Leaders from more than 50 premier housing and community development organizations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered in Ottawa the week of October 3rd. In a series of high-level peer exchanges, they tackled overarching topics such as new ways of working in a time of major generational change, managing in rapidly changing political and economic landscapes, and creating effective partnerships between the health and housing sectors. Strategically-focused, and led by the participants, working sessions also included a discussion of contemporary governance models; new business strategies; social inclusion initiatives; and effective approaches to redevelopment and revitalization.
Alan Arthur and Deidre Schmidt
The opening session, centered on changing political landscapes, included participation from leading Canadian policy makers: Jean-Yves Duclos, the federal Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development, whose portfolio includes housing; Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; and Evan Siddall, President and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Housing, was also a special guest. Minister Duclos spoke of the growing partnerships among the federal government, municipalities, and the provinces, and highlighted his government’s newly-launched $200 million innovations fund.
Canadian Housing Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Shayne Ramsay, and Stéphane Giguère
Among the highlights of the exchange was a session led and facilitated by members of the GEM World Housing Organisation, which brings together young housing leaders from the four IHP countries and the Netherlands. Building on research conducted by the group, the session was a highly-interactive, energizing exploration on the future of work and leadership in the social housing arena. Geraldine Howley, chief executive of Incommunities in the UK, has been leading IHP’s engagement in people, culture, and leadership issues for the past several years – with an emphasis on career paths in housing for young people.
Pippa Medley, Aminda Galappaththi, and Nick Proud
The four-day exchange also included site visits to many current and future developments of Ottawa-based IHP members – Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation and Ottawa Community Housing, led respectively by Ray Sullivan and Stephane Giguere, who served as local hosts for the event. The closing dinner took place at the Canadian Museum of History, which offered spectacular views of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill and surrounding area.
Howie Wong and Terrie Alafat
Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing in British Columbia and Chair of IHP and Housing Partnership Canada, presided over the event, which was the eleventh annual leadership exchange of the International Housing Partnership (IHP), which brings together 175 leading housing and community development organizations from the four countries, with a collective portfolio of more than one million affordable homes serving two and a half million people.
Scott Langford, CEO of St. George Community Housing in Sydney, was elected chair of IHP for 2017, and Neil Hadden, chief executive of Genesis Housing Association in London, was elected vice chair.
For more information about IHP and the 2017 IHP Leadership Exchange to be held in Melbourne, Australia, contact Manuel Muelle.