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Nov 2nd, 2023

Media Release: 50 Volunteers from Across the Country Complete Renovations at Family House Serving OCH Residents 

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Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 – Ottawa, ON More than 400 families living in the OCH community of Foster Farm will have new and improved community space thanks to the work of nearly 50 volunteers from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA.  

The Foster Farm Family House provides food assistance, crisis support, and household supplies and coordinates celebrations and programming to support 415 families living in the Foster Farm community.  
On the first day, Thursday, Nov. 2, members of CREA’s Board of Directors and its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee, who are REALTORS® as well as Members of CREA’s Operational Management Team painted the community house – which operates out of two townhomes and completed other renovations.    

On the second day, Friday, Nov. 3, staff members who represent 23 real estate boards and associations across the country participated in a training event on-site with OCH for a soon-to-be-announced national volunteering initiative aimed at engaging REALTORS® in hands-on volunteering events supporting housing and shelter-related causes in their communities.  

On Nov. 3, the group also heard from Angela Bégin, the Executive Director of the OCH Foundation, about the work they do in OCH communities. Volunteers also heard from Cliff Youdale, OCH’s Chief Development Officer, about the upcoming plans for the Corporation.   

This project, done with the support of Realized Worth, a company that specializes in social impact – provided staff from real estate boards and association staff representatives from across the country with hands-on practical learning on-site with OCH and teachings from Realized Worth staff aimed at helping them create impactful, engaging volunteering initiatives in their communities. 

Established in 2011, OCH’s Volunteer Engagement Program pairs volunteer groups with beautification projects that help improve the lives of OCH tenants.    


“The impact that Ottawa Community Housing has in the social, community and affordable housing sector in the Nation’s Capital made them an ideal partner for these volunteering initiatives. The Canadian Real Estate Association is proud to support their efforts. Being able to provide hands-on assistance in upgrading the Foster Farm Family House community hub was an impactful experience that shows the deep supports OCH is providing for their community members.” 

Linda Kristal, Vice-President, Advocacy, Canadian Real Estate Association 

“OCH is proud that our real estate colleagues at the Canadian Real Estate Association chose one of our communities for this impactful project. Since the Volunteer Engagement Program was established in 2011, we have been fortunate to work with hundreds of corporate partners to complete projects that improve the lives of tenants and create better, more welcoming communities.” 

Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, OCH 

“Partnerships play an important role in helping OCH meet the diverse needs of the 32,000 residents that call our communities home. I am very excited to see the Foster Farm Family House – which provides crucial supports to tenants – get these renovations. To the hardworking volunteers who donated their time. Thank you.”  

Theresa Kavanagh, Bay Ward Councillor and OCH Board Chair 


The Canadian Real Estate Association  

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry associations. CREA works on behalf of more than 160,000 REALTORS® who contribute to the economic and social well-being of communities across Canada. Together they advocate for property owners, buyers, and sellers. 


Ottawa Community Housing Corporation provides approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 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, ethnicities and cultures. OCH is the largest social, community and affordable housing provider in Ottawa and an industry-leading builder of affordable housing.   

Realized Worth 

Realized Worth designs corporate volunteering strategies, trains employee volunteer leaders, and implements company-wide programs. We believe that if we’re ever going to see our society progress into one that is equitable, inclusive, accepting and compassionate, it’s our responsibility to help make that change happen. 

Foster Farm Family House 

The Foster Farm Family House has been helping families for over 40 years.  

We are a mini community hub serving the 415 families who live in the Foster Farm Ottawa Community Housing neighbourhood and outlying area for food bank services as outlined by the Ottawa Food Bank.  

We are located directly in the social housing neighbourhood to allow for easy access to programs and services.  

Quick Facts 

  • Total number of residents in the Foster Farm community: 866 
  • Children in single-parent households: 240 
  • Services the Foster Farm Family House offers: Food Bank, Emergency Response Services, Baby Cupboard, Pet Cupboard, Gently Used Closet and Computer Lab for public access. 

For more information, please contact:    

Jennifer McIntosh   
Communications Specialist   
Ottawa Community Housing