Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 (OTTAWA, ON) – This morning, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) held its Annual General Meeting with its sole shareholder, the City of Ottawa.
During today’s City Council meeting, Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer of OCHC, and Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Chair of the OCHC Board of Directors, provided highlights of OCHC’s 2018 Annual Report.
In their presentation to members of Council, Mr. Giguère and Councillor Fleury took the opportunity to highlight OCHC’s new corporate culture statement: “We are proud because every day we make a difference.” Throughout their remarks, they touched on many of the ways the OCHC team is making a difference.
Nurturing Healthy, Safe, and Inclusive Communities
As the corporation continues to nurture healthy, safe, and inclusive communities, it has renewed its commitment to community engagement. In fact, in 2018, OCHC implemented a standardized tool for measuring community engagement, called the Community Index of Engagement Levels. It found that last year, in the more than 100 communities where it was applied, 72% of communities had positive levels of engagement.
That level of engagement manifested in many ways, including through 38 Community Capital projects. Ottawa Community Housing invested a total of $109,100 in those projects – and continues to encourage tenants to come up with ways to collaborate and improve their community spaces.
The Corporation also began to measure the level of engagement for its Corporate Volunteer Program in 2018. One of the key metrics to stand out was an impressive 96% of respondents saying they had a positive experience with OCHC. Another important factor was that OCHC enjoys an 84% return rate from its volunteer groups. The OCHC Volunteer Engagement Program brings together volunteers from local businesses, corporate sponsors or individual supporters, to help beautify OCHC communities through a variety of different projects. In 2018, there were a total of 1,200 volunteers who participated in more than 50 events.
Delivering Quality Services to Every Tenant, Every Home
In 2018, OCHC also continued to deliver quality services to every tenant and every home. The 2018 Tenant Satisfaction Survey found that there was an increase in the number of tenants who have a positive perception of OCHC services. The Corporation also continued to deliver timely services, particularly through our Integrated Pest Management approach, which had an on-time delivery rate of 98.5%.
OCHC is also working to foster successful tenancies. Through our Tenant Financial Responsibility Policy, we are engaged in early intervention and personal contact with tenants to help reduce rent debt and keep them in good financial standing with OCHC.
Innovating to Meet Housing and Financial Needs
Ottawa Community Housing continues to be at the forefront as it innovates to meet housing and financial needs. For example, in 2018, we saw the completion of work on the Carlington Community. This project includes 42 new affordable homes for seniors by using the WELL and Passive House building standards and incorporates an expansion of the Carlington Community Health Centre on the ground floor. We also completed construction on 16 new affordable homes in the Ashgrove community through an expansion project.
In addition to the new homes we are building, last year we invested $54.2 million on capital improvements throughout the portfolio.
Fostering an Organizational Culture of Leadership, Accountability, and Continuous Improvement
Lastly, OCHC is fostering an organizational culture of leadership, accountability, and continuous improvement. It is demonstrated through the new corporate culture statement “We are proud because every day we make a difference” and by the corporation being named, for the second year in a row, a National Capital Region Top Employer.
At Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, our focus has remained on working with partners and all levels of government to build new affordable homes, as well as to nurture safe and healthy communities for tenants. We are building new affordable homes, while also continuing to improve the tenant experience.
At Ottawa Community Housing Corporation, 2018 was a year of change and a time to refresh our mandate and our direction. Following broad staff consultations, we adopted a new Corporate Culture Statement: ‘We are proud because every day we make a difference.’ This statement truly embodies OCHC’s values, and it is a creed that we expect all employees, contractors, stakeholders, and volunteers to follow.
Stephane Giguère, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
- OCHC’s 2018 audited financial statements include an unqualified audit opinion that its financial statements are fair, accurate, and consistent.
- The Community Index of Engagement Levels (CIEL) found that 72% of OCHC communities had positive levels of engagement;
- The Volunteer engagement program engaged 1,200 volunteers for 50 different projects;
- In 2018, OCHC Community Safety Services moved to a 24/7 service delivery model;
- OCHC invested $3 million in its Fire Life Safety Program;
- The 2018 Tenant Survey revealed that 82% of tenants feel safe in their communities; a small increase over 2015 results.
- The Community Capital Fund supported 38 projects with $109,100 in funding;
- OCHC won a Best Ottawa Business Award for Social Enterprise in 2018;
- Tenant Survey results showed that 73% of tenants were satisfied with OCHC services; a slight increase over 2015;
- The Integrated Pest Management Team delivered services on-time in 98.5% of cases;
- OCHC had a 98.9% occupancy rate in 2018;
- OCHC welcomed 1,092 new tenants in 2018;
- OCHC completed construction of 16 new affordable townhomes in the Ashgrove community;
- The Carlington Community’s 42 new affordable homes for seniors neared completion in 2018, using the industry-leading WELL and Passive House building standards;
- In 2018, OCHC invested $54.2 million on capital improvements.
About Ottawa Community Housing Corporation: Ottawa Community Housing (OCHC) provides approximately 15,000 homes to over 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCHC houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCHC is the largest social housing provider in Ottawa, managing two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio, and is the second largest in Ontario. OCHC was selected as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers for the second consecutive year in 2019.
Director, Corporate Communications