Toronto Community Housing – Board Governance Structure
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Mandate and Responsibilities
The Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCH) is incorporated under the Business Corporations Act (Ontario), with the City of Toronto as its sole shareholder.
TCH owns and manages a housing portfolio of approximately 58,500 units in over 2,200 buildings in more than 350 communities across Toronto, and is the largest social housing provider operating in Canada. Government funding subsidies for TCH’s operations are administered by the City’s Shelter, Support and Housing Division acting as the Service Manager under the Housing Services Act, 2011.
The mandate of TCH is to provide affordable and subsidized rental housing in a state of good repair to low and moderate income households in Toronto. In support of this mandate, TCH may engage in the following business activities:
- own or operate rental and affordable ownership housing and provide related services;
- develop new affordable and subsidized rental housing, including revitalization and redevelopment of TCH lands and buildings in partnership with the City and others;
- facilitate the development of affordable ownership housing through the revitalization and redevelopment of TCH lands and buildings in partnership with the City and others;
- develop and operate commercial space and services in support of TCH objectives;
- facilitate services to tenants through other organizations;
- manage an investment program for reserves and borrow funds;
- deliver program related services on behalf of any housing program administrator including management of waiting lists and rent supplement programs;
- create subsidiaries to meet its mandate, and invest in joint ventures to meet its goals, subject to prior consultation with the City Manager; and
- work with residents and the co-operative housing sector to develop options and protocols for the conversion of appropriate TCH buildings to self-managed co-operatives.
The Board of Directors is responsible for supervising the management of the business and affairs of TCH, including the following specific matters:
- establishing annual and long-range strategies and plans consistent with the provisions of the Shareholder Direction;
- establishing policies consistent with the Shareholder Direction, the Social Housing Reform Act, all other applicable legislation, and best practices;
- establishing and maintaining appropriate reserves consistent with sound financial principles and program regulations;
- selecting bankers and other financial institutions and establishing all banking authorities;
- managing and directing all labour and employee-relations matters;
- appointing the officers of TCH, appointing the boards of directors of the subsidiaries and approving Shareholder Directions for the subsidiaries in accordance with City direction;
- ensuring appropriate processes are in place to enable the Board to monitor TCH’s compliance with Board policies and decisions and with Shareholder requirements;
- approving and submitting required reports to the Shareholder; and
- maintaining a democratic system of active tenant participation and involvement, including providing a tenant council structure or similar organization.
Board Size and Composition
The Board of Directors consists of 13 members and is composed of:
- the Mayor, or a designate recommended by the Mayor and appointed by City Council;
- 3 Council Members;
- 2 citizen members who are tenant representatives; and
- 7 citizen members.
Chair and Vice-Chair
City Council appoints the Chair of the Board of Directors. The Board elects a Vice-Chair from amongst its members.
Citizens are eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors, and eligible to remain on the Board after being appointed, if they satisfy the eligibility requirements for appointment as set out in the City’s Public Appointments Policy, and if they are not a Council Member and not a tenant of Toronto Community Housing.
A member may be removed from the Board by the Shareholder if the member has a conflict of interest that cannot be resolved in any other satisfactory manner or the member engages in activities deemed by the Board to have an adverse impact on their duties as a Board member.
Citizen members of the Board of Directors should collectively represent a range of relevant skills, knowledge and experience, including the following:
- knowledge of the field of social housing;
- housing advocacy or community development;
- land development;
- property management;
- business management;
- corporate governance;
- organizational development;
- labour relations;
- business law; and
- social services for hard to serve tenants.
In addition, at least one Board member must possess financial management expertise.
Tenant members of the Board must also:
- demonstrate some involvement in the community;
- have attended an orientation session on the roles and responsibilities of being a tenant board member; and
- demonstrate a commitment to the values contained in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s Human Rights, Harassment and Fair Access Policy.
Appointments Process – Tenant Representative Election
The membership-based recruitment method is used to elect the tenant representatives. The election process is developed by tenants, approved by City Council, and supported by TCH. City staff may also observe or support the process. Nominations resulting from the election of tenant representatives by TCH tenants are recommended to City Council for approval.
Appointments Process – Citizen Members
Citizen members are recruited through an advertised recruitment process. The appointments process is conducted according to the policies and procedures in the City’s Public Appointments Policy by a Corporation Nominating Panel appointed by the Mayor. A search consultant may be engaged to assist the Panel during the process.
The Board meets approximately 8 times a year or at the call of the Chair. Board meetings are open to the public, except for meetings or parts of meetings where a subject matter is being considered that is set out in section 190 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006.
Citizen Chair: $20,000 annual retainer (no meeting fees).
Citizen Members: $2,500 annual retainer plus $500 per Board or Committee meeting, up to a maximum total remuneration of $10,000.
No remuneration is paid to Council Members on the Board.