Toronto's Youth Housing Crisis: Affordability During Covid-19 & Beyond

When and Where

Thursday, September 03, 2020 1:00 pm to 2:15 pm


Da Chen
Deqa Nur
Keir Matthews-Hunter
Nelsen Elsholtz (Moderator)


Why is no one talking about the impact of unaffordable housing on our youth? Join us for a free webinar discussion on what can be done. Click here to register.

It's no secret that Toronto has been facing an affordable housing crisis over the past two decades. This trend is increasing in cities around the world. While the crisis affects people of all ages, one demographic is frequently left out of the discussion: young adults. The youth demographic (age 18-30) represents the future and is a crucial life stage in gaining independence. How will they be able to live fulfilling lives and help solve the world’s most pressing issues without first having in place the most basics of needs -- safe, adequate, and affordable housing?   

Join our webinar discussion on Thursday Sep 3, 1:00-2:15pm via Zoom. The webinar will begin with a 45-minute panel discussion, followed by a 30-minute Q&A period. Event features: 

  • Diverse insights on the youth housing crisis from expert panelist guests
  • Ask questions of our panelists, share your stories, and chat with other participants
  • Additional accessibility options including a live Graphic Notetaker
  • Additional resources shared, and opportunities to connect with participants beyond the webinar

With a guest panel working in diverse fields, we will take an intersectional approach to addressing Toronto's youth housing crisis. By including young adult voices from many backgrounds, we hope that participants will gain deeper insights around the economic and social barriers to housing and spread the conversation throughout their communities.

*  There will also be an opportunity to share your perspectives through a youth survey, developed in partnership with University of Toronto. The insights gained from this survey will assist in the program’s research. Participants will be entered in a draw to win one of four $50 cash prizes. Thank you!

For inquiries about the webinar or our youth housing survey, please email



Name: Nelsen Elsholtz
Pronouns: He/him 

Bio: Nelsen Elsholtz is a 2nd year MSc student in the Sustainability Management program at the University of Toronto. His research interests are focused on the interconnections between social and environmental sustainability issues. He holds a B.Mgt. from the University of British Columbia and currently lives in downtown Toronto. Growing up in the Toronto area, Nelsen gained an appreciation for the diversity of Canadian culture and global humanitarian issues. Upon completion of his graduate program, Nelsen plans to continue his career interests in policy, community engagement and environmental justice.
Websites and Social Media: LinkedIn 




Name: Da Chen 
Pronouns: He/him 
Bio: Da Chen completed his MSc. in Planning at the University of Toronto with a focus on Indigenous studies and environmental planning. He also holds a B.A.(Hons.) in City Studies and Political Science. He currently resides in Toronto, which is the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Da now works for Parks Canada on its Indigenous Relations team based out of Rouge National Urban Park in Toronto. 
Websites and Social Media: Pristine Blue, a youth organization founded by Da.



Name: Deqa Nur
Pronouns: She/her
Bio: Deqa Nur is in the Social Development Field as Community Development Director for local community projects in Toronto. She is a mother of three children, and a 5th year undergraduate student in International Development Studies (IDS) and African Studies. She is also pursuing a Refugee and Migration Studies Certificate at York University. She is a strong advocate for social justice, social development, economic inclusion, and policy decision-making from a local perspective. She strongly advocates for women in positions of leadership and for gender equity. As a social program developer, her passion is Community Development that is focused at the core on human development. 



Name: Keir Matthews-Hunter
Pronouns: He/him
Bio: Keir Matthews-Hunter is a housing planner in the Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis Section of the City Planning Division at the City of Toronto. He undertakes assignments and advises on planning policy matters pertaining to housing, including housing policy research and analysis and implementation of the City’s Official Plan housing policies through development review of applications for rental housing demolition, replacement, and site intensification. Prior to joining the City, Keir was a research analyst at the Canadian Urban Institute, where he worked on a broad range of planning policy research projects for municipalities across Ontario. Keir is a graduate of the Master of Science in Planning program (2018) at the University of Toronto.

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