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Posted by on Dec 2018 in All Stories, Features, News Updates, Sector voices, Slider, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Our 2018 Photo Album

We’re about to finish off a significant year for ONPHA and the sector. In 2018, ONPHA turned 30! With a National Housing Strategy rolling out, new doors of opportunity opening, and a spotlight on affordable housing, what a perfect time to celebrate this milestone.

Back in 1988 when we first formed, there really wasn’t a community housing sector to speak of. Non-profit housing providers were scattered all across Ontario. It was ONPHA who mobilized them, brought their voices together and created an advocacy movement that continues today. This year we celebrated how far we’ve come together, and turned our gaze to the future.

2018 was a year marked by our commitment to modernize. We’re taking steps to ensure that as your sector association, we’re ready lead into the next 30 years.

This year ONPHA made significant strides to deliver the value members want and need in this new era of community housing. And there is more to come in 2019. We’ve been listening to members and laying the groundwork, and we’re excited to roll out changes that will mean more value, more choices, and a strong ONPHA.

As we get ready to welcome in the New Year, join us in reflecting on the exciting (and busy!) year we’ve had together by browsing through ONPHA’s 2018 photo album.

To all of our members, thank you for being a part of our 30-year history and continuing to grow with us as we build the future we want to see. Here’s to the next 30!


Establishing a Shared Line of Sight

Our sector is changing. To build the future we want to see, we need a united vision and a plan. ONPHA’s new Signature Leadership Series brought together members and sector leaders to explore the current trends and drivers in community housing, elevate our collective voice and look to the future. This year we hosted three events including a full-day consultation with the Ministry of Housing.


Meeting Members in their Backyards

We hit the road in the spring and traveled to 14 communities across Ontario for a full-day of learning and conversation. This year, more than 600 members joined us at Regional Meetings. There was a lot to discuss, including the National Housing Strategy, sector modernization, provincial election advocacy and more.



A Data-Driven Approach to Advocacy 

ONPHA teamed up with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and other partners to deliver the updated 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index – a first-of-its-kind database examining rental housing affordability across Canada. The Index provides a solid, data-driven foundation for policy-making decisions at all levels of government. It is a critical advocacy tool that we are continuing to develop and harness. A press conference was held for the launch at the YWCA in Toronto.



Championing Solutions: Our 10-Year Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario 

On the heels of the release of the Rental Housing Index, ONPHA and CHF Canada offered up our solutions to the housing crisis with the launch of our fully-costed Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario. The plan lays out four key targets that we as a sector are working towards over the next decade. The press release for the Plan was held at Windmill Line Co-op in Toronto.



Vote for Housing!

2018 was a provincial election year, and together we spread the word that community housing is Ontario’s best investment. Our key election messages and hashtag #Vote4Housing had a reach close to 66,000! We also ran a postcard campaign where people all across Ontario told us why they are voting in support of affordable housing. Even Steve Clark, now the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, got in on the action (see him showing off his #Vote4Housing card below)!

Vote 4 Housing


Revamping ONPHA’s Best Deals Program

We consulted with members this year and committed to revamping our Best Deals group purchasing program to bring on new partners and deliver more value to members of all sizes. In August, we welcomed Tarun George as the Manager of Strategic Partnerships, to lead the program. Tarun is an experienced business development person who has worked in the innovation space and specifically focuses on partnership-building.


A Busy Year for Announcements!

Important policy updates and announcements were around every corner this year. ONPHA attended several, including a National Housing Strategy announcement where we connected with The Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development for the Government of Canada.



Getting Development-Ready!

ONPHA’s Affordable Housing Plan for Ontario calls for 69,000 new units over the next 10 years. That means we need to get building! We launched our new course Ready, Set, (Re)Build to help members get ready to take on the development process from start to finish. The course is now available online.



Diving Deep into Housing Topics

Education Day is ONPHA’s pre-conference event where members dive deep into essential and hot topics in the sector. This year we tackled everything from governance, to housing and human rights, to supporting vulnerable tenants.

Education Day


Voicing Our Priorities

Throughout the year ONPHA ensures members’ concerns and priorities are top-of-mind at decision-making tables by meeting with government leaders and writing formal submissions. This year, our efforts included a breakfast meeting with The Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.



Championing Indigenous Housing Strategies

In the fall we hosted a full-day Ontario Indigenous Housing Provider Gathering, led by ONPHA’s Urban Aboriginal Housing Advisory Committee (UAHAC). Over 50 people attended, including representatives from the government and provincial and national sector organizations, as well as Indigenous non-profit and co-op housing providers. Delegates discussed shared challenges and next steps that ONPHA and the UAHAC can take to advocate to politicians.

Indigenous Gathering


Opportunity is Unlocked!

Over 1,100 delegates joined us in Toronto at the 2018 ONPHA Conference and Trade Show for a weekend of learning, celebration and collaboration. This year’s theme – Opportunity Unlocked – spoke to the historic year we had with the roll-out of Canada’s first National Housing Strategy, and helped to frame discussions around how we as a sector can leverage this moment to build the future we want to see.




Recognizing Sector Excellence

Our members’ work has the power to change lives and build the foundation of healthy communities – and that’s something worth celebrating! In 2018, we recognized the achievements of outstanding teams and individuals that contribute to the vibrancy of the sector through our ONPHA Awards program.



Stronger Together: Working with our Partners

ONPHA regularly meets with partners across the sector to share what’s working, what isn’t, and to plan for the future. One of the events we attended with our partners this year was Co-op day at Queens Park. This was as a time to talk about how we can work together to make affordable housing a priority in Ontario. We also attended the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Housing on the Hill in Ottawa, where we met with members of Parliament, heard from leading policy experts on housing issues, and networked with national housing decision-makers.

Working Together


Celebrating National Housing Day

The Government of Canada marked National Housing Day 2018 with an announcement at Regent Park. According to their update, the federal government has invested more than $5.7 billion in affordable housing across Canada since 2016. ONPHA was there to connect with The Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.


Sharing 5 Big Ideas for Housing Now

In honour of National Housing Week, ONPHA teamed up with our friends at the Wellesley Institute, CHF Canada, and Evergreen Canada to bring together five housing experts to share their number one idea for what government can do right now to help solve our affordable housing crisis. We hosted a full house at the YMCA Central Toronto, with over 200 more joining us online through the Facebook live stream. ONPHA board member Lori-Anne Gagne, Executive Director of Victoria Park Community Homes, was one of the five panelists.

5 Ideas


Securing a Strong ONPHA

Members gave a resounding ‘yes!’ to ONPHA’s new membership fee structure, which was voted on at this year’s Annual General Meeting. The new structure means we will be set up to serve our membership better for decades to come.


Strike a Pose! Celebrating 30 Years Together

We celebrated our 30th anniversary in style at the 2018 ONPHA Gala.



Giving Back Over the Holidays: Building Houses for Houses!

ONPHA members are known for giving back in any way they can, and our staff team strives to do the same. This year we held a gingerbread making contest where all proceeds from the kits go towards housing people in need in the Dominican Republic. We also brought holiday cheer to Toronto seniors in need through an adopt-a-senior program.



To read more about what we accomplished together with our members in 2018, view our Annual Report online.

From all of us at ONPHA, we wish you a safe holiday season and a very happy New Year.


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