Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association "Get Connected"

    Leading industry representatives explore the connections between housing,
    the economy, health and the environment at the 2008 Annual Conference and
    Trade Show

    OTTAWA, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Over 1,300 representatives from Ontario's
affordable housing sector gather today for a three-day conference and trade
show featuring over 70 education and conference workshop events along with
71 trade show booths.
    The theme of ONPHA's 20th Annual Conference and Tradeshow is "Get
Connected," which reflects the strong relationships that have formed across
the sector. It also highlights the fundamental connection between affordable
housing policy and the creation of healthy communities.
    "ONPHA's conference is the perfect place to get connected with non-profit
housing experts and sector leaders," says Hugh Lawson, President of ONPHA.
"Communities need strong affordable housing policies to meet the economic,
environmental and social challenges that lie ahead. The ONPHA conference
connects non-profit housing providers with the information and people they
need to successfully meet those challenges."


    Ontario's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, The Honourable Jim
Watson, in attendance to address the conference delegates, reinforces the need
for cooperation on affordable housing issues.
    "It is imperative that the federal government, provinces and
municipalities work together with our housing providers to ensure the long
term stability of our affordable housing stock," says Minister Jim Watson. "I
look forward to continuing to work with ONPHA to find solutions to the housing
challenges that face Ontarians."


    Winners of ONPHA's Annual Awards Program will also be announced
throughout the course of the conference. Categories include: The Award for
Excellence; The Outstanding Leadership Award; 20 Years of Distinguished
Service Award; and The Tenant Achievement Recognition Award. New this year,
The ONPHA Going Green Award recognizes an environmental leader in the
non-profit housing sector. Information about the winners will be available on
October 21, 2008 at www.onpha.on.ca.


    The 20th annual conference program boasts a variety of colourful and
qualified speakers, panelists and moderators from Canada and abroad. Examples

    Glen Murray, CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute, urban strategist, and
former Mayor of Winnipeg. Glen Murray is best known for his vision to build
culturally dynamic urban centres. Mr. Murray facilitates community connections
between the various elements of a dynamic city; with affordable housing being
an important component.
    Barbara Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
She will update the audience on the Commission's work since its Human Rights
and Rental Housing consultations last fall.

    The conference brings together business leaders, landlords, tenants and 
government representatives to discuss a wide variety of subjects, including:

    -   Social and supportive housing issues: homelessness, housing people
        with concurrent disorders, Ontario's Affordable Housing Strategy,
        green leadership.
    -   Economic issues: poverty reduction, fundraising and asset management.
    -   Administrative issues: building administration, maintenance, energy


    More than 400,000 people in Ontario rely on community-based affordable
housing, including: the elderly, low-income families with children, the
working poor, victims of violence and abuse, people living with developmental
disabilities or mental illness and the homeless/hard-to-house.
    Studies have proven that housing is an essential determinant of health
and a key contributor to the vitality of Ontario's communities. Investing in
community-based affordable housing supports the government's investment in
health care, education, social services and job training and will ensure that
the government realizes the benefits of these investments while building
strong, vibrant and healthy communities.


    ONPHA is the voice of non-profit housing in Ontario. Founded in 1988,
ONPHA unites 770 non-profit organizations providing housing in 220 communities
across Ontario. Our members include municipal and private non-profits of all
sizes, with all types of funding. Further information can be found at

For further information:

For further information: Rhona Duncan, Communications Coordinator, Tel:
(416) 927-9144 x. 126, Cell: (647) 828-8081

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Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)

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