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Suzanne Le, Executive Director:
Multifaith Housing Initiative, Ottawa

Candidate Statement

I am seeking a second term on the ONPHA Board. After having served three years, one of them as President, I believe I still have much to offer as ONPHA continues this moment of transition.

I have 18 years of leadership experience in the not for profit space, only 8 of those years has been in the housing sector. Despite that short experience in housing, I have lead the organization to substantial growth.  We have gone from 41 units, to 139 units, with 40 more in construction (scheduled completion in January 2021), and 50 more in pre-construction in a complex joint equity partnership with three different entities. 

MHI is unique in the housing sector in that we are a membership based organization that builds, owns, and operates community focused housing. MHI has over 80 members made up of a variety of faith groups across the greater Ottawa area. Our members engage at every level to assist us through their volunteer resources in a wide variety of areas from committee engagement, to fundraising, to attending our events. Because of our membership, volunteer, and community based focus, MHI is recognized in the city of Ottawa as an innovative leader in our approach to developing, and managing affordable housing.

In my time at MHI, it has gone from one full-time and one part time staff, to five full-time staff, plus the housing management team. 

I have an understanding of management role in all areas of affordable housing – from development, to the engagement of tenants and volunteers, to long term management strategies.

On any given day I will spend time meeting with development consultants, architects, city planners, politicians at all levels of government, community leaders, finance team, and volunteers – all while managing the ongoing positioning of MHI in its strategic direction to ensure we are continually meeting & exceeding our goals.

I believe that while strategic planning is important, situating an organization to be able to move tactically, and identify, as well as leverage opportunities, all while building relationships and a strong teamwork approach, is my specialty, and MHI’s core strength.

I am experienced in developing and delivering social development projects, and managing local organizations. Known as an inspirational and ethical leader and champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I am passionate in my pursuit of social justice, and I believe strongly that everything is possible. Imagination, collaboration, and innovation have always been at the heart of everything I do at MHI, and in my role on the ONPHA Board over the last three years. With no operational agreements ever in place, MHI has flourished through partnerships, volunteer engagement, and just constantly looking for new and different ways to do things.

During my first three years on the ONPHA Board, this Association has been re-inventing itself, to be well positioned to serve members in ways that are most meaningful. With the roll out of a new strategic plan, ONPHA is situating itself well to assist its membership to thrive in the ever shifting framework that the sector exists in – to find new and dynamic opportunities to push further and achieve more.

With shrinking resources, record government deficits, and a pandemic that has changed the worlds focus, if we want to do more we must be innovative and ready to seize the opportunities as they present themselves. More importantly, we have to push to ensure those opportunities do present themselves.

ONPHA wants to do more to support its members and the affordable housing sector in Ontario – and it has been working hard to reposition itself to do just that.

I would love to continue to lend my support and vision on this journey to help ensure ONPHA’s success.

    Skill-sets and Experience:
    • Business planning acumen
    • Change management and modernization
    • Communications and social media
    • Financial acuity
    • Government relations and advocacy
    • Leadership and strategic planning
    • Policy development and legal acumen
    • Political acuity and connectedness