Lower Prices, More Client Input: HSC’s Redesigned Gas Program
HSC’s redesigned gas program is here! In late May, the program’s stakeholder advisory committee met for the first time to discuss the new shape of the program and to exchange ideas. The advisory committee consists of:
The goal of the committee is to ensure that the program is reflective of client needs. It will also help us find the best ways of supporting them in their conservation efforts.
In June, clients were introduced to a new suite of purchasing options for 2017, which featured a 20% reduction in administration fees as well as variable and fixed price options. As a result of the redesign, most clients will see savings of up to 11% in 2017. Customers will realize further savings in 2018 and 2019.
Response to the program changes has been overwhelmingly positive– with lower fees, integrated tools like UMP and Community Champions, and the focus on mobilizing the group to advocate on provincial policy and exchange conservation best practices.
Energy Forum – A Smashing Success
On October 27, nearly 100 housing professionals from across Ontario participated in the 2016 HSC Energy Forum at the Holiday Inn Toronto-Yorkdale. The event provided an opportunity to share ideas and strategies to reduce energy consumption in Ontario’s social housing buildings. Through support from our sponsors and speakers, attendees examined the role of resident engagement, readiness for funding opportunities and new innovations in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
|Howie Wong welcomes participants||Hemant Grover on Peel Region’s experiences
with resident engagement
|Lisa Ker speaks about Ottawa Salus’
passive house project
|Read more and view the presentations|
How HSC’s Community Champion Program Can Help You
Providers across Ontario never cease to amaze us with their innovative approaches to conservation and environmental sustainability. This has demonstrated itself in how they have utilized our Community Champion Program (CCP) to drive results and improve community cohesion. CCP takes staff and residents through a process of understanding and getting involved in conservation. The program is available at no cost to providers in HSC’s Gas Program. To help people understand the flexibility of the program, we’ve started to create a series of case studies on how providers have used it. I encourage you to read the first two and to stay tuned for future case studies!
|Read about York Region and CCP||Read about Mimico Cooperative Homes and CCP|
Energy Services: The Newsletter
As part of the redesign of HSC Energy Services, we’re changing the way this unit communicates with clients. Our new advisory committee, which will help drive our service offerings and program features, represents one element of this change. Another element involves rethinking our quarterly notifications to participants in the Utility Management Program.
Starting in January, these notifications will become a full-fledged quarterly newsletter – featuring policy updates, trends and developments in the utilities marketplace, sector approaches to conservation and more.
While participants in our energy services are our intended audiences and will be automatically added to our mailing list, anyone who’s interested in conservation is welcome to subscribe!
|Subscribe to our Energy Newsletter|
Our next issue of Managing Risky Business will be out shortly, providing details on renewals, new coverages and our plans for the program in 2017. In the meantime, here are a couple of previews (spoiler alert!):
|View the previous issue of Managing Risky Business|
SHARE Webinar & Event Materials Online
There was a full house at our Ottawa SHARE event on affordable housing development. Thanks to Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation for hosting!
Since my last update in May and our Regeneration Forum, we’ve held a number of events. Materials for the following events are now available online:
HSC holds SHARE events across Ontario to ensure most housing sector professionals have access to them. Interested in co-hosting a SHARE event in your area? Contact us!
HSC has been working with several Service Managers on portfolio planning after the expiry of operating agreements – including training for Niagara housing providers, discussions with the City of Toronto as well as forthcoming discussions with the City of Peterborough and Peel Region. Recently, our work with staff at the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville got some profile when recommendations were presented to the Counties Council. You can read the story in the Brockville Recorder here.
|Read more about HSC EOA Services|
Need help with your Social Housing Improvement Program (SHIP) project?
As the deadline to commit to SHIP projects approaches, housing providers are getting word from their Service Managers about their submissions. Have you received funding and need help with program delivery? Consider HSC Technical Services. Tech Services serves as an Owner’s Advocate, working in the best interest of the housing provider to ensure that projects meet capital requirements; contractors are held accountable, and projects are delivered on time and on budget.
|Learn more about how we can help with SHIP|
When considering a property management and accounting solution, providers are seeing the value of HSC’s hands-on support and knowledge of housing management and administration. InSite is helping providers save time and improve service by integrating resident, maintenance and financial management across an organization-wide platform.
Clients using InSite currently include:
Our largest client, London Housing Corporation, has nearly completed their implementation. We’re also pleased to welcome, our newest client, St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre, in Toronto to InSite!
InSite isn’t for all providers, but for many – especially if you lack in-house IT expertise – it’s a great fit. We’re happy discuss your IT needs to see if InSite is right for you.
|Find out more about InSite|
CIH Canada is coming off a busy Fall, with member meetings in Alberta, Ontario and BC, as well as numerous webinars and courses. On January 25, it will hold another web-based member meeting on January 25 from 1 to 2pm EST, which will summarize feedback received to date and provide members another chance to share thoughts and ideas for the direction of CIH Canada.
CIH Canada is also organizing a UK Study Tour with CHF Canada, to take place in June 2017. You can find more information here. Finally, it’s not too late to register for upcoming CIH Canada courses:
CIH Canada is also now accepting applicants with significant experience and knowledge in housing and management for its Experienced Professional Route. Completing this route will enable participants to obtain their Chartered Designation by submitting a written assignment and completing a professional interview rather than completing online courses. The registration deadline is January 26 with a start date of February 16.
|Find out more about the Experienced Professional Route|
Housing Partnership Canada
HSC, alongside other members of Housing Partnership Canada, has continued efforts to raise awareness and garner support for the sector bank (now officially known as the Canada Housing Finance Authority or CHFA).
Response has been overwhelmingly positive. We were also pleased that a dedicated lending institution was in submissions on the National Housing Strategy from the Province of Ontario, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Northern Ontario Service Deliverers Association, Maytree, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association, and the National Housing Collaborative.
Over the coming months, we will continue advocate for its inclusion in the National Housing Strategy with the help of our sector partners.
Since my last update back in May, 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
Participation in Sector Meetings & Events
||Insurance & Risk Management
|Asset Management & Renewal
HSC staff has been making a tremendous effort to reach and support clients – with our events, face-to-face outreach and program-related advice and guidance. I’d also like to thank the HSC staff that assisted in organizing the International Housing Partnership pre-conference study tour in Montreal.
One final item I wanted to recognize also relates to HSC staff. Back in 2015, HSC updated its HR policies to allow staff a day for volunteering to do community service each year. At a recent HSC town hall meeting, we heard about how HSC Business Development and Relationship Manager Scott Robertson spent his volunteer time. Scott volunteers with a local organization that helps people with intellectual disabilities. This group partnered with a private developer and provided input on an IAH application. The private developer was successful and received funding for Sidney Place, a 26 unit complex in Belleville with 16 affordable units including 10 supportive housing units for people with intellectual disabilities. The application resulted in $1.38M in provincial funding! Congratulations Sidney Place and thank you Scott for your valuable contribution to our housing community!
We want to meet you! Contact one of our program specialists today.
Comings & Goings
Finally, some sector welcomes and goodbyes. Since my last update, we’ve had several new Service Managers to welcome: Julie Western Set (Director of Housing Services for the City of Hamilton), Arfona Zwiers (Director, Social Housing, County of Simcoe), John Connolly (Director, Housing Services, Durham Region); Rebecca Morgan Quinn (Manager, Housing Division, City of Peterborough) and Rebecca Carman (Housing Services Manager, Northumberland County). We also welcome Deborah Filice (Acting CEO, Haldimand-Norfolk Housing). In London, we congratulate Josh Browne (CEO of London Middlesex Housing), Stephen Giustizia (CEO, City of London Housing Development Corporation) and Dave Purdy (Manager, Housing Services). Welcome also to Elisa McFarlane, who recently joined OMSSA as Interim Executive Director.
During this time, we’ve also had some retirements – we say goodbye and thank you to Stephen Arbuckle (City of Ottawa), Denis Desmeules (City of Greater Sudbury) and Christine Brutin (Haldimand Norfolk Housing Corporation).
Here at HSC, there have been a few developments. We said goodbye to Rachel Yang and Adwoa Afful. And in June, Lisa Oliveira was promoted to Program Manager, Strategic Asset Renewal Initiatives. In November, we welcomed Sheida Shoai to our Technical Services team as a Project Manager. Finally, HSC’s board member, Catherine Matheson, recently returned from her secondment at the North-East LHIN to her position as the City of Greater Sudbury’s General Manager of Community Development.