March 8, 2024 - Industry News

IHM Celebrating International Women's Week - Joanne Kennedy AIHM, CMMIII

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Joanne Kennedy AIHM, CMMIII 

Ontario Works & Housing Program Manager
CDSSAB - Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board 

Management of Ontario Works division that includes Case Management, Employment Supports, Program Compliances. Management of Housing Programs, which includes policies and procedures, communication & guidance to housing providers and non-profits housing developments. Manages daily performance of Ontario Works and Housing staff. Making complex and non-routine decisions in the delivery of Ontario Works and Housing Services. Assists the Directors of Ontario Works and Housing to establishing unit goals and objectives.

What led you to a career in property management?

I returned to school to pursue a secretarial career which included a 4 week placement.  This gave me the opportunity to secure my employment with our Local Housing Authority. 

How many years have you worked in this profession?

I've been with this agency since 1991

What was your first job?

I was a babysitter at an early age, being the oldest, with both my parents working, I was tasked the responsibility of taking care of my 3 siblings.  Once of age I was hired at our local hospital as a Healthcare Aid, now known as a PSW.  I stepped away to raise my family then returned to school and was hired by the Local Housing Corporation. I was hired as a contract clerk to perform payables and receivables of a Non-Profit Housing group.

What is your proudest professional moment?

Proudest moment was receiving the acknowledgment from my employer in the way of advancement from Clerk, to Tenant Placement Officer and now Area Program Manager

What has been your biggest challenge?

Client based challenge- not being able to solve all housing & social issues such as homelessness, lack of suitable housing & social pressures on social services.

Who do you consider a mentor or hero?

To name one in particular because I do have a couple.  First and foremost my father, a great role model always showed us if you worked with passion, dedication and be consistent. Rewards are attainable (for some reason he never said to work hard). Then, once I started my career with the Local Housing Authority, my manager, Ray (Ted) Thompson, AIHM, took the time to be my mentor and roll model. He always went out of his way to share information with his staff and encouraged us to pursue the IHM Accreditations.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Never stop learning.  To this day after 33 years in I'm still enrolled in courses to expand my knowledge.

What advice would you give to those entering the property management profession?

Be empathetic, acknowledge each and every client as a unique individual currently living their own crisis.  We must be connected to both clients and service providers for everyones benefit.

What changes have you seen in property management in recent years?

The demand has increased, population and housing stock is aging.  How to balance the babyboomers needs now without creating massive housing vacancies in 20 years from now. Waitllists are lenghty we all acknowledge the need for housing, but will there come a time once all these new construction models are completed that we will have issues with the declining population?  

What changes do you see facing this profession in the future?

Property Management encompasses so much more that performing landlord duties tn housing, offering and maintaining suitable housing.  Its a multi-generational, social issues from addictions to poverty, to needing that safe place to call home.

Fun fact you wish to share:

It'a a jungle out there, or is it a zoo in here?