Category: Co-op News

16 Nov 2018

Homestarts Seeking Member Service Coordinator

Homestarts is non-profit organization providing services to close to 100 housing co-operatives and non-profit housing organizations throughout Ontario. Their staffing team of close to 170 dedicated professionals work hard to deliver the management, maintenance, restoration and development services their clients need.

They are currently recruiting two Member Services Coordinators in Ottawa to work at one or more housing co-operatives in Ottawa . This is a full time position: 37.5 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Occasional evening and weekend work related to board and membership meetings may be required. They are looking for an individual with:

  • A solid work ethic and a commitment to collaboration and consultation
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work successfully with groups
  • Good verbal & written communication skills
  • The ability to prioritize, multi-task and handle stress in a busy environment
  • The ability to work independently and to work as a team member
  • A working knowledge of standard computer software and internet use;
  • Experience working with people whose primary language is not English / French
  • An understanding of the importance of safe, secure and affordable housing
  • An understanding of democratic, community-based organizations where members are involved in the organizational decision-making process

They will view positively applicants who have experience with:

  • Co-op and or non-profit housing operations
  • Housing management/administration/marketing
  • Rent-geared-to-subsidy program administration
  • NewViews,Yardi, HMWorx and or other property management software

Homestarts provides their staff with:

  • Salary Commensurate
  • A comprehensive benefits package health, dental, life and critical illness
  • RRSP plus vacation entitlement starting at 3 weeks per year and increasing annually.
  • We also provide a strong and ongoing training, education and professional development program.

In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)Homestarts is committed to accommodating applicants with disabilities and will work with applicants requesting accommodation at any stage of the hiring process.

PLEASE NOTE : Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Type: Full-time

Experience:

  • Customer Service: 2 years (Preferred)
  • Administration: 2 years (Preferred)
07 May 2018

Make Co-ops an Election Priority!

Ontario’s provincial election will take place on June 7th, 2018

Come meet the candidates in your riding and ensure co-op voices are heard!

Ottawa-Centre: Cartier Square, May 22nd at 7:00 pm (flyer | bulletin)

Ottawa-Vanier: Co-op Voisins, May 23rd at 7:30 pm (flyer | bulletin)

Ottawa-West Nepean: Andy Andras Housing Co-operative, May 31st at 7:00 pm (flyer | bulletin)

You can also find more information in our Special Edition Elections Newsletter here or CHF Canada’s election information site here.

If you are attending CHF Canada’s AGM:
Please note that you will be in Victoria, B.C. during the election. Register early at https://www.elections.on.ca/en/voting-in-ontario/voter-registration.html to ensure you have the chance to vote!

01 Nov 2017

Co-op Jeanneville shows how co-ops can maintain francophone culture

Cliquez ici pour lire ce billet en français.

Although it’s just off the busy Vanier Parkway, Jeanneville Co-op feels like an oasis in the city.

With 33 townhouse-style units surrounded by lush gardens, this co-op was founded to provide quality homes for francophone families from Vanier. Its founder, Michel Riel, was also president of Co-op de LaSalle, which sits on Michel Riel Private, named after him.

The spirit of la francophonie is still alive and well at Jeanneville, whose members are proud to live in a francophone environment and to be helping French language and culture thrive in Ottawa.

Léopold Lévesque, a founding member of the co-op, speaks of the particular friendly relationship that exists among francophones. Mme. Brousseau, who has been a member for 27 years, agrees, saying, “We’re at home here.”

Joelle Bernard Cloutier, of the management company Gest-Co, manages Jeanneville. “People get involved and take care of the co-op,” she says, “It’s a family atmosphere.” She adds that members at Jeanneville see a future in their co-op and the co-op movement, and are engaged in finding long-term solutions to protect co-op housing.

The co-op has recently undertaking refinancing, and will be starting work in spring 2018 on replacing siding and insulation in its units, and doing electrical and plumbing work. It’s a logical step for a co-op where members take a clear pride in maintaining their homes and the co-op grounds.

Jeanneville received funding through CHF Canada’s Greener Co-op Microgrant program. This allowed the co-op to install rain barrels that keep its gardens looking great in a sustainable way.

Co-op members also demonstrate concern for their community. For example, co-op president Louise Joa mentioned having recently organized a linen drive for Edgewood Care Centre, a nearby residential care facility for people with mental and physical challenges.

Co-operative values animate life at Jeanneville. As Mme. Brousseau puts it, “We work well together, and take care of one another.”

10 Oct 2017

Co-op Voisins shows how to engage a diverse, bilingual membership

Nestled in a leafy corner of Sandy Hill, the 76 units at Co-op Voisins are home to a diverse array of families, single people, and seniors, from many different backgrounds. The co-op recently marked its 25th anniversary with a big celebration.

Voisins is one of six Ottawa co-ops that are officially bilingual. This creates both opportunities and challenges for the co-op and its members.

Karine Lachapelle is the co-op’s current Vice-President. Volunteering to help translate the co-op’s newsletter helped her realize that she has a knack for translation. Since she’s now working on a degree in translation, she calls joining the co-op “a life-changing experience”.

The co-op has many other ways for its members to get involved.

Like many co-ops, Voisins has a member selection committee, a member orientation committee, and a social committee, which is very active throughout the year, organizing events such as holiday parties, movie nights, and even March Break activities for kids. Its Garden Committee stays busy taking care of the co-op’s beautiful grounds. However, the co-op also has some other interesting committees:

  • The Parking Committee monitors the visitor parking to make sure everyone has a parking pass.
  • A Library Committee maintains a lending library in the co-op.
  • In the event of an emergency, the co-op’s Emergency Response Team is a committee that helps make sure other members are safe.
  • The co-op is now starting a Wellness Committee, with activities like painting, to encourage members to get to know each other and resolve their conflicts and difficulties together.

 

CHASEO Executive Director Céline Carrière with Esther Sepahi of Voisins’ at the co-op’s anniversary celebration.

The co-op has succeeded in creating a culture of engagement among its members. As founding member Jeff puts it, “If I get asked to do something, and if I can do it, I’ll do it.”

What is the secret to Voisins’ success in engaging its membership? When its member orientation committee gives an orientation session to new members, it focuses on opportunities for getting involved, while gifting new members with a houseplant for their new home.

Once they’ve settled in, long-time member and active volunteer Ester Sepahi cold-calls new members and asks them for help with counting the laundry coins. While they’re doing that, she finds out what their interests are and explains other volunteering opportunities to them. This helps put new members on a path to engagement and connection with fellow members.

As Ann, another of the co-op’s founding members puts it, “I’ve grown with the co-op, I’ve seen births, deaths, generations growing up. People help each other out.”

Building that type of diverse, resilient community takes effort, but Co-op Voisins shows that that work pays off.

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