June 12, 2017

This backgrounder provides information on Phase 1 of the Tenants First Implementation Plan scheduled to go before Executive Committee on June 19, 2017. Pending decisions at Executive Committee, this report will go to City Council for consideration at its next meeting from July 5 to 7, 2017.

Overview

In July 2016, City Council approved Tenants First – A Way Forward for Toronto Community Housing and Social Housing in Toronto  which proposed changes to transform Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC).

The Tenants First Project Team was established to continue the work of the Tenants First report and has been guiding the Tenants First Implementation Plan. A 13-member Tenant Advisory Panel was created to share lived experience, knowledge and advice in the development of the plan. Input and feedback was also sought from Toronto Community Housing, the non-profit sector, TCHC tenants, City staff and others.

The overall focus of the Implementation Plan is to lay out a vision where Toronto Community Housing focuses on being a social housing landlord, where buildings are in a good state of repair, and tenants are connected to appropriate services and active participants in their communities.

Toronto Community Housing supports the goals of the report, has provided the Tenants First Project Team with the information they needed and has worked on elements of the Implementation Plan.

Summary of Phase 1 Recommendations

In all, there are 11 recommendations included in Phase 1 of the Implementation Plan. Of those eleven, there are three key recommendations including:

  • The creation of a new Seniors Housing and Services entity that is more directly accountable to City Council and is responsible for the management of 83 seniors-designated buildings (approx. 14,000 units) currently within the TCHC portfolio.
  • A New TCHC and the start of a process for redefining TCHC’s mandate to focus its role as a social housing provider serving the needs of families, youth, vulnerable tenants and seniors living in mixed buildings.
  • Adequate funding, through a proposed new funding model, for both TCHC and the proposed new Seniors Housing and Services entity. The Plan includes strategies and projections to address interim (short-term) funding, permanent (long-term) funding and transactional cost considerations.

Benefits of the Tenants First Plan (long-term)

If approved, TCHC Tenants will benefit from these recommendations in the following ways:

  • Seniors in TCHC mixed buildings, as well as those who live in buildings run by the new Seniors Housing and Services entity will experience improved services.
  • TCHC will be in a better position to maintain buildings and to meet the needs of all of its tenants.
  • There will be better programs and services offered to TCHC tenants because of stronger partnerships with community agencies as well as the City.

Recommending a new Seniors Housing and Services Entity supports the Toronto Seniors Strategy. This report is also closely aligned with Housing Opportunities Toronto Today, TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy, Toronto Youth Equality Strategy, Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020, and Toronto Newcomer Strategy.

Next Steps

If approved, the Project Team will begin implementing Phase 1 recommendations. In the report, the Tenants First Project Team has committed to providing Phase 2 recommendations by the end of 2017.

The Tenants First Project Team expects that phased-in recommendations will generally be guided by Tenants First: A Way Forward for Toronto Community Housing and Social Housing in Toronto, as per Council input/direction.

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Media contact: Eric Holmes, Strategic Communications, 416-392-2708, eric.holmes@toronto.ca