Annie Hodgins, Executive Director
Annie has worked with communities, advocates and governments to advance the right to housing in Canada for a decade. In her time at CCHR she has held various roles including Deputy Executive Director, Manager of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, and Manager of CCHR’s Tenant Services Program. Annie is a skilled writer and public speaker with expertise in housing law and policy, fund development, operations, strategic management, knowledge mobilization and capacity building. Before joining CCHR in 2013, she worked in fund development and as a Researcher and Office Manager for the Institute on Governance, supporting the work of Vice President of the Toronto office. Annie has a Bachelor’s degree in History and English from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in History from York University. She also holds certificates in Strategy and Competitive Advantage from the Rotman School of Management, and Non-Profit Leadership from the University of Toronto. She is involved in several committees and boards, including as the co-chair of the City of Toronto’s Housing and Homelessness Services Network, as a member of Toronto City Council’s Tenant Advisory Committee, and as a board member at All Saints Church and Community Centre.
Operations & Development
Catie Primeau, Director of Development
Catie is a fund development professional with over a decade of experience in building sustainable and diversified fundraising programs in the Canadian charitable sector. She is a true believer in the power of collective impact and feels there is nothing greater than finding opportunities for people to give back in ways that are both meaningful for them and the causes they care about. Prior to joining CCHR, Catie worked as a development professional for charities that focused on gender equality and preventing violence against women, housing and homelessness, access to arts and culture for all, and youth empowerment and mental health. Catie holds degrees in Criminology, Psychology, and Feminist and Gender Studies from the University of Ottawa.
Farhad Ahmed, Office and Programs Assistant
Farhad is a recent graduate. Prior to joining CCHR, he worked as a Sales Associate for the Toronto Blue Jays. Farhad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Criminology from the University of Toronto. He is fluent in English and Bengali.
Services & Education
Lee Webb, Director of Client Services
Lee is a lawyer with over 7 years of experience in the housing law field. Prior to joining CCHR, he was the Housing Team Lead at the Community Legal Clinic of York Region. He is a member of the Affordable Housing Coalition of York Region and the Corporation of Pickering College. Lee earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Toronto, a Master’s degree in applied ethics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree at the University of New Brunswick.
Jessica Long, Manager of Education
Jessica is a lawyer with over fifteen years of experience working in legal aid to advance the rights of renters and other vulnerable communities. Prior to joining CCHR, Jessica led a team at the City of Seattle that investigated and enforced violations of renter protections under city law and brings to this role a decade of experience representing renters facing eviction, including supervising a courthouse-based eviction defense clinic which served over 1,000 renters each year. Jessica holds a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law.
Margaret Flynn, Program Lawyer
Margaret is an experienced teacher and lawyer, called to the Ontario bar in 2006. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. As legal counsel for the Commission, Margaret engaged in public interest inquiries, negotiation, mediation and litigation to advance human rights in housing. Margaret also has experience preparing public legal education materials, and providing support and referrals to people who are precariously housed. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto.
Ademofe Oye-Adeniran, Lawyer
Ademofe is a lawyer, called to the bar in Ontario and Nova Scotia. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked in different roles advancing the rights of vulnerable groups, including at Mississauga Community Legal Services where she represented clients at the Social Benefits Tribunal and the Landlord and Tenant Board. Ademofe holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a specialization in Media, Information and Technoculture, and Political Science, from the University of Western Ontario, and a Juris Doctor from the Schulich School of law at Dalhousie University.
Jordan Bailey, Lawyer
Jordan is a newly called lawyer with over 3.5 years of experience in the housing sector as a caseworker and volunteer tenant representative in British Columbia and Ontario. Prior to joining CCHR, Jordan was completing his licensing to the Ontario Bar through Toronto Metropolitan University’s Law Practice Program. Jordan holds an Honours Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Leicester, a Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Reims, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Economics from the University of British Columbia.
Renuka Satchithananthan, Caseworker and Program Associate
Renuka is an Ontario lawyer with over 15 years of experience serving clients in the areas of family law, child protection law and housing law, and has litigated in Ontario’s courts. Renuka has also represented tenants at Ontario’s housing tribunal. Prior to joining CCHR, Renuka worked to advance women’s housing rights as a Program Manager with Riverdale Immigrant Women’s Centre on the Women’s Inclusion Network, which brought together several organizations serving women across Toronto with the goal of increasing capacity to advance women’s housing rights. Renuka holds a Bachelor of Law from Osgoode Hall Law School.
Sarah Gordon, Articling Student
Sarah is a recent graduate currently undergoing the lawyer licensing process in Ontario. Prior to joining CCHR, she completed her Juris Doctor at Dalhousie University’s Schulich School of Law where she had the opportunity to complete a practical semester at Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, working with Nova Scotia’s housing law. In addition to her Juris Doctor, Sarah holds a Bachelor of Agriculture from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from CAH Vilentum University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
Jeremy Wildeman, Director of Research
Jeremy Wildeman, PhD, is a research director with extensive experience as a lecturer and primary or co-investigator on major research initiatives at institutions including the universities of Ottawa, Carleton, Trent, Queen’s, and Bath. He is a Fellow of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre at the University of Ottawa and a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity at Queen’s University. Jeremy has a long-running practitioner’s background in the development sector, most recently as Director of the Scottish charity Firefly International. He holds a PhD from the University of Exeter, MA from McMaster University, and a BA from the University of Saskatchewan that includes foundational studies at the University of Rostock.
Justin van der Merwe, Senior Researcher
Justin is an experienced researcher exploring financialization and the political economy of housing to understand gentrification processes and address Canada’s housing crisis. In his work, Justin draws from extensive experience in national and government research entities, and from an academic career that spans universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Oxford, a Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo, a Master’s in Political Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Stellenbosch.
Jon Paul Mathias, Researcher
Jon Paul is a researcher with experience working with Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), where he published work on government statistics. Prior to joining CCHR, he also worked with the Organization of Iberoamerican States (OEI) researching gender-based violence in Mexico’s public school system. Jon Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Iberoamerican University (UIA) in Mexico City, and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto. He is fluent in Spanish and English.
Sophie O’Manique, Researcher
Sophie is a researcher with more than seven years of experience. Prior to joining CCHR, her research work focused on housing issues, labour issues, social programming and youth engagement. Sophie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Studies from Queen’s University, and a Master’s degree in Political Economy from Carleton University. Sophie is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Center, City University New York (CUNY) in Geography and is an instructor in the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College, CUNY. Her PhD research focuses on the deepening financialization of multi-family rental housing in Toronto and New York City.
Megan Earle, Data Scientist
Megan is a data scientist with over eight years’ experience in statistical modelling and data management. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked as a researcher at the non-profit organization Indspire and in academia. Megan holds a PhD in social psychology with specialization in prejudice and discrimination.
Brittany Cormier, Canadian Right to Housing Research Fellow
Brittany is a master’s student at Saint Mary’s University, a qualitative researcher and an abstract painter in Charlottetown, PEI. She holds a first-class standing bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology from the University of Prince Edward Island. She studies hidden and at-risk forms of homelessness in her community, as well as evictions and housing discrimination experienced by tenants. Her recent work includes general research and administrative assistance, provincial-level policy provision, and program delivery in the non-profit sector. As a research fellow with CCHR, her project will examine discriminatory practices in the rental housing sector in order to demonstrate who is impacted by housing discrimination and how it undermines the right to housing.
Monika Imeri, Canadian Right to Housing Research Fellow
Monika is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at Carleton University. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Middle East Technical University in Turkey, where she graduated summa cum laude in city planning. She is actively engaged with local community organizations and advocates for urban justice. As a research fellow with CCHR, her project will examine the multidimensional impacts of development-led displacement, and will documents the lived experiences of tenants from marginalized communities who have been affected by dispossession, housing insecurity, and discrimination in Ottawa. The project will seek to uncover the realities of displacement and its effects on diverse community populations in Ottawa through an ethnographic case study approach.
Policy and Law Reform
Dale Whitmore, Director of Policy and Law Reform
Dale is a housing law expert with over 13 years’ litigation experience in Ontario. As a lawyer and housing team lead at West Toronto Community Legal Services and other community legal clinics, he appeared regularly before the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB), review bodies under the Housing Services Act, and other housing-related adjudicative bodies, and has argued several precedent-setting cases on behalf of tenants. He has also sat as an LTB adjudicator. Dale holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Seema Kawar, Senior Legal and Policy Advisor
Seema works jointly with CCHR’s Policy Advocacy and Strategic Litigation teams. She is a lawyer, called to the Ontario Bar in 2019. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked in the Legal Aid Ontario clinic system where she practiced housing and social assistance law and worked in the refugee and immigration law field. Seema has a background in international law and has experience working on women’s rights issues in Jordan, and with the Human Rights Council at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Bristol and a Master of Law degree in International Development Law and Human Rights Law from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Seema is fluent in English and Arabic.
Sarah Laisney, Senior Policy Advisor
Sarah Laisney is a policy and project management professional with over eight years of experience working with the non-profit sector and the United Nations on issues ranging from rights-based urban policy to post-disaster reconstruction. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked with UN-Habitat to implement a global slum upgrading program and build capacity of Member States on the right to adequate housing. She later supported UNHCR’s efforts in Burundi to improve shelter and basic infrastructure in refugee settlements. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Design and a Master of Architecture, both from Université de Montréal. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Sean Keddy, Manager of Stakeholder Relations
Sean is a stakeholder engagement specialist with extensive experience working within the not-for-profit sector and municipal government focusing on advancing poverty reduction initiatives within Peel region. Prior to joining CCHR, Sean worked for the Region of Peel’s Community Investment Program where he was responsible for allocating core funding to Peel’s not-for-profit sector. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Geography from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo.
Yutaka Dirks, Senior Policy and Outreach Advisor
Yutaka has been involved in housing and homelessness advocacy for the past two decades in cities across Canada, including Calgary, Toronto, and Winnipeg. Prior to joining CCHR, he worked for many years as a housing policy advocate and community organizer with the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. He recently coordinated a tenant organizing project with the West Broadway Community Organization in Winnipeg (Treaty 1 territory). He is a Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative Emerging Housing Scholar. Yutaka holds an Honours Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Manitoba and a Master’s degree in Political Science from York University, where his research focused on the intersection of housing financialization and settler-colonialism.
Ambalika Roy, Senior Community Engagement Advisor
Ambalika is a law and development professional with over thirteen years of experience in legal empowerment training, legal research, litigation, and policy advocacy. For over a decade, Ambalika has been involved in facilitating public education and public awareness of legal rights for vulnerable communities. She has worked on various issues involving the violation of rights of marginalized communities including women, people living with HIV, and LGBTQI+ community members and has represented communities in strategic litigation. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Calcutta, India. Ambalika is fluent in English, Bangla and Hindi.
Shelley Buckingham, Director of Communications
Shelley is a communications professional with fifteen years of experience working in housing and human rights at the international, national and local levels. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked at the Habitat International Coalition (HIC) in Chile and at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Shelley holds an Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies from Trent University and is pursuing a Certificate in Public Relations from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. She is fluent in English, Spanish and French.
Lynn Medi, Communications and Engagement Advisor
Lynn is a communications and media specialist with extensive experience in strategic communications, media development and front-end web design for various organizations. Prior to joining CCHR, she worked as Communications and Research Coordinator at the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning and sat on the advisory board of Voice of Purpose’s research initiative entitled Engaging Artists in Digital Learning Environments (EADLE). She has a degree in Communications, Culture and Information Technology from the University of Toronto and a certificate in Digital Communications from Sheridan College. Lynn is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Chelsea Boutilier, Communications and Engagement Advisor
Chelsea is a communications and community engagement professional with experience in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining CCHR, Chelsea worked in the not-for-profit Arts sector with the Folk Festival Society of Calgary, where in collaboration with vital community organizations she developed and implemented the organization’s safer spaces initiatives to support sexual and gender-based violence prevention and education. Chelsea holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Calgary and an Arts Management Certificate from the Haskayne School of Business Executive Education.