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Affordable Housing Development: Built Form, Design and Partnerships | SHARE


Affordable Housing Development: Built Form, Design and Partnerships

Date: Sept 16, 2016


  • Janice Abbott, Chief Executive Officer, Atira Women’s Society Resource Centre (BC)
  • Lisa Ker, Executive Director, Ottawa Salus Corporation
  • Barron Meyerhoffer, Director, Planning and Engineering , Ottawa Community Housing Corporation
  • Cameron MacLeod, Executive Director, Clarington Community Health Centre
  • Suzanne Le, Executive Director, Multifaith Housing Initiative
  • Graeme Hussey, Development Manager, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation
  • Mara Di Pasquale, Chief Financial Officer, Housing Services Corporation

Moderated by: Ray Sullivan, Executive Director, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. This event includes a light breakfast, lunch and site tour.

Location: Beaver Barracks, 464 Metcalfe St, Ottawa ON. K2P 1B7 view map

Speaker pictures

From national to local, this session is designed to advance new and creative ways of thinking about social housing development to address affordable housing supply through built form, design, energy efficiency and partnerships.

Join us for this in-person opportunity to engage with housing experts who will showcase innovations in affordable housing development and sustainable solutions. Participants will come away with a newly developed financial modelling tool designed to assess a range of funding mechanisms for the development, renovation or re-purposing of affordable housing.

Featured initiatives included:

Atira’s Women’s Resource Society– social housing projects in Canada utilizing recycled shipping containers.

Ottawa Salus Corporation-  Salus Clementine Development, the largest scale multi-residential supportive affordable housing project built to Passive House Standards in North America.

Multifaith Housing Initiative– The groundbreaking new facility in Ottawa for homeless veterans.

Ottawa Community Housing– Carlington Community housing project, combines apartments for low-income seniors with a medical clinic and social-services hub.

Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation– Innovative approaches to developing affordable housing.

Housing Services Corporation– Financial modelling tool for affordable housing development.

Event agenda:

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Registration, Coffee and networking

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Theme 1: Innovations in built form and energy efficiency for sustainable solutions. Speaker Presentations [Janice Abbott, Lisa K]

11:00 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.Theme 2: Approaches to building capacity for affordable housing development . Speaker Presentations [Graeme Hussey, Mara Di Pasquale]

12:10 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. LUNCH

1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.Theme 3: Affordable housing development initiatives for priority groups. Speaker Presentations[Suzanne Le, Cameron MacLeod & Barron Meyerhoffer]

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. SITE TOUR (Optional for participants)


Speaker’s bio:

Janice Abbott – The CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society since 1992, Janice conceived of and launched Atira Property Management Inc. in 2002 in an effort to earn money to help support Atira’s not-for-profit activities; to support women and children affected by violence. Janice was recognized by BC Business Magazine as among one of BC’s 35 Most Influential Women in 2016 and BC’s Most Influential Women in Not-for-Profit, Culture & Media in 2015; the recipient of the Denise LeBlond Memorial Award, BC Non-Profit Housing Association in 2013; named one of BC’s 20 Most Influential People in Residential Construction by BC Homes Magazine in 2010; described by the Vancouver Sun as one of Canada’s leading social entrepreneurs; and received the Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2010. In 24 years at the helm of Atira, Janice has lead the Society through its growth from a single transition house with a staff of seven to a large, award-winning multi-service agency with two, for-profit subsidiaries, a development arm and more than 500 staff. She’s headed up numerous innovative capital projects, including the introduction of upcycled shipping container housing to Canada. All of Janice’s work is driven by her passion to eliminate violence against women and children.

Lisa Ker is the Executive Director of Ottawa Salus, a supportive housing agency providing housing and services for individuals living with a serious mental illness.  She is also the Vice-chair of the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness, and a Board member of Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. Lisa has worked in the public and community-based sectors for more than 25 years.  Prior to relocating to the National Capital region in 2009, she worked for the Ministry of Community and Social Services and Toronto Community Housing while volunteering for organizations such as Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, Anishnawbe Health and Sherbourne Health Centre.  Lisa has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Queens University.  She currently volunteers at her local hospice where she assists in providing end of life care.

Suzanne Le is the Executive Director of the Multifaith Housing Initiative in Ottawa.  She is experienced in leading multi-cultural teams, developing and delivering social development projects, and managing local organizations. Suzanne is known as an inspirational and ethical leader and a champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. She is passionate in her pursuit for social justice, and espouses a strong belief that “everything is possible“. Suzanne has her Masters degree in Conflict Studies from Saint Paul University in Ottawa, and has a Bachelors degree in Comparative Religion from Carleton University. Under Suzanne’s leadership, MHI will grow from 41 to 139 units with the opening of the new “Haven” community in Barrhaven in early 2017, and from 139 to 179 once the Veterans House project is completed.

Barron Meyerhoffer is currently the Director of Planning and Engineering for Ottawa Community Housing and is responsible for engineering support to operations, portfolio management, and development of new housing. He is a graduate from the Royal Military College of Canada with a BEng in Civil engineering. He has held numerous positions in Construction Engineering sections and projects across Canada of his 21 year career. Barron participated in the amalgamation of Ottawa Housing and City Living to create the new corporation, Ottawa Community Housing.

Graeme Hussey is the development manager for Centeretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation and president of Cahdco, CCOC’s development corporation. Graeme is the co-creator of Broadening the Base, a collective impact collaboration to create land and social finance tools to develop affordable housing in Ottawa. He is currently a member of the Housing Services Corporation Regeneration and Asset Sustainability committee and the board of the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness.

Mara Di Pasquale is the Chief Financial Officer of Housing Services Corporation.  She joined HSC in 2013. Mara has 25 years of business experience in senior finance roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.   Previous to joining HSC in 2013, she held the position of Chief Financial Officer for Peace Arch Entertainment Group a public company listed on the TSX and Amex.  Prior to that Mara held the positions of Vice President, Finance (Entertainment) at Gullane Entertainment PLC and Vice President, Finance at Lions Gate Films.  She holds an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Carleton, Graduate Diploma in Accountancy from the University of McGill and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario since 1987.

Cameron MacLeod has been working in social services for over 30 years, largely in children and youth services: child and youth mental health, youth justice and child welfare, where he was an active advocate for high-risk youth. He has also worked in the provincial government (MCSS) and grant-making organizations. Cam joined the Carlington Community Health Centre in 2013, and moved quickly to further the health/housing hub project being presented. He co-chairs the Ottawa Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres and was elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Ontario Health Centres (AOHC) in June 2015.