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Posted August 14, 2023

Nova Scotia Mother Exemplifies the Opportunity Found in VIDA’s Workforce Housing

Raising two young boys as a single working mom and keeping an eye on an aging parent is challenging. But Janine Lahti manages all of it, and so much more. 

Living in the Truro-Bible Hill area of Nova Scotia for 12 years, Janine initially worked in long-term care. But today, her talent for helping others is flourishing as a resident, Building Ambassador, and employee with VIDA.

VIDA is a private real estate company with headquarters in Halifax. Founded in 2018, it has since scaled its revolutionary model to develop and support a new standard for affordable housing in Canada to over 5,000 customers. The company’s purpose is to revolutionize affordable communities by keeping rents low and helping residents get ahead in life. VIDA has rapidly expanded across the province and beyond, placing a value on the pillars of safety & security, cleanliness, opportunity and community.

The ecosystem around a VIDA property improves customer health, education and employment outcomes. With a network of relationships and social support aimed to strengthen overall physical and mental health.

Janine’s relationship with VIDA sprouted nearly two years ago when the company invested in her apartment building. Soon after, she began to see waves of positive change blanket the community.

“Before, it was just somewhere to live, and there wasn’t the same sense of community that there is now,” she says. “When VIDA took over, smaller changes started happening. They organized community events, contests and a new level of engagement, making things feel like a family and community. Those things make it such a wonderful place to raise children.”

It didn’t take long before Lindsay Totten, who leads VIDA’s Truro operations, noticed Janine’s knack for helping others and approached her about becoming one of the first Building Ambassadors in the area. The Building Ambassador role is VIDA’s modern twist on the traditional superintendent. Along with handling property issues, the “BA” is there to ensure residents see and feel a strong sense of community and belonging.

“When I was told what the position entailed, it immediately appealed to me,” says Janine. “I loved how VIDA planned to thrive by building community and providing opportunities for residents. It is exactly what I wanted for my kids."

Janine’s boys enjoy chipping in on all things VIDA; hanging posters, helping keep common areas clean, engaging with seniors, and sometimes even tagging along when she’s showing a unit to a potential resident.

“Through VIDA, they’ve made friends they likely wouldn’t have otherwise met,” she says. “Assisting me with my BA duties has provided them a sense of empowerment; it’s instilled a stronger sense of responsibility, confidence, accomplishment and work ethic.” 

The saying ‘it takes a village’ certainly rings true around VIDA. Now residents in several buildings throughout Truro-Bible Hill have come together to support each other like never before. Whether offering a jug of water after a power outage or picking up another residents' child from school, everyone seems eager to support each other. 

Janine’s passion for service in the VIDA community led her to expanding her BA role and even a new career path. When a property administrator opportunity with the company’s head office became available in December 2022, she went for it. And landing the job proved to be a game-changer for the entire family.

“I went for it because I love everything about VIDA,” she says. “The company helped give me the confidence to make that change, and I don’t have a single regret.”

As a resident, Building Ambassador and staff member, Janine Lahti is the ultimate example of how VIDA is finding creative solutions to help people get ahead in these tough times of high inflation and lack of affordable housing in Canada.

“Since I officially joined the team, I’ve had the opportunity to see how all the decisions are based on values that are best for a community to thrive,” she says. “As a staff member, you must remember that’s the focus in everything we do. We’re always striving to improve things for our residents, constantly changing and evolving.”

Janine Lahti has become an excellent fit for VIDA. And the company arrived on her doorstep at the right time, creating the perfect opportunity to help her family.

“The company gave me independence, confidence and less financial worry, when I needed it most,” she says. “My boys and I are thriving and happy today. VIDA is not just where we live anymore; it is our home.” 

That’s what VIDA is all about; creating a safe and clean home with opportunities to excel in the community.

VIDA media contact: Joel Goodman, Public Relations,