TENANTS REJECT ‘DIRTY’ MONEY FOR REPAIRS: Tenants denounce plan to have homes repaired at the expense of over 700 other families
TORONTO – Despite multiple opportunities to explore realistic and sustainable solutions to the backlog of capital repairs, the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) continue their path of neglect and use their poor maintenance record as justification to displace thousands of tenants with the sale of over 700 homes.
Today, the City Manager and TCHC staff released additional information intended to justify recommendations to sell homes in TCHC. But tenants are concerned that this information continues to call on tenants to turn against each other, threatening not to conduct needed repairs unless the public accepts a sale that will see thousands of tenants at risk.
“Any money from the sale that gets used to repair our homes is ‘dirty money’ in our eyes,” said Bernadette Thomas, a tenant living in a TCHC apartment building in Etobicoke and member of Tenants for Social Housing. “My home is not being sold – yet. But this is more than just the homes being sold, this is about our communities and in my community, we don’t step all over our neighbours just because TCHC wants to bribe us with the money from these sales,” continued Thomas.
“I refuse to have ‘dirty money’ pay for the repairs in my home,” said Karlene Steer, a tenant living in a TCHC apartment building and member of Tenants for Social Housing. “Tenants know best about what repairs are needed in our homes, we live with them every day, but we refuse to see thousands of tenants kicked out of their homes just because a handful of managers never did their jobs,” said Steer.
Tenants continue to express doubt about the justification for the sale. They point to numerous errors in the original report including plans to sell homes that were already sold, plans to sell home that were bound by legal agreement. They also point to a wide range of alternative plans recommended by many but ignored by TCHC and City Hall until only today to which they were only paid lip service. At this meeting, Councillors will be asked to support recommendations to move forward with the mass fire sale of homes as the only solution to TCHC’s repairs backlog without taking the time to consider in any meaningful way, alternative solutions.
Tenants across the City, whether affected by the potential sale or not, are united against the sale of any homes and see this as a slippery slope that will eventually lead to the destruction of social housing in Toronto. Tenants have been asking Councillors to take the time to rethink this plan in a way that does reflect what tenants need, look at real alternatives and cancel the sale. Tenants and supporters of social housing will be deputing at the February 13 City Executive meeting to ask for members to stop the mass sale of their homes.
Download the Press Release: Media release – Tenants reject dirty money for repairs