Tenant Talks: For me, with me

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What is Tenant Talks

Tenant Talks gives you a stronger voice, which is why we chose the slogan: “Tenant Talks: For me, with me.”

We work with you to make decisions together to build stronger and better communities.

Tenant Talks began during community events in October 2019 and at the district-based committee meetings. We will keep working to hear from as many people as possible.

Ottawa Community Housing staff will continue to reach out to you through a variety of ways to get feedback to understand what services are most important to tenants and how we can serve you better. We believe this will help improve service delivery, increase overall tenant satisfaction and build on our relationship.

Join us for our second “virtual” Tenant Talks session on July 16 at 10:30 a.m. The topic will be resuming regular business at OCH with COVID-19 prevention measures in place. Please send us your questions before July 13 at TenantTalks@och.ca.  You can join via this link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88304248367 or call 1-855-703-8985 toll-free! 

*Note: The meeting is not intended to be used for individual questions about work orders in your unit. To submit a work order, call our 24/7 Call Centre at 613-731-1182.*

  • You have a stronger voice.
  • You helped create and define clear standards for day-to-day services.
  • OCH staff have a better understanding of what’s important to you.
  • Tenant Talks is the next step in the relationship between tenants and OCH.
  • A partnership that means working together to make decisions.
  • OCH will be working with tenants, partners and the OCH Board on service categories and service standards.
  • From 2019 to 2022, we will begin to see tenants speaking alongside staff, as “one voice” together.

OCH promised a tenant-centered approach in the work we do. That means building trust to work together to build stronger, better communities.

We will reach out to you in a variety of ways – this website, The Quarterly tenant newsletter and e-newsletter, Tenant Talks posters in your community and our OCH’s Twitter and Facebook. We want to work with tenants on key services that affect you.

To find out what services are most important to you, and how to serve you better, also:

  • To make it easy for tenants to give us feedback.
  • To involve tenants in the decision about services that affect you.
  • To hear from a diverse group of tenants, which is why we are bringing the conversation to you.
  • To improve your satisfaction with OCH services.

You want to continue the conversation? You want to share your feedback or have questions?

What We Heard You Say...

The purpose of Tenant Talks sessions is to capture the feelings and emotions of tenants as we described the processes related to different topics, ex.: request maintenance, pest management and safety services.  This is useful to understand your experience and identify gaps in how we deliver our services to you. We have included some of the highlights of what we heard below.

The next step is to work together to find solutions – so stay tuned.

*Click the topics below to get the scoop on what we heard during the sessions etc.

  • Would like more awareness and visibility on what the OCH maintenance standards are.
  • Real people answering calls is good, you know someone has heard your request.
  • More coordination at intake, lack of communication between intake and workers.
  • Not clear when work has been completed – more accountability. Leave card or note behind if worker has done repairs.
  • Repeated calls to get work done, talk to several staff and get different answers.
  • Lack of communication on what is being done, wondering what’s going on, expectations are not clear.
  • Procedure and wait between treatments to resolve pests takes too long.
  • Concern about access to home without clear permission – wants to be home during treatments.
  • Lack of communication between Call Centre and Safety staff. Feeling that frequent calls for service are not welcome by intake staff.
  • Staff should close the loop (feedback) with the complainant. Share as much information as possible. More clarity about outcome of the call would help.
  • More safety resources are needed (building superintendent, security guards in senior buildings).
  • Clarify roles of safety staff vs. police, when to call which one?
  • Pleased with increased visibility of security staff on sites.
  • Concerns that some letters used by OCH do not have a positive tone; may cause stress – especially the letter that says your rent will be increased to market.
  • Timelines to provide documentation to maintain rent subsidies are not always clear.
  • Tenants need more clarity on what documents they need to provide. Some staff are more knowledgeable about the process and documents needed than others.
  • Paperwork provided at the office is lost sometimes, then a notice letter is sent. Many felt the tone of the notice was threatening and did not provide enough time to gather missing information.
  • Some are interested in scanning and sending documents electronically from home.
  • Others indicated that in-person delivery of documents to the office is preferred.
  • Let us know when all documents are received, and the file is complete.
  • Inform tenants ahead of time of possible rent changes– ex.: tenants turning 65.
  • Providing Income Tax documents (notice of assessment) and scanning documents at offices are positive changes.
  • Staff going to buildings to answer questions and provide information would be helpful.
  • Calls are usually returned by staff, sometimes telephone tag.
  • Letters need to be firm about what is expected of tenants but less nasty.
  • Frustrated by a lack of feedback after a complaint is filed. A callback or letter would help – any answer is better than none.
  • Some staff take the time to explain processes and what to expect next – this is good!
  • Different levels of service received from different staff. Staff make all the difference!
  • Lucky to have Aging in Place in our building – they help with the process.
  • Don’t want security to come to my door, call instead.
  • Set realistic expectations about communication, feels good to be heard
  • Resolving issues and the legal process takes too long – frustrating.
  • More information needed on the form: who to call for what and when.

On April 22, we hosted the first virtual Tenant Talks session, led by Chief Operating Officer Guy Arseneau. Tenants got a chance to ask questions about OCH operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to thank all those that participated – we have 44 in attendance, including staff.  



Click the following dates to find out what topics were discussed during the sessions.

The first official Tenant Talks discussions. OCH completed two Tenant Talks sessions with a number of tenants on November 27 in two locations: 731 Chapel Street and 507 Riverdale. The topics of discussions were:

  • maintenance
  • safety
  • pest management services

What a great start! Working together helps us understand and improve the services that OCH provides to tenants.

Rochester Heights

Topics discussed:

  • rent administration, the review process
  • tenant support to access resources and neighbour complaints
  • communications.

Regina Towers

Topics discussed:

  • rent administration, the review process
  • tenant support to access resources and neighbour complaints
  • communications.

In addition to providing answers to questions asked, we provided a quick update on things OCH is doing to continue to deliver services and prevent infection. 


Ottawa Community Housing has been following the guidelines from Ottawa Public Health in order to prevent infections. We have put in place a variety of preventative measures including: 

  • the promotion of physical distancing 
  • frequent handwashing and increased cleaning frequency in the buildings in high-touch 
  • promoting elevator safely, and  
  • Discouraging non-essential visits to the OCH seniors’ buildings through a poster campaign.   

We are working closely with our partners and contractors. They too are required to follow the same public health guidelines.   


Staff has been performing critical services only, but our teams remain available by telephone and by email. We continue to take your requests through our Call Centre at 613-731-1182 open 24/7.   When you call in, you will be asked questions to ensure staff can enter your home safely and ensure everyone stays healthy.    

In order to make sure we are providing resources to those who need it most, OCH staff have also been calling tenants registered on our “fire assistance list” to do a wellness check and have called seniors to ensure their needs are being met.    

Do you have a question, not covered in the Question and Answer on our Tenant Talks web page? Send us email to tenanttalks@och.ca  



New dates, locations and times will be added as new sessions are confirmed. Check back often.

All Tenant Talks on-person meetings are cancelled due to the current COVID-19 prevention measures.