Stéphan is the founding executive director of the Centre and vice-president of the Habitat International Coalition. Previously, he was president of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) and executive director of the Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation (Québec Non-Profit Housing Network). He was also a member of CHRA’s Urban, Rural and Northern Indigenous working group. Over the last 30 years, Stéphan has gained valuable insights in Canada, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East as a leader, manager, organizer, developer, researcher, analyst, academic and as an advisor for local, regional and national non-profit organizations. He’s been involved in the policy-making process at all levels of government. Stéphan has actively contributed to the development of thousands of new housing units and played key roles in strategies to restructure NPOs, big and small, facing significant challenges. He has postgraduate degrees in both law and political science.
Marie, who is the Centre’s director of operations, obtained a university degree in economics and has substantial management experience in the para-public, community and private sectors. She also worked for several years in economic development projects in the Eastern Townships region of Québec.
Marie’s expertise in human-resources management and the allocation of funds blossomed while she contributed to the establishment and development of community and social-innovation projects related to early childhood and young adults. She also contributed to a regional public transport development project for several years. Recognized as a democratic leader, she knows how to rally the members of a team, bring out new concepts and ideas, and structure them to achieve the expected results.
Deputy executive director
Lisa, the executive director of Ottawa Salus from 2010 to 2020, was also a member of the city of Ottawa’s Housing System Working Group and a former vice-chair of the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness. A former board member of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, she has also worked in the government and community-based sectors for over 30 years, including in the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and Toronto Community Housing Corporation. In addition to her Master’s in Public Administration from Queen’s University, Lisa is a certified Change Management Practitioner.
Among her many volunteer contributions, Lisa worked with the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and Anishnawbe Health’s Street Patrol. More recently, she provided palliative care support at La maison Mathieu-Froment-Savoie.
François is a communications professional with over 20 years of experience, mainly as a consultant in communications strategies and content production, but also in advertising. He discovered his passion for the community housing sector while working for two years in communications and associative affairs at the Fédération de l’habitation coopérative du Québec. Since then, he has decided to dedicate his career to this field. As a member of a housing cooperative, he is involved on a volunteer basis in order to propagate the model by participating in the implementation of development projects in the Montreal region.
Lee joined the Centre in 2022 after five years as Communications Co-ordinator for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. He also previously worked for the Co-operative Housing Federation of Eastern Ontario, and served on the board of the non-profit housing provider Centretown Citizens Ottawa (CCOC) and of North American Students of Co-operation (NASCO), which represents student housing co-ops across North America.
Sana Youssef is a media expert with over 15 years’ experience in production, coordination of media development projects and communications. This includes working for international non-profit organizations with a focus on human rights and freedom of expression. She previously worked for Thomson Foundation and for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Sana joined the Centre as a Communications Manager.
Webmaster and graphic designer
Sabine studied journalism and communications at Concordia University and graduated from the School of Community and Public Affairs in Montréal. Co-founder of Katasoho Design & Printing, Sabine has over 20 years of experience working in communications, design and the community media sector. Sabine is passionate about social justice issues and has an unwavering resolve to participate in movements that create positive change. She is so excited and feels very privileged to be practicing her profession at the Centre.
Lynne graduated from Algonquin College in 1982 with a Bilingual Secretarial certificate. Her first position was working at the College in an academic department. She has worked for over 40 years as an Administrative/Executive Assistant for different companies such as a non-profit organisation for people with disabilities, as well as the University of Ottawa. She also has extensive experience working for federal government agencies.
She enjoys cuddling her dog, knitting and other crafts. She looks forwarding to working with everyone at the Centre.
After graduating from the University of Geneva with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Susanne worked for swisspeace, an institute dedicated to advancing effective peacebuilding. In particular, she participated in the implementation of training courses aimed at transferring theoretical knowledge to practitioners working in the field. Susanne recently completed her Master’s degree in History at McGill University. Her research focused on the recollection of slavery in Québec. She would now like to put her insights on social justice to good use through her commitment to facilitating access to affordable housing.
After first becoming interested in public policy and community ownership as an economics student, Lou worked as an organizer for a U.S. non-profit that helped small farmers advocate for national policy change. Lou’s graduate research in Urban Planning at McGill University focused on housing affordability, and her work at McGill’s Urban Politics and Governance research group allowed her to specialize in big data and spatial analysis. As database manager at the Centre, Lou is thrilled to use her experience in housing research to support the community-housing sector and promote access to affordable housing for all.
Program development coordinator
RaeChelle-Faith joins the Centre with expertise across the housing spectrum—from serving almost two years as a frontline shelter worker in Toronto, to working in government relations at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), then as admin coordinator and researcher at the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network. She graduated with an LL.B. from the University of the West Indies in 2016 and has since obtained post-graduate certificates in Government Relations, Project Management, and Public Policy Analysis from Seneca College, Schulich School of Business , and the London School of Economics and Political Science, respectively.
For almost a decade, RaeChelle-Faith has worked and volunteered for organizations such as: CARICOM, IRCC, the Yonge Street Mission, Leading in Colour, and National Public Relations.
RaeChelle-Faith is excited to combine her love for Government Relations, project management and public policy at the Centre as she works to advance housing priorities for the Black Canadian community.
Brian is the program manager for British Columbia. Having grown up in a single parent household, he learned from a young age the value and necessity of housing as a human right, and how it acts as a pillar for community strength, safety, and stability.
Over the last 10 years, Brian has devoted his career to furthering the expansion of the community-housing sector in B.C. and Canada. Most recently, he spent seven years with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association contributing to research, policy and to advocacy initiatives aimed at strengthening the sector. He is excited to bring his passion for community housing to the Centre, and see the sector grow to become a substantial and foundational piece of Canada’s housing system. Brian holds a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Simon Fraser University.
Alison has worked for the past 15 years in the not-for profit sector in a variety of capacities. Her most recent experience was in the housing and homelessness field where, for the past 5 years, she worked both as a front-line service provider and in leadership positions. Alison is active in her community where she helped found and currently leads a local charity aimed at increasing services for vulnerable members of the population, especially those experiencing homelessness. Through her work she observed the increasing need for a variety of affordable community housing options, which spurred her interest in improving and growing the community housing sector. She brings her passion for community development with her to the Centre and is excited to work with community housing groups across Nova Scotia.
Resource inventory manager
Jaimie is the project manager developing the resource inventory with the team at the Centre. With more than 10 years working with nonprofits and academic institutions, Jaimie is passionate about working across sectors to support community-led design, practices, and learning.
Jaimie holds a master degree in architecture (urban design and housing). Excited to build connections by sharing stories, Jaimie is also a board member of the Suspicious Fish Creative Literacy and Arts nonprofit, and was a co-host of a literacy podcast for Literacy Quebec.
Jonathan has been working in community and territorial development for several years. Politically engaged, he has carried out projects in food security, sustainable transportation, citizen consultation and youth mobilization. Curious by nature and an enthusiastic student, he holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration and a graduate diploma in territorial planning and local development. Issues of Housing and Reconciliation with Indigenous communities are top of mind for him, as he is currently completing a part-time Master’s degree in territorial development.
Jonathan believes that the growth of living environments on a human scale requires a dynamic community and social housing sector. As the Quebec program manager, he looks forward to collaborating with partners in this field.
Luc is Development manager for the Centre’s Sectoral Transformation Fund. A Public Administration graduate, he has devoted himself since the Centre’s founding to improving the support offered to the community-housing sector. He’s well known for his ability to meet challenges and to connect with people. Luc’s involvement in the sector began with the Réseau québécois des OSBL d’habitation, where he developed partnerships and helped ensure the continuity of community-housing activities in Quebec regions that were struggling.
He is also involved as a volunteer in organizations that work with homeless seniors in Montreal and funding affordable student housing.
Renée is a program manager for the Maritimes. She started her career with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Moncton, initially hired in service delivery and eventually took on the executive director position. In 2006, Renée was hired by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada as the regional executive director for the Atlantic and Québec. Renée eventually took on the role of national director, quality assurance & effectiveness, responsible for the implementation and development of the National Accreditation Program and Standards.
Renée has volunteered for Imagine Canada for many years, first as a peer reviewer and currently as a member of the Imagine Canada Standards Council. Renée holds a degree in child study from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and lives in Moncton. She is fluently bilingual.
Scott Stager Piatkowski
Scott brings over 30 years of experience in managing non-profit housing co-operatives. As a volunteer, he has served as the vice-president of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada and as a facilitator with the Co-operative Young Leaders program. In 2018, Scott was honoured to have been chosen by voters as a Trustee to represent them on the Waterloo Region District School Board. In 2020, he became vice-chair of the board, and in 2021 he was named chair. He has an Honours Bachelor of Arts (History) from Wilfrid Laurier University and a certificate in Co-op Management from the Schulich School of Business. Scott is excited to be working for the Centre, which allows him to exercise his passion for affordable housing and social justice.
Chris has been working in the housing sector for well over a decade, first as a home renovator and then in the non-profit sector as a coordinator of housing and resource support. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg in Anthropology and Religious Studies, Chris loves working to support and foster strong communities.
Chris has promoted integrated independent living for individuals living with physical disabilities since 2010. He has also been involved in social housing through the Manitoba Non-Profit Housing Association and has participated in task force, committee, and research endeavors with the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Barrier-Free Manitoba. Since joining the Centre as a program manager in 2020, Chris has overseen the Prairie provinces and also serves as a Regional Energy Coach for the region.
Indigenous internship coach
Monica is a member of Moose Cree First Nation. Her French-Canadian father and Cree mother raised their children in Kapuskasing, Ontario and various gold-mining towns in Northern Ontario. As the second eldest daughter of seven children, Monica needed to learn quickly, take care of others, and think independently. She has a BA in Psychology and an Indigenous Social Services Diploma. She has taught in the Indigenous Child and Community Social Services Program, been a university counsellor, and an Executive Director at an Indigenous community centre.
In both her personal and work circles, accessibility to affordable and safe housing has always been the primary key to her success and the success of her family, students, and community. Monica enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience and appreciates the wisdom and learning that others offer as well.
Christina is one of the first Indigenous Interns working with the Community Housing Transformation Centre. She is currently enrolled at the First Nations University (FNU) of Canada working towards her BA in journalism and business. She has previously worked in construction as a heavy equipment operator and then moved onto podcasting for Pikiskwewin.ca to save Indigenous languages. She is a runner up princess for the First Nations University 2022. Through school and community engagement, she joined the Climate Disaster Project, interviewing those who have survived a climate disaster.
She is a strategic communicator, an investigative journalist and an MMIW activist. She runs her own beading/regalia business and is working towards community engagement, growing the Indigenous sector through community transformation and growth. She has certificates in leadership and Indigenous Journalism and communications through the FNU.
Belynn Pitawanakwat just started her internship with the Centre. She lives in in Thorne, Ontario with her 8-year-old daughter Audrina and their cat “Whiskers”. She is originally from Wikwemikong Unceded Territory located on Manitoulin Island, Ontario. Her education background is in social sciences and journalism with a focus on Indigenous Studies. In her spare time she enjoys doing seasonal outdoor activities, such as hiking, medicine walks, swimming, and taking photographs of nature. In the future she is looking forward to travelling more with her daughter throughout Canada and abroad. She looks forward to this year working as an Indigenous Intern with the Centre and the great learning opportunities that she will have as an intern in the community housing sector.
Lisa is an Indigenous Intern at the Centre as part of the Indigenous Internship Program which launched last year. She is a First Nations woman (Anishinaabe kwe) from Sagamok Anishinawbek First Nation which is in Northern Ontario.
As an urban First Nations woman living and studying on The Dish with One Spoon treaty lands, known as Toronto, Lisa will be graduating at the University of Toronto with her undergraduate degree in Indigenous Studies and Women & Gender Studies in June 2023.
Growing up in a single parent household in Toronto and living in Wigwamen Aboriginal Housing Inc. (a non-profit urban Aboriginal housing provider), Lisa understands the importance of having a safe and affordable place to call home. While living in the city, with her lived experience and knowledge, she is driven, enthusiastic and passionate to make safe, stable, and affordable housing for the growing Indigenous community in urban environments.
Regional Energy Coach – Ontario
Majed has spent several years working in Sustainability, not only for all project phases but with perspectives of architecture, engineering, and construction professions. He is experienced in guiding the establishment of sustainability objectives for new and existing buildings, promoting those same principles among all project stakeholders, as well as integrating them into every aspect of project design. He has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Manitoba and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Harvard University. He brings his passion for sustainable design into the community housing sector as a Regional Energy Coach for Ontario.
Regional Energy Coach
Kathrine has followed a career path that could be described as atypical. With a master’s degree in public and international affairs, she first worked to improve citizen participation as well as the emancipation of people in marginal situations. Through her community involvement, she has worked with organizations such as the Institut du Nouveau Monde and Exeko.
A few years ago, she made a career move and fulfilled an old childhood dream by training as a carpenter. For six years, she developed technical skills in home construction and was particularly interested in the design of sustainable and energy efficient buildings. Despite her diverse background, Kathrine has always kept values of inclusion, equity, justice and accessibility at the core of her actions.