Headshot of Stephane Giguere

About Ottawa Community Housing and Stéphane:

As CEO of a $3 billion housing portfolio at Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC), the largest social housing provider in Canada’s National Capital, Stéphane Giguère, MPA C. Adm./Adm. A., and CIH Chartered Member, leads an award-winning organization that directly impacts the lives of over 32,000 residents in 15,000 OCH homes. Stéphane provides strategic direction and leadership to close to 500 employees, over 600 contractors and 1,200 volunteers whose specialized skills provide affordable housing to seniors, families, single persons and those living with special needs.

Stéphane Giguère

CEO | Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC)

Program Interview

Stéphane Giguère was one of several Ottawa Community Housing Corporation executives to enroll in Affordable Housing Fundamentals and Frontiers: Policy, Practice, Profitability, and Post-Covid this past spring. We caught up with him a few months later to see the impact the program had.

You and several executives of Ottawa Community Housing chose to sign up for this program. How did you hear it, and why did you decide to attend?

Given our work, the topic made sense, and we looked at it as a team-building exercise. It was an opportunity to take a step back from our daily work, and to think about the challenges we face from a different perspective.

For affordable housing professionals, taking a course called Affordable Housing Fundamentals may seem to be a waste of their time. Why did you feel it was a worthwhile investment for your team to take?

Housing affordability is a crisis in nearly every nation around the world. However, there is a near-universal lack of formal training in this field, and many affordable housing professionals come from various disciplines such as engineering, social work or urban planning, before transitioning over. Given that, our team benefited immensely from having a focused program on the challenges and complexities of this field.

Talk about that a little more. How was the team’s experience in this course?

Everyone was pleasantly surprised by the content, the interaction, and the caliber of the other participants. It was also noted that the depth of the experience and international experience of the instructor was commendable. Everything was top-notch. Especially given how much we hear about the challenges of teaching online during COVID, our expectations were not high  – and we were blown away.

What impact has the course had on you and your team?

To this day, the concepts, and especially the way the instructor made complex ideas seem simple, keep creeping into our teams’ conversations and meetings. The course has caused us to fundamentally rethink how we approach the business models we use across our portfolio.