The organizational effectiveness of the Centre
... or leading by example
Although new, the Centre has a heavy responsibility towards the whole world of community housing: to transform it to become more robust and resilient. We also hope to improve its management capacities and social action. In short, we want community housing to be more efficient.
The Centre, therefore, has a moral obligation to act accordingly by establishing state-of-the-art governance, management, communication and organizational practices.
In terms of governance, the Centre, like the remainder of the community housing sector, must ensure that it has quality governance that combines democratic practices, expertise and independence of mind.
The Center is fortunate to be a coalition of the leading community housing groups in Canada. We must make the most of this situation and ensure that the organization’s employees acquire a detailed knowledge of the movement’s realities, dynamism, and characteristics in all its richness and diversity. We can’t achieve that without a proactive approach. Despite the organization’s status as a funder, the Center and its employees must adopt an attitude of humility, modesty and great curiosity and interest towards those who build, animate and maintain community housing from one end of the country to the other.
Management is an area where traditional practices have been systematically challenged in recent years. Scientific advances in psychology, andragogy, and work organization have made it possible to highlight the positive effects of previously neglected human resource practices such as teamwork, flexibility, regular evaluation, and continuous training. We therefore have an obligation to act in light of this knowledge.
There is no question that motivated competent employees, who adhere to the group’s mission and are professionally fulfilled, are essential for an efficient organization, but we must not neglect the rapid development of office automation tools that multiply the potential impact of each gesture. Cloud computing, IP telephone, document management platforms, and customer relationship management (CRM) software are all tools that link our different departments and organize their notes, activities and objectives in a coherent system. Thus, everyone has simple and direct access to the real-time data they need. This not only allows unparalleled coordination between teams and departments, but also provides our partners (co-ops, NPOs and other organizations in the sector) with something extraordinary: totally personalized relationships while being fair and effective, even if they interact with several of the Centre’s points of contact.
These exchanges take the form of direct interactions (emails, telephones, meetings) and modern means of communication: website, social media, online events, development of shared tools through the information platform, etc.
In all these areas, we must adhere to the letter of the law and the spirit of the community movement. Participation, transparency, dialogue, respect, fairness and recognition must go hand in hand with rigour, discipline, technological productivity and accountability.
The Centre fully understands that it serves the community better by demonstrating, through its actions, the capacity to assume effective organizational management, which involves:
- building staff expertise and engagement through professional development and empowerment
- creating an effective and functioning governance structure
- establishing clear and effective external and internal communication
Learn about News and Awarded Projects that relate to
Effective Centre Organizational Stewardship
WoodGreen Community Services in Toronto has an ambitious plan to build 2,000 affordable housing units over 10 years. To tackle the challenge, the non-profit organization, founded in 1937, turned to the Community Housing Transformation Centre to help it acquire the resources it needs for the campaign.
We recently sat down with Margaret Pfoh, who is Tsimshian from the Eagle Clan of the Gitga’at First Nation, to talk about her thoughts on Indigenous homelessness. Margaret joined the non-profit housing sector 25 years ago and has been the CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA) for three years. She also sits on the Community Housing Transformation Centre board of directors. As we near the end of National Indigenous History Month, we wanted to share a few more of her observations with our readers in this edited transcript of our interview.
A coalition of housing and homelessness organizations has joined forces to launch an awareness campaign to motivate Canadians to “vote housing” in the next federal election. The campaign officially took off today.
This month, the Centre’s newsletter pays tribute to National Indigenous Peoples Day, which occurs on June 21, the Summer Solstice. This year marks the 25th anniversary of its celebration in Canada. And June is also National Indigenous History Month. To mark the occasion, we would like to tip our hat to the Indigenous organizations that have entrusted us with their projects.
Faith-based organizations are often asset-rich but cash-poor. With a little help, however, they can take action to support the supply of affordable housing in their communities, and thus address issues such as loneliness and homelessness. This is the story of Co:Here Housing in Vancouver, born out of a partnership between Grandview Church and the Salsbury Community Society.
How do community housing organizations ensure survival, growth and anticipate the future? These are issues that Birch Housing, which has been in operation since 1975 in the Toronto area, has been thinking about. It inspired them to go undergo a process to better understand their situation and to reposition themselves with a mission, clearly defined vision, values and directions, with a view to ensure not only survival but growth.
For Indigenous populations, the concept of homelessness is much broader than the simple lack of shelter—it encompasses the alienation inherent in three centuries of being uprooted from their cultures and communities.
Cohousing could be a remedy for the social isolation experienced by many—young and old—and could reduce the human footprint on the planet. But this type of community is still uncommon in Canada and can take many years to develop. The non-profit Village Urbain is currently developing a cohousing project destined for the greater Montréal area, and aims to “professionalize” this unique form of community.
When it comes to housing, Indigenous realities are often ignored or misunderstood in the western culture, even in advocacy programs like Rent Smart, which aims to train and empower tenants. The Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary is reconciling the two worlds by adapting Rent Smart tenancy training to embrace Indigenous culture and values.
Discover Projects that Transform the Community Housing Sector
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Sectoral Impact Projects
Develop new services, models or tools to help the sector build and manage affordable housing.
Sector Transformation Fund
Enhance the capacity of your local organization to provide affordable housing in a better way.
Community-Based Tenant Initiative
Develop projects that aim to engage tenants/co-op members in housing decisions that affect them.