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HSC Happenings: March 2017

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March 2017 issue:

  • Energy Services: Read about our recent climate change submission to the Province and the new Energy Services eNewsletter.
  • Insurance & Risk Management: Learn about the group program’s performance in 2016; our renewal results and the new educational offering we’ve developed.
  • Asset Management & Renewal: Read about upcoming SHARE events on capital improvement planning, the expiry of operating agreements and innovation via partnerships.
  • Information & Technology Services: An update on HSC InSite and Asset Planner.
  • Community & Business Partnerships: Read about CIH Canada’s current course offerings, including its experienced professional route to achieving CIH Canada’s highest designation.
  • @HSC: Where we’ve been over the past few months and comings and goings at HSC and in the sector.

Not subscribed to this newsletter? Sign up to receive HSC Happenings in your inbox.


Energy Services Update

Energy Matters Newsletter

As part of its continuing redesign, HSC Energy Services launched a newsletter for its gas and Utility Management Program clients in January 2017. The goal of the Energy Matters newsletter is to inform local conservation efforts by sharing news that affects our sector – including market trends, policy developments as well as success stories and case studies.

Read the January 2017 issue of Energy Matters Subscribe to the Energy Matters newsletter

 

Climate Change Submission to the Province

In January, we also prepared a submission regarding the Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Company. The goal of this company is to support the re-investment of Cap and Trade revenues under the Climate Change Action Plan. We advocated that social housing be explicitly identified as a residential building category for programs and that the primary priority should be emissions reductions, not technological-based solutions.

The letter will appear in its entirety in the next issue of Energy Matters.
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Insurance & Risk Management Update

The Managing Risky Business newsletter went out in mid-January, containing some important items including:

View the November 2016 issue of Managing Risky Business Subscribe to Managing Risky Business

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Asset Management & Renewal Update

Upcoming SHARE Events

Webinar: Prioritizing Capital Improvement Planning and Projects in Social Housing
Tuesday March 21 | 12:30 to 1:30 EST

This webinar is intended to help housing administrators, property managers and Boards understand the task of capital planning for social housing projects. Providers that undertake asset prioritizing are better prepared to take advantage of funding and refinancing opportunities; equip their Boards with the information they need to make sound decisions on allocating funds and resources; and have a clear roadmap for capital improvement planning.

Register now

 

Expiry of Operating Agreement (EOA) Peer Exchange

April 6, 2017 | 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Toronto | Venue: Toronto Novotel, 45 The Esplanade
Registration Fee: $175 plus HST

This in-person, peer-learning event will provide an opportunity for you to address your EOA issues and situations with sector colleagues. Through this learning exchange you will uncover practices and solutions that can be applied within your own organizations. Themes to be discussed at the forum include:

  • Project and portfolio review – financial and operating viability
  • Planning for EOA and/or end of debentures
  • Engaging with Council, Boards, Housing Providers, Tenants
  • Dealing with projects in difficulty
  • Mortgage refinancing and extension of SM subsidies
  • Post-subsidy strategies, alternatives and options
Save the Date: Driving Social Housing Innovations through Partnerships

June 7, 2017 | 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST
Location: North Bay | Best Western Hotel and Conference Centre

Co-hosted with the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association (NOSDA), this one-day forum will showcase innovative social housing initiatives in northern Ontario, developed through partnerships. This forum will bring together a cross-section of stakeholders, decision makers and community partners from health, housing, and organizations supporting indigenous persons. We will identify ways of collaborating to advance housing development and to assist people in social housing. Forum themes include:

  • Housing Partnerships in Northern Ontario
  • Housing for Indigenous Persons in Urban Communities
  • Delivery in Partnership: Approaches to Housing Solutions
  • Innovative Housing with Health Supports

 

Register now for the EOA Exchange  Registration process and price will be available shortly.

 

For more information on these events, email share@hscorp.ca

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Information Technology Services Update

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HSC InSite

More and more providers are adopting InSite as part of their plans to modernize operations and improve service delivery. Since January, nearly 1,000 units have come online. We’re pleased to see that providers are noticing the difference between HSC and a typical IT vendor – that we offer extra value by having an understanding of how the sector works and business requirements of social housing providers. Through our work with clients, we’ve also come to appreciate that software isn’t just about the technology itself. It’s about people, processes and the individual business needs of providers.

To this end, we’ve really bolstered our focus on the people side of implementing InSite. We work in partnership with our clients so employees can manage the transition to a new system, which often impacts how they do their jobs. Our service includes:

  • Dedicated account management
  • Ongoing change management advice and support
  • Business process mapping
  • Communications support

Let us know if you’re interested in finding out more about InSite. We’ll work to understand your needs and requirements to make sure InSite is the right choice for you.

Find out more about InSite

 

Asset Planner

HSC is currently in the process of renewing Asset Planner contracts with clients. With this renewal, we are now able to offer two additional modules to handle Preventative Maintenance and Service Requests.

The new modules allow you to organize and schedule preventative maintenance tasks for your portfolio. They offer several benefits:

  • Help increase useful life of buildings and extend renewal cycles
  • Build accountability for results and move away from a reactive maintenance process
  • Enable facilitation and oversight of the entire scope of repair and service work for your assets
  • MaintenancePlanner app (available for both iPhone and Android) enables users to access information on the go
Email for more information on Asset Planner

 

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Community & Business Partnerships Update

CIH

CIH Canada – Upcoming Courses

CIH Canada’s online courses enable participants to broaden and deepen your knowledge of housing. They also provide a great opportunity to network with housing professionals across Ontario and Western Canada. Upcoming courses include: 

Housing and Society
(Chartered-level, online course)

This course examines social, economic and political developments that have impacted the provision of housing in Canada.

Key Topics Explored:

  • The impact of shifting demographic trends
  • The diverse economic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of residents
  • Causes and impacts of social problems in housing communities; strategies and approaches being undertaken at the national, provincial and local levels to address these issues
  • Housing and community development needs and the implications for service delivery
  • Renewal of housing communities beyond bricks and mortar; organizational transformation and innovative practices to respond to future operating environments

Course starts March 16, 2017. Submit your application today!

 

Housing Management
(Certified-level, online course)

Housing professionals are directly involved in delivering housing management services to their residents or members.

This course will equip you with the skills to manage a variety of relationships, while ensuring a high level of service through the various stages of tenancy.

Course starts March 23, 2017. Submit your application today!

 

Experienced Professional Route
Spring Cohort

The Experienced Professional Route is designed for members with significant experience and knowledge in housing and management to quickly achieve the Chartered Designation, the highest international standard in our industry.

Instead of completing online courses, you will submit a written assignment and complete a professional interview to showcase your knowledge and expertise.

Apply by: April 13 | Course starts: May 4

 

Visit the CIH Canada website for more information

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@HSC Update

Our Strategic Plan 2018 and Beyond

Back in 2014, HSC embarked on a series of conversations with the sector to develop a Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2018. Our overarching goal was to gain insight into how HSC could best support Ontario’s social housing sector given its unique position and history. We met with a range of housing providers and Service Managers across Ontario, as well as our advisory groups, Board and the Province to have candid discussions on our way forward.

The result of these discussions was a plan focused on improving value-added services; partnerships and our organizational performance. I am very pleased with the work HSC staff has put into implementing this plan and completing the transformation of our organization.

We are now preparing to re-engage the sector in conversations on the direction HSC should take beyond 2018 – as the landscape of the sector changes with the expiry of operating agreements, emerging approaches to affordable housing taking hold, and technology and data playing an increasingly important role.

We look forward to having these conversations with you when we hit the road later this month!

 

Outreach

Since my last update back in November, HSC has continued its hands-on work with the sector. Here are just some of the meetings we’ve had with clients and key stakeholders:

CEO Meetings & Presentations

  • CEO presentations to municipal staff in Ottawa, York Region and Windsor; the London Middlesex Housing Corporation board and at the Ontario Good Roads Association conference; meetings with Housing Partnership Canada, the Encasa board and the National Housing Collaborative; attendance at the Canada-Ontario Homelessness Summit
Energy Services

  • Energy Services meetings with its stakeholder advisory committee, Union Gas; Community Champion Program sessions in buildings in Cambridge, Toronto and Thunder Bay
Insurance & Risk Management

  • Meetings with insurance underwriters; training for providers on emergency planning in Ajax and Durham and Directors’ and Officers risk in Toronto and Kingston; ongoing site visits to providers with claims 
Asset Management & Renewal

  • Technical Services project meetings with providers in Barrie, Parry Sound, Toronto, North Bay, New Liskeard, Smithville, Sudbury, Kirkland Lake as well as in Nova Scotia with housing co-ops in Halifax, Dartmouth, Chester and Digby; additional meetings with the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada, the Community Housing Management Network and Housing Nova Scotia
  • Asset Planner training in Hamilton

 

We want to meet you! Contact one of our program specialists today.

Comings & Goings

Finally, some sector welcomes and goodbyes. At Housing York, I’d like to welcome Kerry Hobbs (CEO) and Michelle Willson (CFO). I was pleased to see Mwarigha return as Vice President of Housing and Homelessness at Woodgreen Community Services. I’d also like to welcome Niagara Regional Housing’s new CEO, Dan Troke, who comes to Ontario from Housing Nova Scotia. To York Region, we welcome Katherine Chislett as Commissioner of Community and Health Services. She replaces former HSC Board member, Adelina Urbanski.

Here at HSC, there have been a few developments. In February, Daniel Chadwick said goodbye. Jason Craig joined us as a Technical Services Project Manager for projects with cooperatives in Nova Scotia. And Simone Ramtahal joined us as our Client Relations Administrator.

We also welcomed three new board members that will be starting their terms in April, Councillor Ana Bailão (City of Toronto), Debbie Zock (McCormick & Zock Property Management in London) and Kathy Dimassi (Halam Park Housing Cooperative, Hamilton). Debbie and Kathy will be taking the spots occupied by Paul Hastie (Homestarts) and Amanda Shaughnessy (Co-Op Voisins, Ottawa). We will also be saying goodbye to Rob Cressman (City of Toronto) and Carol Conrad (Nipissing District Housing Corporation), who are also leaving our board at the end of March. We thank Paul, Amanda, Rob and Carol for their commitment to our organization and their service.

Finally in April, Bill Bradica will become our new Board Chair. Bill is the Chief Administrative Officer of the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board. He has served on our board since 2015 and brings with him 15 years of experience in progressively senior positions at the DSSAB as well as a prior background in financial management and housing development in both the private and public sector. We wish to take this opportunity as well to thank Gary Scripnick for his hard work as our board chair over the past two years. It has been a pleasure working alongside him and our staff has appreciated Gary’s warmth, energy and unwavering support.

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