The CEO of Ottawa Community Housing called the creation of more affordable housing “one of the most pressing priorities across Canada” as he presented the organization’s annual report to city council on Wednesday.

Stéphane Giguère also outlined how his agency intends to create more of this important commodity.

Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) has 32,000 tenants living in approximately 15,000 affordable housing units across the city and is the largest provider of affordable accommodation in Ottawa. OCH raised $150.7 million in funding last year for new developments and Capital Repairs.

OCH also received $1.5 million from the city to address issues of community safety, another concern that was brought up during Wednesday’s meeting.

Somerset Coun. Ariel Troster says her constituents feeling unsafe in affordable housing units.

Giguére said OCH adopted its Complex Care Housing Strategy in 2022 to help those living wth complex health and social issues. The strategy focused on partner accountability, system change, OCH internal changes and investment in OCH and community partner supports.

Giguère added that services accessed by tenants need to be aligned to best serve those in the community.

He also said there needs to be continued funding for security along with other services to lessen the burden on police and general health services such as hospitals.

Troster and Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper emphasized the commitment the council has to help OCH in their latest projects.

A major update in the report was that the 271 affordable housing units on Mikinák Road in Rideau-Rockcliffe should be completed this summer.

Developments in Somerset including Gladstone Village and Mosaïq are set to be completed in 2026 and 2027 respectively.