Ottawa’s Digital Housing Leadership School
About Ottawa’s Digital Housing Leadership School:
It is impossible to deny that the state of affordable housing in Ottawa is in crisis. The depth of this crisis has been well documented by the press, academics, city councillors and community organizations like Ottawa ACORN and the Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa. The Alliance to End Homelessness Ottawa and Ottawa ACORN have been leading actors in creating citywide momentum towards addressing the state of affordable and liveable housing at the municipal level. In 2019, our two groups decided to collaborate on a multi-year project called “Bridging Policy & Organizing: Housing Leadership Schools.” The mission of the project was to build the capacity of tenants and those on the frontlines of housing advocacy to address the root causes of Ottawa’s housing crisis.
Ottawa ACORN held a series of focus groups and administered surveys with their low income members in the beginning of the project to first identify skills and knowledge gaps that tenants would most like to see addressed within their communities. Three themes for the future leadership schools emerged: Housing Policy, Tenants Rights and Housing Advocacy. With support from several community allies including academics, community organizatiosn and lawyers working in the housing sector, ACORN & The Alliance organized three virtual leadership schools from 2020-2021. All were led by ACORN tenant leaders.
In our final year, we complied the training and policy documents that were developed during the project. These documents in addition to the recordings from the leadership schools will now be shared online as a web resource to participants and anyone interested in organizing for better housing policy.