The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) annual conference brings together over 1,200 non-profit housing staff, board members and residents from across Ontario.
Over a dozen Toronto Community Housing staff members presented and moderated sessions at this year's ONPHA conference, and many more staff and residents attended. Michelle Haney-Kileeg, interim Vice President, Resident Services, was elected to the ONPHA board of directors.
"We've always been an innovative company," said Haney-Kileeg. "I'm looking forward to shining a bigger spotlight on our work while on the ONPHA board. For example, we are true leaders in community engagement and economic development - now we have the opportunity to showcase that work more broadly.
"I'm also excited to help us connect to an Ontario-wide network of housing providers who are facing many of the same challenges we face. They are developing innovative solutions that we can learn from."
On Saturday morning at 7 a.m., a pack of housing folks in running gear could be spotted in Regent Park. Hugh Lawson, Director of Strategic Planning and Stakeholder Relations organized a 5K running tour of the revitalization community, from the hotel where the conference was held to the new buildings in Regent Park. Almost everyone who participated was from outside Toronto and they really enjoyed getting a street-level view of the transformation of Regent Park.
Mary Boushel, Manager of Successful Tenancies, and Community Housing Supervisor Elvira Dos Santos's session on how to develop a hoarding action plan was very successful. One participant called Mary Boushel after the conference to tell her that their session had made the whole conference worthwhile.
"We had a good mix of participants," said Boushel. "Tenants from many different housing providers made great contributions to the conversation and offered practical solutions that housing providers can take back to their communities.
"For example, Linda C. talked about how she organizes tenant volunteers to help deal with pets. When a unit is being cleaned or treated for bed bugs, they might help take care of the pets, or help find homes for pets when someone has too many pets and needs to get rid of them."
Toronto Community Housing's 2012 presenters and moderators:
- President and CEO Gene Jones discussed a new vision for social housing on a panel with ONPHA President Sylvia Patterson
- Tom Burr, Director, Regent Park and Philip Jeung, Director, Smart Buildings and Energy Management led a tour of Regent Park
- Mary Boushel, Manager of Successful Tenancies, and Community Housing Supervisor Elvira Dos Santos presented on developing a hoarding action plan
- Corinne De Almeida, Manager of Corporate Communications, presented a session on communicating with residents
- Solutions Architect Suman Pushparajah presented on technology tools for a mobile workforce
- Richard Grotsch, Manager of Integrated Pest Management, hosted a half-day learning session on bed bugs and presented on integrated pest management
- Chief Development Officer Greg Spearn moderated a session on financing options for affordable housing
- Director, Human Resources Anand Maharaj moderated a session on human resources and staff retention
- Hugh Lawson, Director of Strategic Planning and Stakeholder Relations, led a 5k run around Regent Park
- Michelle Wong, General Counsel, moderated a session on The Not for Profit Corporations Act
- Interim Vice President, Resident Services Michelle Haney-Kileeg moderated a session on human rights case studies