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The Community Standards committee is one of several sub-committees of the Community Safety Unit’s CSU) Evaluation Steering Committee, which was formed to oversee the implementation of the priorities endorsed by Toronto Community Housing following an evaluation of the CSU completed in 2006.
Tenants have often complained that the behaviours of other tenants in the community have a negative impact on the community perception of safety and the livability of communities. Many of these behaviours are difficult to address and often lead to the disempowerment of other tenants, who may be intimidated by the actions of their fellow tenants. These behaviours may be not be illegal, but negatively impact on the ability of tenants to live comfortably in their communities. The development of community standards is an initiative that aims to provide tools that will allow staff and tenants to identify and address unacceptable behaviours. The community standards will go beyond ‘safety’, in providing tenants and staff with options that allow them to play an active role in building communities that they want to live and work in, creating new relationships and expectations between tenants, between tenants and staff, and between key stakeholders who visit TCHC communities. The standards will need to be reflect the diversity of tenants and individuals who live in, work and visit TCHC communities. They will need to provide creative, positive ways of supporting people living with mental health issues, of welcoming and embracing diversity and integrating the vast range of abilities that exist in all communities. If successful, this initiative will build practices which are sustainable, thereby improving the livability of the neighbourhood, relations with staff and ensuring that the rights of all tenants and staff are respected. The Community Standards sub-committee is tasked with working with tenants, staff and key stakeholders to develop these standards.
GOALS OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE:
- Development of TCHC-wide community standards which outline the nature and level of behaviour expected from Toronto Community Housing tenants and staff.
- Identification of actions to be taken by TCHC if tenants or staff act in a manner that is in breach of the community standards (continuum of informal to formal actions)
- Articulation of the responses required from different constituencies within TCHC for anticipating, preventing and reacting to non-compliance.
- Development of an implementation plan
- Summary of the resources, and organizational/operational supports required to promote community standards across the TCHC portfolio
- Enhanced linkages between TCHC communities and agencies in the broader community.
This will be done by through a series of key informant interviews, focus groups and consultations that will allow the committee to:
- Identify anti-social behaviours
- Develop protocols on acceptable standards of community behaviour
- Create expectations for staff and tenants related to these behaviours
- Outline the steps to be taken when non-compliance occurs
- Identify key agencies that can support the implementation of the standards
- Summarize the resources required to introduce and support the implementation of the community standards across the entire portfolio.
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