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News from Toronto Community Housing  | October 2015
Beyond the Blueprint: Toronto Community Housing takes part in annual ONPHA conference 

Toronto Community Housing staff and residents attended the 2015 Ontario
Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA)
Conference from October 16 to 18 in Toronto and also led a number of sessions to highlight our work and share best practices.
 
Toronto Community Housing's sessions included presentations on demographics, ReSet, and Participatory Budgeting. Interim President and CEO Greg Spearn also presented the business case for investing in social housing and shared the many social, environmental and economic benefits of investing in Toronto Community Housing homes.

In addition, we led tours of two of our Revitalization communities, Alexandra Park and Lawrence Heights, and partnered with LOFT Community Services and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre to deliver a session on addressing the challenges of hoarding.

The annual conference is the largest social housing conference in North America.
 
Visit ONPHA’s conference website to learn more about this annual event.
Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), presents the business case for investing in social housing at 2015 ONPHA conference.
Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), presents the business case for investing in social housing at 2015 ONPHA conference.
New program to "ReSet" the clock on Toronto Community Housing's aging buildings

Resident leaders and elected officials joined Toronto Community Housing to announce the launch of ReSet at a news conference on September 25.  ReSet is a new innovative approach to capital repairs being piloted in three communities: Jane-Firgrove, Lawrence Orton and Queensway Windermere.

The ReSet program will bundle multiple capital repair jobs in each community and deliver them as one project, resulting in cost savings, faster repairs and safer communities. This new approach will reduce the impact on residents by shortening the construction period. Residents will be involved in all steps of the process, including helping to match services and needs to their community.

“ReSet will deliver transformative change for communities in desperate need of significant capital investments, while at the same time delivering cost savings for Toronto Community Housing and limiting disruptions for residents,” said Interim President and CEO Greg Spearn. "Too many of our communities have slid into a state of critical disrepair after more than a decade of underfunding. With ReSet we can reverse this trend and preserve our housing for another generation."  

Visit our website to learn more about ReSet.
Tenant Representative Monique Glen talks about how ReSet will have a positive impact on her community. Looking on from left to right: Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), Toronto Community Housing; Mayor John Tory; Toronto's Housing Advocate and Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18); Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7); Sheila Penny, Vice President, Facilities Management, Toronto Community Housing; Tenant Representative Lorna Colquhoun; and Task Force member and Tenant Representative Muna Mohammed.
Tenant Representative Monique Glen talks about how ReSet will have a positive impact on her community. Looking on from left to right: Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), Toronto Community Housing; Mayor John Tory; Toronto's Housing Advocate and Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18); Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7); Sheila Penny, Vice President, Facilities Management, Toronto Community Housing; Tenant Representative Lorna Colquhoun; and Task Force member and Tenant Representative Muna Mohammed.  
Phase 1 begins in Lawrence Heights

Toronto Community Housing, developer partner Heights Development Inc. (Context and Metropia), elected officials and residents celebrated the launch of Phase 1 of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project on October 13 with the demolition of 22 aging townhouses.

Lawrence Heights is Toronto Community Housing’s largest Revitalization project. During Phase 1, a total of 233 rental homes will be replaced at no cost to Toronto Community Housing. Over the next 15 to 20 years more than 1,200 Toronto Community Housing homes will be replaced and over 4,000 private condominiums and townhomes will be built.

Read more about the Lawrence Heights Revitalization.
Highlights from the launch of Phase 1 of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project.
Highlights from the launch of Phase 1 of the Lawrence Heights Revitalization project. 
Retrofit project launches in seven Toronto Community Housing buildings

Toronto Community Housing and Toronto Atmospheric Fund launched the TowerWise Retrofit Project with a news conference and a site tour on September 22. Toronto Atmospheric Fund provided $4.2 million for energy retrofits in seven Toronto Community Housing buildings with more than 1,200 households.

The seven buildings are over 45 years old and in need of energy-efficiency upgrades. This project will help reduce utility costs by 20 per cent, reduce greenhouse emissions by 30 per cent and help address the $2.6 billion in capital repairs needed for Toronto Community Housing's aging buildings.    

Read more about the TowerWise Retrofit Project.
 
An infographic shows how retrofits will reduce utility costs in a Toronto Community Housing building.
An infographic shows how retrofits will reduce utility costs in a Toronto Community Housing building.  
Limitless Heights scholarship program celebrates 20 new recipients

Toronto Community Housing and developer partner Heights Development Inc. (Context and Metropia) hosted an awards dinner on September 24 to celebrate the 2015 Building Our Future: Limitless Heights Scholarships recipients.

Now in its third year, the Limitless Heights Scholarship provides residents with scholarships for their commitment to community building and development and for their contributions to the Lawrence Heights and Neptune communities.

Scholarship recipients receive up to $3,000 in tuition fees, a $300 bursary to cover the costs of books, materials, transportation and childcare, and ongoing support from Toronto Community Housing in economic development opportunities.

Since 2013, when the program started, 66 scholarships valued at $252,000 have been given to Toronto Community Housing residents living in Lawrence Heights and Neptune. Twenty scholarships were awarded this year. 

Read more on the Limitless Heights scholarship program.

View photos from the event on Facebook.
From left to right: Howard Cohen, President, Context Development Inc.; Norma Gomez; Berhane M. Abraha; Yasmin Mohamed; Ashna Parbatie; Mohamed Nur; Sayara Khan; Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), Toronto Community Housing; Rashida Clarke; and Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15).
From left to right: Howard Cohen, President, Context Development Inc.; Norma Gomez; Berhane M. Abraha; Yasmin Mohamed; Ashna Parbatie; Mohamed Nur; Sayara Khan; Greg Spearn, President and CEO (Interim), Toronto Community Housing; Rashida Clarke; and Councillor Josh Colle (Ward 15).  
Youth opportunities coming this fall  

Toronto Community Housing is hosting multiple employment opportunities and development programs for youth this fall.

October 28: UPS Job Fair
A one-day event hiring Toronto Community Housing youth as driver helpers. 

November 7: Amazing Race
A one-day conference to engage youth to learn more about the supports and services in their community.

November 17 and 24: Job Preparation Workshops
Workshops where residents will work with staff from Toronto Community Housing on best practices to help sharpen their skills in interviews, applications, cover letters and resume writing. 

November 18: HIStory Youth Conference
A youth conference to celebrate international men's day which includes workshops to better understand gender equality, discrimination, and men's health issues. 

November 28: If I Ruled T.O. Youth Conference
A one-day conference where youth will discuss solutions on topics such as police relations, social media, accessible youth spaces, mental health, violence and safety, education, social housing and civic engagement. 

If you know any youth interested in learning more about youth opportunities in Toronto Community Housing or who want to sign up for any of these events, visit the event calendar on our website for details or send an email to youth@torontohousing.ca
The Tenant Guide is available in multiple languages and accessible formats

The Tenant Guide provides residents with helpful information about living in Toronto Community Housing, including their rights and responsibilities, common areas and safety tips. The Tenant Guide is now available in multiple languages and new accessible formats.

The Tenant Guide is available in:
  • 18 languages
  • Large print (English)
  • Audio (English)
  • Braille
Residents can request a copy of the Tenant Guide by visiting their local Operating Unit Office, sending an email to help@torontohousing.ca or calling the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500. 
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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