CCOC turns 40

CCOC turns 40

Centretown has changed a lot in 40 years – and we like to think we’ve played a big role in that.

You can’t walk more than a few blocks in this neighborhood without seeing a CCOC property, and you can’t spend much time around here without seeing CCOC tenants out in the neighbourhood. Of course, CCOC isn’t just in Centretown anymore. CCOC properties and CCOC tenants can be found in neighbourhoods from west of Woodroffe to East of the Rideau River.

CCOC has changed a lot in 40 years too. In the past ten years alone, we’ve added over 300 homes to our portfolio – homes for more than 500 people. We are up over 50 full time staff now. Our operating budget is over $20 million and the value of our properties over $200 million.

But some things don’t change. We still hold strong community values:  a belief in the power and resiliency of diversity, the importance of working together to make Ottawa better. To make our lives better.

Partly this is because of the strength of our volunteers. Some of the same people who originally shaped CCOC are still involved and connected today. As President, I work every month with volunteers who have been helping CCOC for decades. Staff too have a great commitment to CCOC: twenty two of them have worked full time for CCOC for over a decade. Thirteen of those have served over 20 years.

Our commitment to our tenants and the neighbourhoods in which they live is long-term.

We are very fortunate that so many tenants return the favour. Most of our tenants have been with us longer than five years. In fact, the average is close to 8 years. And that average length of stay just gets bigger each year because many of our tenants are the original occupants of their homes. More than one in ten tenants have been living with CCOC for more than twenty years.

That kind of stability matters to a neighbourhood. The kind of commitment shown by CCOC tenants, staff and volunteers is what builds community.

So if Centretown and other downtown neighbourhoods may have changed for the better in 40 years, it’s partly from the steady consistency of the people who make up CCOC.

Guest post by tenant and Board President Calinda Brown