La Présidente de l’Agence de logement des Forces canadiennes répond à la lettre de l’Ombudsman concernant 15e Escadre Moose Jaw

AVIS: traduction en attente



19 March 2015

Mr. Gary Walbourne
National Defence and Canadian Forces
100 Metcalfe Street. 12th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5M1


Dear Gary:

15 Wing Moose Jaw – Residential Housing Concerns

Thank you for your letter of 23 February 2015 and the follow-up meeting with you on 27 February 2015 regarding concerns that were raised at your town hall meetings regarding the residential housing units in Moose Jaw and CFHA services.

I very much appreciated the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the various concerns and to also explain some of our key initiatives related to continued improvements in the housing portfolio in Moose Jaw. As discussed, we will be pursuing further proactive measures to ensure that our services, priorities, and programs of work are better communicated to the members and their families in Moose Jaw.

Rent Charges:

In line with the Departmental Policy, the Deparment of National Defence (DND) housing must reflect local market values to ensure fairness and equity for Canadian Armed Force (CAF) members and their families regardless of whether they choose to line in the private sector or in DND housing. For Moose Jaw, the current 2014-15 Base Shelter Values range from $460 to $875 monthly. The current average monthly occupant rent is $637 which is considerably lower than the average rental rates in the local economy for similar housing units. The annual adjustment, effective 1 April 2015, will result in an average increase of $10.60 per month (based on Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index – Shelter/Rental Accommodations) for the province of Saskatchewan. We acknowledge that rents are one of the major points of dissatisfaction for CAF occupants; that said there are limited options to address this issue within the current policy framework.

Condition of the Residential Housing Units:

We are continuing to invest in the Moose Jaw housing portfolio to improve the condition of the housing units. In 2014-2015, $2.4 million dollars (M) have been spent directly on repairs, lifecycle maintenance and capital (Betterment and House Renovations). This work has included exterior retrofit of units (including windows, doors, siding, and insulation), kitchen renovations, interiors renovations/recapitalization, fencing and sheds. In the upcoming new Fiscal-Year (FY) 2015-2016, Moose Jaw will benefit an even more robust program of planned work estimated at $5.7M, including the recently announced Federal Infrastructure Investment Program $3.2M as well as another $3.2M in FY 2016-17. Planned projects will focus on continues exterior retrofits adding window and door replacements, insulation and new siding, addressing concerns of cold and drafty homes, whole house renovations, and construction of new/replacement housing units.

CFHA Moose Jaw Services:

We have recognized that our current approach of contractual maintenance services through Standing Offers together with local contractor capacity issues has not served us well in terms of both timely and responsive service in Moose Jaw. As a result, we are moving forward with a different contractual approach in the next FY, which will see the bundling of repairs and maintenance work into a General Standing Offer Agreement. We are hopeful, that once implemented, we will see an improvement in our ability to have repairs and maintenance completed in a timelier manner.

CFHA follows a system of priority response times depending on the nature of the repairs and maintenance required. For immediate health and life safety and security issues, these are handled immediately (within the one-hour time frame), both during the regular business house by our Moose Jaw Housing Services Centre (HSC) as well as by our Emergency After-Hours Response Line during the evening and weekend hours. Top priority items include issues such as: CO2 detectors sounding; gas odours indoors; frozen pipes; burst pipes; sewer backup; etc. If a residential housing unit has serious health and safety issues, it is left vacant until they are remediated. Repairs and maintenance items, of a lesser priority, are assigned response times based on the nature of the repair.

We will be developing and implementing a communication plan to ensure that this information is more transparent and better understood, include the CFHA protocol for 100% verification of work completed by Contractors and on-site inspection of any work in excess of $1K by Contractors. In addition, we will ensure that occupants are encouraged to contact the local Moose Jaw HSC to report any repairs and maintenance issues requiring follow-up, and are provided with information on the CFHA Occupant Complaint Resolution process, if at any time they are dissatisfied with the response provided by the HSC.

Allocation of Residential Housing Units and Priority Wait Lists:

We will be developing Question and Answers to better inform applicants of the Departmental policy (the Living Accommodation Instruction) and its application in the allocation of available housing units and the maintenance of priority waiting lists for housing. There seems to be misinformation among the housing community that requires correction and clarification. This should serve to allay rumours that priority is not given to CFHA’s discretion and that there is no clear discretion and policy as to who is eligible for priority housing. I am very appreciative of your offer to post our communication products on the repairs and maintenance protocols and our allocation processes on your website. The ultimate goal is to ensure that CAF members are better informed of the procedures that impact their customer experience with CFHA. We are looking forward to working with your communications team.

Our team of CFHA Subject Matter Experts are scheduled to undertake a Multi-Functional review at our Moose Jaw HSC the week of the 23 march 2015. This review will cover many different areas such as: customer service levels; contracting and financial; stakeholder (Wing) working relationships; and various technical and environmental aspects. In this review, recommendations for improvements are identified and the reports are provided to senior management for action. As required, corrective actions are taken to ensure issues are addressed appropriately and proactive measures are taken to support staff and training in problematic areas.

In closing, I value your input and hindsight garnered from your site visits and I am appreciative of your openness to work collaboratively in the interest of serving our CAF members and their families.



Dominique Francoeur
Chief Executive Officer

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