About Right to Home

July 27–31, 2020

A week to (re)imagine housing and shelter

COVID-19 has exposed the vulnerabilities in Canada’s housing and shelter systems.
As we rebuild our urban futures, we cannot risk going back to the way things were—our systems are on the brink of collapse. But they are also on the cusp of transformative change.
CUI, The Shift, and 14 coast-to-coast partners hosted week of virtual film screenings and live panel discussions from coast to coast about what’s working, what’s not, and what’s next, as we (re)imagine the right to home.


Right to Home is Presented by:

The Canadian Urban Institute is the national platform that houses the best in Canadian city building – where policymakers, urban professionals, civic and business leaders, community activists and academics can learn, share and collaborate with one another from coast to coast to coast. 

The Shift is the global movement to secure the right to housing, recognizing the global housing crisis as the most significant social issues facing cities around the world. The Shift functions as a critical platform for uniting diverse actors across the globe who share a common goal: to combat the financialization of housing and implement the human right to housing. 

Right to Home is proud to be partnering with:

Aboriginal Housing and Mortgage 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.

Virtual Film Screenings

Sign up to watch two provocative and eye-opening documentaries about the right to home.

Free and on-demand, all week long, July 24–August 2.

Us & Them

Virtual On-Demand Film Screening, July 24–August 2

US AND THEM is a powerful documentary composed of striking portraits of four extraordinary homeless individuals as they struggle with addictions. The film is directed by Krista Loughton and Jennifer Abbott (THE CORPORATION). The story follows Loughton’s ten-year journey exploring the worlds of Dawnellda, Stan, Eddie and Karen, who she attempts to help. In the end, it is Loughton herself who is changed. Punctuated with First Nations wisdom, and Dr. Gabor Maté’s insight into the root causes of addiction, the film shows there is no difference between US AND THEM.

Watch the trailer


Virtual On-Demand Film Screening, July 24–August 2

PUSH is a new documentary from award-winning director Fredrik Gertten, investigating why we can’t afford to live in our own cities anymore. Housing is a fundamental human right, a precondition to a safe and healthy life. But in cities all around the world, having a place to live is becoming more and more difficult. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today’s most pressing world issues?

Watch the trailer

Program of Events

We lined up a week-long program of online candid conversations with public officials, civic leaders, practitioners, and on-the-ground voices.

Register now to join the conversation.

Monday, July 27

12-1 pm ET/ 9-10 am PT/ 10-11 am MT/ 11-12 pm CT/ 1-2 pm AT

What is the right to housing and why does it matter? Lessons from around the world

  • Shivani Chaudhry, Executive Director, Housing and Land Rights Network (India)
  • Leilani Farha, Global Director, The Shift (Canada)
  • Paula C. Marques, Councilor, Local Development and Housing, City of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Brennan Rigby, The Shift Aoetearoa Project Lead, Community Housing Aotearoa (New Zealand)
  • Michel Tremblay, Senior-Vice President, Policy and Innovation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Canada)

  Watch and read more  


Tuesday, July 28

12-1 pm ET/ 9-10 am PT/ 10-11 am MT/ 11-12 pm CT/ 1-2 pm AT

Homeless during a pandemic: What are the challenges and looming threats?

  • Stephanie Allen, Board Member, Hogan’s Alley Society and Associate Vice-President, Strategic Business Operations and Performance, BC Housing
  • Eddie Golko, Participant, Us and Them
  • Krista Loughton, Filmmaker, Us and Them
  • Karen Montgrand, Participant, Us and Them
  • Tim Richter, President and CEO, Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness

Watch and read more 


Wednesday, July 29

12-1 pm ET/ 9-10 am PT/ 10-11 am MT/ 11-12 pm CT/ 1-2 pm AT

Different futures: How do we (re)imagine housing in a pandemic world?

  • Leilani Farha, Global Director, The Shift
  • Ruth Goba, Executive Director, Black Legal Action Centre
  • Jeff Morrison, Executive Director, Canadian Housing and Renewal Association
  • Margaret Pfoh, CEO, Aboriginal Housing Management Association
  • Michel Tremblay, Senior-Vice President, Policy and Innovation, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

  Watch and read more  


Thursday, July 30

12-1 pm ET/ 9-10 am PT/ 10-11 am MT/ 11-12 pm CT/ 1-2 pm AT

How can the right to housing equip local governments to end homelessness?

  • Rebecca Alty, Mayor of Yellowknife
  • Ana Bailão, Ward 9 Councillor and Deputy Mayor for the south area of the city, Toronto
  • Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria
  • Scott McKeen, Ward 6 Councillor, Edmonton
  • Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener

  Watch and read more  


Friday, July 31

On Friday, July 31, the documentary Push was screened at the Beacon Hill Park encampment in Victoria, BC., with the support of community advocates and the City of Victoria.

Before the screening, Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing and Global Director of The Shift, sat down with residents (via Zoom) for a virtual discussion about their status as rights holders and participated in a Q&A about homelessness and the right to adequate housing.

Thank You to Our Partners

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