Northumberland announces new County Housing Corporation directors

By Cecilia Nasmith

Northumberland County has announced the names of new directors appointed to the Northumberland County Housing Corporation at its annual general meeting.

Northumberland County is the sole shareholder of this corporation, the county press release stated, which is a social-housing provider that owns and operates 344 social-housing units. The AGM marked the first time that community members have been appointed to the board

When the NCHC was incorporated in the year 2000, the elected officials of county council constituted the board, with direction provided to staff through standard council mechanisms. Following an open call to the community this past fall seeking applications to sit on the board, nine community members with diverse skill sets and backgrounds were selected to join county representatives - including Warden John Logel and chief administrative officer Jennifer Moore (previously appointed) as well as Councillor John Henderson (appointed at the AGM) to be part of the new board that will help guide the direction of the NHCH over the next three years

“As the county’s housing and homelessness plans and priorities continue to evolve to meet local needs, so too shall the governance of our social-housing units evolve in order to best respond to the complexities of our operating environment,” Acting Warden Bob Sanderson said in the press release.

“We are very pleased to be appointing to the board an exceptional group of leaders with remarkable skill-sets. The formation of a citizen-based board with housing-related expertise is an important next step in shaping long-term strategies that will ensure the strength and sustainability of this vital service.”

New directors include:

Doug Bates, co-owner of the Brown Bag Tour Company, founder of the Kaitlyn Bates initiative and co-founder of the Giving Foundation.

Gil Brocanier, former Cobourg mayor, Northumberland warden and county-council co-ordinator of the Community and Social Services Department, with more than 20 years of private-sector experience (including the development of five-year capital and strategic plans and management of an operating budget of $50-million).

Rev. Neil Ellis, minister of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church and member of the Northumberland Affordable Housing Committee, who served on the Northumberland County 20,000 Homes Advisory Committee.

Victor Flume, former president of the Durham Region and Canadian Home Builders' Associations, and former director of Habitat For Humanity Durham Region, Tarion Home Warranty Program and Municipal Property Assessment Corporation boards.

John Hill, retired lawyer, past Northumberland 89.7 chair, and former director of the Northumberland Law Association, Migizi Foundation and People With A Purpose boards.

Daniel Quesada-Rebolledo, Horizons of Friendship community-outreach officer who holds a bachelor-of-arts degree in political studies with an emphasis on law and policy.

Lindsey Reed, APEX Property Management Inc. property-administrative supervisor and part-time facility manager at Northumberland Supportive Non-profit Housing.

Lou Rinaldi, former Brighton Mayor, Northumberland County Councillor and Northumberland-Quinte West MPP (holding the portfolio of Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing).

Anneke Russell, who practices law at SMM Law in Cobourg, and currently serves on the Northumberland United Way resource-development committee and the Town of Cobourg transportation advisory committee.

Board members are responsible for managing the budget, upholding corporate by-laws, agreements and reports, and for long-range strategic planning. They will meet monthly to help guide and oversee the NCHC in alignment with the shareholder direction from Northumberland County.

“Important work lies ahead for this Board as we seek to develop long-term strategies to ensure safe and affordable housing options for our community,” board chair Brocanier stated.

“On behalf of the NCHC board of directors, we look forward to working with Northumberland County council and staff in support of the county’s efforts to foster a thriving and inclusive community.”