News Release: Ottawa Community Housing Corporation holds its Annual General Meeting

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In a year where COVID-19 was at the forefront of everyone’s mind, OCHC continued to serve tenants 

June 9, 2021 (OTTAWA, ON) – This morning, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) held its Annual General Meeting with its sole shareholder, the City of Ottawa. 

During the June 9 City Council meeting, Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer of OCHC, and Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Chair of the OCHC Board of Directors, provided highlights of OCHC’s 2020 Annual Report

In the annual report presentation, OCHC CEO Stéphane Giguère took the time to highlight OCHC’s culture of innovation during an unusual year. Rideau-Vanier Councillor and Ottawa Community Housing Board Chair Mathieu Fleury underlined OCHC’s approach to sustainable development. The report shows how a dedicated team and crucial partnerships are helping the organization work towards a strategy that will make affordable housing a reality for more residents of Ottawa but also the important of adapting in these unusual times to continue to serve the 32,000 tenants living in the 15,000 OCH homes.  

NURTURING HEALTHY, SAFE AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES 

Thanks to the ongoing support of dedicated OCHC staff and local partner organizations, OCHC has been able to provide ongoing support and services for tenants throughout the pandemic. Thanks to staff and volunteers, tenants received food and support referrals through thousands of phone calls and door-knocking initiatives.  

Staff have worked to find new and innovative ways to connect and engage with tenants virtually through ongoing consultation with OCHC’s Tenant Talks initiative and engaged community leaders. 

DELIVERING QUALITY SERVICES TO EVERY TENANT AND EVERY HOME 

OCHC’s 24/7 Call Centre responds to general inquiries and requests for home-related maintenance, pest-related issues, safety services and service request for building systems. Staff continued to focus on customer service metrics – such as call quality, first call resolution and tenant experience.  

For work in the home, a specialized team of maintenance staff – equipped with safety, gear and specialized training completed critical maintenance work in homes where there was a potential risk of exposure to COVID. All team members volunteered to do this vital work – OCHC is honoured to have dedicated staff committed to improving tenants’ lives every day.  

INNOVATING TO MEET HOUSING AND FINANCIAL NEEDS 

Ottawa Community Housing continues to be an industry leader in the creation of additional affordable housing capacity.  

Two projects were underway in 2020 that will provide new homes for almost 200 residents. Construction of Mosaïq at 811 Gladstone and a revitalized Richelieu Court in Vanier will add 155 homes to the portfolio. These new OCHC builds adhere to the gold standards of sustainable design. 

FOSTERING AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE OF LEADERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY AND CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT 

At the onset of the pandemic, the executive team focused on ensuring all employees – whether working from home or on the frontline – had the tools they needed to do their critical work. There was also an increased focus on supporting employee wellness through added health benefits and resources to support physical and mental health.  

Ottawa Community Housing strives for continuous improvement and continues to work on invest in the organizational culture, as well as leveraging technology to facilitate the critical work of OCH’s dedicated team. Because of that dedication, OCHC received recognition from the Canadian HR Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility, as well the National Capital Region Top Employer Award for the fourth year in a row and Waterstone Human Capital’s Most Admired Culture Award.  

Quotes:  

“I am humbled by all that the team has been able to accomplish in a challenging year. The pandemic has allowed us to re-imagine the way we work and the way we deliver services. We are committed to using those lessons learned to continuously improve and continue to be a leader in the housing sector for OCHC tenants.” 

Stéphane Giguère, Chief Executive Officer, OCHC

“Ottawa Community Housing, together with partners at all levels of government, is paving the way for thousands of new affordable homes in mixed-income, multi-use, transit-oriented communities across the city. We have also made investments in retrofits to ensure we preserve existing stock to serve current tenants and generations to come.”      

Mathieu Fleury, Rideau-Vanier Councillor and OCHC Board Chair

Quick facts:  

  • The OCH Foundation for Healthy Communities raised $20,000 to help support children learning at home.  
  • In September 2020, OCHC and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation entered into a partnership to construct 700 new homes.  
  • From March to December 2020, staff and volunteers from OCHC partner agencies completed more than 20,000 telephone contacts and 12,000 in-person visits to ensure tenants had the support they needed during the pandemic.  
  • In 2020, volunteers and OCHC staff completed 20 beautification projects in 13 communities, improving the lives of more than 3,000 tenants. 
  • Since 2009, the Community Capital Fund has provided more than $1 million to fund 425 community improvement projects.   

Resources:

About 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:  

Melany Chretien 
Director, Corporate Communications
media@och.ca

This post is also available in: Français (French)