on this issue. The link
between housing and health will be a topic of discussion for the National Symposium
in 2003.

Sector organizations: CHRA continued its working relationships with its partner
organizations. CHRA worked with the FCM National Housing Policy Options Team
and was involved in ad hoc meetings to develop their strategy. CHRA also continued
to collaborate with the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) and
promoted CHRA at the British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Association annual
conference.


2. Affordable Housing Initiatives

Forum on New Financing Options for Affordable Housing: In January 2002,
CHRA convened a meeting of key mortgage and financial sector representatives, in
partnership with ONPHA. The purpose was to explore the potential for alternative
financial approaches to affordable housing provision. Two papers prepared by
consultant S. Pomeroy were presented: Exploring the Potential of Affordable
Homeownership Insurance Products in Canada, delivered by the President of GE
Capital Canada, and Exploring Tax Based Measures to Attract Private Investment for
Affordable Housing, delivered by Dale McClanaghan, formerly of VanCity Enterprises.
Other participants in this event included the National Association of Housing and
Renewal Officials (NAHRO), the Bank of America, the Local Initiatives Support



CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                      4
Corporation, representatives of other financial and mortgage lending institutions,
senior officials from five provinces, and officials from federal and municipal
departments. CHRA intends to continue working with financial institutions to find
new tools to complement capital grants and assist with creating more affordable
housing.

National Roundtable on Expiry of Social Housing Operating Agreements: In
February, 25 housing experts from across Canada met to discuss issues and
strategies concerning the expiry of operating agreements. Some agreements have
already expired and many more will end over the next few decades. Discussions
focused on preservation of the affordable housing stock, affordability, accessibility,
and leverage and expansion of the stock. Among those participating were seven
provincial/territorial representatives, officials from two municipalities, seven housing
providers, five provincial and national housing associations and a representative
from CMHC. CHRA prepared a discussion paper on this issue to stimulate discussion
at the roundtable. Work on this issue will continue in 2003.

Be a Champion for Affordable Housing in Your Community: Together with
FCM and CMHC, CHRA sponsored a two-day forum following the CHRA congress.
Discussion centred on developing local champions for affordable housing at the
municipal level. Approximately 75 delegates attended this event. Topics included
building community support, building support with local councils, community
capacity building, and fighting NIMBYism. The event concluded with participants
agreeing that a great deal can be done at the community and local government level
to promote affordable housing activity.

Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) Program: CHRA, the Canadian Home
Builders’ Association and FCM are partners with CMHC in the ACT program. In April,
the Honourable John Manley, then-Minister of Infrastructure and Crown
Corporations, announced 15 winners of ACT grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.
Some projects that received funding included: an affordable housing demonstration
project that increases density and involves changes to the Official Community Plan,
development of an affordable housing model to help neighbourhood organizations
create a community land trust, building an affordable dwelling in a laneway, finding
ways to fast-track development applications, promoting new regulations for home-
based businesses, and preparing a brochure to help reduce resistance to denser
forms of housing. CHRA continues to sit on the ACT Management Committee.

Provincial relations: CHRA maintained relations with senior officials from the
provincial and territorial governments, who have increasingly looked to CHRA to play
a central role in co-ordinating and disseminating information.

Homegrown Solutions: Since 1995, CHRA has delivered the Homegrown
Solutions initiative, a CMHC-funded grant program that provides seed funding to
communities to explore new ways to address affordable housing need. During the


CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                         5
program’s run, CHRA made four proposal calls and received over 240 applications
for seed grant funding. In total, Homegrown Solutions has administered just under
$1.4 million to provide grants for 67 initiatives to investigate and document ways to
provide affordable housing.

Early in 2002, CHRA completed a report that reviewed the achievements of
Homegrown Solutions and examined future options for renewal.
CMHC, however, chose not to renew funding for Homegrown Solutions and the
emphasis for most of the year was on completion of the program.

As of January 2002, 30 of the 67 funded initiatives had carried out their
demonstration initiatives and submitted final documentary reports. By the end of
2002, of the remaining 37 funded groups, 32 had completed their work plans and
prepared final reports. Five groups were unable to finish their work and withdrew or
were terminated. The resulting documentary reports—prepared for an audience of
fellow practitioners—are available through the Canadian Housing Information Centre
at CMHC.

For each report, CHRA prepared a two-page highlight sheet summarizing the
initiative, its impact on producing affordable housing and the lessons learned by the
proponent. These highlights are posted on the CHRA Web site and will be a useful
resource to stimulate ideas. The sheets also provide contact information to facilitate
network building across Canada and thus encourage others to adapt and build on
the ideas and initiatives undertaken as a result of Homegrown Solutions.


3. Research Projects Underway and Completed in 2002
Municipal Initiatives: Stemming the Loss of Affordable Rental Housing:
CHRA commissioned this study to help increase awareness among municipalities of
the types of initiatives they might use to combat the loss of their affordable rental
housing stock. The report assesses the rental housing stock in many of Canada’s
metropolitan centres over the last decade. It also discusses factors that contribute to
the loss of rental stock (e.g., demolition and conversion, loss of affordability, poor
condition of the stock), provides an overview of provincial efforts to help
municipalities address this issue, and describes 12 mechanisms that Canadian cities
have introduced to help stem the loss of rental housing in their communities. This
report is available on the CHRA Web site, and a workshop on the topic will be held
at the CHRA 2003 Congress.




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                        6
Ideas that Work, Best Management Practices in Affordable Housing: The
purpose of this research was to identify and promote social housing best
management practices in the areas of financial management, maintenance,
governance and accountability, housing management, development planning, and
human resources management. The report includes six best practice case studies, a
synopsis of 27 good management practices across Canada, and a section on future
trends—creative new initiatives that have not yet been fully implemented or
evaluated. In this report, best practices means strategies, practices and
management tools that have been used to produce superior performance, and can
be adapted and implemented by other organizations. The intention is to enable
organizations to reach their goals more efficiently and with greater success. This
report is available on the CHRA Web site, and a workshop on the topic will be held
at the CHRA 2003 Congress.

Young Women and Homelessness: CHRA received funding from Status of
Women Canada to conduct research on homelessness among young women in
Canada. The report explores the causes, demographics and patterns of
homelessness among young women aged 12 to 24. Case studies were conducted in
eight cities (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, St. John’s, Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton
and Yellowknife) to assess the availability of programs, gaps in services, and
innovations. The findings are based on interviews with more than 100 informants
and previously unpublished data. Gender and age-specific issues (i.e., sexual
violence, pregnancy, service gaps for mid-teens, minors and the child welfare
system) are discussed. The report includes suggestions for changes in services and
programs, and recommendations for policy directions by various governments.

Expiry of Operating Agreements: CHRA initiated this research to help housing
providers determine the steps that must be taken to address the expiry of operating
agreements and to protect affordable, low-income housing over the long term.
Phase 1 of this project included a background paper and a roundtable discussion.
Phase 2 of the project will involve three deliverables, a “big picture report” that
illustrates the magnitude of the issue, user-friendly templates to assess the impact
at the project level, and a report that identifies strategies to deal with the issue.

National Housing Research Committee: CHRA remained an active member of
the National Housing Research Committee (NHRC). CHRA representatives Rob
Cressman, Judy Forrest, and Sharon Chisholm attended various meetings of the
National Housing Research Committee, which met in Ottawa from June 3 to 5. The
committee established a new Working Group on Housing and Population Health.
Participation on the National Housing Research Committee provides links between
the provinces, territories and various national organizations involved in housing.




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                      7
4. International Exchange

Tri-Country Conference: CHRA has been part of the tri-country project for the
last 13 years, with partners from the United States and the United Kingdom. The
three countries hold an international housing policy conference every two years.
CHRA hosted the 2002 conference—“Blueprint for the Future”—in Vancouver. Three
days of presentations, discussion, site tours and an instructive plenary session in this
great city resulted in a comprehensive review of the successes and shortcomings of
housing issues in Canada, the US and the UK. Pre-conference materials provided
participants with an overview of the housing systems in each country, as well as
background information on case studies presented at the conference. One of the key
messages coming out of the conference was that we must all work harder to more
closely involve local people in the shaping of affordable housing, wherever the
community. More than 60 delegates, including a guest from the Government of
Australia, attended the conference. The winter issue of Canadian Housing (released
in January 2003) was devoted to the Tri-Country Conference. NAHRO will host the
next Tri-Country Conference in the US in 2004.

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements: CHRA Executive Director
Sharon Chisholm met with three representatives of the United Nations Centre for
Human Settlements (UNCHS Habitat). CHRA expressed support for Member of
Parliament Stephen Owen’s proposal to UNCHS that Vancouver host a 2006 urban
forum. CHRA also encouraged UNCHS to increase and formalize its partnerships with
NGOs, to give greater recognition to NGOs’ role in human settlements and to build
upon their expertise.

Latvia: CHRA was a partner in a Latvian community development project to build
capacity and self-reliance among residents through the use of housing management
models. The project was targeted to residents of the District of Karosta, a former
Soviet military base in Liepaja. CHRA’s role was to contribute knowledge and
expertise in the governance and management of multi-family housing. The main
objectives were to develop a model for greater resident involvement in apartment
building management, to strengthen training and advisory capability among the local
people, and to establish model tenant and homeowner associations. CHRA
representatives Alice Sundberg and Michel Frojmovic were responsible for delivering
a series of workshops on housing management options and resident involvement.
One training session took place in December 2001, a second in February 2002.




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                         8
5. 2002 Congress in Ottawa
CHRA welcomed 350 delegates from across Canada to its April 2002 Congress in
Ottawa. His Excellency John Ralston Saul provided the keynote address at the
opening plenary session. His Excellency posed the question as to the origins of
homelessness and poverty. He suggested that the answer is not one of economics
but of fundamental values and the underlying principles upon which we have built
our society. Linda McQuaig, a well-known socio-political author, spoke at the closing
plenary session. Guest speakers Jean-Claude Villiard, President of CMHC, Jacques
Gariépy, Deputy Minister of Société d’habitation du Quebec, and Jack Layton,
President of FCM, shared their views on the roles of government within the context
of the new affordable housing program. Claude Roy received CHRA’s International
Award in recognition of his work as Chair of CHRA’s International Committee and his
efforts to promote the sharing of ideas and experiences among countries. Judy
Forrest received the CMHC Award for her significant contribution to housing, and La
Fédération des organismes sans but lucratif d’habitation de Montréal received the
Graham Emslie Award in recognition of Fédération des organismes sans but lucratif
d'habitation de Montréal’s efforts to advance housing issues.


6. Publications/Communications
Communicating with its members, professional organizations and other interested
stakeholders is a key part of the CHRA strategic framework. CHRA continued to
communicate with its members through its quarterly magazine, Canadian Housing,
and its monthly newsletter, Update, and via its Web site.

Canadian Housing: This journal provides a forum for the expression of views on
evolving housing policy in Canada and makes a significant contribution to the
affordable housing literature. It also updates members on recent developments and
events on the national and international housing scenes. In 2002, CHRA published
two issues of Canadian Housing. Several themes were addressed including social
inclusion, building capacity, the housing crisis in Northern Canada, and the concept
of inclusion as applied to the Aboriginal community in Canada. Work also progressed
to revitalize the format of Canadian Housing for 2003.

UPDATE: The monthly newsletter Update delivers fresh news and current
information to CHRA members every month. It provides a quick summary of
affordable housing issues and events.

CHRA Web site: CHRA continued its work to improve the design and content of its
Web site. Significant changes were also made to improve access to CHRA reports
and publications through the web.



CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                      9
7. Staffing
In September, Executive Director Sharon Chisholm began a year-long sabbatical
leave to pursue independent research on housing issues. A competitive process was
held and an incoming Executive Director, Reid Rossi, was appointed to head CHRA’s
operations and growth in 2002-2003.

Also in September, Sharon Margison left her position with CHRA as the Research and
Policy Co-ordinator to manage the Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) program at
FCM. A mid-November competition was held, and Barb de Ruyter joined the CHRA
team in Ottawa in early December. Also that month, final preparations were made to
begin a hiring process early in 2003 for a Co-ordinator of Capacity Building. This
person will focus on fulfilling CHRA’s responsibility under its partnering agreement
with CMHC to increase community capacity building efforts.


2003 Goals
In the year ahead, CHRA will build on its 2002 achievements and continue to serve
as the national voice for the affordable housing movement in Canada. Work will
focus on the following strategic functions:

      national advocacy
      affordable housing initiatives
      research and policy
      annual congress
      international exchange
      publications/communications

Key initiatives targeted for 2003 include the following:


1. National Advocacy
CHRA will continue to advocate for, and influence public opinion on, the design and
implementation of a national housing strategy. Specific goals for 2003 include:

      Continue to meet regularly with Cabinet Ministers, MPs, MLAs, federal and
       provincial officials and municipal government representatives on affordable
       housing issues
      Prepare a formal response and submission to the Parliamentary Standing
       Committee on Finance following the February 2003 Budget
      Continue working with FCM on developing a new housing policy for Canada
      Maintain links with provincial and federal officials as program details are
       worked out


CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                     10
      Develop a four-page Hill Times affordable housing insert for delivery to all
       MPs and Senators
      Prepare to coordinate and deliver two regional meetings and one national
       symposium


2. Affordable Housing Initiatives
CHRA will continue to research and develop cutting-edge initiatives to create and
manage affordable housing. In 2003, CHRA will continue its work on a variety of
initiatives, including:

      Participating in the Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) program as a
       member of the Management Committee
      Participating on the National Housing Research Committee
      Building government support for affordable housing throughout all levels of
       government
      Promoting partnerships with national, provincial and community-based
       organizations, and the private, financial, voluntary and government sectors
       interested in affordable housing
      Fostering networking opportunities among CHRA members to discuss
       affordable housing issues


3. Research and Policy
Research priorities for 2003-2004 include:

   a) Housing as part of the federal urban agenda

   The “urban agenda” policy discourse in Ottawa will provide an opportunity for
   CHRA to continue its work to identify affordable housing as a necessary element
   of urban social spending and urban infrastructure.

   b) Housing and health

   The social policy linkage between housing and health has emerged as one of
   CHRA’s priority issues. This research theme provides an opportunity for CHRA to
   build research alliances with a national research network and may serve as the
   focus of a national symposium in late 2003.




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                    11
   c) Monitoring provincial and municipal activity and its outcomes in the
      devolved policy/program era

   In this era of devolved social housing programs, and with new federal initiatives
   taking multiple forms across the country under the Social Union Framework
   Agreement (SUFA), more systematic monitoring is needed. CHRA will continue to
   monitor provincial and municipal activities and report on trends and outcomes.

   d) Monitoring the shape and outcomes of new federal housing
      initiatives

   After a period of strong advocacy, Canada has now introduced a new affordable
   housing program and housing initiatives as part of the Supporting Communities
   Partnership Initiative (SCPI). In this shifting and evolving federal-provincial
   environment, monitoring these initiatives will be a significant focus for CHRA.
   This is seen as distinct from point c) above.

   e) The future of social housing subsidies and assets

   One current priority is to develop ways to safeguard the social housing subsidy
   streams and social housing assets, which are the great legacy of the public and
   non-profit housing era in federal housing policy. Phase 2 of the Expiry of
   Operating Agreements project is the current expression of this priority; however,
   this issue goes beyond that specific project.

   f) Alternative financing (e.g., non-profit mortgage insurance, tax
      credit vehicle)

   This has been and should remain a key area of CHRA’s policy-related research,
   responding to a perceived opportunity and necessity in the current policy
   environment. Forms of support such as this, which create multiple stakeholders
   and support market investment mechanisms, are seen as a necessity if Canada is
   to achieve a higher level of affordable housing activity.

   g) Housing affordability, stock trends, market rental investment

   Monitoring affordability, stock and market trends is also a part of what CHRA
   does. This area is gaining more CMHC attention, and provides an opportunity for
   CHRA to have input into interpreting trends, and informing the media and public
   opinion, etc. With a growing population, a fixed affordable housing stock, and a
   changing investment climate, monitoring is as important as ever. CHRA will
   consider issuing a digestible annual update.




CHRA Achievements and Goals Report                                                     12
   h) Other ongoing research concerns

   Several other research areas have been identified as important for CHRA. These
   include:

        Best practices in social housing management. This issue relates to CHRA’s
         capacity-building mandate and is the topic of a recently completed CHRA
         project.

        Housing and social assistance. The relationship of housing programs to
         other social policy areas is an ongoing concern. The specific “big-dollar”
         intersections between social assistance and social housing demand better
         analysis and new policy. New analyses may be needed in the current era
         after “welfare reform” and housing devolution.

        Housing and homelessness. There is broad recognition across much of the
         political spectrum that homelessness is in part a housing problem. This is
         another intersecting area of housing and broader social policy.
         Considerable research is being funded through HRDC and others.

        Aboriginal housing. This is an area of increasing focus for CHRA. There are
         rising housing needs as the urban Aboriginal population grows rapidly, and
         a close interrelation with other social policy and community development
         issues. Research priorities in this area should be developed in conjunction
         with partners and allies in the Aboriginal community.


4. 2003 Congress in Toronto

CHRA’s 35th Annual Congress will be held from April 9 to 12, 2003, in Toronto. The
theme will be “Communities in Action: The Housing Agenda.” This year’s Congress
will set the stage to examine Canada’s housing issues and to promote housing as
integral to creating healthy urban centres and strong communities across Canada.
Plenary speakers will focus on the need for a housing agenda; the roles of
government, housing providers, and communities in putting the housing agenda into
action; the importance of revitalization and rebuilding of communities; and the need
to preserve and build on past successes as well as identify and deliver new
initiatives. Nine innovative workshops will show how housing is pivotal to the urban
agenda. Topics include housing and health; using tax incentives to improve housing;
capital reserve planning; local innovations (what communities are doing); preparing
for the expiry of social housing operating agreements; dealing with homelessness;
best practices in housing management; meeting the urban Aboriginal housing
challenge, and funding opportunities and strategies arising from the affordable
housing program to be delivered across Canada.



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5. International Exchange

Tri-Country Conference: CHRA will assist with planning and will attend the 2004
Tri-Country Conference, to be hosted by US partner NAHRO.

Rooftops: CHRA will ensure active participation in Rooftops and that CHRA plays a
successful role in the March Kenya project. CHRA President Dr. John Metson and Kitt
Hickey, a member of the Research and Policy Committee and President of the New
Brunswick Non-Profit Housing Association, will go to Kenya as observers and
participants in local housing initiatives.


6. Capacity building

CHRA is hiring one additional staff person to carry out work under the new
CHRA/CMHC Agreement to promote capacity building. CHRA will encourage
involvement in this new initiative through communications and community
participation, and has developed a strategy to respond to the capacity building
needs of local communities.


7. Publications/Communications

Communication is another key component of the CHRA strategic framework. CHRA
will continue to improve its Web site and the search engine to facilitate research and
will post current reports in a timely manner. CHRA will also continue to produce
Canadian Housing magazine and its monthly newsletter, Update.




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