The Tenants First plan has implemented improvements to Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), including a more targeted housing portfolio and focused mandate.
Through Tenants First, TCHC is able to prioritize being a social housing landlord for families, youth and vulnerable tenants, including singles and seniors living in mixed-age buildings. With these positive changes to TCHC, there will be increased capacity to:
ensure buildings are in a good state of repair
plan for the future
connect tenants to appropriate services and opportunities to participate in their communities
Originally approved by Council in July 2017, the Tenants First project plan outlined a number of key changes and implementation steps including:
The transfer of the TCHC standalone homes portfolio
Including more than 600 standalone homes located across the city the City and TCHC have worked together to successfully complete the transfer of 632 scattered home properties to two not-for-profit community land trusts: the Neighbourhood Land Trust and the Circle Community Land Trust. In line with the Tenants First project goals, the transfer helps improve service to tenants while building capacity in the non-profit housing sector, and ensures these homes remain deeply affordable for tenants in perpetuity.
The creation of the Toronto Seniors Housing Corporation (TSHC)
Directly accountable to Council, in June of 2022, the TSHC was established, equipped with a board of directors along with a chief executive officer and senior leadership. Operation of 83 seniors’ buildings, which are home to approximately 14,000 tenants, has been transferred from TCHC to the newly established TSHC. Through the transfer and the introduction of an Integrated Service Model, there is a stronger focus on seniors’ health and well-being in TSHC’s seniors’ communities.
A new funding model for TCHC
The new model includes adequate and sustainable funding for successful operations, along with an ongoing capital repair component. The new funding model was formally adopted by Toronto City Council in 2019 and will also be modified to fund TSHC.
The City will continue to work with TCHC to transfer ownership and operation of additional properties from TCHC’s standalone housing portfolio to the non-for-profit sector, including agency homes and multi-tenant (rooming) houses. This will help ensure that these homes are well-maintained and that community agencies can provide services and supports to tenants.
The Tenants First project also includes the creation of the City Housing Corporation Relationship Unit, within the City of Toronto’s Housing Secretariat. The focus of this Unit is to ensure progress on Tenants First initiatives, as well as to work with TCHC and TSHC to improve operations and implement new approaches.
Beginning in 2023, the City will implement a new accountability framework to ensure on-going communication and support to TCHC and TSHC. The City Housing Corporation Relationship Unit will work closely with TCHC and TSHC to improve procedures regarding reporting, annual funding, opportunities for improvement and positive tenant outcomes.
Photos from a home that was recently renovated through the Land Trust Transfer and supportive funding.