Developing a System for Dealing with Reviews Policy Tool
Developed by the City of Toronto
The Housing Services Act, s. 155-156 requires the City of Toronto, as service manager, to have a system under which households can request reviews of housing provider RGI decisions.
The system must include provision for a review body, including:
a) rules for the appointment and removal of members and their remuneration; and
b) procedural rules for the reviews.
The types of housing provider decisions subject to review are:
- eligibility for RGI assistance (reviewed by housing provider)
- size and type of unit that a household is eligible for (reviewed by housing provider)
- amount of rent payable (reviewed by housing provider)
- eligibility for special needs housing (reviewed by housing provider)
- losing eligibility for RGI assistance (reviewed by City of Toronto)
The City of Toronto requires housing providers to carry out reviews in a manner that is procedurally fair. In general terms, this means that households:
- receive the information they need to fully understand a decision
- have the right to an in person hearing
- have the right to bring someone they choose to the hearing
- have an unbiased hearing, and
- receive the information they need to understand the review decision.
Specifically, Regulation 367, s. 138 requires that:
- no one who participated in the decision may participate in the review as a member of the review body
- members of the review body must be knowledgeable about the relevant provisions of the Act and regulations
- no one who discussed the decision with the decision maker may participate in the review as a member of the review body, and
- no member of the review body may discuss the decision with the decision maker except during the course of the review.
- Know the requirements. Review the City of Toronto’s RGI Administration Manual, Chapter 7 and the relevant sections of the HSA.
- Document the corporation’s review process and include it in your RGI process. The City of Toronto RGI Administration Manual, Chapter 10 has sample notices to use in your RGI process. When communicating a decision, the household must be informed that they have a right to a review and they must submit a written request. The request must be received within the time frame established by the housing provider. See the RGI Administration Manual, Chapter 7 for more information. When the housing provider is issuing a decision that a household is no longer eligible for RGI assistance the housing provider must include the City’s Request for Review Form with the Notice. RGI assistance must be reviewed by your staff:
- when an RGI household notifies you of a change in income, assets, or household composition,
- at other times if the service manager requires it, and
- before you offer a unit to a household applying for RGI assistance.
- Choose a Review Committee.
See the RGI Administration Manual, Chapter 7 for more information.
Make sure your tenants/members know that they must submit the documents on time. Get the message out through letters to RGI households, interviews, newsletters, and bulletin boards.
The Board can ensure that the corporation’s system for dealing with reviews is being followed by
- having the Review committee give the Board regular reports.
- having a Board member on the Review committee (provided they have the appropriate training and skills).
- asking staff to see a blank version of the Income/Asset Verification package sent to households.
- checking to see if it includes the proper information about review opportunities and notice periods.