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Coundown! The Housing Collaborative Initiative Working Group to Issue RFP

October 25, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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Administering the social-housing projects of eight Ontario municipalities is about to get a whole lot easier, as a Housing Collaborative Initiative group finalizes its RFP for the development of new software.

The Housing Collaborative Initiative Working Group expects to release its RFP by the end of 2013.  Eight municipalities are involved:   the cities of Windsor, Chatham-Kent, Hamilton, London and Ottawa along with the regions of Waterloo, York and Halton.  The RFP will be issued by the Region of Waterloo on behalf of the group.  Four potential vendors were successful in the Pre-Qualification process and will be invited to respond to the RFP.

The team aims to choose a vendor by late spring 2014.  The software application will consist of 12 modules.  Some of the tombstone foundational modules are expected to be ready within the first year, with more complex modules following in the second year.

The team also invites other municipalities to join the Initiative.  Presentations have already been made to several service-manager groups in Ontario. The software application is flexible and scaled for municipalities of all sizes, as is the cost sharing for development.  If interested, please contact co-chair Josh Browne, manager, Social Housing Administration, City of London, at jbrowne@london.ca.

The next big hurdle for the RFP is fulfilling the numerous IT, legal and purchasing bylaw requirements, says co-chair Melissa Osborne, project manager and senior manager asset planning, City of Windsor.  "This is a significant challenge when you’re dealing with eight different organizations and their requirements,” she explains.   "However, our spirit of collaboration and compromise helps us since we all have the same goal in mind – to deliver an RFP that reflects our respective needs and will lead to the selection of a vendor who can deliver our solution.”  The eight municipalities have already secured funding approval for their respective contributions.

The Housing Collaborative Initiative Working Group has moved with record speed since its establishment in 2011, when the eight municipalities, which had previously been working independently, decided to work together.  Their aim was to reduce the development costs – well in excess of what any of the municipalities involved could afford – and create software to manage and track the millions of dollars downloaded from the Ministry’s Social Housing program 12 years ago.   Following two years of face-to-face meetings and the completion of a Pre-Qualification, the RFP is on its way.