2016 Capital Works Program $20 million investment

(OTTAWA) June 17, 2016 – This morning, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation’s (OCH) Chief Executive Officer, Stéphane Giguère, together with Mayor Jim Watson and Chair of the OCH Board and Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor, Mathieu Fleury, shared how OCH’s annual Capital Works Program will revitalize a number of properties in OCH’s housing stock. The announcement took place at 800 St. Laurent Boulevard, a seniors’ building currently undergoing $400,000 worth of balcony renovations.

In this year’s budget, OCH has committed $20 million towards repairs and planned maintenance of its existing portfolio. This represents a little over 220 projects scheduled to commence in 2016.

As this and previous years’ annual capital spend has been well below estimated capital requirements, OCH has to be strategic in the use of these funds. Investment opportunities are carefully analyzed and decisions are made based on a solid risk management strategy. Projects allow for cost effective approaches that decrease overall long-term maintenance costs and increase longevity of the properties to ultimately provide healthy, safe, inclusive and tenant friendly communities.

The work being undertaken addresses the repair and the replacement of various building components but more importantly, these projects are improving the condition of thousands of homes to enhance the quality of life for the residents currently living with OCH.


OCH’s annual capital investment in their portfolio is critical to the provision of quality affordable housing. Not only does it improve the overall condition of the tenants’ homes and social housing stock in the city, it also supports the City’s Ten Year Housing and Homelessness Investment Plan in its commitment to increasing affordable housing options to address the current low supply and the high demand.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

As Chair of the OCH Board of Directors and Councillor for the Rideau-Vanier Ward, I can attest to the importance both the Board and the communities place on OCH’s annual investment into their portfolio. This significant investment is critical to our ability to provide good and affordable housing while meeting the needs of tenants and creating a sense of pride of place – a vital component in healthy communities,” stated Councillor Mathieu Fleury.  “In addition, OCH has become a leader in implementing sustainable designs and materials and in retrofitting initiatives that enable the repair and revitalization of buildings utilizing cost-effective, energy efficient technology without compromising on tenant comfort.

Mathieu Fleury – Chair of Ottawa Community Housing Board and Rideau-Vanier Ward Councillor, City of Ottawa

With annual capital funding that continues to be below estimated capital needs, it is increasingly important for OCH to be proactive and strategic when investing in its housing. Part of OCH 10-Year Strategic Plan, the Corporation is making sure that funding is spent in a cost-effective manner to fully maximize the financial resources.  This is why we have developed the Portfolio Management Framework and a Long Range Financial Strategy which provides guidance on strategic investment decisions that allow us to continue to maintain healthy, inclusive and tenant friendly communities.

Stéphane Giguère – Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Community Housing


Quick facts

A planned $20 million investment to improve housing

Key capital works projects for 2016 include balcony repairs and replacement, updates to parking garages, roofs, mechanical systems, cladding, windows and doors, as well as the replacement of major components of elevator systems.

  • Elevator modernization: OCH has invested close to $10 million in Capital Works dollars to modernize a great numbers of elevators in its portfolio since 2011. Approximately $1.5 million will be spent on the elevator modernization program this year. These elevators are crucial to tenants’ quality of life, making their functionality a key priority for OCH. Some properties slated for elevator modernization in 2016 are Clementine Towers, McEwen, 215 Wurtemburg, MacLaren Towers, and Gladstone Terrace.
  • The largest individual investment in OCH’s housing portfolio this year is the 380 Murray Street site revitalisation with an investment of approximately $ 2.3 million. This overhaul will improve both the functionality and efficiency of the building.
  • Structural, wall, and roof assembly restoration: An investment of close to $3.5 million will include repairs to balconies, parking lots, garages, sanitary pipe replacement, roof and wall assemblies, as well as complete recladding.
  • Window and door replacement program: Estimated at $2.5 million.
  • Fire and life safety system renewal: $2.25 million will be spent towards the replacement and upgrade of emergency generators, fire alarm systems and more.
  • Site element upgrades: Funding of $8 million will provide a variety of site element upgrades such as asphalt paving, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plumbing repairs, fencing and regrading, and tree planting throughout the portfolio.

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About OCH
Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) provides approximately 15,000 homes to over 31,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCH houses a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. OCH 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.

Media Contact:
Melany Chretien | Manager, Corporate Communications | Tel: 613-296-2651 | melany.chretien@och.ca

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