Tenant Talks: March 10 virtual session
Disponible/available in: Français (French)
What we heard
Check out our summary of the March 10 Tenant Talks session. We received questions and provided information about a wide range of topics – from the “My Home” Service to cleaning contracts. The next Tenant Talks session will take place on June 9. See the presentation and comments from the virtual session below. Do you have a comment or question not covered in the Question and Answer on our Tenant Talks web page? Send us an email to email@example.com.
Chat Services/Project Guardian
Property Standards - Exterior Spaces
David Ricottone, Director of Information Technology for OCH, talked about the rollout of phase 2 of the My Home service planned for summer 2022. Tenants can expect to receive automated notifications about work orders via text message. Other planned upgrades are based on tenant input and consultation with other housing providers.
“We want to provide a world-class portal for tenants to use,” David said.
To serve tenants better, OCH is looking at automated and live chat capabilities for our website and social media accounts.
David Ricottone, Director of IT for OCH, provided information about Project Guardian. He said the goal is to provide upgrade entryway systems such as intercoms and fob systems to better connect with other systems such as smart laundry cards.
Jeff Wilkie, Senior Manager, in the Property Manager department for OCH, spoke about property standards.
OCH already has existing standards for items such as air conditioners and sheds, Jeff said there will be more work done to define standards, for front and rear yards as well as balconies. The goal is to ensure safety and make communities more welcoming for tenants and their guests.
Information About the Call Centre
Tenancy Administration Call Queue
Jeff Wilkie, Senior Manager in the Property Management department at OCH, talked about OCH cleaning contracts.
While there is no set time for cleaners to spend in each building – the contract states the scope of work. Jeff said in addition, Property Managers are spending more time visiting properties and completing reports regarding the work of cleaners. If there are any ongoing concerns, it gets addressed through OCH Business Services.
In 2021, OCH underwent an exercise on contractor quality management to address items of professionalism such as uniforms, where they should park company vehicles and protocols for interactions with customers in order to improve service delivery.
OCH Call Centre Manager, Emilie St-Pierre-Langlois, shared the call volume. In the last year, the Centre handled 251,000 calls.
Emilie said that staff are working hard to ensure we service tenants in a timely manner. Part that is shifting staff to handle the higher call volumes on Mondays, and Tuesdays after a long weekend, as well as weekends. Three new Call Centre agents have been hired and are currently onboarding, this will help increase capacity.
The Tenancy Administration team is the subject matter experts on the rent review process. Tara Doucet, Manager, Tenancy Administration talked about the changes to the Housing Services Act and directions from the City of Ottawa, which operates as OCH’s Service Manager. Those directions mean tenants must file their income tax and present their notice of assessment as part of the rent review process.
Tara said due to the changes, and COVID limiting the office hours, staff have experienced a 60 percent increase in calls. She recommended tenants call on Fridays when volume is lower.
Annual Rent & Rent Review
Tara Doucet, Manager, Tenancy Administration outlined annual rent reviews – which are a requirement for tenants to continue to receive rent-geared-to-income. She also explained when tenants should seek “interim” reviews – where there is a 20 percent change in income for the household.
To support tenants who need help filing their taxes, OCH has entered into a partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency and will be hosting Community Volunteer Income Tax clinics at the 731 Chapel and 1365 Bank Street offices. The clinics will run monthly from April to September. Look for information on our website and social media channels for dates and times.
OCH is working to extend office hours, but there is not a timeline in place yet for a return to full
Question and Answers
Will we be receiving garden supplies this year?
As part of the entryway modernization, will tenants receive access to the internet?
Why is that there is no synchronized system to prevent mailing several intimidating and unpleasant letters even though all the required documents had already been submitted?
A: Staff will follow up with the Property Managers to see if certain supplies can be made available this year.
A: Not at this time, however, OCH is expanding WIFI in building lobbies. Tenants can take advantage of low cost internet through Rogers Cable or National Capital Freenet. More information is available here.
A: We are sorry you’re going through this. If you’ve submitted your documents, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org who can facilitate making sure to help complete the process.
There have been a lot of rats in the Queen Mary Street area (Overbrook) what can we do about this?
Can I please suggest that OCH sends out a plain-language and accessible multi-lingual notice explaining OCH’s rent deduction trillium situation?
As a resident in a new building designated smoke free I am appalled at the number of smokers who flagrantly flout the agreement they signed before moving in. How is OCH working to solve this issue?
A: We know there are challenges about garbage disposal. We have a new Property Manager and he’s working with the Integrated Property Manager. Jeff will flag with the Property Manager for follow up.
A: Please share any suggestions about how to make information as accessible as possible. Currently, the info is provided on statement of account, and over the phone.
A: If you have issues related to smoking in your building, please contact your Tenancy Support Worker, if you don’t know who they are, call the 24/7 Call Centre at 613-731-1182 and they will be able to help.