Each year, ONPHA welcomes nominations from across the sector, whether it be small or large providers, urban or rural, long-standing or emerging sector professionals, or tenants. You can nominate your own organization, another organization, or an individual or group.

Nominations for the 2021 Awards are now closed

Browse this page to learn about the individual awards and review eligibility criteria. 

Award for Excellence |  Innovation Award |  Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award |  Tenant Achievement Award |  Lifetime of Service Award

Awards for organizations

Award for Excellence

Recognizing non-profit housing providers that respond to tenant or community needs with imagination and insight. These outstanding organizations go beyond their housing mandates, building strong communities and partnerships, housing populations that have been poorly served, and demonstrating a strong commitment to managing housing more effectively.

Eligibility requirements
The organization must be an ONPHA Housing Member and meet the following criteria:

  • offers services that go beyond housing
  • builds strong tenant communities and partnerships
  • houses people who have been poorly served by other approaches to housing 
  • successfully advocates for the development of new non-profit housing 
  • develops new ways to manage housing more effectively 
  • demonstrates originality and innovation

ONPHA Innovation Award

Recognizing non-profit housing providers that have developed an innovative response to an environmental, operational or community challenge. Their initiatives demonstrate promising outcomes and serve as inspirations for other non-profit housing providers.

Eligibility requirements
One or more of the applicants must be an ONPHA Housing Member and meet the following criteria:

  • has created a unique program or service response to a challenge facing the corporation, its tenants, community, or physical environment, either individually or in partnership
  • demonstrates creativity, quality and innovation
  • the program or service can serve as a model for other non-profit housing providers
  • has evidence (qualitative or quantitative) of the initiative’s impact on individuals, the community, the environment and/or the organization
  • is a recent initiative, in place for less than five years


Awards for individuals

Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award

Recognizing individuals whose energy and vision have furthered the cause of non-profit housing in Ontario. These leaders have created a lasting legacy through significant contributions to their organizations, communities and the sector, and have demonstrated vision, collaboration and commitment in their efforts to serve low-income individuals.

Eligibility requirements
Individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • has made a significant contribution to his/her own organization, community or region, as well as to Ontario’s non-profit housing sector
  • has demonstrated vision, leadership and the ability to work well with others to serve the needs of low-income people
  • has demonstrated a continued commitment to non-profit housing and created a lasting legacy benefiting tenants and the community

Tenant Achievement Award

Honouring a tenant or tenant group who helps make their non-profit housing community and neighbourhood a better place to live. The tenant or tenant group has fostered community connections and has made meaningful contributions to their community that can serve as a model to tenants across Ontario.

Eligibility requirements
The tenant or tenant group must be associated with an ONPHA Housing Member and meet the following criteria:

  • has made their non-profit housing community a better place to live
  • has fostered connection within their community and contributed to the well-being of their neighbourhood
  • has made a meaningful contribution that can serve as a model to tenants across Ontario

Lifetime of Service Award

Recognizing the people who have dedicated their careers and talents to Ontario’s non-profit housing sector. Representing some of our sector’s longest-standing contributors, these non-profit housing professionals and volunteers are retiring after 20 or more years of dedication.

Eligibility requirements
Individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • be retiring after 20 or more years of service in the non-profit housing sector
  • be involved with (or recently retired from) an ONPHA Housing Member, as an employee, board member or volunteer

All eligible individuals who are nominated will receive this award. 

Selection and recognition

Who selects the winners?

Winners are selected by the ONPHA Awards Committee, a panel of ONPHA members appointed by our Board of Directors. The committee judges nominees according to the eligibility criteria and the information received in the nomination package.

When will I know who won?

Nominators will be notified of the status of their submission in the late spring. Winners are recognized and announced publicly at our annual Conference.

What happens if my nominee wins?

Nominators will be asked to provide supplementary materials (photos, videos, etc.) to help us recognize the winners. Winners may be recognized through:

  • a certificate and presentation at the 2021 ONPHA Conference
  • a tribute video
  • ONPHA’s website, blog and social media


Contact us at:
1-800-297-6660 x 112

Past award winners

Our past award winners include many of the organizations and individuals who have helped to shape Ontario’s non-profit sector and build strong, vibrant communities for years to come.

Learn more about our 2020 winners