Meet Mary Ann Hannant, Co-op Advisor at the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto & Alterna Member
By Alterna Team
March 08, 2024

As we honour International Women’s Day, Alterna is thrilled to spotlight an extraordinary Alterna Member of over 30 years whose passion and leadership have truly made a difference in her community every step of the way. Her tireless dedication to helping others is an inspiration to us all. At the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto, she’s a real champion for affordable housing, making sure everyone has a place to call home.

Meet Mary Ann Hannant

An embodiment of dedication, empowerment, and inclusivity in the realm of co-operative housing. For over 35 years, Mary Ann has been a steadfast advocate and leader within the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto (CHFT), tirelessly championing the values of diversity and inclusion. As a Co-op Advisor, she has provided invaluable guidance and fostered an environment where every voice is heard and every perspective is respected. Mary Ann’s unwavering commitment to inclusivity is a powerful reminder of the transformative impact of embracing diversity within our communities.

Starting as a receptionist, Mary Ann embarked on a journey of learning and growth within CHFT, nurtured by experienced colleagues who recognized her potential and invested in her development. Through their guidance, Mary Ann imbibed the fundamental belief that with access to reliable information, individuals within co-operative communities can make informed decisions – a principle that has been the cornerstone of her career.

Under the mentorship of supportive leaders like Tom Clement, who prioritized internal promotion and family values, Mary Ann flourished. Her experience as a woman in the housing co-operative sector has been marked by inclusivity, with women holding prominent leadership positions within CHFT and across various housing co-ops.

In 2021, Mary Ann ascended to a pivotal role as one of three Ontario representatives on the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada board of directors, further amplifying women’s voices in the co-operative movement. Her journey underscores the power of women supporting women and the importance of fostering inclusive environments.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with the theme “Inspire Inclusion”
Mary Ann epitomizes this ethos in her daily interactions with co-op members. Through mentorship, training, and advocacy for skills development, she empowers individuals to take on leadership roles, fostering a culture of inclusivity and growth within the housing co-operative sector.

Looking Ahead

Mary Ann sees an opportunity for co-operative housing to lead in addressing the housing crisis, advocating for greater representation of women and equity-seeking individuals in development initiatives. Her advice to young women embarking on their careers echoes her own journey – seek mentors, find meaningful work, and strive for excellence with purpose and passion.

Mary Ann’s unwavering commitment to empowering others and driving positive change serves as an inspiration not only for women but for all who believe in the transformative power of inclusivity and collaboration. We want to thank Mary Ann for her contributions to the Co-operative housing movement as we honour her this International Women’s Day, let us follow her lead in championing equality, diversity, and progress in every facet of our lives.

Learn more about the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto and Alterna’s Programs and Services that help the affordable housing movement.

For more information on International Women’s Day click HERE.