Back to list

Co-chairs: Mylene Riva (McGill University)

Catherine Soroczan (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation)

Julia Christensen (Memorial University)


Housing insecurity and homelessness in Canada's North have been the focus of significant social and political concern for the past two decades. Despite the growing body of research that documents factors contributing to homelessness, and that quantifies housing needs and its social impacts, the northern housing crisis only continues to deepen. At the 2016 Census, 37% of households in Nunavut were in core housing needs. This rate is three times the Canadian average and has not changed since 2006. Growing among northern communities is the call for increased support to develop and implement supportive housing programs that directly address community needs, sustain and promote health through the provision of housing, and promote culturally-embedded meanings attached to homemaking. At the federal level northern housing has been identified as a key priority area in the 2017 National Housing Strategy.

This session aims to bring together community members, Inuit and First Nations organizations and governments, federal/provincial/regional agencies, architects and urban planners, and academics to exchange on sustainable housing options and solutions for northern housing. In particular, we are interested in papers addressing the different cultural, social, economic, and environmental dimensions of northern housing sustainability including topics such as net-zero energy housing; building under climate constraints and uncertainties; community-driven housing design and community planning; housing experience, transition, mobility, and homelessness; the interface between housing and home; the social and well-being impacts of housing; the housing market; and northern housing market, policies and programs. We value papers engaging with Indigenous knowledge and western science, and presenting novel and innovative work on sustainable housing conditions and solutions across the North.