National Organizations Partner for Virtual Events on Housing, Homelessness, Human Rights and COVID-19

Photo by Tolu Olubode courtesy of Unsplash

Beginning July 27 Canadians can engage with experts and each other from across the country in a new program called Right To Home. The week of virtual film screenings and live panel discussions from coast to coast will explore what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next, as we reimagine the right to home during and beyond the pandemic.

A media release describes Right to Home as bringing together “the voices of those with boots on the ground, championing the right to housing across the country and around the world. From community organizers to institutional advocates, politicians to people with lived experience of homelessness, every event provides a unique entry point to engage with one of the most pressing issues of this time: the need – and the right – of a home.”

The event is hosted by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and The Shift in partnership with the Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Architecture & Design Film Festival, BC Non-Profit Housing Association, Big Wheel Community Foundation & Big Wheel Burger, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Canadian Housing & Renewal Association, Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation, City of Victoria, Co-Operative Housing Federation of Canada, Maytree and UDI Victoria.

Attendees can register to watch two powerful documentaries. One profiles homeless individuals and their struggle to survive (Us and Them, directed by Krista Loughton and Jennifer Abbott, click here to register) and the other, Push by Fredrik Gertten, investigates why and how cities have become unaffordable and what makes housing one of today’s most pressing world issues (register to watch here.)

Diverse daily panels include human rights lawyers, government leaders, people with lived expertise of homelessness, and community advocates. Attendees can look forward to dynamic discussions and innovative perspectives on housing. Right to Home speakers come from across Canada and around the world, and include Victoria’s Mayor, Lisa Helps.

The Urban Development Institute of Canada – Capital Region Chapter, is helping promote the event. Its Executive Director, Kathy Whitcher, tells Douglas “Victoria is experiencing a housing crisis, as are most urban areas across Canada – and the COVID-19 outbreak has magnified the issue. Right to Home sheds light on the our most vulnerable population.  Through Right to Home week we hope by joining together through collaboration of experiences and discussion that we will come up with innovative regulation changes that will see us forward in the future.”

The event begins as BC announces more than 60 new rental homes are under construction in Victoria through their HousingHub program.  Located at 2570 Fifth Street, the five-storey wood-frame building is being constructed in partnership with Aryze Developments and will provide 64 affordable homes for households with annual incomes between $48,000 and $100,000. The project will offer studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes. It will include ground floor commercial space, which will be leased by the Vancouver Island School of Art.

Right to Home runs July 27 to 31, 2020, with all events virtual and free of charge. Find more information about the events and panelists, as well as registration at:

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