Report to/Rapport au :


The Shareholder of the Ottawa Community Housing Corporation/

Actionnaire de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa


24 June2009/le 24 juin 2009


Submitted by/Soumis par :


Councillor Diane Holmes, Chair, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation Conseillère Diane Holmes, Présidente  du conseil d’administration de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa


and / et


Jo-Anne Poirier, Chief Executive Officer, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation/présidente-directrice générale de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa




                             Ref N°:ACS2009-OCH-0002











That Council approve:


1.         That the 2008-2009 Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) Annual Report be received.


2.         That the Audited Financial Statements of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) for the year 2008 be received (Attachment 1).


3.         That the Update re: the 2008-2011 Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) Strategic Plan be received.


4.         That Ernst and Young be appointed as the Auditors of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) for the year 2009.


5.         That Mr. Jay Zakaib’s resignation letter effective May 14, 2009 be received (Attachment 1 A).


6.         That the Mayor and the City Clerk be authorized to sign a written resolution on behalf of the City of Ottawa as Shareholder of OCHC setting out the resolutions approved by City Council.




Que le Conseil approuve :


1.         Que soit reçu le rapport annuel de 2008-2009 de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa (SLCO);


2.         Que soient reçus les états financiers vérifiés de 2008 de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa (SLCO) (Pièce jointe 1);


3.         Que soit reçue la mise à jour de 2008-2011 du plan stratégique de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa (SLCO);


4.         Que la société Ernst and Young soit désignée vérificatrice de la Société de logement communautaire d’Ottawa (SLCO) pour l’année 2009;


5.         Que soit reçue la lettre de démission de M. Jay Zakaib qui a pris effet le 14 mai 2009 (Pièce jointe 1 A);


6.         Que le maire et le greffier municipal soient autorisés à signer, au nom de la Ville d’Ottawa à titre d’actionnaire de la SLCO, une résolution écrite énonçant les résolutions approuvées par le Conseil municipal.








Recommendation 1 (Re: 2008-2009 Annual Report)


2008-2009 has been a period of considerable achievements for Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC).


OCHC has continued to invest significantly in time and resources to build upon the five pillars for developing “Healthy Communities”.  The five pillars include:


·                    Building and maintaining adequate, appropriate housing stock

·                    Ensuring safety and security

·                    Fostering tenant engagement and commitment

·                    Nurturing community partnerships

·                    Enhancing organizational capacity and effectiveness


This year’s Annual Report highlights achievements related to providing the best possible service to all OCHC tenants, in a revised user-friendly format.


Recommendation 2 (Re: 2008 Audited Financial Statements)


In accordance with section 11.01 of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation By-Law No. 6, OCHC is required to present its audited financial statements for information to its Shareholder.  The 2008 audited financial statements were approved by the OCHC Board of Directors at its meeting of May 14th, 2009.  The firm of Ernst and Young are OCHC’s auditors.  Ms. Deanna Monaghan of Ernst and Young attended the April 23rd, 2009 Finance and Audit Committee meeting to respond to questions and comments.  Ms. Monaghan confirmed to the Finance and Audit Committee that Ernst and Young is independent of OCHC and that the report represented an “unqualified” opinion on the Corporation’s financial statements for the year ending December 31st, 2008. She further stated that Ernst & Young had received a high level of cooperation from staff in carrying out the audit and that significant improvements had been made by OCH in its financial practices during 2008.


The 2008 OCHC audited financial statements are appended to this report as Attachment 1.


Recommendation 3 (Re: Strategic Plan Update)


A new Strategic Plan (2008-2011) was completed and approved by the Board in 2008. This Strategic Plan was circulated to City Council for their information.  The key initiatives continue to be aligned with the direction provided by the Shareholder, responding to concerns related to maintenance standards, community safety and security, and the provision of healthy communities.


The following sections describe the progress made in the key areas identified within the Strategic Plan.


a.      Improve Maintenance and Utilization of Existing Housing 


The Building Condition Assessment Study (BCA) was completed in the fall 2008. It provided OCH with a comprehensive assessment of the entire housing portfolio. Housing units, mechanical systems, building exteriors, and roofs were inspected.


The combination of deferred maintenance and other required repairs total $350 million in the next five years, with an average capital program of $30-35 million for subsequent years.


Upon review of the BCA, a five year Capital Plan was prepared. This identified specific plans for each of the one hundred and sixty-two OCH communities. This five year Capital Plan was approved by the Board in March 2009.


In 2006, the OCH Call Centre was implemented on a 24/7 basis in order to respond more effectively to tenant requests for both routine and emergency maintenance services.  The Call Centre also dispatches Community Safety Services and alarm system monitoring. A review of the Call Centre was undertaken in early 2008 and many changes have been made to improve and enhance services to our tenants, including the recruitment of a new Manager, Call Centre, specialized in Call Centre management. During 2008, an interim emergency response plan was developed including comprehensive training for all OCH staff. This will assist the organization in dealing with emergency situations. It is anticipated that a comprehensive emergency response plan will be completed in 2009, including compliance with all relevant legislation.


An enhanced maintenance scheduling system has been implemented to provide more efficient and effective maintenance services. A review of this process will be undertaken to enhance its effectiveness.


Collaborative efforts continued between senior staff from OCH and the City which resulted in the development of a new sustainable funding model for the Corporation, specifically for the Public Housing Program and the Municipal Non-Profit program. By early 2009, an Operating Agreement was approved by both the OCH Board of Directors and City Council.


b.      Develop New Housing Stock


Although there continues to be a well-documented demand for additional affordable housing in the City of Ottawa, all financial resources of the Corporation have been required to address the requirements of the existing portfolio.  As a result, the Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF), established by OCH to address new housing has been completely depleted.  The operating surplus generated by the Equity Program that has been the source of funding for the CRF continues to be required to fund capital works in the housing stock contained in the Equity Program.


OCH has not abandoned an interest in the development of new affordable housing.  As the Building Condition Assessment study is implemented, site renewal and redevelopment opportunities will be explored.


c.         Development of Safe and Caring Communities


The Safer Communities Program, implemented in 2006, has continued to provide a visible staff presence in OCH communities, working closely with the Ottawa Police Services and other community partners.


OCH has received very positive feedback from tenants about the assistance provided by the Community Safety Officers, which has encouraged further tenant engagement through initiatives such as Neighbourhood Watch and the emerging OCH Healthy Communities Initiative.


Through the organizational renewal exercise, all tenant services including Community Safety staff will be integrated within one Tenant Services Department. This will ensure seamless service delivery to all tenants.


OCH is also participating in the City’s Community Development Framework in order to leverage joint resources and to work collaboratively with City staff and community partners.


d.      Increase Tenant Involvement/Empowerment


In 2007, the Shareholder approved an enhanced governance structure to align Tenant Associations, District-Based Committees and the Board of Directors.  This resulted in an elected Tenant representative sitting directly on the Board of Directors as a full voting member of the Board.  This tenant representative is the Chair of the Tenant Advisory Group, comprised of eight members who are also part of a District-Based Committee structure.  The District-Based Committees bring together tenant leaders from across OCH communities, including approximately sixty-one Tenant Associations.


In the fall of 2008, a Tenant Forum was held to promote dialogue between tenants and staff and for tenants to participate in workshops to promote leadership capacity and continuous learning.  This Tenant Forum also included tenant volunteer recognition.


Efforts are continuing to involve tenants, OCH staff, and community partners in the Healthy Communities Initiative. In 2008, this approach was piloted at two OCH communities. This approach has been very successful and is being implemented in eight OCH communities in 2009.


e.      Enhance relationship with the Shareholder and the Community-at-Large


Members of City Council continue to express their support and commitment to all tenants housed in Ottawa Community Housing. There are four City Councillors who sit on the OCH Board as well as the Mayor as an Ex-Officio member.


Senior OCH staff worked collaboratively with City staff to develop an Operating Agreement in 2008. This agreement was approved by both the OCH Board and City Council in early 2009.


Community partnerships continue with Ottawa Police, Ottawa Fire Services, and Ottawa By-Law Services to sustain safe and healthy communities. A Safety Working Group has been created to address safety issues in a collaborative and coordinated manner.


f.         Organizational Development


An overall organizational renewal exercise was undertaken in mid 2008. This included a review of Technical Services, undertaken by the Auditor General.


The organizational renewal exercise includes a two year funding and implementation plan, a restructured organization, and additional resources in a few key areas. Efforts will be made to reengineer several business processes. This plan was approved by the Board in December 2008.


Under the direction of the CEO, five business areas have been created with a view to focus on client services and asset management:


·Asset Management;

·Tenant Services;

·Community Development;

·Corporate Services; and

·Organizational Effectiveness.






Recommendation 4 (Re:  Appointment of Auditors)


Part XII subsection 149 (1) of the Business Corporation’s Act, states as follows:


“ The Shareholders of a Corporation at their first annual or special meeting shall appoint one or more auditors to hold office until the close of the first or next annual meeting, as the case may be, and, if the shareholders fail to do so, the directors shall forthwith make such appointment or appointments”.


Given that Ernst & Young are providing satisfactory service, and they are familiar with the operation of the Corporation, and given that they are auditors for the City of Ottawa, OCHC recommends that the Shareholder approve Ernst & Young as the auditors for OCHC, for the year 2009.


Recommendation 5 (Re: Resignation of Director)


Mr. Jay Zakaib was appointed as a Director on July 12, 2005. Due to work commitments, he has tendered his resignation effective May 14, 2009. (See Attachment 1A) The Board and CEO are proceeding to fill this vacant position within the next few months.


Recommendation 6 (Signing Authority of Mayor and City Clerk)


That the Mayor and the City Clerk be authorized to sign a written resolution on behalf of the City of Ottawa as Shareholder of OCHC setting out the resolutions approved by City Council.




2008 – 2009 Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) Annual Report, issued separately and held on file with the City Clerk.


Attachment 1 Audited Financial Statements of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) for the year 2008.


Attachment 1A Resignation letter of Mr. Jay Zakaib.