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  • 1. www.chfcanada.coop The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada NewsBriefs Southwestern Ontario Spring 2013 | Volume 8, No. 1 London Hydro’s Lisa Charteris helps Roger Robinson, president of The Oaklands Housing Co-operative, sign on to participate in a provincial program that finances new energy-efficient appliances and lighting. Inside this issue: Stampede to Calgary AGM  Page 2 Go green with grants  Page 3 Regional members meeting  Page 4
  • 2. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada Local co-op president honoured o n N at i o n a l H o u s i n g Day In November, R. Bob Sexsmith was placed on the National Housing Day Honour Roll for his contribution to housing and the communities of London and Middlesex. Since 1965, Sexsmith, president of Twin Pine Village Co-operative Inc., has worked for affordable housing and the environment and served as union delegate, community organization volunteer and founder and former president of Huron Pines. He’s also a director of the London & Middlesex Housing Corporation Board, chair of the London Housing Advisory Committee and member of the London Homeless Coalition. National Housing Day is a joint effort of the City of London and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to acknowledge the work that housing stakeholders can achieve. Stampede to the Calgary AGM! The CHF Canada AGM is a priceless opportunity for members to network, update themselves on current co-op housing issues, engage in co-op business and workshops, and fine tune the day-to-day experience of co-op living! TELUS Spark Science Centre, the iconic Calgary Tower and other sites and attractions including CHF Canada’s annual tour of local co-ops. And for natural beauty, Calgary is only 80 km east of the Canadian Rockies! After attending last year’s AGM, Suzanne Rajeh of Bridge End Housing Co-op in London has advice for this year’s delegates. “Take every opportunity you can to be involved,” she says. “Don’t skip anything, go to lunch with people every time and keep connecting.” For more information, visit www.chfcanada.coop/2013agm. CHF Canada is offering members 50 percent off registration fees for all AGM participants under 30. The popular Member Education Forum will host a workshop series to help co-ops engage and inform their members. Learn about being a board member, running successful meetings and ensuring your co-op has both short and long-term plans in place to achieve its priorities. The 2013 Annual Meeting is taking place June 5 to 8 in beautiful Calgary, Alberta. Participants will enjoy access to the Glenbow Museum, the new 2  NewsBriefs  |  Southwestern Ontario Edition Spring 2013 – Volume 8, No. 1  
  • 3. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada Co-ops benefiting from energy retrofit grants By Marni Norwich The Home Assistance Program (HAP) funded by the Ontario Power Authority is providing free energy upgrades for income-eligible co-op housing households throughout Ontario. HAP is operated in each municipality by the local electricity distribution company (LDC). London Hydro has provided seven London-area housing co-ops with free energy upgrades since September. does have income eligibility requirements, but they are high enough that all of the members at one co-op qualified, even those paying market housing charges. So we urge all co-ops to apply!” Charteris says that the key to maximizing incentives is to talk to the local LDC conservation officer and get some advice as to what would work best. London Hydro tries to provide program options and guidance to each co-op. “We started with co-op housing because we had a good relationship with them and they were keen to participate,” says Lisa Charteris, a program co-ordinator for London Hydro. “The early adopters really helped us get our program off the ground and working for which we are grateful.” HAP comes from the Green Energy Act which mandates that all LDCs in Ontario reduce demand off the grid across their customer base. HAP and the Retrofit programs are available throughout Ontario. Suzanne Wright, Senior Program Manager for McCormick and Zock, manages 16 properties in Southwestern Ontario, half of them co-ops. She says HAP provided energy-efficient light bulbs for four of the co-ops she manages and replaced older fridges, freezers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers with new Energy Star appliances for those who qualified. Wright estimates that members are saving 10 percent on their Hydro bills, and the co-ops have saved tens of thousands of dollars in new fridges. “This is a priceless opportunity for co-ops to save money and support environmental initiatives,” says Denise McGahan, Program Manager, Member Services, for CHF Canada’s Southwestern Ontario office. “The program Some co-ops have chosen the HAP route and several are performing complete facility upgrades which offer even deeper energy use reductions. Above: Suzanne Wright, senior program manager for McCormick and Zock, has helped clients such as The Oaklands Housing Co-operative participate in the Home Assistance Program (HAP). Right: London Hydro’s Lisa Charteris works with Wright on the paperwork to secure HAP funding for one of the co-ops Suzanne manages.    NewsBriefs  |  Southwestern Ontario Edition Spring 2013 – Volume 8, No. 1  3
  • 4. The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada Third Annual Southwestern Ontario Regional Members Meeting Thursday, May 9, 7:00 p.m. at the Four Points by Sheraton, 1150 Wellington Road South, London CHF Canada’s spring regional members meeting in Southwestern Ontario is your opportunity to weigh in on housing co-ops’ vital current issues. It’s also a great chance to connect with CHF Canada members and staff. Whether or not you’re attending the AGM, this meeting will be engaging and important. It will include a discussion of current topics of concern to co-ops as well as this year’s resolutions, elections and an AGM orientation. Beyond business, this annual meeting is a lot of fun, and you won’t want to miss the food! For more info or to RSVP, contact Denise McGahan at 519-453-0999 or email dmcgahan@chfcanada.coop. W h at i s yo u r c o - o p d o i n g i n 2 013 ? S ta r t p l a n n i n g … Co-ops that plan are healthier financially and have happier members. Through the planning process, boards think about the future and identify priorities for the coming year and for years to come. It ensures that there are trained people and money budgeted to carry out priorities—in 2013 and beyond. Most co-op boards understand the importance of planning, but results from the 2012 Sound Management Challenge tell us that only 40% of co-op boards actually hold annual planning sessions. Recognizing the benefits of planning can really make the difference. A good planning process: • offers practical steps to identify your priorities and match the people and dollars to deliver them • is a useful tool for communicating what will be done and for tracking what has been accomplished. Mission statement Planning is part of Environmental Good sustainability governance the board’s leadership role and also enhances the board’s credibility and reputation Long-term Sound by showing members and plan management others that the board is thinking about the co-op’s future and its long-term viability. This is why planning is one of the five standards for CHF Canada’s 2020 Vision Program. Contact Denise McGahan at 519-453-0999 or dmcgahan@chfcanada.coop for information or assistance on setting up your board’s next planning session. Publication information NewsBriefs is published by the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada. Material may be copied. Please credit CHF Canada. Story ideas, comments or questions? Denise McGahan at 1-800-644-3949 or email dmcgahan@chfcanada.coop Editors: Denise McGahan and Scott Jackson Printing: Cielo Print Inc. Contributors: Marni Norwich, Rebecca Richardson Southwestern Ontario c/o Ontario Region Office 313–720 Spadina Avenue Toronto ON M5S 2T9 Tel 519.453.0999 Fax 519.453.6854 Toll-free 1.800.644.3949 Design and production: Aerographics Creative Services www.aerographics.ca 4  NewsBriefs  |  Southwestern Ontario Edition Spring 2013 – Volume 8, No. 1