Celebrating non-profit housing success: Award and scholarship winners announced at 2016 ONPHA Conference
Each year, ONPHA celebrates and showcases the organizations and individuals across Ontario’s non-profit housing sector who are making a difference in their communities. From innovative and dedicated housing providers, to passionate and committed leaders, engaged tenants, and some of our sector’s longest-standing professionals, our recipients’ work has helped to build strong, vibrant communities. Here’s who we recognized with awards and scholarships at the 2016 ONPHA Conference and Trade Show.
Wigwamen Incorporated, Ontario’s oldest and largest urban aboriginal non-profit housing provider, received the 2016 Award for Excellence. The Awards Committee was impressed with Wigwamen’s consistent commitment to tenant support and engagement, high-quality housing, and expanding affordable housing options for the urban aboriginal community.
The ONPHA Innovation Award, which recognizes housing providers who have developed a creative or unique response to a community challenge, went to Housing York, for their collaborative efforts to develop the Richmond Hill Hub – a shining example of the mixed-use, community hub model in affordable housing.
Debbie Barton, the Rental Department Manager at Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) was recognized with the Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award. Debbie’s collaborative leadership within Ottawa’s housing sector helped create both the Ottawa Social Housing Registry and the Ottawa Social Housing Network, and she is known across the sector for her sense of social justice and her ‘big-picture’ approach.
Of course, tenants are at the centre of our members’ vibrant communities, which is why ONPHA makes a point of recognizing those tenants who go above and beyond to give back to their communities. This year, City Housing Hamilton’s Lisa Burton, Ecuhome’s Robert Huff, Wawil Villa Turtle Creek Manor’s Rhea Ryckman and Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s ReSet Local Design Teams were all honoured with ONPHA’s Tenant Achievement Award.
Each year, ONPHA honours our sector’s longest-standing professionals, who are retiring after 20 or more years of service. This year, we presented Lifetime of Service Awards to Ron Alltree, Linda Bertrand, Christine Brutin, Jane Edwards, Lee Farnworth, Sandra Hutts, Charles Laurin, Kevin McCann, Ledger McKellar, Brigitte Witkowski and the late Michelle Musgrave.
ONPHA also makes a point of giving back to non-profit housing communities, by awarding the Kathleen Blinkhorn Aboriginal Student Scholarship to five Aboriginal students living in non-profit housing in Ontario. In 2016, five dedicated students received the scholarship to support their studies: Jessica Caron, who is studying social work at Canadore College; Jordon Chilton, who is completing his business administration degree at Northern College; Ashly Derosier, who is pursuing a degree in social work at Lakehead University; Jessica Grabatin, who is studying social work at Niagara College; and Autumn Guarisco, a Ryerson University student who is focusing her studies on indigenous issues, social inequality and social justice.
All of ONPHA’s Awards and Scholarships are made possible by the support of our generous sponsors. This year, we want to extend a special thanks to Prentice, Yates and Clark Chartered Professional Accountants (Award for Excellence), Enbridge Gas Distribution (ONPHA Innovation Award and Tenant Achievement Award), Yardi Canada Ltd. (Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award), Morneau Shepell and Green Shield Canada (Lifetime of Service Award) for their sponsorship of the 2016 Awards program. We would also like to recognize Union Gas for their sponsorship of this year’s Kathleen Blinkhorn Aboriginal Student Scholarship.
Congratulations to our award winners
On behalf of ONPHA and our colleagues in the non-profit housing sector, we would like to congratulate all of our 2016 Awards winners. Your commitment inspires us to continue to advocate for a strong, vibrant affordable housing sector in Ontario.