Tenants for Social Housing is committed to an affordable housing system which includes social housing, rent-geared to income, market rent and a wide range of housing types to meet the range of needs of tenants. We believe that neighbourhoods work best when they are of mixed incomes and housing types, and when tenants have a real, meaningful role in shaping our homes and communities. Tenants living in Toronto Community Housing have experienced broken promises for over a decade, having our hopes raised and then demolished, like many of the homes we’ve seen come and go.
As the City of Toronto continues to look into the Mayor’s Task Force report on TCHC and now Tenants First, Tenants for Social Housing strongly believes that 4 core principles should be used to guide the discussions and decision making in this process.
The City needs to commit to not selling any homes in TCHC. Rationalization still means sell.
The City can be a decentralized, local housing provider without selling housing to other providers or worse, to private individuals.
Where there is an uninhabitable home, it is TCHC’s obligation to replace it in the same location, size and type with access to the same supports and amenities.
Portable subsidies should not be seen as a replacement of existing housing units, but as additions to what is currently being provided, as long as it meets the needs of tenants.
Tenants participation and experiences must be integrated in a real and meaningful way into all processes of housing providers and the City of Toronto.
Tenants have a right to be part of the decision making of our homes and communities.
Decentralization of decision making can only work if tenants and staff enter into a respectful collaboration where tenant representation and experiences are integrated in a real and meaningful way.
A properly supported tenant engagement system needs support of local leadership development, inclusion of tenant experience and participation in decision making to assist in informed ‘asset management’ and community health.
There isn’t a clear enough argument for transforming into a non-profit that can provide a guarantee of stable housing, the way the City of Toronto can.
Tenant stability is more than just housing – it is about our community and support networks. We need a safeguard to not lose the housing stock as affordable, rent-geared-to-income housing which is so desperately needed in Toronto.
There is contradictory information about what funding is available. Who has the best access to the money we need to address the repair backlog now. We need the real answers before any decisions get made.
More accountability from the housing provider(s) to tenants is crucial.
Having the City directly accountable for housing means that we can keep our elected Mayor and Councillors accountable for maintaining our housing and communities.
Repairs must be done well and include oversight and accountability from the housing provider(s) with support from tenants.
There needs to be more visible accountability from the City of Toronto and housing providers on what performance metrics/tracking are used so that we know what they are doing and not doing. Tenants can help find the real solutions needed to make sure we all live in safe and healthy homes and communities.
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