Working together with tenants, partners and neighbourhoods
This past Thursday was the first official meeting of 2023 for the Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) Board of Directors and my first in the role as their new Chair. I joined the OCH Board of Directors in 2018 after I was first elected. Since that time, I have learned a lot about their operations, the portfolio of communities, as well as the new developments being built to help provide even more affordable housing across Ottawa. As the new chair I look forward to working with a great team of experts who dedicate every day to determining how they can do more for tenants, how they can repair more homes and faster, how they can build more housing to help fulfil the needs we have as a Council and as a city.
OCH is more than just a landlord. They are the second-largest housing provider in Ontario. They provide approximately 15,000 homes to about 32,000 tenants, including seniors, parents, children, couples, singles and persons with special needs, within many communities across the City of Ottawa. OCH house a diverse population of varying languages, ethnicity and cultures. They are also the largest social housing provider in Ottawa and manage two-thirds of the City’s social housing portfolio.
On January 20 OCH hosted a meet and greet session at City Hall with City Councillors where we heard from Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, Stephane Giguere CEO of OCH and several other members of the OCH leadership team. Each member explained the role that they play in the delivery of quality, affordable housing, and the importance of the partners and agencies that they collaborate with to develop safe and healthy communities. Part of the work they are doing involves, proactive ways they can work with all levels of government to ensure funding matches the need for OCH and more broadly for our city’s housing needs.
As board chair, I look forward to supporting the work OCH does and to working with my Councillor colleagues and city staff to ensure we are aligned with the work already happening, and with our Mayor to ensure our message to the two other levels of government are consistent. We must consider how we can use city lands to build more affordable housing. And we must look at how we can intensify existing neighbourhoods without changing their essential character.