Flexible training

Sometimes our members want information that’s designed for them or for the housing providers in their community. To meet that need, we regularly develop and deliver tailored training opportunities. We offer customized versions of our most popular courses and create new learning opportunities to meet members’ needs.

Find out more about the customizable courses that we’re currently offering by clicking the titles below. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Contact Michelle Coombs at 1-800-297-6660 ext. 111 or michelle.coombs@onpha.org to discuss the training you want. 


Landlord and tenant roles and responsibilities      1.5 hours

The Residential Tenancies Act defines the roles and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants when starting a tenancy, during the tenancy, and when a tenancy ends. A breach by either party can be dealt with by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

This work shop leads participants to:

  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in the areas of paying and collecting rent maintenance and repairs, privacy and reasonable enjoyment for all tenants
  • Know the exemptions from the RTA that apply to social housing
  • Identify when breaches occur and what remedies are available

Participants will take away a package of practical resources including:

  • Information on what is and what is not considered rent
  • Sample policies, processes, and forms on moves, keys, fire safety, maintenance
  • Sample tenant notices and agreements

RTA and the Human Rights Code      1.5 hours

Everyone has the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment. As a landlord, you are responsible for making sure the housing you operate integrates the Human Rights Code in all activities.

This workshop provides participants with:

  • Information on how the Human Rights code impacts the work of landlords
  • Definitions of code – protected grounds
  • An overview of the legal process involved in human rights complaints
  • Strategies and resources on ways to adhere to the Human Rights Code when creating tenancies, during tenancies, and when pursuing evictions

A small-group exercise gives participants the opportunity to integrate new knowledge using a case study Human Rights Tribunal application.

Overview of the RTA      Full day

Get the big picture as a social housing landlord under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). Learn from an RTA expert who appears regularly at the LTB.

This comprehensive course will help you:

  • Understand your rights and responsibilities as a landlord
  • Know the exemptions from the RTA that apply to social housing
  • Become familiar with the procedures at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)
  • Use the right forms when terminating a tenancy

Participants will take away resources including:

  • Flowcharts of the eviction process
  • List of notice
  • Schedule of exemptions for social housing providers
  • Sample completed Landlord and Tenant Board forms

This course can be customized to the needs of the audience.

RTA for tenants      1 - 1.5 hours

Knowledge is power. This short course will introduce tenants to the Residential Tenancies Act in a clear way. With a focus on the aspects of the tenant related aspects of the RTA, the course will also give an overview of how the Landlord Tenant Board operates.

In this course tenants will:

  • Learn about their rights and responsibilities
  • Learn about a landlord’s rights and responsibilities
  • Get a primer on the Landlord Tenant Board forms and hearings

There is an opportunity for tenants to ask questions about the RTA.


Fundamentals of non-profit housing governance      Half day and full day

Governance processes are crucial in helping the Board meet its responsibilities as stewards of the public’s trust. In a complex and ever-changing environment, non-profit housing corporations are required to:

  • Provide the best quality housing possible to meet the communities' housing needs now and into the future
  • Protect the taxpayers' investment in buildings
  • Ensure compliance with legislation, regulations and guidelines
  • Lead organizations to be responsive, effective, and efficient

Participants in this workshop will take away knowledge and resources to:

  • Use self-governance strategies to enhance the effectiveness of the board
  • Make sound financial decisions
  • Understand and be compliant with the legal responsibilities of the organization
  • Plan strategically to address short and long term needs and goals
  • Integrate good governance into organizational processes

Participants will receive “One Year to Great Governance”, a comprehensive tool that provides exercises, including facilitation instructions, that engage your board and stakeholders to identify and integrate good governance processes.

Strategic planning      1 hour, half day, Facilitation available on one or more sections

The Board is responsible for financial and legal compliance, the long term safety of the building, and the well-being of tenants. Strategic planning is the single most effective way to ensure the health of your organization.

This work shop leads participants to:

  • Understand the cycle of strategic planning and how the individual elements build towards a plan that is customized to meet their organizational needs
  • Know how to facilitate the participation of the full board and stakeholders in the process
  • Oversee the creation and monitoring of business plans that operationalize the strategic directions of the organization

Participants will take away a comprehensive package of concise resources including:

  • Strategic planning checklist
  • Facilitation strategies including tenant and stakeholder engagement
  • Sample planning session agenda and business plan

This workshop can be customized to include the facilitation of one or more of the strategic planning processes for the organization and develop a work plan to complete the strategic plan.

Self-governance      1 hour, half day

Self-governance is the foundation on which all governance activities rest.

A strong foundation ensures that:

  • Energy and efforts are focused
  • Organizations are compliant with legislation and meet mandates
  • Good decisions get made
  • Meetings are enjoyable
  • The board is well positioned to attract new members and ensure succession

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Learn the elements of good self-governance
  • Know strategies for developing and integrating good practices
  • Understand the concept and importance of clarity and alignment

Participants will take away resources on running effective meetings, board committee terms of reference, and board succession.

Financial stewardship      Half day

A key responsibility of the Boards of Directors is to ensure that the finances of the organization adequately meet the needs both now and in the future.

Participants will acquire the knowledge and resources to:

  • Understand how the organization is funded
  • Set, monitor and control operational and capital budgets
  • Develop financial policies that ensure legal compliance and organizational stability
  • Provide internal controls and monitoring functions to all financial activities
  • Interpret financial statements and reports to identify operational issues and inform good decisions
  • Ensure financial reports to stakeholders are correct and timely

Group exercises will provide participants with opportunities to practice new knowledge.

Reading financial statements      1.5 hrs, half day

To meet mandated responsibilities, it is it is critical that boards receive financial reports on a regular basis, and understand how to interpret what they see.

Workshop participants will acquire knowledge and resources to:

  • Know the common financial statements and reports that help them do their work
  • Interpret financial statements and reports to identify operational issues
  • Make good decisions
  • Plan strategically for the financial health of the organization

Participation in group exercises will provide opportunities to practice new knowledge.

Policy development      1.5 hrs, half day

Effective policies are the foundation to solid operations. Staff and board members will learn the importance of policies and get an overview of how legislation drives the need for policies.

This work shop helps participants:

  • Understand why solid policies are a crucial part of operations
  • Learn the process of developing and vetting policies to ensure that they meet the needs of the organization
  • Understand what policies are required by legislation

Participants will take away an inventory of policies that will guide the development of a comprehensive set of policies.


Budget setting and subsidy calculation for HSA providers      By webinar, 2 hours

This webinar uses the ONPHA Budget and Subsidy Calculation tool to provide participants with:

  • An overview of the information need to accurately calculate subsidies for the upcoming fiscal year
  • MMAH guidelines, indices (where they come from, what they mean)
  • An understanding of the relationship between market rent amounts and subsidies received
  • A real-time demonstration of how to integrate budget amounts into the budget spreadsheet tools

Creating business plans      New, half day

The board leads a strategic planning process to focus the resources of the organization to address current challenges and ensure long-term stability. Do your strategic plans sit on the shelf until the next planning session? All of the planning work of the organization can be wasted if there is no road map from strategic directions to day-to-day actions. Business plans break down the organizations strategic directions into actionable specific pieces of work that ensure that good plans become reality.

This workshop uses a case board’s process that leads participants to:

  • Understand the elements of a simple business plan, including the role of staff and boards
  • Know how to identify the activities that will integrate strategic directions into the operations of the organization
  • Determine how the organization will monitor and measure activities and accomplishments

Non-profit housing legislation      1.5 hours or half day

The non-profit housing sector must comply with laws that dictate everything from servicing an elevator to choosing a tenant. The Board is responsible for having policies in place that ensure legal compliance and all staff play a crucial role in following policies and procedures in day-to-day operations.

This workshop provides information so that participants can integrate into their organization:

  • Knowledge of the legislation and requirements specific to non-profit housing
  • Strategies and activities for compliance that minimize risk
  • Clear roles and responsibilities of the board, staff, and volunteers

Participants will take away customizable sample policies on Human Rights, Accommodation, Privacy, and a comprehensive legislative compliance checklist.

RGI administration for HSA units      Full day, half day

This two-day course takes participants through the process of rent-geared-to-income (RGI) administration under the Housing Services Act, 2011 from beginning to end.

This course will help participants:

  • Understand the legislation, its regulations and local rules
  • Learn how to determine RGI eligibility, what income is included or excluded, how to calculate the RGI rent and apply utility adjustments
  • Learn how to implement changes, what notices should say, when to send them and how to handle appeals
  • Know where and when to use discretion effectively when making decisions and interpreting the legislation

Participants will take away a comprehensive package of resources including:

  • Eligibility checklists
  • Helpful charts and tables
  • Sample RGI notices

ONPHA can customize this course to any service manager’s local rules. The focus of the course can also be customized to meet the needs of the audience.

Review of Decisions under the HSA      Full day

This full day course takes participants through the requirements of a review body under the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA).

The training covers the following:

  • An overview of the Housing Services Act and other legislation
  • Review process
  • Decisions open to review
  • Notices

Helpful take away resources for participants include:

  • Service manager discretion chart
  • Eligibility checklist
  • Occupancy standards checklist
  • Pursuit of income chart
  • Effective dates for decisions charts
  • Sample notices

ONPHA customizes this course to the service manager’s local rules. The focus of the course can also be customized to meet the needs of the audience.

Winning the bed bug battle      Half day

This popular half day course will arm you for your battle with bed bugs.

This session covers:

  • Identification of bed bugs
  • Best practices in unit preparation and treatment protocols
  • Ideas for educating and supporting tenants
  • Ways for reducing the risk for staff of transporting bugs home
  • Techniques for preventing spread of bugs from one unit to another

Participants will receive ONPHA’s bed bugs DVD.

Making the most of your property management      2 hours

Board members need to know what to expect from their property management company. This course will give board members basic information about the role of a property management company, the request for proposal (RFP) and selection process and how to maintain positive relations between Board and property manager.

This course includes:

  • Tips on keeping positive relations with property manager
  • Information about internal controls and how to monitor them

Take away resources include:

  • Sample RFP for property management
  • Sample management contract
  • Sample quarterly report