Federal election results and affordable housing

Liberal winners have many promises to keep

By Erica Butler
Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation
The Liberal party won a majority in the Monday 19 October federal elections. In their platform, they promised to develop a national housing strategy, renew federal leadership in affordable housing, help build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-operative agreements, and provide operational funding support for municipalities. Achieving these commitments will have a great impact on the wellbeing of our neighbourhoods.

2000 Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) tenants live in the riding of Ottawa Centre. So we’re quite proud that Ottawa Centre had the highest voter turnout in the country, with 82% of eligible voters casting their vote on Monday October 19. Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna defeated NDP incumbent Paul Dewar. We’d like to thank (former CCOC tenant) Paul Dewar for his strong voice in support of affordable housing. We’re very heartened that Catherine McKenna’s first comments were about the importance of affordable housing and her making it a priority during her term.

448 CCOC tenants live in Ottawa-Vanier. Liberal Mauril Bélanger has been a champion for affordable housing, especially co-operatives, since he was first elected in 1995. CCOC’s sister co-op, the Centretown Citizens Housing Cooperative at 240 Presland, is located in this riding.

100 CCOC tenants live in the new riding of Ottawa West-Nepean, won by Liberal Anita Vandenbeld. Welcome, Anita!

Delegates gather in Toronto for ONPHA conference

Housing sector's largest meeting of its kind in Canada

The October 16-18 Ontario Non Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) Conference and Trade Show, is the largest assembly of its kind in Canada. It is the housing sector’s premier event, drawing affordable housing landlords, policy makers, tenants, community partners, and representatives of municipal and provincial government. The 2015 conference drew 1,152 delegates from Ontario and beyond.

This year’s theme, Beyond the Blueprint, was geared to introducing new information and ideas into the affordable housing conversation. The message was clear: our sector, our communities and our province have changed — we cannot afford to miss the opportunities that are ahead of us. The weekend kicked off with a rousing call to action from keynote speaker, Bob Rae, who stated that housing is a public right, and that all levels of government need to be at the table to deal with the issue of affordable housing.0

At this year’s conference and on Education Day, delegates had the opportunity to learn from some of the sector’s most innovative and knowledgeable experts during more than 70 sessions ranging from “Surviving and thriving in a post-EOA era” to “Weathering winter liability.” No matter what the level of knowledge, expertise, or experience, there was something for everything at Beyond the Blueprint.

Throughout the event, delegates found excellent opportunities to network with like-minded individuals from across the province. From tours of local housing programs to a documentary film night, from the banquet reception, to the bustling trade show, ONPHA’s annual conference provided an important meeting place for the sharing of ideas, experiences, contacts and solutions.
Beyond the Blueprint also played host to a number of award announcements that celebrated excellence across the non-profit housing sector.

ONPHA looks forward to bringing the housing sector together again for its 2016 conference and trade show from November 4-6 in Toronto!

The Ontario Non Profit Housing Association is the voice of non-profit housing in Ontario. Since 1988 ONPHA has been an independent, member-funded and member directed association, providing the non-profit housing sector with education, policy and research, management advice, networking, advocacy and bulk procurement opportunities. ONPHA works closely with all levels of government to promote sustainable, community-based affordable housing across Ontario. ONPHA members provide homes to more than 400,000.

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) has been a strong ONPHA supporter since the very beginning. CCOC recognizes the value of having a strong sector association with the staff resources, expertise and mandate to advocate for affordable housing and to promote best practices in housing management and working with tenants. CCOC knows that it can call for support if it has questions, and it is often involved in lending our voice on housing policy issues through committees and working groups.

CCOC finds great value in training for our staff and volunteers through webinars and courses offered online and in person. Each year it sends a group of board and committee members to ONPHA’s three-day conference – the main governance training platform and a great way for new volunteers to learn from presenters and meet about 1,000 “housers” from across the province.

Meg McCallum
New President of ONPHA

Over the years, several CCOC staff and volunteers have been elected to serve on ONPHA’s Board of Directors, including Derek Ballantyne, Debbie Barton, Ray Sullivan, Rod Manchee, Catherine Boucher, Nick Falvo and Meg McCallum. Meg McCallum, CCOC's Manager of Membership and Communications, was elected President of ONPHA at the October 16-18 2015 annual conference

CCOC is happy to support such an important organization in the non-profit housing sector. It looks forward to continuing its loud and proud leadership for affordable housing!

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation <membership@ccochousing.org>

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