May 18, 2018 – The 2018 Canadian Housing & Renewal Association (CHRA) Congress took place in Ottawa from April 24-27, commemorating CHRA’s 50th Anniversary. Over 500 delegates and sector leaders from Canada and other countries gathered to participate in learning and networking opportunities.
Multiple OAHS staff attended this conference, in respect, as former OAHS Executive Director, Don McBain was being presented (posthumously) with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The CHRA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual with many years of service who has had a major impact on the affordable housing sector in Canada. Certainly, the impact that Don has made on the affordable housing sector, in the Indigenous community, and on the staff he lead, is unquestionable.
The Executive Director of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) since its inception in 1994, Don McBain carries with him a lifetime career of serving Indigenous organizations, and the Indigenous community in the Real Estate domain. Don worked tirelessly for decades to obtain Indigenous control over Indigenous resources. During his tenure, OAHS grew from a developing agent, to a multi-faceted Corporation owning and administering a portfolio of over 2000 safe, affordable housing units, while designing and delivering both long-term affordable rental, repair and homeownership program opportunities.
Don has been recognized for his achievements, receiving multiple awards including the 2009 National Aboriginal Housing Association (NAHA) award for Outstanding Achievement by a Group in Aboriginal Housing and again in 2009 as a recipient of the Judges’ Choice Award for a corporation recognized for its growth and achievements by the general business community. He was the recipient of Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s (ONPHA) Sybil Frenette Outstanding Leadership Award in 2011 and Canada Housing Renewal Associations’ (CHRA) Graham Emslie Award in the same year. His leadership resulted in OAHS receiving Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce’s Indigenous Business of the Year Award (2017). Posthumously, he was the recipient of ONPHA’s Lifetime of Service Award (2017).
Don had been called on by Provincial and National Housing Ministries and Aboriginal Housing Providers to share his expertise and knowledge in bringing about real and sustainable changes to the control and administration of Indigenous Housing.
He was a founding member of the Chartered Institute of Housing Canada and an Executive member of International Housing Partnership (IHP), representing housing in Canada.
“Although Don is no longer with us, his spirit and legacy will remain with us forever.”