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HSC Happenings: September 2017

september 2017 newsletter

September 2017:

  • Survey on HSC: The Ministry of Housing is currently conducting a survey on HSC. Read about why it’s happening and our next steps.
  • Asset Management Nirvana: Introducing a model for thinking about the way we manage and operate housing.
  • Energy Services: Who’s got the best performing building in Ontario? Read highlights from our July 2017 Energy Matters newsletter and learn about the results of our 2018 gas program renewals.
  • Insurance & Risk Management: Find out about the group premium for the upcoming year. Learn some interesting facts about how the power of the group protects providers and residents.   
  • Asset Management & Renewal: Read an update on our new Asset Management and Support Services. Learn about AssetPlanner, a web-based software tool that helps you better understand the physical condition of your buildings. Download presentations from our last two SHARE events.
  • Information & Technology Services: An update on HSC InSite.
  • Community & Business Partnerships: HSC is helping Housing Partnership Canada on two research projects that will shed insight into how we can strengthen our sector.
  • @HSC: Where we’ve been over the past few months and comings and goings at HSC and in the sector.

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Survey on HSC’s Mandates

In early September, the Ministry of Housing issued a survey about HSC’s mandates to Service Managers. The survey was also shared with key sector organizations. It focuses on assessing the value of our mandated services to Service Managers, local housing corporations and non-profit housing providers. Its results will feed into the update to the Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy.

We look forward to hearing the feedback. In recent years we’ve focused on improving the value and competitiveness of our core programs; maintaining their affordability and accessibility to providers with fewer service choices; and developing new services that respond to key sector needs. The survey results will confirm whether we are on the right track. It will also play a critical role in our future direction and the services we will be able to offer.

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Asset Management Nirvana

Earlier this year, I came across the ‘triangle’ diagram to the right (click on it using your mouse to enlarge). I like to call it Asset Management Nirvana. It resonated with me because it shows why a long and wide, data-driven field of vision is necessary: if you don’t have one, your ability to supply safe and affordable housing effectively and in a financially sustainable way is severely hampered. It shows us a process and the path towards a sustainable model of managing housing or operating a portfolio.

In this model, well-tuned business practices and data collection at one level, enables the analysis you need to make decisions at the next level. Functioning effectively at these different levels enables your organization to shift from being reactive and vulnerable to proactive, strategic and resilient.

In my experience, lenders won’t allow you to leverage the equity in properties without a mountain of data that confirms the security of their investment. Making your way to the top of this pyramid isn’t easy. It requires a shift in mindset. It requires changes in how we do things. It requires a commitment to self-sufficiency. But in the end, I believe it will enable us to house more people better.

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Energy Services Update

2018 Gas Renewal

Gas renewals for 2018 are complete. This year we secured rates that were 12% lower than last year – and continued to reduce our administration fee. We were also pleased to offer our clients five purchasing options – more than ever before..

Notably, providers in our program are shifting from shorter 1-year contracts to longer-term three and five year terms – with more than half of our clients currently in longer contracts.


Energy Matters newsletter

Our last Energy Matters newsletter went out in June. If you don’t subscribe to this publication, you may be interested in our stories on:

The next issue will be coming out shortly.

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

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Insurance & Risk Management Update

Group Program Renewals

Interesting Facts about the HSC Group Program:

  • 162K units insured by HSC, 600+ providers
  • $23B in assets insured (increases by 2% each year)
  • $17M claimed by providers since 2015
  • 129 providers benefit from HSC’s guaranteed coverage despite their challenging claims history
  • 12K residents covered by HSC’s low-cost tenant insurance
  • $1.53M paid out in tenant insurance claims since 2015

In a few days providers in our insurance program will be getting their insurance renewal documents for 2018.

I’m pleased to say that we’ve been able to keep the group premium stable. We’ve managed to keep the Property and Directors’ and Officers’ rates (which represent the bulk of the premium) the same as the past three years. Boiler and casualty rates decreased modestly.

We were able to accomplish this by demonstrating how providers and Service Managers work with HSC to manage risk – through educational sessions in risk management, claims reviews, contingency planning and controlling Directors’ and Officers liability and also through policies such as smoke-free buildings and mandatory tenant insurance.

This year, we will continue to offer premium financing for providers that would like to spread out their insurance payments. For more details, contact Brian Laur.


Managing Risky Business Newsletter

Our last newsletter went out in July. If you don’t subscribe to this publication, you may be interested in our stories on:

View the Q2/2017 issue of Managing Risky Business Subscribe to Managing Risky Business

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Asset Management & Renewal Update

New Asset Management Support Services

Over the past few months, we’ve been reaching out to Service Managers on this new HSC offering. In July our lead on this service, Doreen Khatchadourian, also delivered a SHARE webinar on one of its key drivers – Bill 6, the Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act, which requires social housing to be included in municipal asset management plans by 2021.

Response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s also enabled us to further tailor the service to meet varying needs, depending on where organizations require help and where the believe we can help them most.

Read more about HSC Asset Management Support Services:

Download the brochure Contact Doreen for more information

→Doreen will also be on hand at our ONPHA conference booth in November.



Did you know that the capital plans of 60,000+ units in Ontario are managed using AssetPlanner software from HSC?

AssetPlanner is a web-based software tool that helps Service Managers and housing providers better understand the physical condition of their buildings (and its components and systems) in the present moment and as they age. AssetPlanner can provide a solid foundation of information for decision-making about capital expenditures and strategic, long-term asset management. HSC has negotiated a discount on the software for Ontario’s social housing sector. In addition, we’ve tailored it to meet the needs of Ontario’s social housing sector by HSC – with customized training, user support and an active user group.

Read more about AssetPlanner:

Download the brochure Contact us for more information

→Interested in seeing what AssetPlanner can do? Visit our ONPHA conference booth in November to see a demonstration.



We have added presentations from two of our SHARE events earlier this year:

Stay tuned for details on upcoming SHARE events.


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Information Technology Services Update


HSC InSite

As of August, more than 8,000 units are being managed in the HSC InSite system.

When you purchase HSC InSite for your organization, you get more a typical software installation. We provide advice and best practices on housing operations and change management, while offering hands-on support to users during the transition from legacy systems and processes to InSite.

Planning on attending the ONPHA conference in Niagara Falls? Visit our booth to see if InSite is the right choice for your organization.


Find out more about InSite

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Community & Business Partnerships Update

Housing Partnership Canada

HSC is involved with the Housing Partnership Canada’s social housing transformation research that will examine the skillsets and core competencies needed in the non-profit housing sector to deliver and manage housing in the long-term. Preliminary findings from this study will be presented at the upcoming ONPHA conference.

We’re also conducting research on the application of social return on investment in social housing. This research will document practitioner-based examples from across Canada to better understand the evidence base and approaches for measuring the value of social housing.


Visit the Housing Partnership Canada website 

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@HSC Update

While our outreach work over the summer tends to slow down, our program administration and development continue as usual. This year, I’d like to single out our Executive Committee for their efforts this summer.

Since our last update, we’ve also started convening regular meetings with ONPHA and OMSSA to engage in collaborative discussions about policy, events and better coordination with the sector.

In June, we also issued our 2016 Annual Report, which is available on our website. Finally since our last update, we continued our hands-on work with the sector with:

CEO Meetings & Presentations

  • CEO meetings with staff at the City of Cornwall, Prescott-Russell, Grey County, Cochrane DSSAB, Kenora DSSAB, Sault Ste. Marie, Peel Region, Timiskaming, City of London and Peel Region; participation in meetings of HSC’s Service Manager Advisory Committee, the Encasa Board, CHF Canada AGM and the National Housing Collaborative
Energy Services

  • Energy Services meetings with Toronto Hydro and Toronto Community Housing; Independent Electricity System Operator Mid-Term Review Advisory Group
  • Community Champion workshops in Thunder Bay, Toronto, Orillia, Sault Ste. Marie, Hamilton and Dufferin County
Insurance & Risk Management

  • Meetings with underwriters
  • 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
  • EOA training and meetings in Dryden, Fort Frances, Cornwall; overview of HSC Asset Management services to Central East Service Managers, City of Kawartha Lakes
  • Participation in NOSDA AGM in North Bay and delivery of joint NOSDA-HSC SHARE event; attendance of OMSSA Leadership Symposium; OMSSA Housing Forum
  • Meeting with Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Kingston & Frontenac Housing on the impacts of cannabis legalization to housing operations 

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

Recent Photos:

September 2017 CEO Update

Comings & Goings

Finally, some sector welcomes and goodbyes. At ONPHA, I’d like to welcome Marlene Coffey as Executive Director and thank Sylvia Paterson and Sharad Kerur for their years of service to the sector. At Toronto Community Housing, I’d like to welcome Kathy Milsom as CEO and say goodbye to Bud Purves, who has stepped down as Board Chair. We also have two new DSSAB Housing Directors in the North: Micheal Miller at Cochrane DSSAB and France Schellekens at Algoma DSSAB. Over in Western Canada, I’d like to congratulate Kim O’Brien, a member of Housing Partnership Canada and a speaker at our last Regeneration Conference, who is taking on a new role as President and CEO with United Active Living in Calgary. At CHRA, I’d like to welcome to Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Dominika Krzeminska, and Manager of Policy and Research, Stéfanie-Madeline Leduc. Last but not least, I’d like to welcome our new Housing Minister, Peter Milczyn. I look forward to working with all of our new sector colleagues to find ways to house people better and improve our housing system.

Here at HSC, we said goodbye to David Storie, see you later to Helen Hassard (on maternity leave) and welcome to Simone Ramtahal, our new Client Relations Administrator. I’d also like to congratulate Clinton Reid, who was re-elected to the CHF Canada’s Ontario Council and is now serving as Second Vice President. At the Board level, I would like to welcome Graeme Hussey (Development Manager, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation), who joined us in June.

Finally, I was deeply saddened to hear about Don McBain’s recent passing. Don served as Executive Director of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services for many years. The housing sector will miss him immensely – he was an effective advocate, a skilled strategist and a doer, finding ways to create key support services and develop new affordable housing all over the Province at a time when most struggled to do so.

In the past few years, I was fortunate to get to know Don personally. He helped me deepen my knowledge and awareness of aboriginal issues. We also shared ideas about the importance of building sector capacity, business acuity and scale – and he was a strong supporter of CIH Canada, Housing Partnership Canada and the sector bank initiative. I will miss the free-wheeling discussions we were able to have, his dry sense of humour and his pragmatic humanity. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and staff at OAHS.

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[view previous CEO Updates]


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One Life
Turn Me On
Glad You Came
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What Makes You Beautiful
The Motto
Wild Ones
Turn Up The Music
Middle Finger
Sorry For Party Rocking
Is Anybody Out There?
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