The Affordable Housing Office strives to operate in a professional and courteous manner. It is also focused on treating its partners in an equitable, transparent and timely manner. In keeping with these principles, the Affordable Housing Office has established this complaints policy to provide external individuals and organizations, as well as, City divisions with a clear procedure to follow when lodging a complaint about the Affordable Housing Office. Equally, the policy provides the Affordable Housing Office and its staff with a clear process for handling and resolving complaints.

Guiding Principles

  • Complaints are dealt with promptly and resolved as quickly as possible
  • Staff treat complaints as confidential and protect complainant’s privacy
  • Complaint investigations are fair, impartial and respectful to parties involved
  • Complainants are advised of their options to escalate their complaint if they are dissatisfied with its treatment or outcome
  • Complainants are provided clear and understandable reasons for how decisions on the complaint were made
  • Updates are provided to complainants during investigations
  • Complaints are used to assist in improving services, policies and procedures

Complaint Definition

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the Affordable Housing Office’s policies, procedures, employees or quality of service. Examples include, but are not limited to, the perception of:

  • failure to do something agreed to do
  • failure to observe policies or procedures
  • unacceptable delay
  • staff error
  • lack of access to information or services (i.e. language or disability barriers)
  • discourteous actions/statements by staff
  • fraud such as the use of IT resources for purposes unrelated to City business; theft of cash or City equipment; false benefit claims (i.e. sick leave); abuse of work hours; vendor misconduct or conflict of interest; misstated or misleading information to decision maker and false claims and submissions by program recipients.

A complaint may be received verbally, in-person, by telephone or in writing by hand delivery, mail, fax or email.

Receipt of Complaint

Written complaints are date-stamped and immediately referred to the staff person involved, the manager and the director. Receipt of the complaint is acknowledged within 48 hours by the Affordable Housing Office in the same medium as the complaint (e.g. letter, email). This reply includes a tracking number (which appears on the complaint form) and the following:

The Affordable Housing Office collects your personal information under authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, s. 136(c) and the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 169, Article I, ss. 169-1, 169-2, and 169-4. The information you provide will be used to investigate the complaint and may be used for contact purposes related to the investigation. Questions about this collection can be directed to the Affordable Housing Office, 7th Floor, Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, ON M5V 3C6 or 416-397-4169 or Celeste.Young@toronto.ca

Complaints not within the Affordable Housing Office’s jurisdiction are forwarded to the appropriate division and the complainant is advised.

Anonymous complaints are referred to the manager and director.

Record of the Complaint

During complaint escalation, staff maintain a record at all stages including:

  • name of the complainant
  • details of the complaint
  • communications with complainant and other parties
  • the decision and action taken, and
  • the complainant’s response.

Investigations

Investigations may be conducted during the second and third step outlined below. The investigation may include:

  • Discussion(s) with the complainant to clarify the complaint, confirm common understanding, clarify outcome sought and explain complaint procedures.
  • Discussion with staff involved (with union representative, if applicable).
  • Review of background information such as policies and procedures, previous written communications and other documentation. Obtain and review other expert opinions or perspectives.

At each stage of escalation, it should be determined whether the previous investigation has been adequate.

Procedure