2016 : A Year in Review

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2016 has brought many positive achievements that reflect OCH’s commitment to provide quality housing and service excellence. We have made great progress on many initiatives to improve the living environments and the services we provide to the approximately 32,000 tenants who call OCH home. The information that follows highlights some of our 2016 accomplishments and how they are helping to better meet the needs of OCH tenants. OCH remains aligned with its 10-year strategic plan and accountable to the 4 strategic goals which set our direction and focus.
To access the full version of the 2016 annual report, click this link: OCH 2016 Annual Report

hubThe completion of the Van Lang Fieldhouse was celebrated on May 8, 2016.  It serves as a hub for programs and services available to the OCH tenants as well as to residents from the surrounding neighbourhood.

 29 Van Lang Private

29 Van Lang Private

Read More: OCH Capital Works

Press Release: The Van Lang Fieldhouse – A Welcome Addition to the Neighbourhood

Partners Have Their Say in the First OCH Partnership Survey

In March 2016, OCH Partners were surveyed electronically about their satisfaction regarding their interactions with OCH around the four OCH values of Collaboration, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

The overall partnership satisfaction rating is 80%.  There was consistent messaging from partners that they are positively engaged with OCH.

Read more: OCH Partners

2016 OCH Partnership Forum

The 2016 Partnership Forum featured guest speaker Christo Bilukidi, a former NHL player and OCH resident, and collaborative presentations by OCH partners and staff.

Read more:  OCH Partners

No fire iconOCH is strongly committed to investing in safety initiatives to prevent fires in OCH communities. There is a close collaboration with Ottawa Fire Services who participate in ongoing Fire Safety meetings, data exchanges, tenant communication materials, training exercises, and, in 2016, the drafting of a mutual objectives document.

In 2016 OCH also committed between $11 million and $14 million to be allocated over the next two years to undertake repair and retrofit work relating to the upgrading of all Fire Life Safety systems.

  • 26,000 smoke alarms tested
  • 300 smoke alarms replaced
  • 400 CO Detectors replaced
  • 5,000 fire safety inspections (includes fire alarm systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, sprinklers and fire pumps)
  • 20 Fire Alarm Control panels replaced
  • 5 Fire Hydrants replaced

For more tips and information: Fire Prevention

communityThe Community Safety Services (CSS) program was designed, and personnel were hired in 2005. The first group of CSS staff graduated from their in-house training program in April 2006.

On May 2, co-workers gathered at OCH’s Head Office to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the OCH CSS team.  Board Chair Councillor Mathieu Fleury and CEO Stéphane Giguère congratulated the team on their efforts to build trust and engagement among OCH tenants to make our communities healthier and safer for all.

For more information: Community Safety Services – Your Safety

web iconOCH collaborated successfully with two internet providers who have agreed to offer services at discounted rates to OCH tenants. OCH tenants now have the opportunity to purchase internet services at considerably lower rates giving them affordable access to a very important communication tool in the modern world.

Having the ability to use internet tools from your home is a significant step forward for success in educational and work activities.

Press Release: Rogers and Ottawa Community Housing Bridge the Digital Divide for Nearly 15,000 Households with Connected for Success

Press Release: Ottawa Community Housing Partners with National Capital FreeNet to Offer Low-Cost Internet Services to OCH Tenants

More Information: Low-Cost Internet

Corporate Volunteer Program

volunteerSince its inauguration in 2011, there has been widespread interest and growth in the number of volunteers who have offered their services. In 2016, OCH welcomed nine new corporate groups and ten returning groups.

Activities included painting lounges, planting flowers, building planter boxes and benches, painting hallways, painting decks, clearing overgrowth, baking cupcakes (for the Community Houses) and supporting OCH and OCH Foundation community events.

Employee Volunteer Program

volunteer icon

Introduced in 2015, the Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) has continued its success throughout 2016.

EVP volunteers completed 6 projects during the year including: painting a tenant lounge,prepping and serving lunch at Shepherds of Good Hope, making sandwiches at The Ottawa Mission, supporting the OCH Foundation at their annual golf tournament and the Food Truck Rally events, delivering 200 Christmas Hampers to OCH tenants, and painting front entrance metal rails.

For more information:  Volunteer with OCH

home-check iconOCH tenants now have a set of guidelines to refer to when they are considering making changes to their home. New home standards were developed in 2016 to make sure that OCH homes are kept safe for all and to help keep homes in good condition.

There are 4 OCH Standards. Read more

In January 2016, the results of a 2015 tenant survey were shared with the public. The survey looked at levels of satisfaction. The overall results showed that 75% of tenants were satisfied with the services provided by OCH.

Based on the survey results, OCH identified some key areas where higher levels of service could be provided.  In 2016, OCH has implemented the following:

Standardization of Contract Cleaning Services

The implementation of regular audits of contracted cleaning services and the introduction of daily cleaning inspection forms has been vital to the successful delivery of higher levels of cleaning services. Audits revealed that most common areas of buildings were meeting or exceeding standards but that some areas needed improvement. The findings of the audits were


Integrated Pest Management 

In March 2016 OCH launched an in-house pest management program. Integrated Pest Management is made up of a dedicated team of certified pest experts. The team not only delivers treatment programs and equipment, but they also provide education and support which is a significant help in the successful treatment of pests.

For more information:  Pest Management

  One-Telephone Number

A telephone communication project was initiated to look at ways to improve customer satisfaction with how OCH provides accessible, responsive and timely telephone services to tenants.  In March 2017, OCH introduced the ONE Number approach. This new model enables OCH to answer all requests by providing live support on every call.



The OCH website was redeveloped to satisfy the need for better, more up-to-date and easily reached information for tenants and other website visitors. New features include Google Translate, which can translate most of the content into different languages, Google Maps and online form requests for quicker processing.

The OCH Tenant Guide was launched and is provided in the welcome package for all new tenants and is available on the OCH website and at all OCH offices for distribution to current tenants.  The Guide provides information about the rights and responsibilities of OCH and tenants, as well as other important information on various tenancy-related topics.

OCH expanded the use of digital communication platforms such as; Twitter, FacebookYouTube and LinkedIn.

Implemented in 2015, the Portfolio Management Framework (PMF) is a strategy adopted by OCH aimed at financing and leveraging OCH’s assets: guiding our path towards more effective portfolio management and smart growth.

In 2016, OCH completed an in-depth analysis of all its properties using a PMF measurement tool that evaluated the housing stock (both land and buildings) on a number of critical data points. The tool enables OCH to align our portfolio to meet tenants’ needs and to identify properties suitable for:

  • Divestiture
  • Renewal, retrofit and leveraging land value through land acquisition and redevelopment
  • Retaining and maintaining

For more information:  OCH Corporate Information: Portfolio Management Framework   

Based on an annual review of our portfolio, the $20M 2016 Capital Works budget included approximately 209 projects. The list of 2016 projects includes work from the following:

  • Asphalt Program
  • Elevator Upgrade Program
  • Fire Safety System Renewal Program
  • Furnace Program
  • Generator Replacement Program
  • Mechanical System Replacement Program
  • Roofing Program

projects iconMajor projects included the following:

  • 800 St. Laurent Blvd. – Balcony Repair
  • 1909 Russel Road – Window and Door Replacement Phase 2
  • Confederation Court – Fence and Walkway Repair
  • Lebreton 3 – Regrading and Fencing
  • Overbrook Community – Canopy Structures
  • Richelieu Court – Regrading & Cladding Phase 1
  • Winthrop Court – Site Regrading

For more information: OCH Capital Works

The addition of 6 new homes to the Michele Heights community, each with four or five bedrooms, was completed in July 2016.

These new homes have been built according to OCH’s ECO2 Plan using highly energy efficient technology and an innovative design that allow for the addition of an extra bedroom.

For more information:New Build: Michele Heights 

The Ashgrove community expansion is in the planning, pre-construction phase.  The expansion will add 16 new four to six bedroom homes to this community.  For more information visit the Ashgrove Expansion  website page.

Community Profile (pre-expansion)

Located off Uplands Drive and backing on to National Capital Commission parkland, there are currently about 436 residents living in the Ashgrove community. Children and youth represent 39% of the population.

  • 114 two-storey townhouses
  • Constructed in 1979
  • 32 two-bedroom townhouses
  • 71 three-bedroom townhouses

11 four-bedroom townhouses

The first of its kind in Ottawa, the Health Hub is a partnership between OCH and Carlington Community Health Centre. The Health Hub will provide 42 new affordable homes for seniors while providing access to primary medical care and support services on site.

For more informationNew Build: Carlington Community Health Hub

Press Release: OCH Partners with Carlington Community Health Centre to Build a New $13M Health Hub for Seniors

OCH was awarded $11.6 million under the provincially funded Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program (SHARP) to provide energy saving retrofits in highrise buildings.  Sixteen highrise apartment buildings with a combined total of 39 projects have benefitted from this program.

Press Release: Social Housing Apartment Retrofit Program-April 22, 2016

Press Release: Ontario Supporting Social Housing Retrofits in Ottawa

OCH was also awarded another $8.7 million from the 2016 Social Housing Improvement Program (SHIP) to carry out critical social housing capital repairs.  This program provides funding from all three levels of government: federal, provincial and municipal. A total of 19 projects across the OCH portfolio will be completed under this funding program.

The majority of the projects funded by these two programs are:

  • Fire and life safety system-related (fire alarm systems and emergency generators)
  • Structural restorations,
  • Window and door replacements
  • Boiler and makeup air unit replacement
  • Solar wall Installation

leaf iconOur commitment to energy conservation has spanned many years.  OCH was recognized for this commitment by receiving the  Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’ 2016 Sustainability Award for its In Suite Green Retrofit Initiative.

This initiative reduced water consumption across the portfolio by 40%. Our new ECO2 Plan, approved by the Board of Directors in 2016, sets out our energy conservation goals for the next five years.

OCH also initiated a green bin waste diversion program in 11 communities.

For more information: OCH ECO2 Plan

2016 was the first year of our 10-year strategic plan (2016-2025).  Our new 10-year plan builds on our past successes and identifies opportunities to expand further our housing horizons employing the following four goals:

nurture iconNurture healthy, safe and inclusive communities

deliver iconDeliver quality services to every tenant, every home

Innovate to meet housing and financial needs

Foster an organizational culture of leadership, accountability and continuous improvement

Each goal is linked to a set of strategies and success measures.

For more information: OCH Corporate Information: 10-Year Strategic Plan 2016-2015

Visit OCH Leadership to find out about our Board of Directors and Senior Management Team.

job iconOCH is proud of its commitment to provide summer employment for students helping them to develop experience and training in a variety of positions.

For more information: Students and Youth

On Saturday, October 1, 2016, over 120 tenant volunteers attended the 2016 OCH Tenant Appreciation event at the spectacular Wabano Centre. Highlights included dinner, a theatre performance, guided tours that gave a history of Canada’s aboriginal people and their culture, guest speakers Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Chair of the OCH Board of Directors and Stéphane Giguère, CEO of OCH, and a Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

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