FILCO-OP AND OHS ATTEND 2018 HOUSING CONFERENCE
“Today, treat the people you meet with kindness. You do not know what or how hard the battle (s)he is fighting.” This is a post written in front of a church as a reminder to build good interpersonal relationships among the church members and people in general. Often, we forget others have their own struggles or their dealings get obscured when we are too focused on our own battle, especially when we do not have the full understanding of their situations. In short, individuals, as well as groups, need to observe and practice fellowship to get to know how others are faring in life.
In the spirit of the call above, on November 18, 2018, four delegates -- the Board Secretary, two Coordinators and Adviser -- of One Filipino Co-operative of BC (FilCoopBC) and One Housing Society joined attendees to the National Housing Conference and 36th Annual General Meeting of the Cooperative Housing Federation of BC with gladness and enthusiasm knowing we have the same battle – making homes affordable for middle class British Columbians. More than 1,400 stakeholders in the province’s as well as Canada’s housing industry met at the Vancouver Sheraton Wall Centre to learn, share stories and successes, build friendships and forge partnerships.
FILCO-OP AND ONE HOUSING SOCIETY delegates to the National Housing Conference and CHFBC's 36th AGM were Rona Bunda, Rommel Manikan, Eddie Sabile, Clarise Sabile, Criselda Tejada and Tony Tejada last November 18, 2018 held at vancouver sheraton Wall Center
After a welcome message from Musqueam elder Shaine Pointe, the plenary conference heard the speech of Premier John Horgan outlining the provincial government’s affordable housing strategy. Minister Selina Robinson of Municipal Affairs and Housing, on the other hand, laid down concrete and specific initiatives that have been taken to show how the provincial housing strategy is beginning to impact the lives of its intended beneficiaries.
After the plenary session, FilCoopBC and OHS’s delegates then spread out to attend the learning sessions the conference organizers have laid out for the participants. They joined the sessions on “Investment Fundamentals for Housing Providers” and “Building Better Business Cases using Financial Information” which they deemed as critical to gaining a deeper understanding of the tasks involved in pursuing One Housing Society’s affordable housing initiative for its members.
In the afternoon, FilCoopBC’s delegation joined the CHFBC in their 36thAnnual General Meeting to hear updates on BC’s Land Trust Program, CHFBC’s Audited Financial Statements and the Co-operative Housing Federation Canada. FilCoopBC has been a CHFBC member for two years now.
The afternoon session’s highlight was the election of some members of the CHFBC’s board of directors. FilCoopBC’s delegates heard from 14 candidates their platforms towards fulfilling the cooperative housing sector’s agenda in the next 2 years. And to know the candidates even better, CHFBC’s staff introduced a “speed networking session” where all candidates hopped from one delegation table to another to answer, in just one minute each candidate, more specific questions on how they will play their role as board members. It turned out to be a fun activity, too.
While not all the questions asked represented most attendees’ concerns, nor all the questions answered were to most everyone’s satisfaction, the “speed table-talk” provided a glimpse of each candidate’s mindset as they await CHFBC members’ votes on whether they were persuasive enough or not. This short process of hearing candidates’ platforms influenced FilCoopBC’s initial “voting list” when the delegation finally cast its “final-list vote”. The winners’ tally almost matched FilCoopBC’s choice of new CHFBC leaders. Our voice was heard.
On FilCoopBC’s part, the delegation asked questions not meant to be answered there and then, but for the candidates to take away, reflect upon and bring to the CHFBC Board table when they convene to tackle the coop housing business. One was heard to say “I will remember you FilCoopBC.” This remark must have been triggered by how FilCoopBC delegates explored networking opportunities, speaking about what it is all about and the progress it has made and the spirit and enthusiasm that were displayed during the conference. Another new contact was so generous in inviting FilCoopBC to get in touch so we could be connected to the right person or group that can support our goal of affordable housing for our members through the newly-formed Filco-operative One Housing Society.
In retrospect, the day affirmed our commitment to make homes affordable for all Filipino-Canadians in BC and confirmed our thrust to strengthen our governance in making FilCoop-operative One Housing Society a major and dynamic partner-provider of affordable housing for its members.