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HSC Happenings: December 2017

september 2017 newsletter

December 2017:

  • Ministry Survey on HSC: Results and next steps after the Friday the 13th deadline.
  • Insurance & Risk Management: A new video focused on our work with Royal Canadian Legion Villa in Kingston after they had a catastrophic fire in 2013. Also, highlights from the last issue of Managing Risky Business.
  • Asset Management & Renewal: Materials from our last SHARE webinar on maximizing capital investment opportunities are now available. Also, an update on our work asset management work and a word about our AssetPlanner user survey.
  • Energy Services: Highlights from our October 2017 Energy Matters newsletter and learn about the results of our 2018 gas program renewals. 
  • Community & Business Partnerships: Housing Partnership Canada’s follow-up to their study on business transformation in Canada’s housing sector shifts the focus of that transformation.
  • @HSC: Where we’ve been over the past few months and comings and goings at HSC and in the sector.

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Ministry Survey on HSC

The Ministry of Housing’s survey on HSC concluded on Friday November 13. In spite of the superstitions associated with that day, I’m pleased to report that nothing horrific appears to have happened to the sector or HSC as a result of the deadline!

Thank you to those organizations that shared their submissions with us – regardless of whether they were positive or negative. The sharing of such feedback enables us to see where we can do a better job and understand why people feel the way they do. We were heartened to see that the majority of the responses we received were positive. While no organization was thrilled about the mandated nature of our core programs, those that were neutral or positive acknowledged their necessity in helping providers in underserviced areas or those with difficult insurance claims histories and in building out our capacity-building services – like Technical Services, tenant insurance, UMP, our SHARE, Regeneration and Energy Forum events – and unique sector capabilities.

We look forward to working with the Ministry on next steps relating to the survey as well as on how we can assist with the recent Auditor General recommendations, both of which will feed into our Strategic Plan for 2019 and beyond. In the meantime, I plan to continue my individual discussions with Service Managers, foster better collaboration between sector organizations and to continue focusing on making HSC the most effective sector organization it can be.

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Insurance & Risk Management

In November, HSC’s Director of Insurance & Risk Management, Brian Laur and HSC Vice-Chair Ron Holman visited staff and residents at Royal Canadian Legion Villa in Kingston. Residents had recently won a class-action lawsuit against the developer of an adjoining property, which had caught fire and badly damaged Legion Villa and displaced tenants.

The video below tells the story and how HSC helped. I encourage you to watch it.


Managing Risky Business

Brian’s next email update will come out in January. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen the previous one, it featured:

The October 2017 update also includes an insurance renewal update. I was pleased that for another year we were able to hold insurance rates steady (the fourth year in a row!). We could not do this without the diversity of providers in our group; a claims trust fund that enables insurers to focus on large claims; and a commitment – shared by providers and Service Managers – to reducing and mitigating the risks we face.

View the Q3/2017 issue of Managing Risky Business Subscribe to Managing Risky Business

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Asset Management & Renewal Update

Providers and Service Managers are continuing to turn to HSC for help with asset management and portfolio renewal. In November, HSC started working with Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board on an asset management project that will evaluate a site for its potential for redevelopment. In early December, HSC continued its work with Northumberland County, delivering information sessions to housing providers to prepare them for EOA.

Find out more about Asset Management Support Services Find out more about EOA Services


HSC’s Technical Services continues to work on capital projects in Ontario and Nova Scotia. In 2017 alone, Tech has worked on over 30 projects in Ontario. So on November 23 Bill Bacon and Jen McMahon took a moment to lead a SHARE webinar on maximizing capital investment opportunities, based on their experience in working with providers and Service Managers and accessing funding and incentive programs. We were pleased with the strong interest this webinar received, with close to 200 participants registering.

View the SHARE webinar materials Find out more about HSC Technical Services


AssetPlanner Survey

We recently checked in with members of our AssetPlanner User Group with a survey on the kinds of supports current users of the system are seeking.

AssetPlanner is a powerful, capital planning tool that enables housing organizations to better understand the physical condition of their buildings, so they can make informed decisions about capital expenditures. It helps organizations in their quest for “asset management nirvana” by enabling them to create and maintain reliable building data – a critical foundation for asset management planning.

Survey results indicated that a significant portion of the users characterize themselves as beginner or intermediate users. Users also provided detailed information on topics for which they’d like to receive additional training materials and supports. Having this type of insight will not only help us develop key resources for 2018, but will help ensure that provider, LHC and Service Manager staff are using the system correctly to build the data foundation for their portfolio and maximize the system’s benefits.

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Energy Services Update


Energy Matters newsletter

Our next Energy Matters newsletter is coming out in a few days. In the meantime, if you didn’t catch our previous issue you may be interested in stories about:

  • Ottawa Community Housing’s innovative passive house project
  • Energy use of low rise versus high rise buildings
  • How HSC’s Energy Services team has been working with the sector


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

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Community & Business Partnerships Update

Housing Partnership Canada

In November, members of Housing Partnership Canada (HPC) released the preliminary findings of their second business transformation study at the Ontario and British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Association conferences. The study is a follow-up of a study HPC released in 2015, which examined business transformation through the lens of 14 case studies. The case studies examined organizations that have expanded their activities as part of their efforts to improve their financial performance and deliver a greater social impact.

The follow-up study shifts the focus of transformation to how organizations are changing their management approach and the way their people work – taking a more business-minded approach, changing skill sets, modernizing practices and building new partnerships, to name a few examples.

With findings based on 213 survey responses and interviews with 21 non-profits across Canada, the study is the most comprehensive of its kind in recent years. Stay tuned for its official release and a webinar on the results in the new year.


View the 2015 Report on Business Transformation View the 2015 Case Studies only

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@HSC Update

Since our last update, we continued our hands-on work with the sector with:

CEO Meetings & Presentations

  • CEO meetings with staff at the Region of Waterloo, Lanark County, City of Kingston, City of Windsor, Peel Region, Kenora DSSAB, CHF Canada and City of Ottawa housing providers; participation in meetings of HSC’s Service Manager Advisory Committee, Local Housing Corporation Forum, Province-Wide Arrears Database Steering Committee; attendance at CMHC 2017 Housing Finance Symposium
Energy Services

  • Energy Services meetings with IESO Mid-Term Review Advisory Committee
  • Community Champion workshops in Timmins (2 buildings) and York Region (3 buildings)
Insurance & Risk Management

  • Insurance claims meetings with providers in Lanark County, Moosonee and Windsor
  • Meeting with new Toronto Community Housing Risk Director
  • Risk management workshops in Thunder Bay and Wellington County
  • Insurance claims meetings with providers in Windsor, Hamilton, Woodstock, Kingston
  • Emergency planning training in Sudbury  
Asset Management & Renewal

  • Technical Services project meetings with providers in Barrie, Toronto, Parry Sound, Kirkland Lake, Sudbury, Richmond Hill, Temiskaming Shores and at various housing cooperatives in Nova Scotia
  • Meeting with Thunder Bay DSSAB on site evaluation project
  • Meetings with ONPHA & OMSSA on sector policy and events
  • Participation in the 2017 ONPHA tradeshow 

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


Comings & Goings

Finally, some sector shout-outs.

I’d like to say goodbye to Nicholas Gazzard as Executive Director at CHF Canada and to thank him for his years of service at CHF Canada. In his role, Nicholas was highly effective in raising the profile of cooperative housing among key stakeholders, in establishing tools to help housing co-ops meet the future and in brokering strategic partnerships. He was instrumental in strengthening HSC’s partnership with the cooperative housing sector on initiatives such as Encasa, the Nova Scotia SHARP program and CHF Canada’s Asset Management Services.

I’d also like to say goodbye to Nick Sidor, who retired in October. As Director of Corporate Affairs, we worked closely with Nick on implementing and coordinating CHF Canada’s Asset Management Services and IT Services. We will miss working with Nick and appreciate his longstanding commitment to cooperative housing.

At the same time, I’d also like to welcome Karla Skoutajan, who is now serving as Acting Executive Director of CHF Canada, and Tim Ross who transitioned to the Director of Strategic Affairs role earlier this year. We look forward to working with both Karla and Tim in the days ahead.

Congratulations are in order to the winners of this year’s ONPHA awards – to the Home First Society for their Award of Excellence; Ottawa Salus for their Innovation Award for Karen’s Place; for all of those who received a Lifetime of Service Award; and Darlene Cook for the Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award.

For us here at HSC, Darlene’s commitment to the sector has been exemplified by her support in bringing a professional accreditation program for housing professionals to Canada. Not only did she help in the early stages of identifying the business need and evaluating models, she actually served as the General Manager of CIH Canada for a year in the early going – working with the shoestring resources available. Darlene’s also been generous in sharing her knowledge at HSC Regeneration Forums, SHARE events and among her Local Housing Corporation colleagues.

Here at HSC, we said goodbye to Sein Jung and Kisha Reddish since my last update. We also welcomed Renée Kominek to our board. Renée is the property manager at Clairvue Housing Cooperative in Chatham. To our Service Manager Advisory Committee, we welcomed Sheldon Laidman (Director of Housing and Social Services, Kingston) and Aileen Baird (Director of Housing Services, Peel).

HSC is also pleased to support a new group that has recently formed, comprised of executives from several local housing corporations that operate within a municipal structure. This group consists of Kerry Hobbs (Housing York); Dan Labrecque (Peel Living); Dan Troke (Niagara Regional Housing); Eleanor MacDonald (Durham Regional Housing); and Andrew Balahura (Halton Community Housing). This group was initiated to share best practices, challenges and management approaches.

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One Life
Turn Me On
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The Motto
Wild Ones
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Middle Finger
Sorry For Party Rocking
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