Released September 12, 2008

Putting the Unity in Community
Housing Hosts 23rd Annual Tenant Conference

Tenants from Newfoundland Labrador Housing’s (Housing) provincial public housing community, as well as Housing staff, will meet this weekend, September 12 – 13, for the 23rd Annual Tenant Conference being held at the Hotel Gander. The Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and Minister Responsible for Housing, and Housing’s Board of Directors will participate in the conference.

"I’m truly looking forward to participating in this year’s conference, meeting more of the tenants from across the province, and sharing their successes of the past year," said Minister Skinner. "I know how hard they all work within their neighbourhoods, the endless hours of volunteerism and the difference their work makes in the lives of so many people."

Conference registration begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 12, and will be followed by opening remarks and welcome by Minister Skinner. More than 90 tenants, representing 30 tenant associations throughout the province will be in attendance.

Beginning Saturday morning, guest speakers will facilitate workshops for the participants. Educator Barry Green will present a session entitled: Past, Pulse and Plan. It encourages tenants to focus on celebrating past accomplishments, what’s happening in their neighbourhoods now, and how to face new challenges. Mr. Green has extensive experience in education, training, and community and economic development. John Healey, Customer Service Representative, Newfoundland Power, will make a presentation on energy efficiency. Also Aisling Gogan, Director, Human Resources, Labour and Employment, will speak about how tenants can provide input into the Provincial Government’s policy development process.

Ten tenant associations participating in the conference are also marking important milestones. The associations celebrating 10 years are: Wishingwell/ Algerine Tenant Association, St. John’s; People on the Move Tenant Association, St. John’s; Manley Place Tenant Association, Mount Pearl; and Hilltop Tenant Association, Corner Brook. The 15-year celebrants are: Neighbourhood Enhancement Association, Let’s Grow Together Tenant Association, and Buckmasters Community Centre, all from St. John’s. The groups celebrating 20 years are: Triway Tenant Association, and Family of Friends Tenant Association, both from Grand Falls-Windsor. All the groups will be honoured with a special award of recognition presented by Minister Skinner. Housing’s CEO Len Simms will be guest speaker at a banquet for the tenants on Saturday evening.

This is also a special year for Newfoundland Labrador Housing’s tenant relations division, as it celebrates 25 years of tenant relations programming. Housing is staffed by six tenant relations officers province-wide, all of whom are social workers. With a focus on community development work, the tenant relations officers help tenants enhance community capacity and self-reliance, ultimately helping to strengthen both the individual and the community.

"The tenant relations staff has helped establish more than 33 volunteer tenant associations, province-wide," said Minister Skinner. "With Housing’s support, these associations have grown into more than 15 neighbourhood centres and eight fully-staffed community centres, which now provide social, educational, and recreational programs and services. I commend them for their hard work and dedication to encourage healthy living and community development."

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Media contacts:

Ronalda Walsh
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources,
Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 699-7903
Jenny Bowring
Communications Manager
Newfoundland Labrador Housing