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Housing Without Borders: HUD Region VIII Exchanges Ideas with Top Canadian Housing Official

In a rare opportunity, HUD’s Rocky Mountain Deputy Regional Administrator had the privilege of meeting one of Canada’s top housing officials. As the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) summer conference drew to a close in Denver on Friday, July 19th, Deputy Regional Administrator, Dan Gomez Jr. sat down with the President of the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association (CHRA), Phil Brown.

President of the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association (CHRA) Phil Brown and Rocky Mountain Deputy Regional Administrator Dan Gomez Jr.

Created in 1967, CHRA represents the only national voice in Canada speaking on the full range of issues related to affordable housing. Its mission mirrors HUD’s goals in that it was designed to ensure that all Canadians have an affordable, secure and decent place to call home. As the newly elected President, Mr. Brown recognizes the 25% increase in CHRA membership and its widening range of influence as proof of the organization’s emergence as Canada’s “home for the housing sector.”

In a closed door meeting, Deputy Regional Administrator Gomez and Mr. Brown discussed the significant policies which drive the public housing sector in the United States. They examined issues such as Low Income Tax Credits and the variations between Demolition and Disposition of public housing and the Rental Assistance Demonstration program.

They also discussed the importance of federal partnerships in complimenting resources across various agencies. The Sustainable Communities Initiative and HUD’s role in the upcoming launch of the Affordable Care Act were key examples.

As the former General Manager of the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division at the City of Toronto, Mr. Brown was also interested in learning about HUD’s approach to tackling homelessness through the Continuums of Care and the Shelter Plus program. Deputy Regional Administrator Gomez said, “I was impressed with the mutual exchange of ideas and approaches as we examined the differences in our nations’ housing policies.”

Deputy Regional Administrator Gomez also said, “The U.S. and Canada, though unique in the design and framework of our respective housing programs, both face a similar challenge, as we move beyond the bricks and mortar of housing to include supportive services for residents and their communities.”

Contact our Region VIII Public Affairs Specialist, Charlene Guzman