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.
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:
|View the previous issue of Managing Risky Business|
|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|
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:
|Register for an InSite webinar|
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|
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|
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|
Some of HSC’s outreach efforts since my last update have included:
|CEO Meetings & Presentations
Sector Working Group Participation
||Insurance & Risk Management
|Asset Management & Renewal
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.
Currently, there are three active jobs on our job board:
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|