Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Year’s Resolutions to get more shovels in the ground for Affordable Homes in Toronto

A new year brings new opportunities and renewed energy and hope. Taking a cue from classic personal resolutions, I’m putting out these work goals and what I believe will help us and our sector get more families into affordable homes in 2016.

1. Lose the Weight – and keep it off!

In affordable housing, we tend to carry a lot of weight: emotional baggage about what past governments have promised and not delivered, the fact that we still don’t have a national housing strategy, a world of rising building costs …the list goes on. 
At Options we resolve to let some of that go.  We won’t revisit old stories or temper our enthusiasm because of what happened historically. We’re focusing on writing new stories and if we need support staying positive we’ll take inspiration from some of our new homeowners who have overcome great challenges as reminder that it IS possible.

2. Get Fit. 

Weight loss is great, but to capitalize on opportunities we also have to be strong. We are committed to scaling up our production of units, and working with others in the sector to find ways that we can collectively scale up.  We believe that this is the year the affordable housing sector will be offered even greater opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives, so within Options we’re investing in building a bigger and stronger team and building our overall capacity to help more families and individuals become homeowners.

3. Be a Better Friend.

Often when you’re so busy improving yourself you neglect your friends.  This year, let’s resolve to seize opportunities for partnership and collaboration across our sector. This is a pivotal moment with a promising alignment of our municipal, provincial, and federal governments around affordable housing. We plan to make the most of this unique opportunity to collaborate on strengthening the fabric of this great city together.

Happy New Year! 

Wishing my industry colleagues an exciting and productive 2016 pushing existing boundaries for the benefit of Torontonians.  

- Heather

Heather Tremain is CEO of Options for Homes, Canada’s largest delivery agent of affordable home ownership.  Now in its 21st year, Options creates ownership opportunities for households with incomes as low as $25,000.00 per year.  From the first development in Toronto’s Distillery District, to a new development under construction in Cameroon, Africa, Options organizations have created homes for over 6500 households using a unique housing model. Options Toronto is about to break ground on two new projects that together will enable 525 families to own their own homes.