Swansea Mews: Frequently Asked Questions

Swansea Mews Community

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Frequently Asked Questions



Frequently Asked Questions


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General

Engineering

Impact on Tenant Residency

Per Diem Cheques

Relocation Process

Legal Support

The Future of Swansea Mews

 

General


What happened on May 27?

In the early hours of Friday, May 27, a concrete ceiling panel broke away in a townhome unit in Block H of the Swansea Mews community. The ceiling panel landed on and seriously injured a person.

Why did the ceiling panel fall?

Based on a report by a structural engineer, we believe the cause dates back to the building's original construction. Further testing is needed to determine the extent of the issue and we can't rule out the possibility of a similar accident. As a result, our primary focus is ensuring tenant safety.

What steps are you taking to protect tenants' safety?

Your safety is our top priority. Tenants were moved to temporary accommodation because of the potential safety risk to remaining in the community. As units are vacated, we installed temporary structural supports (shoring) to protect against the potential of another similar incident, allowing engineers to enter and inspect the units and determine whether more faulty ceiling panels exist. We recognize the disruption this has caused and continually work to make this as smooth as possible.

 

Where can I get more information about what's happening in Swansea Mews?

TCHC has created a dedicated telephone hotline and an email inbox to receive and respond to questions from residents of Swansea Mews specifically.

Email: swansea.mews@torontohousing.ca

Telephone hotline: 416-945-0900

 

Can you give me some kind of documentation to prove to my employer/school that I've been impacted by this?

A Community Services Coordinator can draft a letter for your employer or school to confirm the details of the situation and the impact it is having on residents of the Swansea Mews community.

To request this, call the Swansea Mews hotline at 416-945-0900 or email swansea.mews@torontohousing.ca.

 

  
Engineering

 

TCHC is installing structural supports in my unit. What will that look like and is it safe?

Commonly known as shoring, these supports are steel or wooden beams that create a protective barrier inside a unit, allowing engineers to safely enter and conduct inspection of the ceiling panels.

 

I was given a Content Manipulation form and asked to sign it. What does this mean? 

As part of the work to install shoring, TCHC's contractor may need to move your personal belongings out of the work area and return them to the area once the work has been completed. When you sign this form, you give permission for this work to take place.

The original version of this form included a section that released TCHC from responsibility in the event that your property was damaged by the contractor. While this is a standard clause in many agreements both at TCHC and elsewhere, we have made the decision to remove the clause for this form.

A new version of the form is available for tenants. You can contact local staff to sign the new agreement and void the previous form, receiving a copy as proof that it was voided. 

 

Once shoring is installed, can I return to my unit?

At this time, no. TCHC is exploring every option to minimize the disruption of relocation. Currently, shoring is being installed to make the unit safe for engineers to enter and complete their inspection.

I heard that my unit is being scanned. What does that mean?

Engineers will use electromagnetic image scanning to inspect every ceiling panel in every unit. This imaging will allow engineers to understand if your unit has a ceiling panel with the same defect as the panel that fell on May 27.

 

Can you provide the names of the contractors and engineering firms that are working in the community?

Yes, please see below:


Contractors Engineering Firms
Trinity Services Inc. CS&P Architects Inc.
Uniqueco Building Restoration WSP Global Inc.
PSP General Contractors RJC Engineers
APlus General Contractors 
Alltra Building Restoration 

 

Can tenants see the engineering report that was completed after the fallen ceiling panel was inspected?

Yes. TCHC will request a report from the engineering firm that summarizes their findings. These engineers have also agreed to attend the next town hall and take questions from residents. In the meantime, you can view the Engineering Report presentation PDF or watch the video of the presentation.


 



Impact on Tenant Residency

 

Where will I live while I have to vacate my unit?

TCHC has arranged for a large block of dormitory residences at Humber Lakeshore Campus. A limited number of hotels are providing rooms, as well, based on availability. More information about relocation can be found in the Relocation section of the FAQs.

 

What should I take with me when I leave for temporary lodging?

We recommend that you bring:

  • clothing and shoes
  • toiletries
  • all your prescription medicines and medical information
  • ID, important papers and cards
    • driver's license
    • passport
    • OHIP card and any other medical insurance

  • any other insurance information (home, car, personal)
  • legal documents
    • birth certificates
    • social insurance cards
    • will
    • vehicle registration and ownership papers
    • marriage/divorce papers
    • etc
  • financial records
    • bank account information
    • credit and debit cards
    • government benefits and retirement account statements
  • glasses, contact lenses and other health-related items.
  • If you have young children:
    • formula or milk
    • bottles
    • baby food/cereal
    • diapers and wipes
    • school supplies
    • toys

Can I still go into my unit to get my things after I move to temporary lodging?

While we do not recommend tenants go back into their units at this time as we work to protect their safety, tenants are legally allowed back in. There are specific safety protocols to follow if you wish to re-enter your unit to retrieve additional items. Community Safety Unit officers or Allied Security's on-site guards will escort you to ensure your safety while in the building, which is under inspection by engineers.

To arrange this, call the Swansea Mews hotline at 416-945-0900 or email swansea.mews@torontohousing.ca, or see someone on site.

What will happen to the things I leave in my unit?

Security will be posted 24/7 in the Swansea Mews community to monitor access and safeguard unoccupied units. When TCHC contractors are in your unit to install shoring, there will be a TCHC representative present. 

 

How will I access my mail and package deliveries?

TCHC has coordinated with Canada Post's Area Manager, who is responsible for Swansea Mews deliveries, to arrange for mail and package collection. More information will be provided when this arrangement is finalized.

If you have packages coming with a different delivery service, we suggest contacting them directly.

 

Will I be paying rent while I am out of my unit?

Swansea Mews tenants who vacate their units by June 15th will not be charged rent or parking for June 2022.


Who is covering the costs associated with having to leave my unit (i.e., transportation, personal items, toiletries, etc.)?

TCHC provided gift cards to help purchase personal items, toiletries and other things to help during the time you are temporarily away from your unit as well as providing transportation while relocating.

Going forward, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) will give per diem payments to Swansea Mews tenants as part of the temporary accommodation process. Full information can be found in the Per Diem section of the FAQs.

 

Will TCHC pay for my gas costs if I need to drive further to get to work or school?

Tenants receive a daily $25 incidental. This money can be used for gas, clothing or other items that you need.

 

What support is being provided to transport students to and from school?

TCHC is providing shuttle bus service from temporary accommodations to Swansea Mews so that students can continue to access their regular school bus routes.

 

Is food provided for me when I am in temporary accommodation?

People staying at Humber College will have access to the school's cafeteria meal plan at no cost. All tenants in temporary accommodations will receive per diem payments that can be used to pay for food.

 

Do the Humber College units have kitchens?

The Humber College units have kitchenettes, which include a small fridge and a microwave. People staying at Humber College will have access to the school's cafeteria meal plan at no cost, starting June 8, 2022.

 

I have pets; where can I be accommodated if I leave Swansea Mews temporarily?

TCHC has found a limited number of hotel rooms that will take pets, located in Mississauga and Vaughan. TCHC is contacting pet-owning families as rooms become available to determine if they are willing to be accommodated in these locations.

 

This is a particularly busy time for hotels, and many hotels do not accept pets, making it difficult to find locations. We appreciate your understanding while we look for additional locations.

 

Per Diem Cheques


What is a per diem?

A per diem is a daily allowance paid to cover costs you may encounter while in temporary accommodations away from home, like meals and transportation.

 

When do I get my per diem?

Households will get their per diem payment weekly. The first payment is issued today and covers June 13 to 19. It includes an additional amount for June 8 to 12.

Future per diems will be delivered to your accommodations on Thursdays. If you are not there, we will deliver again on Friday. If you will not be there either day, please contact the Swansea Mews hotline so staff can work with you.

 

How much do I get?

For this first per diem:

  • Tenants currently at Humber College will get $25 per day, per person
  • Tenants not at Humber College will get $50 per day, per person

Starting Wednesday, June 15, all relocated tenants will get $50 per person, per day. Tenants at Humber College will get a $25 top up per day (for June 15 to 19), which will be added to the cheque you get for June 20 to 26.

Please note that each cheque period covers Monday to Sunday.


What method is the per diem paid to me?

Per diems will be paid through cheque.

 

Does this affect my rent?

No. This per diem is not considered income; you will not claim it during any annual rent calculations. It will not affect the amount of rent you pay.

 

Who do I speak to if I have questions?

For more information or if you have a specific request, contact the hotline at 416-945-0900 or swansea.mews@torontohousing.ca.

 

 

Relocation Process

Temporary accommodation vs. relocation?

Temporary accommodation means a stay in hotels and dorms where tenants do not pay rent, and you do not have your belongings or furniture

Relocation means your belongings and furniture are moved from Swansea Mews to your Relocation unit where you have signed a lease. You will have a choice to return to Swansea Mews once the ceiling repairs/refurbishment is complete or remain in your Relocation unit. If you return to your Swansea units once ceiling repairs are complete, you will have to relocate again for the future refurbishment.

 

Who will be moving?

All Swansea Mews tenants will be part of a relocation process to secure stable housing, though it will be done in quick but separate stages. Tenants currently staying at Humber College will be relocated first.

 

What is the relocation process?

  1. Notification: The community meeting on June 14 served as the start of the formal relocation process to move you into stable housing.

  2. Unit selection process: random draw
    a. All families will be randomly given a number.
    b. Relocation staff will match your unit preferences (from step 3) to available units using the Preference Form.
    c. Two households with the same preferences will be matched in order of draw number.
    d. Draw meeting was held virtually on Wednesday, June 15. The link was provided on the Swansea Mews webpage, and the recording can be viewed. 

  3. Choosing a unit:
    a. You will receive a list of units and can work with staff to review all units that match your household qualifications.
    b. You will rank your preferred units on a Tenant Preference Form.
    c. Relocation staff will match your preferences to available units using the above form.
     
  4. Offer letter:
    a. Once your choices have been reviewed, you will receive an offer letter. 
    b. You will have an opportunity to view the unit.
    c. You must sign and return the Acceptance/Refusal form to TCHC.
    d. Once you have an offer letter, you can either accept the offer or get ready to move out, OR, decline the offer and go into round two of unit draws.

  5. Moving: TCHC will pay for all moving costs, as well as any costs for disconnect and reconnect existing telephone, cable, internet, gas, water and hydro. We will also pay for four months of mail forwarding.

 

Right to return once work is done

All tenants will have a right to return, and will sign a relocation agreement with Toronto Community Housing to detail it. This agreement is a legal agreement.

 

Unit size in relocation

If your household is considered over-housed, you will be right-sized into the unit you are eligible for.

 

Relocation and return process timeline

  • Formal relocation process starts Tuesday, June 14
  • Household Random Draw Meeting: Wednesday, June 15 on WebEx
  • TCHC to send out available units for each household at Humber College: Thursday, June 16
  • Deadline for Humber tenants to submit their preferences: Monday, June 20 by 10 a.m.
  • Matching process: Monday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Offer Letters available onsite at Humber College: Monday, June 20 at noon
  • Tenants can view units: Monday, June 20 to Tuesday, June 21 
  • Deadline for Humber tenants to submit their Acceptance or Refusal: noon on Wednesday, June 22 
  • Start lease signing for those who have accepted: Thursday, June 23 onwards
  • Moving begins: Friday, June 24 (subject to movers availability)

What policies or documents guide the relocation process?

Toronto Community Housing uses the following documents to guide the relocation process:

  • Relocation Policy: guides process for all TCHC communities, details rights and obligations for both tenants and TCHC

Tenant Relocation Agreement: outlines the rights and responsibilities for relocation and return, confirms details for new unit and right of return.

 

Legal Support

A lawyer has advised that we do not move. What legal right do you have to make me move?

Tenants are being asked to move to temporary accommodation by order of the Chief Building Official because there is a proven public safety risk in Swansea Mews that could endanger them. TCHC is offering a safe alternative for tenants to stay before the relocation process starts.


How can tenants access legal support?

There are a number of supports that tenants can access:


The Future of Swansea Mews


Is Swansea Mews going to be demolished for private condominiums? Is this an excuse to kick Swansea tenants out and privatize the community?

No. There is no plan to do this. Even in revitalization projects like Regent Park or Lawrence Heights where older housing is demolished for new buildings, every TCHC tenant that leaves a community due to revitalization or refurbishment has the right to return to a new unit.

 

Why can't you move us out, revitalize the community and bring us back?

Revitalization is a long process, which takes years of planning, financing and approval by government before work can start. Prior to the incident on May 27, there was a plan for an extensive retrofit of Swansea in 2023. We are reviewing the timeline for this plan and will provide updates to the community when available.

What is included in the planned retrofit project for Swansea Mews?

The planned retrofit includes the complete gutting and rebuilding of all units, all new interior finishes, as well as roofing work, repair of garage slabs, basement floor slabs, windows and exterior envelope upgrades.

What was the ReSet program?

Swansea Mews was part of a work plan in 2016 called ReSet, which was intended to be a large-scale refurbishment of the community. ReSet was not funded, but TCHC continued advancing the designs and plans for Swansea Mews, preparing them to be put into action. TCHC has also invested approximately $5 million in capital repairs in Swansea Mews between 2017 and 2021, through a dozen different projects in the community.


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