Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association 'Leading the Way' - Increasing and Improving Affordable Housing

    Leading industry representatives brainstorm community housing solutions
    at the 2007 Annual Conference and Trade Show

    TORONTO, Nov. 18 /CNW/ - Over 1,500 representatives from Ontario's
affordable housing sector gather today for a three-day conference and trade
show featuring 103 education and conference workshop events along with
75 trade show booths.
    The 19th Annual Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) conference
and trade show's theme of "Leading the Way" is evident by the caliber of
sector staff, volunteer board members and tenants working together to find
solutions to today's most pressing affordable housing challenges.
    "ONPHA's conference is definitely leading the way in bringing top-notch
events that reflect the knowledge, expertise and leadership within our
sector," says Deborah Schlichter, President of ONPHA. "Whether it is the
volunteer board members, the dedicated staff or the tenants working to improve
their housing, leadership is the cornerstone of successful, affordable


    Ontario's new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, The Honourable
Jim Watson, in attendance to address the conference delegates, reinforces the
government's plan for housing in the province.
    "Affordable housing is pivotal toward ensuring healthy communities, and
while the Ontario government has made significant investments, we must all
continue to think of new and innovative ways to address those individuals in
Ontario who need help," says Minister Jim Watson. "The Federal government also
has a role to play and needs to come to the table to help create a national
housing strategy. I look forward to further discussions with ONPHA as we move
forward and on a strategy to address these issues."


    Winners of ONPHA's Awards of Excellence 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; The
Tenant Achievement Recognition Awards. All winners' names will be available on
November 22, 2007 at www.onpha.org.


    The 19th annual conference program boasts a variety of colorful and
qualified speakers, panelists and moderators from home and abroad. Examples

    Andy Barrie, Host of CBC Radio's Metro Morning, moderates a panel on
"Creating a New US" in the multicultural GTA. Five years from now almost
100 per cent of demand for new housing will come from new Canadians, and this
panel will explore traditional approaches to multiculturalism and find new
ways to integrate power structure without diminishing the healthy nature of
strong cultural identities.

    Marc Trotz, Director of Housing and Urban Health for the San Francisco
Department of Public Health, leads a session entitled Homelessness: Inspiring
Solutions. Trotz argues that housing is a health care issue and that stable
and supportive housing environments must be developed to make meaningful and
lasting improvements.

    Liz Cross, former Executive Director of Harvest Housing Group, Apex
House, in England and a consultant to UK housing providers returns to the
ONPHA conference again this year to discuss alternatives to amalgamations - a
shared service model that works in the UK as well as a workshop on creating
entrepreneurialism in non-profits.

    The conference attracts a variety of business leaders, landlords, tenants
and government representatives under a single roof to discuss a wide variety
of subjects, including:

    Social and supportive housing issues: homelessness, the realities of
    poverty, the role of shelters, housing people with active addictions,
    handling dementia and facilitating community gardening.

    Economic issues: entrepreneurialism, fundraising and asset management.

    Administrative issues: building administration, zoning, legal contracts,
    maintenance, taxes and energy efficient building.


    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. Since it was 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 www.onpha.org.

For further information:

For further information: Dorenda McNeil, Counsel Public Relations, Tel:
(416) 961-5898 x 216, Cell: (416) 300-0269

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Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)

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