2019 Award Recipient: Kaye Melliship, Executive Director, Greater Victoria Housing Society
Established in 1999, the Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual whose dedication and vision have furthered the cause of affordable housing in BC. Previous recipients can be viewed below.
2019 Award Recipient:
Kaye Melliship has been advocating for affordable housing through work in policy, governance and operations for more than three decades. Her work has been instrumental in furthering the cause of non-profit housing in Victoria and throughout BC, ensuring the growth of the affordable housing sector. Kaye was a founding member of BCNPHA, which has worked to advocate for and support the sector for more than 25 years, significantly raising the capacity of non-profit housing providers to deliver a wide range of affordable housing options. For nearly 15 years Kaye has served as Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Housing Society, in addition to terms as BCNPHA Board Chair, the BC representative of CHRA, and many other local community service organizations such as Ready to Rent.
Kaye has been a leader in diversification within the non-profit housing sector, introducing affordable housing into Greater Victoria Housing’s portfolio. Today 6 of their 14 buildings are affordable, offering tenants ranging from young working singles to seniors in Victoria a variety of housing options. The creation of new and repurposed housing has also been prolific under Kaye’s leadership with 7 projects currently in various stages of development.
Kaye Melliship has also been a leader in giving back , not only through her work within BCNPHA at the board level, but through sharing her knowledge and lessons learned in delivering many workshops at the annual conference as well as participating on panels and task forces. At the local level Kaye has been instrumental in regularly bringing together the leaders in the capital region to share promising practices, discuss emerging issues and support each other through challenges.
The 2019 award is generously sponsored by:
- Must have significantly contributed to affordable housing in BC.
- Must be advised by the person that nominated him/her that their name has been submitted for the award.
- Does not have to be from a BCNPHA member organization but does have to be from the housing sector.
- May be a volunteer or an employee from the housing sector.
Commitment and contribution to affordable housing:
- Number of years involved in the affordable housing sector.
- Number and variety of people and organizations affected by the person’s efforts and service.
- Unpaid work performed – volunteer or beyond the call of duty.
- New or expanded housing or service.
- Changes in community attitudes and support for affordable housing resulting from their efforts.
- Involvement in sector organizations.
Outstanding leadership and significant accomplishments in the field:
- Leadership positions held in housing organizations and in the community.
- Impact on local government policies, programs related to affordable housing.
- Number of housing developments or programs initiated or involved with.
Vision and creativity in fostering a community development approach in the delivery of affordable housing:
- Demonstrated links between the housing projects or programs involved with the community.
- Specific examples of incorporating tenant or community interests into housing programs or projects.
- Challenges faced and/or overcome in achieving new approaches, especially those later recognized as “visionary”
- New tools or techniques that reduced reliance on government funding to develop or deliver affordable housing.
Commitment to affordable housing:
- Serves low income households
Denise LeBlond (1948-1995)
Denise LeBlond devoted her career and personal time to help make a difference in her community, throughout British Columbia and across Canada. She worked tirelessly to advocate for affordable housing on a community level, to develop new housing programs for BC, and to keep non-profit housing on the national agenda.
As General Manager of the Capital Region Housing Corporation from 1984 to 1994, Denise took the Corporation in many new directions. She spoke to municipal councils, church congregations and service clubs about the importance of adequate, appropriate and affordable housing for all residents. In 1994, she was appointed as the Assistant Deputy Minister for Housing, where she was instrumental in the design of the Homes BC program.
Denise LeBlond was always a strong supporter of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and earned an Honorary Membership in the Association in 1995. She passed away in 1995 after a brave fight against cancer. The Denise LeBlond Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who, like her, devote their career and volunteer time to affordable housing.