Ottawa Community Housing Corporation signs historic agreement

By CityNews Ottawa

Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC) announced on Nov. 1 the formal signing of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), marking the first time this has been done in the the nation's capital under the Ottawa Community Benefits Network (OCBN). 

This agreement provides a framework for ongoing social responsibility, partnership, communication, and collaboration between the two organizations to support a sustainable and economically equitable future for residents in Ottawa.  

“It's a chance to work with community partners and work with developers on opportunities to do a number of things such as apprenticeship programs, community hubs and job creation,” said Cliff Youdale, the chief development officer with OCHC on The Sam Laprade Show on Nov. 2. 

The CBA formally outlines how OCHC will continue recognizing socio-economic opportunities and benefits for tenants and communities in all its ongoing and future projects. Some of the benefits arising from this landmark agreement include workforce development for equity-deserving groups and Ottawa’s indigenous citizens, continued awarded aspects of projects and delivery of services and goods to local social enterprises, and an ongoing gender-informed and intersectional lens when determining opportunity creation. 

Although OCHC is formalizing its agreement under the OCBN, OCHC has had a long-standing history of corporate and social responsibility. Currently, OCHC works with five local social enterprises who deliver a variety of goods and services across the portfolio, with awarded contracts valued at over $535,000 annually. OCHC will continue that momentum with the signing of this CBA.  

A fundamental respect for social procurement, sustainability, and a community’s best interests underlies the agreement. It sets a foundation to explore new and creative ways for OCHC residents and neighbourhoods to reach their full potential. 

“Ottawa's communities are diverse, so we must continue to bring people together to find solutions, provide incentives, organize action, and monitor results,” said Warren Waters, a member with the OCBN steering committee and member of the Lowertown Community Association. “CBAs provide the best mechanisms to do all of this with transparency and accountability. I want to thank Ottawa Community Housing Corporation for showing true leadership in signing the city’s first official Community Benefits Agreement. The OCBN looks forward to our continued partnership with OCHC for years to come.” 

Listen to the full interview with Cliff Youdale below:


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