News Release: OCHC Tenant Volunteers Receive Provincial Recognition for Their Efforts to Build Better Community

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(OTTAWA, ON) November 11, 2021 – Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) is proud to announce the Tenant Circle at 395 Somerset Street West has been awarded the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s (ONPHA) Tenant Achievement award.   

The Tenant Achievement award honours up to four tenants or tenant groups who help make their non-profit housing communities and neighbourhoods better places to live. These tenants have fostered community connections and have made meaningful contributions to their communities that can serve as a model to tenants across Ontario. 

The OCHC volunteers that make up the Tenant Circle at 395 Somerset have a very good pulse on the needs of residents and the broader community. They use their knowledge and connections with partner organizations such as Ottawa West Community Support’s Aging in Place program, their City of Ottawa Councillor, the Ottawa Police, or the Community Police Officer to be wonderful advocates for the community.  

Volunteers have also connected new and older generations! Thanks to a partnership with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, seniors at 395 Somerset are paired with a local Grade 3 class with the goal of building a stronger community. The students attend tenant-led events in the community fostering better cross-generational understanding and reducing social isolation. While COVID-19 has limited the capacity for in-person events, volunteers still maintain the relationship with the school and hope to begin, in-person events soon. 

Quotes 

“I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the tenant volunteers at 395 Somerset. Their work is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when tenant leaders and partners come together to improve the lives of residents. You are making a difference.” 

– Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, OCHC 

“The tenant volunteers at 395 Somerset are community champions – never afraid to answer the call to support their fellow residents and the broader neighbourhood. Their work has created a more inclusive space for all residents.” 

– Brian Gilligan, Vice-President, Community and Tenant Support 

Quick facts 

  • There are 250 apartments in the high-rise building at 395 Somerset Street West. It is home to approximately 270 senior tenants. 
  • Since January 2021, members of the Tenant Circle have volunteered their time, every single Sunday, to set up and support the running of the Ottawa Mission Food Truck in their community. Due to their contribution, there have been a total of 4,329 warm meals served to people who live in the wider Centretown neighbourhood.   
  • The group works alongside the on-site Aging in Place representative to support their neighbours to stay healthy and continue to live independently 
  • ONPHA’s Tenant Achievement award honours up to four tenants or tenant groups who help make their non-profit housing communities and neighbourhoods better places to live. These tenants have fostered community connections and have made meaningful contributions to their communities that can serve as a model to tenants across Ontario.
  • OCHC’s Tenant Circle volunteers teach English and Mandarin classes to fellow residents.  

About OCHC   

Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) 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. 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 in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
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Media Contact
Jennifer McIntosh
Communications
media@och.ca
343-997-5000 

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