Cahdco Metamorphosis

Written by Graeme Hussey

November 20, 2015

CCOC completed construction of the Beaver Barracks project in the summer of 2012. At 254 units in five buildings it was the largest project we’ve ever undertaken, and it came in on time and on budget.

Mixed with the feelings of pride and satisfaction of completing the award-winning flagship project was a tinge of bereavement. The gear down from the frenetic pace of development was abrupt, and CCOC had no other projects ready to start. CCOC and Cahdco staff and boards shared this feeling, and used it to spark discussions about how Cahdco can be a catalyst for affordable housing growth.

Talking is good

Over the course of 2013, Cahdco re-started the defunct New Supply Committee of the Ottawa Social Housing Network. With a small annual stream of funds flowing through the Investing in Affordable Housing program, we saw an opportunity to bring together housing providers and support agencies for open dialogue, networking and partnership development. Although as businesses we are competing for funding, the goals of the dozens of participants are the same: to meet the needs of low income and vulnerable residents of our city.

New ideas

Out of these discussions and others going on across the city, Cahdco helped found the Broadening the Base (BtB) initiative, and we lead the Design Circle on Impact Investing. BtB has set bold goals of catalyzing and leveraging land, property, philanthropic and development resources to support the building of 1,500 new affordable housing units over the next five years; to provide sustainable, long term and affordable accommodation for key vulnerable populations including: individuals who are chronically homeless; low income families with young children; youth at risk; Aboriginal people, and vulnerable seniors.

Cahdco metamorphosis

In 2014, the Cahdco board went through a visioning exercise and created a bold new vision.  In addition to developing affordable housing for CCOC and other housing providers, Cahdco expanded its mission to include social purpose real estate. Now in addition to pursuing CCOC development and supporting other non-profits, Cahdco will support other social purpose real estate projects and create our own Cahdco projects. Our goal is to have at least 150 homes in active development each year.

These ambitious goals can only be accomplished with a dynamic and creative team. Project leaders Melissa Estable and Jasmine Tranter bring professional experience in architecture and planning, and a heavy dollop of brain power. The keen energy and attention to detail provided by Kiefer Maracle keeps everything running smoothly, and the full team is backstopped by many decades of construction and development experience from Dennis Carr and Tim Terrell.

Cahdco reborn

As we were drafting this plan things started happening really quickly. In our first full year of operations, working with Ottawa Salus and Multifaith Housing Initiative we have 140 homes in construction.  Cahdco has its first non-traditional housing client with Carefor, and we have partnered with private developers to help create affordable housing and social purpose real estate as part of their projects.

We have grown tremendously in this past year. We have added staff. We moved to a new office at the CCOC Beaver Barracks. And we are changing the streetscapes of our city. Cahdco is becoming the social change developer that Ottawa needs, and we will take every opportunity to share our knowledge and stories with others.

Welcome to the rebirth of Cahdco. Your partner in developing social purpose real estate, creating new affordable homes and helping you achieve your housing mission.

Graeme Hussey

Cahdco President & CCOC Development Manager

November 20, 2015