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HSC Happenings: September 2019

September 2019:

  • SHARE: Learn about how community housing providers are building resiliency thorough collaboration at this one day event in Ottawa
  • Business Solutions: Gain insight into how we work and why we use examples to describe our services. Hear about projects that we’re currently working on
  • Energy Services: Over the summer we landed our gas rates for 2020 and beyond and offered transportation cost hedging for the very first time. Read about how our LHC clients did with us. Read articles from the latest Energy Matters 
  • Insurance & Risk Management: Our group insurance program renewals process is coming to a close. Read about what the state of the market and what to expect in terms of your premiums. Also read articles from the most recent issue of Managing Risky Business
  • Asset Management & Renewal: We landed a few new customers for AssetPlanner over the summer. Learn about who they are, what AssetPlanner is and how it helps 
  • Partnerships: The HPC Housing Investment Corporation is moving towards completing its second round. It’s also creating a construction loan program that encompasses redevelopment and regeneration projects. Also, read about one-stop shopping for investments from Encasa and recent changes at CIH Canada 
  • @HSC: Where we’ve been over the past few months and comings and goings at HSC and in the sector

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Listen, Learn and SHARE in Ottawa!

Home and Away: Tools for Collaboration from Canada and Australia
Thursday October 24, 2019, 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: Beaver Barracks, 464 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa
Registration: $140 plus HST

HSC is pleased to partner with Cahdco for a full-day event looking at tools to supercharge collaboration in the housing sector. Keynote speaker Carolyn Whitzman will share lessons learned, drawing on her experience leading a six-year community-government-university partnership in Melbourne Australia that focused on scaling up the quantity and quality of affordable housing. Greg Dewling, CEO of Capital Region Housing in Edmonton, will speak about the shared services his organization is offering other organizations, both for profit and non-profit, in Alberta, Ontario and the United States.The event will also highlight a range of exciting local innovations emerging in the Ottawa housing sector.

Consider attending this event if you are:

  • Exploring innovative new ways to collaborate with organizations in your local community
  • Interested in learning about housing approaches from across Canada and abroad
  • Seeking to network with other, like-minded housing professionals


Register Now   View Presentations from Previous SHARE Events   Subscribe to our SHARE mailing list


Business Solutions

What Are Business Solutions?

Often when we speak to people in the sector about HSC Business Solutions, our prospective clients ask to see a ‘menu of services.’ They want to know what they can order from our kitchen.

Due to the specific nature of the projects we do and the individual needs of our clients, it’s hard to speak generally about our services without encoded jargon (e.g. business transformation, business process automation, strategic planning). So when Judy comes with me to meetings with Service Managers, she doesn’t come with a canned presentation. Instead, she mostly listens to what they have to say about what keeps them up at night.

We have, however, found that concrete examples are helpful. Here are just a few of the things we are currently working on with Service Managers, sector organizations and housing providers across Ontario

  • Leading a board strategic planning process, from activity development and facilitation to report writing
  • In concert with service managers, working one-on-one with housing providers to help them plan for their future and to better understand the post –EOA/M world
  • Undertaking per provider viability reviews and looking at long term capital needs and ability to manage debt
  • Supporting eLearning initiatives by administering the platform, mounting content and advising on best practices
  • Conducting Housing and Homelessness Plan Updates
  • Undertaking capital management and funding assessments, and driving housing asset management planning
  • Enabling providers and Service Managers to realize their investments in technology with systems/business process training for staff, platform optimization and business process reviews

Our work, first and foremost, involves listening to our clients about their real problems, gaps or opportunities. It places its emphasis on helping people improve the impact of their organization – because systems, policies and plans are pointless without people who know how to drive them. It’s also based on the unique competencies of our team.  

Learn more about HSC Business Solutions     Email Us for More Information


Energy Services

Finalized Rates + Transportation Hedging = Incredible Value

Over the summer, HSC finalized its gas rates for 2020 and beyond for our Local Housing Corporation clientele. At just over 9¢, our final one-year rate is even better than what we expected.

In addition, LHCs enthusiastically responded to our options for fixed transportation costs. Transportation costs represents a significant portion of gas bills. Given that utility costs are the single largest operational expense for providers, clients will have opportunities to save even more under the HSC program.

Natural gas prices are increasingly more volatile due to global conflicts and climate change—HSC Energy Services insulates LHCs in these turbulent times by providing long term low cost rates. Participants in HSC’s program also get zero-cost value-adds not offered by anyone else, including our award-winning Community Champion and revamped Utility Management Programs.


Energy Matters newsletter

Check out our June 2019 issue of Energy Matters. Key highlights include:


Subscribe to the Energy Matters newsletter   Read previous issues of Energy Matters

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Insurance & Risk Management

Group Insurance Program: Renewals Are Underway

In his most recent issue of Managing Risky Business, Brian has written in some detail about our negotiations in early July and the state of the insurance market. A few things are worth recapping here:

  • Climate change is a global challenge that is uprooting the global insurance industry as insurers struggle with “once in a lifetime” catastrophes that now occur yearly
  • We are in the midst of a global hardening of the insurance market where insurers are looking for huge premium increases or even dropping out of high risk portfolios altogether  
  • We have an advantage due to the size and diversity of our program, our longstanding, direct relations with underwriters as well as our unique structure. But our program performance is far from perfect. Insurers took a big loss on us in the 2018 term
  • There will be modest premium increases and we will need to increase deductibles
  • To control future premiums, we will need to do more to drive better risk management. We will do this together to ensure providers with challenging claims histories receive the support they require


Download our Program Brochure    

Managing Risky Business newsletter

Check out our Summer 2019 issue of Managing Risky Business. Key highlights include:

Subscribe to Managing Risky Business   Read previous issues of Managing Risky Business


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Asset Management & Renewal

Improving Capital Planning with AssetPlanner

This Fall, Kenora District Services Board, Thunder Bay DSSAB, the City of Toronto and Mainstay Housing will start using AssetPlanner. Adding these groups will mean that a total of 34 organizations, managing more than 84,000 units will be using AssetPlanner.

AssetPlanner is a web-based capital planning tool that help clients better understand the physical condition of their buildings and to make informed decisions about capital expenditures. Service Managers have purchased it in order to better understand the state of housing in their area and make decisions at a portfolio-wide level. Housing providers with multi-building portfolios have bought it to support their asset management strategies. Like our Energy dashboard, AssetPlanner also gives HSC a view into the state of the asset and asset management trends across the Province due to the sample size it offers.

HSC is the master licensor of AssetPlanner for the housing sector.  Organizations that purchase AssetPlanner from HSC take advantage of the discount we’ve negotiated for Ontario’s social housing sector. In addition, they have access to:

  • Training and ongoing support by dedicated in-house staff who know housing provider and Service Manager business requirements
  • An AssetPlanner user group to share best practices, compare data across service areas, identify system issues and potential enhancements
  • Additional help from HSC experts in areas that affect asset planning and management, including Expiry of Operating Agreement planning, Technical Services and Asset Management Support Services


Find Out More about AssetPlanner    

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Sector Bank Moving Ahead with Second Round, Construction Financing Program

The HPC Housing Investment Corporation (HIC) has been moving quickly since the closing of its first round of financing in February. In August, CMHC officially announced their investment in HIC. Media coverage was positive, with reports appearing in the Globe & Mail, the Star, the National Post, CTV and more.

HIC is aiming to close a second round of “take-out” financing at the end of this year. Take-out financing typically replaces a previous loan (e.g. a construction loan), which often have a shorter term and a higher interest rate. Even though the expected total dollar value is small, lenders now see that HIC works and are gaining greater confidence in it.

In addition, HIC is working on a construction loan program, which it’s aiming to have available for the third round of financing in 2020. Non-profits and co-ops may be eligible to apply for financing for existing properties under the heading of “redevelopment” or “regeneration,” once HIC’s new construction program is in place in Round 3. Projects eligible for financing may include:

  • Redevelopment and regeneration: This type of financing could support the addition of new units as well as renovations, capital repairs and replacements that increase energy efficiency and extend the remaining economic life of the property.
  • Acquisition and conversion of existing marketing housing

For more information about HIC, contact HIC’s Chief Underwriter, Joshua Broadhead at 778-452-6488 by clicking the button below


Visit the HIC website   Contact Joshua Broadhead


Social Housing Investment Program: One-Stop Investment Help and Advice Now Available!

Back in January, I mentioned the changes that were underway at Encasa to improve customer service to providers in the Social Housing Investment Program. Today I’m pleased to report that Encasa staff are offering housing providers investment advice, responding to inquiries and assisting with transactions directly – without an intermediary. This means that you’ll be dealing with investment experts in an organization committed to the interests of community housing and the strategic goals of capital asset management. I know that the first part of this transition involved a lot of paperwork on your part, so I’d like to thank providers in the program for their patience and hope you will experience the improvements for yourself.

At the end of June 30, 2019, the Social Housing Investment Funds remain in a positive position, with Assets Under Management growth of 4.4% (15-year annualized growth).

Interested in speaking to someone about your investments? Representatives from Encasa will be at the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) conference tradeshow in Toronto on November 1 (booth #233). You can also contact John Osmond, Manager, Client Services, at 1.888.791.6671 x.237 or by emailing 

Learn more about the Funds   Read Encasa’s April 2019 Market Commentary


CIH Canada Update

HSC brought the Chartered Institute of Housing to Canada in 2013 after a comprehensive study. In early July, the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Canada concluded its incubation at HSC after finalizing a series of operational and governance changes. HSC has transitioned out of its role as principal shareholder host and administrator and CIH Canada’s Executive Committee is now overseeing its strategic direction and business plan. 

As a result, there are a few changes you should know about if you are a member or interested in contacting CIH Canada about its learning programs or membership. Questions on programs and membership will continue to be directed to Courses will continue to be administered by the CIH Housing Academy and membership services remain the same. However, the people you will be hearing back from will no longer be the same:

  • Lynn Burgess is now CIH Canada’s General Manager, taking over from Lisa Kotsopoulos, who has returned to HSC Business Solutions full-time as Manager of Organizational Development and Business Improvement

  • CIH UK is now the sole shareholder of CIH Canada

  • The CIH Canada office is now located at:

2-555 Hall Avenue East
Renfrew, Ontario K7V 4M7
Phone: 613-432-9491

We are thrilled that CIH Canada is moving on to its next phase as a member-led organization and are gratified to have played a role in its initial establishment in Canada!

Visit the CIH Canada Website    

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

CEO Meetings & Presentations
  • Continuing my one-on-one visits with Service Manager staff at Lambton, Huron, Bruce and Grey counties and the City of Hamilton
  • Meetings with the HSC, HSC Insurance, Housing Investment Corporation and Encasa boards; insurance underwriters; Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing
  • Presentations at all-Service Manager meeting hosted by HSC in Toronto
  • Attendance at meetings of HSC’s Service Manager Advisory Committee, the Local Housing Corporation Practitioners’ Forum; Stakeholder Advisory Group; Housing Partnership Canada members
Energy Services
  • Attendance at IESO Energy Assistance Programming Working Group meeting
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group meeting
Insurance & Risk Management
  • Insurance claims work with providers in Toronto, Timmins, Hamilton, Ottawa
  • Risk management session with providers in Hamilton
Asset Management & Renewal
  • Ongoing Technical Services project meetings with providers in Toronto, Bruce, Kawartha Lakes
  • Capital planning meetings with Muskoka
  • Asset Planner training in Manitoulin Sudbury
Business Solutions
  • EOA training for housing providers in York Region, Thunder Bay, Rainy River
  • Presentation at Central-East Service Managers’ Meeting
  • Presentations to County of Haliburton Council on City of Kawartha Lakes’ Housing Master Plan and Asset Management Plan
  • Meeting with the City of Kawartha Lakes on strategic planning
  • Hands-on training and support of HSC InSite clients in Toronto, London, York and Peel Regions

If you have a project where you think HSC might be able to help, contact me.


Recent Photos:

September 2019 CEO Update


Comings & Goings

Since my last update, we’ve seen some changes in the sector. We say goodbye to Janet Hope, who is leaving her post of almost 10 years as Assistant Deputy Minister, Housing Division, Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing to become an Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Long-Term Care. Congratulations to Patrick Wittmann who is taking over as Manager of Capital Planning and Asset Management (Housing Operations) at the City of Greater Sudbury from Richard Munn, who is retiring this Fall. Welcome to Brian Kreps who became Hamilton’s Social Housing Program Manager in May. And congratulations to Brian Rosborough who was recently promoted to Executive Director of AMO. 

We’ve also seen a bit of movement between Service Managers. Stella Danos-Papacontantinou moves from Director of Community Access for Peel Region to Commissioner of Social Services at Durham Region. Ryan Pettipiere has moved from the County of Wellington to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo as Director of Housing. We also say congratulations to HSC Board member, Sheldon Laidman, who moves from Director of Housing Services at the City of Kingston to Commissioner of Community Services at the City of Peterborough.

At HSC, we also saw some changes. In July we said ‘see you later’ to Jennifer McMahon, HSC’s Energy and Technical Services Operations Manager, who went on maternity leave (it’s a boy)! In mid-September we welcomed Sid Ally who joined us as an Energy & Data Analyst. And in October we will be saying goodbye to Kimberley Kwong (Business Solutions) and Sheida Shoai (Technical Services) who are moving on to new opportunities.

We wish everyone success on their new transitions.


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[view previous CEO Updates]



Call Me Maybe
One Life
Turn Me On
Glad You Came
Rack City
Stand Behind The Music
Ninjas in Paris
What Makes You Beautiful
The Motto
Wild Ones
Turn Up The Music
Middle Finger
Sorry For Party Rocking
Is Anybody Out There?
Safe and Sound