Richard Florida to headline CHRA Congress

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The 41st Annual Canadian Housing and
Renewal Association (CHRA) Congress, Renewing our Communities, will open with
Richard Florida, the best-selling author of The Rise of the Creative Class and
the new Canadian edition of Who's Your City. Florida is one of the world's
leading intellectuals and sought-after speakers on economics, global and
demographic trends, and cultural innovation. There will be an exclusive Q & A
opportunity with Richard Florida for media.
    "The CHRA Congress is an opportunity for housing advocates from across
the country to convene to share ideas and success stories on the creation and
renewal of affordable housing, the elimination of homelessness, energy
efficiency, and support for marginalized groups," says CHRA President Dave
    Following Mr. Florida's address Toronto Mayor David Miller will speak
about a range of Toronto initiatives to end homelessness and renew
communities, including the Mayor's Tower Renewal, which aims to combine energy
efficiency, green jobs and community engagement as it rejuvenates many of
Toronto's high-rise rental buildings.
    Among many other noteworthy speakers, Uzma Shakir, Atkinson Economic
Justice Fellow, at the University of Toronto, will speak to the experience of
new immigrants to Canada and how their success can be better supported through
    A series of mobile workshops will feature exciting housing and community
renewal initiatives in Toronto. These include the City of Toronto's acclaimed
Streets to Homes program and Woodgreen Community Services' award-winning
approach to building equitable services and sustainable communities. A visit
to Regent Park will feature young residents speaking about how they are
contributing to the neighbourhood's revitalization with Toronto Community
Housing Corporation's support. At Wychwood Art Barns, a former transit bus
barn that has been transformed into work, gallery, and event space and
includes affordable housing, visitors will see a model of how affordable
housing can underpin projects with positive social, environmental and economic
    "We in the host city are pleased to be sharing some of the great
community renewal initiatives that are underway in Toronto with colleagues
from across the country," says Phil Brown, CHRA board member and Chair of the
2009 Congress Steering Committee.
    Media are invited to attend all sessions and mobile workshops and may
especially wish to cover the Saturday morning Open Space Plenary, a
facilitated meeting that will shape CHRA's recommended national housing policy

    See the entire program at
    Media wishing to attend are requested to call ahead.

    Where:  Hilton Toronto, 145 Richmond Street West

    April 16:  9:00 am: Richard Florida, best-selling author and researcher
                        speaks on key themes from the new Canadian edition of
                        Who's Your City?
              10:15 am: Media Q & A with Richard Florida. Please call ahead.
              12:00 pm: Address by Mayor David Miller

    April 17:  9:00 am: "Home is where it starts" address by Uzma Shakir,
                        Atkinson Economic Justice Fellow
        2:30 - 5:00 pm: Concurrent Mobile Workshops

    April 18:  9:30 am: Open Space Plenary: Delegates bring their years of
                        experience to bear on CHRA's recommended national
                        housing policy framework.

For further information:

For further information: To attend or schedule interviews, please
contact: Melodie Cardin, Communications Coordinator, (613) 594-3007 ext. 19,

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