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News from Toronto Community Housing  | Winter 2016
Mayor's Task Force releases final report

The Mayor’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing delivered its final report entitled Transformative Change for TCHC  to Mayor John Tory at a news conference on January 26 after a year-long review of the company.
  
While recognizing the hard work of staff at Toronto Community Housing to improve the lives of residents, the Task Force stated that the company in its current form is unsustainable because of long-standing funding and structural problems that have been 30 years in the making. The report presents options that offer solutions to these problems, and calls on all levels of government to help address these issues.
 
"The Task Force report highlights Toronto Community Housing's long-standing challenges and the significant hurdles faced by the TCHC board in its oversight of a corporation that is underfunded and under-resourced,” said Bud Purves, Chair of the Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors.
 
“We thank Senator Eggleton and the Task Force members, particularly TCHC resident Muna Mohammed, who is a long-serving Tenant Representative and a strong advocate for her community," said President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn. "We appreciate the countless hours the Task Force spent studying our company to understand us, and consulting on how best to strengthen and support our essential role in the city. The 110,000 residents of our housing, their neighbours and all Torontonians will benefit from their efforts."
 
The City’s Executive Committee received the report on January 28 and asked City staff to review the recommendations of the report and report back to City Council on how Toronto Community Housing could be transformed to better serve the needs of residents. An initial report is expected this spring, with a more detailed report coming to City Council for their consideration later this fall.

Mayor John Tory appointed the six-member Task Force, chaired by former Toronto Mayor Senator Art Eggleton, in January 2015.  Its mandate was to study Toronto Community Housing and provide advice on how to improve the lives of residents by strengthening the organization’s governance and financial capacity.

Read the Mayor’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing’s final report Transformative Chance for TCHC.
Cover of the Mayor's Task Force final report, Transformative Change for TCHC.
Cover of the Mayor's Task Force final report, Transformative Change for TCHC.
Toronto Community Housing presents 2016 budget to City of Toronto's Budget Committee

Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors Chair Bud Purves and President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn presented the company’s 2016 budget to the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee on January 11.
 
This was the first time that Toronto Community Housing had been asked to appear before the Budget Committee. This provided the company with an opportunity to fully describe to City Councillors who we are as an organization and our plans for 2016 and beyond, and highlight our capital and operating pressures.
 
Read President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn’s remarks.
 
Read Toronto Community Housing’s presentation of the 2016 budget to the City’s Budget Committee.
 
New hydro relief program provides financial assistance to rent-geared-to-income households

Toronto Community Housing’s Board of Directors approved $1.2 million in financial relief for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) households who pay their own electric heating costs at the board meeting on October 29, 2015.
 
We recognize that last winter, RGI households that pay for electric heating faced financial hardships. To lessen the burden on these households this winter, we have put in place a program to provide payments directly to Toronto Hydro to be applied to the bills of RGI households who pay for their own electric heating.
 
Toronto Community Housing will pay for the part of their hydro bill that covers the average cost for heating a unit of their size. Approximately 1,200 RGI households pay for their own electric heat and so will see payments applied directly to their hydro bills beginning in February.
 
We are continuing to work with Toronto Hydro and other partners to find sustainable long-term solutions to reduce electric heating costs in our buildings, conserve electricity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Rookie League is expanding to a year-around after-school program

The Jays Care Foundation announced that they are investing an additional $246,000 in 2016 to expand the Rookie League program to a year-long program.
 
Toronto Community Housing joined Jays Care Foundation, Mayor John Tory, 25 Rookie League participants, and three Toronto Blue Jays players for the announcement at the Jays Clubhouse on January 19.
 
The additional funding to the Rookie League program, which is now in its 28th year, will allow youth in 11 communities to attend the program three nights a week during the winter. This will create opportunities for children to receive homework help and continue to learn and play baseball.
 
"Participating in Rookie League is an incredible team mentorship opportunity that can help kids chart their future,” said President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn. “Thanks to our expanding partnership with Jays Care Foundation, even more children and youth in our communities will benefit starting in 2016."
 
Learn more about Rookie League program.
Blue Jays players Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Dalton Pompey; President & CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn, Toronto Community Housing; Mayor John Tory; Jays Care Executive Director Robert Witchel; Blue Jays Central Host Jamie Campbell; and Rookie League participants approve of this expansion with smiles.
Blue Jays players Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Dalton Pompey; President & CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn, Toronto Community Housing; Mayor John Tory; Jays Care Executive Director Robert Witchel; Blue Jays Central Host Jamie Campbell; and Rookie League participants approve of this expansion with smiles.
Connecting potential applicants to job opportunities at Toronto Community Housing

The new job applicant system available on Toronto Community Housing’s website makes it easier for employees, residents and external candidates to apply for jobs at the company.
 
Potential candidates will now be able to set up job alerts and store their contact information, cover letter, resume and other documentation on the website so they can easily apply for future openings.
 
The new system was highlighted in our September 2015 Getting it done report, which presented 71 ideas on how Toronto Community Housing’s commitments could improve living conditions and job opportunities for residents.
 
Visit our new Careers page. 
Investing in our Diversity Scholarship program launches its 15th year

Sponsors, alumni, partners and elected officials joined Toronto Community Housing to kick start the 15th anniversary of the Investing in our Diversity Scholarship program at a launch event on January 28.
 
This year’s sponsors include Blaney McMurtry LLP, Borders Law, Concord Adex Group, Dentons Canada, Harry Newman Memorial Foundation, OSSTF District 12, Scadding Court Community Centre, Scotiabank, Sinai Health System, Toronto Police Service, Tridel and Unifor.

The Investing in our Diversity Scholarship program acknowledges the success of Toronto Community Housing youth for their contribution to diversity and leadership in their community and awards them up to $4,000 for postsecondary school and training. Second year scholarships are provided to the recipients by Toronto’s postsecondary institutions.

For more information about the program including how to get involved, contact Sherwin Modeste, Manager of Sponsorship, Grants and Development at Toronto Community Housing, at Sherwin.Modeste@torontohousing.ca or 416-981-4674. 

Read more about how the Investing in Our Diversity Scholarship program impacts residents.
Future applicants attend the Investing in our Diversity launch to learn more about the program.
Future applicants attend the Investing in our Diversity launch to learn more about the program.
Working toward making communities more safe 

Toronto Crime Stoppers launched Crime Stoppers Month at Toronto Police Headquarters on January 7. The annual Crime Stoppers Month acknowledges the effort of Crime Stoppers volunteers and their effort to reduce crime in communities across the city.
 
Toronto Community Housing and Toronto Crime Stoppers formed a joint partnership last September to help educate Toronto Community Housing residents about how they can use the anonymous tip line to keep their communities safe.
 
Since September, Toronto Community Housing staff and Toronto Crime Stoppers volunteers have worked with several communities, providing educational seminars for residents and placing Crime Stoppers signage throughout the property. Many more communities will join the Crime Stoppers program in 2016.
 
Read more about Toronto Community Housing’s joint partnership with Toronto Crime Stoppers.

Read the Toronto Star’s article about our new Community Safety Unit deployment model.
 
 
Contact Us 
If you have any thoughts or questions about what you have read, please contact us by emailing insidehousing@torontohousing.ca.
 
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