AHURI NEWS

International speakers announced

2020 National Homelessness Conference

1 October 2020

One of the great benefits of going virtual for the 2020 National Homelessness Conference is the opportunity to bring you an extended line-up of international speakers.

With that in mind, we are very pleased to make our first major program announcement – with our first three speakers, in what will be a stellar list of global experts, confirmed to join us online this December. You can view our program overview here.

Jennifer Friedenbach

Executive Director, Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco

Jennifer FriedenbachCoalition on Homelessness, San Francisco.  She has worked for the Coalition for 25 years, as Executive Director, as organising director, substance abuse and mental health work group coordinator and fundraiser.

Most recently, Jennifer has been integral to the success of the Prop C: Our City Our Home plan – a tax on corporations that pays for a range of services and housing for people experiencing homelessness and will double San Francisco’s efforts to address homelessness.

Amongst key pillars of the plan, Prop C designates that 50 per cent of the fund must go to directly to housing – for the construction, rehab, prevention and operating subsidies of approximately 4,000 units of housing over the next eight years and mandates that families and youth are given priority.

Before joining the Coalition, Jennifer was Director of the Hunger and Homeless Action Coalition of San Mateo County. She has a long history of community organising, and has worked on a range of  poverty-related issues including welfare rights, housing, homeless prevention, health care, disability, and human and civil rights.


Dr Ligia Teixeira 

CEO, Centre for Homelessness Impact, London

Dr Ligia Teixeira 2020 Homelessness Impact Festival – a month long online program of live events, international, national and local conversations which focused heavily on COVID-19 and how the sector had managed to respond to one of the ‘most transformative events of our lifetime’.

In March of 2020, the British Government called for all rough sleepers to be housed within days and Ligia believes this has created a rare opportunity to transform the homelessness system for good, writing in a recent blog post:

“2020 can mark a definitive turning point. But only if we use the coronavirus pandemic to step up the ambition to end rough sleeping and embrace the opportunity to tackle all forms of homelessness more effectively.” 

Ligia previously worked as the Head of Research and Evaluation at major UK homelessness charity Crisis as well as roles at the Young Foundation and the Refugee Council.


Dr Robert Wiener

Executive Director, California Coalition for Rural Housing

Dr Robert WienerCalifornia Coalition for Rural Housing (CCRH), one of the oldest state low-income housing coalitions in the U.S.

Under his leadership, CCRH has played a major role in federal and state housing policy and program development and funding on projects including as land use supports, production of new rental housing, self-help housing and housing preservation.

More recently, Robert has led efforts to secure $1 Billion for a California Disaster Housing Relief and Recovery Assistance package in response the Californian bushfire crisis of 2019. The proposal argues that existent state housing assistance funds are ill-equipped to respond to these sorts of crises and that the assistance package would directly fund new emergency and permanent accommodation, short term loans to affordable housing developers, and resilience planning grants.

Over a distinguished housing career in policy, community engagement and academia Rob has received numerous accolades including "Inspirational Nonprofit Housing Leader of the Year” by the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California and as a “Housing Hero” by the Cabrillo Economic Development Association.

Early bird registrations for the conference are now open - save 20 per cent by registering by Friday 16 October. 

Register now or visit the conference website for more information.