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HSC Happenings: May 2016

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May 2016 issue:

  • Energy Services: HSC has been advocating on behalf of the sector on energy policy with submissions to the Province. We’ve also made some important changes to the design of our gas program, which are now starting to roll out.
  • Insurance & Risk Management: Updates on SoHo’s name change, upcoming negotiations for the 2017 policy term, contingency planning sessions and invoices from Fire Marque.
  • Asset Management & Renewal: Read a recap of our 2016 Regeneration Forum, download our EOA planning guide and learn about how we can help with your SHARP and SHEEP projects.
  • Information & Technology Services: We’re holding upcoming webinars where you can look under the hood of the upgraded InSite system.
  • Community & Business Partnerships: Updates from Housing Partnership Canada and CIH Canada.
  • @HSC: The followup to our independent review is now complete and available; you can also read about where we’ve been over the past few months and comings and goings at HSC and in the sector.
  • Online jobs board: Check out postings at Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, the Region of York and the City of Toronto. Looking to post a job? Email our HR consultant, Margaret Luk, who can assist you!

[download/view this update as a PDF]


 

Energy Services

Advocating on Behalf of the Sector on Energy Policy

Earlier this Spring, HSC filed submissions on Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and a proposed regulatory requirement for energy and water reporting and benchmarking for large buildings. Our input was based on the ongoing discussions we’ve had with providers and Service Managers as well as the data that we’ve generated from programs like our Utility Management Program.

For our Climate Change Action Plan/cap-and-trade submission, we were thankful to have a number of co-signatories, including Cornwall & Area Housing Corporation, Kingston & Frontenac Housing Corporation, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation, Peterborough Housing Corporation, Haldimand-Norfolk Housing Corporation, CityHousing Hamilton, Elgin & St. Thomas Housing Corporation, Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation, Nipissing District Housing Corporation, Kenora Distrct Services Board and the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board. It was nice to see a media mention of the submission in the local Kenora newspaper.

In early May, in the wake of SHARP and SHEEP funding announcements, HSC also launched a survey for Service Managers on energy consumption, and energy-related retrofit needs. Responses are due back shortly. The feedback from this survey will be included in a report to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing and will hopefully influence the design of future programs.

We were pleased that on May 25, 2016, the Ontario government announced that it will invest up to an additional $500 million to retrofit social housing apartments with energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies as part of its broader Climate Change Action Plan. HSC will continue to monitor this program closely and work with Service Managers and LHCs to assist in any program delivery opportunities that may arise. Should you have any questions, please contact HSC Energy Services.

 

Redesigned Natural Gas Program

Since my last update, HSC has completed its second round of gas program consultations, received board approval and is moving forward with its redesign for 2017 – which will see HSC’s administration fee drop by 20% each year over three years, introduce new purchasing options and shift the program’s orientation towards energy conservation and advocacy. The first steps are already underway, as we prepare to meet with our new stakeholder advisory group and finish developing our 2017 purchasing options. The stakeholder advisory group is made up of energy and asset management professionals from organizations that in total represent 75% of the program gas purchases.

Reducing the administration fee by 20% each year during 2017-2019 will bring HSC’s gas price in line with those of municipal purchasing and other group buying programs. HSC’s program will remain unique in its hands-on service — focused on reducing energy consumption and cultivating ongoing staff and resident engagement. The changes will require HSC to continue to diversify its offerings and build on our entrepreneurial spirit. We’re confident that we’ll be able to live up to this challenge and remain firmly committed to our social mission.

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Insurance & Risk Management Update

Our next issue of Risky Business will be out in June, providing updates on program claims, sector risk management and more.

In the meantime, I just wanted to provide a few brief updates on this business area of HSC:

  • SoHo Insurance is now HSC Insurance: This name change occurred back in February, growing out of our efforts to simplify our clients’ experience with HSC’s Insurance and Risk Management group. HSC Insurance will remain the sub-broker for the group and tenant insurance programs.
  • Invoices from Fire Marque: In recent months, HSC has received invoices from this privately owned company relating to specific provider fire claims. According to its website, Fire Marque has agreements with individual municipalities to collect funds from property insurance providers towards “a new revenue stream for fire departments.” The company claims that insurance rates will not rise as a result of their collections, however this is simply not correct. Additional expenses further deplete the provider-funded Property Claims Trust Fund and negatively affect provider (and the program’s) risk profile. In April, HSC brought this issue to the attention of the Service Manager Housing Network and will be looking to its sector-based Insurance Reference Group for an official program position on the payment of these invoices.
  • Negotiations for the 2017 policy term: We will be meeting with both domestic and international underwriters in early June, seeking a competitive group premium for 2017. Based on the group’s performance last year and to date for the 2016 term, we are cautiously optimistic entering into these negotiations for 2017.
  • Simcoe County moving on contingency planning: Kudos to Simcoe County for taking advantage of its providers’ participation in HSC’s group program and actively managing risk by scheduling a series of sessions in June on contingency planning. Contingency plans help organizations by establishing roles, responsibilities and directions on what to do in the event of an emergency. Brian Laur will be leading these sessions, which will enable providers to develop their own individual contingency plans. Brian still has openings in his calendar for like-minded service managers who want to organize a contingency planning day for their providers—connect with Brian direct on this.
View the previous issue of Managing Risky Business

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Asset Management & Renewal

Looking for our November 2016 Updates?  We made a mistake in the email. Click here to view!

 

HSC’s 2016 Regeneration Forum: A Smashing Success

On May 9 and 10, housing professionals, board members, politicians and sector organization staff from across Canada gathered for our third Regeneration Forum. The theme of this year’s Forum was Defining a New Future.

The sessions were thought-provoking. The discussion was lively and there was an overall feeling of optimism and self-reliance in the air. For me, it was interesting to reflect on the shift that has taken place in terms of where we look for innovative housing models and approaches. In our past Forums, we needed to look abroad for inspiration and new approaches. However in the past two years, the Canadian affordable housing sector has dramatically re-constituted and re-invigorated itself – through organizations like Housing Partnership Canada and CIH Canada – and we’ve witnessed a shift to Canadian-engineered innovation. This is a heartening development and bodes well for the future of our sector.

Presentations and pictures from the event are available on the SHARE website. Audio from the sessions and video recordings of the plenaries will be available shortly. Thank you to everyone who participated as a presenter, a volunteer or an attendee!

View Presentations and Pictures

 

New EOA Planning Guide

At the Regeneration Forum, HSC was pleased to launch its new EOA Planning Guide for Ontario’s Former Federal Housing Programs. Modelled on the BC Housing’s EOA Planning Guide, our guide has been adapted for Ontario audiences. HSC will be releasing a second guide, which will focus on projects under the Housing Service Act, later in 2016.

Download the EOA Planning Guide

 

Got SHARP or SHEEP? HSC can help!

With the funding announcements now out, I just wanted to remind you that we can help providers and Service Managers with their SHARP and SHEEP projects. Our experts in energy and technical services can provide you hands-on support to scope, tender and project manage – and then help you with ongoing monitoring of your building’s energy efficiency.

How We Can Help with SHARP & SHEEP

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Information Technology Services

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HSC InSite

Earlier this year we released our upgraded InSite system – a comprehensive property management solution for non-profit providers. We continue to host introductory webinars showcasing new features, such as an improved RGI calculator, enhanced reporting and mobile applications. We’ also demonstrate how InSite helps improve processes and find efficiencies by integrating financial, maintenance and resident management into a single web-based system.

We have several one-hour webinars scheduled throughout the spring and summer:

  • June 9, 10:00 –  11:00 a.m.
  • June 15, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
  • June 17, 1:30 –  2:30 p.m.
  • June 21, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Register for an InSite webinar

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Community & Business Partnerships

CIH

CIH Canada

New website

CIH Canada now has its own website. The site features many resources including:

There’s also a section for housing careers where you can find job listings and post a job.

Visit the new CIH Canada Website

Upcoming Online Courses & Webinars

View all CIH Canada courses

HPC

 

Housing Partnership Canada – Canadian Housing Bank

Canadian Housing Bank

In my last two updates, I’ve spoken about Housing Partnership Canada and how it recently commissioned a study to determine the feasibility of creating a pan-Canadian dedicated lending institution to finance the regeneration and development of housing projects across Canada. Phase 1 of the study is complete, and we are presently working to establish the governance structure and resource requirements to create the Canada Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). Work is expected to begin shortly on Phase 2 of the feasibility study, which will refine the capital market profile and establish a credit rating for this pan-Canadian entity.

Recently, we had the pleasure of meeting with the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development to discuss this important initiative. We continue to be engaged in outreach at all levels of government to garner support.

Visit the HPC website Read the Canadian Housing Bank briefing note

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@HSC

Independent Review

HSC completed a follow-up to the independent review it undertook last year to track the changes we’ve made to make our organization more transparent, efficient and accountable while meeting the needs of Ontario social housing providers.

The results of the follow-up review are now available and on our website. I’m pleased to say that this review confirms the progress we’ve made and our renewed focus on fiscal responsibility and client service. Our priority is to ensure our clients have confidence in the programs and services we provide.

View the 2015 Independent Review View the 2016 Followup Report

 

Outreach

Some of HSC’s outreach efforts since my last update have included:

CEO Meetings & Presentations

  • Meetings with Actions for Housing Forum at Carleton University; Encasa board; CIH UK CEO; Housing Partnership Canada; North-East Local Health Integration Network 
  • Presentations to Municipal and Regional Chairs of Ontario; Canadian Housing Renewal Association Congress Aboriginal Caucus; Provincial-Territorial Deputy Ministers Forum on Housing; Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Sector Working Group Participation

  • Participation in OMSSA EOA Task Force; Service Manager Housing Network; LHC forum; Northern Service Manager Housing Group meeting; Housing Partnership Canada Sector Bank Steering Committee; GTA Housing Action Lab
Energy Services

  • Energy Services meetings with Halton Region, Niagara Regional Housing, Ottawa Community Housing, CityHousing Hamilton, Enbridge; Ontario ministries of Energy and Environment on cap and trade, energy benchmarking
  • Community Champion Program sessions in buildings in Keswick, Cambridge, Hamilton, Toronto, Peel Region; participation in City of Toronto Community & Resident Engagement working group and Low-Income Energy Network annual conference; program presentation to City of Peterborough
Insurance & Risk Management

  • Meetings on insurance, claims and risk management with Mainstay Housing, Barrie Municipal Housing, Supportive Housing of Waterloo, YWCA Toronto, Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association, Service Manager Housing Network and providers in Espanola, Toronto and Chatham-Kent
Asset Management & Renewal

  • Discussions on EOA with Kenora District Social Services Board, Niagara Region; participation in City of Toronto EOA Forum
  • Technical Services project meetings in Ottawa, Niagara, Toronto, Chatham-Kent, Ingersoll, Sudbury, Mississauga, Kirkland Lake, Kitchener and Nova Scotia co-op providers in Halifax, Dartmouth and Digby

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

 

Comings & Goings

Here at HSC, there have been a few developments. We have a few changes to our Technical Services team. In March, Adeel Qasim left HSC to pursue other opportunities. Carmine Iermieri joined the team as a Project Manager. Jon Butcher, who is currently in the Construction Management Program at George Brown College, has joined us for the summer as a project coordinator intern. Jennifer McMahon, who manages our Community Champion Program and has worked on HSC’s Audits to Action programs with Enbridge-area providers, will be assisting the Technical Services team with SHARP and SHEEP programs they will be handling.

We also said some goodbyes since the last time. At the end of April, Gina DeVeaux completed her term as our legal intern and will be called to the bar this fall. And earlier this month, Stefanie Millon, our senior communications advisor, went on maternity leave.

Finally, some sector welcomes and goodbyes. Goodbye and thank you to Cathy Kytayko, who is retiring as the Director of Social Housing at Simcoe County after a long career and who served on HSC’s Service Manager Advisory Committee. I’d also like to extend my best wishes to Gillian Hendry (Director of Housing, Hamilton), Mark Darroch (Director of Community & Social Services, Northumberland County) and Philip Abrahams (General Manager, Shelter, Support and Housing, Toronto) who also recently retired. Congratulations to Lisa Horne, who is replacing Mark at Northumberland – moving from Housing Manager to the Director job – and Rob Cressman, who is now acting General Manager of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration for the City of Toronto. Finally, I’d like to welcome to our Service Manager Advisory Committee a few new faces: Glenn Courtney from the City of Toronto; Debbie Mills from District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board; Adam Sweedland from the City of Hamilton; and Alison Tutak from the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.

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HSC Online Job Board: Free to Post, Free to View

Currently, there are three active jobs on our job board:

  • Maintenance Administrative Assistant, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, Ottawa, ON
  • Tenant Services Coordinator, Regional Municipality of York, Newmarket, ON
  • Senior Financial Analyst SSHA, City of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Interested in posting a job? Please note: we’re currently having technical difficulties with our job submission form. To submit a job for posting, email our HR Consultant, Margaret Luk, directly.

Visit the Job Board

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