"Take 5" Tenant Participation Survey

"Take 5" Tenant Participation Survey

The “Take 5” Tenant Participation Survey was created by tenants, for tenants, to find out what tenants think when it comes to getting involved in their communities. You can read the results below.


The number of completed surveys received: 457



​457 Surveys Completed​​ ​
​English​413
​Chinese​24
​Polish​2
​Russian​7
​Ukranian​4
​Spanish​​3
​Tamil​4

Are you familiar with the Tenant Participation System currently in place?



​​Yes​No
​210​​188

We asked tenants to tell us what they believe works well.

  • Some tenants felt the system was not working as​ well as it could and suggested more community meetings with Tenants and staff as it creates an opportunity to have a relationship with staff
  • The hope is that staff will listen to tenant feedback and implement recommended changes and get things done on time
  • When tenants get together and discuss what's going on in their building
  • Listening to your tenants
  • Community councils, youth leaders and activities for youth
  • When community participates and works together
  • Communication between tenants

​What would improve the Tenant Participation System?

  • To have tenants become staff
  • More information sharing between communities, councils and committees
  • Lack of transparency of what takes place at tenant councils
  • Tenant led councils and create neighbourhood meetings
  • All TCH Tenants should be able to participate, including Tenants who live in scattered units
  • Regular meetings with tenants and staff to implement their recommendations
  • Tenant leaders should be given same opportunities to be involved in decision making process
  • Have the Tenant Reps work with Tenant Associations to bring issues to Council for resolution
  • Tenants' opinion must be considered
  • Need a way to replace bad tenant reps, there should be an alternate in case tenant rep is not available
  • Tenants needs to feel TCH is supportive of projects chosen by tenants and encourage them to be more involved
  • Have a tenant oversight body
  • Give tenants a meaningful role
  • We need site staff to embrace tenant engagement and support tenants in our communities
  • Help tenants with repairs as a way to get them more engages
  • Need a better system for new tenants who are unfamiliar with the system
  • Establish Tenant Groups to address issues around Safety, Repairs, how to build more vibrant communities
  • Conduct building tours when new tenants move in
  • Difficult to get tenants engaged when they have safety issues in their community
  • Staff should not be able to overturn PB decisions
  • Take back community space and share the process so that residents have ownership
  • Provision of micro loans so tenants can start their own businesses
  • More transparency of decisions made at council meetings
  • Better method of communicating bring back tenant newsletter
  • Welcome Wagons for new tenants moving in
  • Tenant Reps need to be more active
  • More notice of building meetings, ensuring there is space for youth and seniors to meet, better communications on both sides
  • Not always easy to access tenant reps
  • Concerns around whether or not Tenant Reps fairly represent all tenants in their community
  • Where no community space available, convert an empty unit
  • Trust that the community knows best what it needs
  • Limited access to community space
  • ​More tenant meetings so tenants can be heard
  • Listen and cooperate by fulfilling tenant requests
  • Fair and equal access to all tenants
  • More open communication, set rules everyone agrees on and has to follow
  • Staff attending meetings, well prepared with information on programs available
  • Distribute flyers door to door
  • All tenants should have the right to vote for tenant board members
  • More active participation from ​tenants in different languages
  • Provide honorariums
  • Tenants should be involved in creating policies allowing for community volunteers and leaders to be more involved recognizing them, not just tenant reps
  • Allow tenants to run their own programs without putting up barriers with staff acting as a resource only
  • Some tenants are afraid to get involved
  • More support from staff, including on-site staff
  • Creation of a tenant blog
  • Streamline procurement system
  • Food handling certificate, list of food banks, food programs
  • Give youth their own community space governed by youth themselves
  • Expand communications beyond posters, such as email and digital devices
  • Create a city wide council to deal with tenant issues
  • Less staff involvement in tenant programs
  • More tenants on the Board of Directors
  • Last 7 reps in our building were not elected
  • Tenant reps should regularly attend meetings or the Tenant Rep should be replaced by the tenant with the next highest # of votes

​Do you participate in community activities?​



​Yes​​No
​189​122

What prevents you from participating?



​Language barrier​51
​Space locked​40
​Lack of funding ​93
​Cultural difference​34
​Lack staff support​69
​No time​36
​No community space​33
​Lack of communication ​76
​No interest​20

Additional Comments:

  • Community groups should not have to pay for insurance to run programs for tenants in their community
  • Lengthy delays in doing repairs means tenants do not have access to space
  • Removal of barriers to engagement, ie; filling out forms to access space and no staff interference
  • Things go missing from the community room
  • A newcomer to Toronto
  • Funding has been cut back which prevents tenant activities
  • Cultural differences, tenants stick together in groups, difficult to bring them all together
  • Mixed income community with different schedules, many unable to participate
  • Language barrier is a big part
  • Physical disabilities prevent me from participating
  • Constantly fighting with TCH to access community space to hold programs for the tenants
  • Non-English speaking tenants are treated differently than others
  • Current engagement system creates cliques
  • More volunteers for child care
  • Community doesn't come together unless there is food available
  • With diverse tenant population, it is difficult to change attitudes about participation
  • Health, weather and time impact people's ability to participate
  • When building meetings are held outside your building and you cannot access the building they are held in
  • Because tenants want their repairs done first

Do you have an opportunity to share ideas?



​Yes​​No
​249​186

​Majority of tenants felt they had an opportunity to share ideas.


Those that disagreed said:

  • No meetings were held
  • Little to no notice given in advance of meetings
  • Don't know who to talk to
  • Yes, this survey was a way to share feedback
  • Yes, but nothing is done
  • Nobody asks
  • Not aware of opportunities
  • No one really cares, even those we tell, no one listens
  • Only when I see the Tenant Rep
  • Tenants give a suggestion and it is ignored
  • No, because I am only 12 years old
  • Fear I will be picked on
  • Interference from tenant rep to participate
  • Non-accessible bulletin boards

Are you aware of programs in your community?



​Yes​​No
​249​186

We asked tenants what programs would be of most interest

  • Scholarship Awards, youth-led activities
  • Suggestion box, crafts, knitting beads, sewing, gift ideas
  • Computer lessons
  • Pot luck dinners, holiday events, picnics, barbecues
  • On-site food banks
  • Life skills training
  • Sports programs, baseball, hockey, basketball
  • Health and exercise programs
  • Makeover classes
  • English classes
  • Gardening
  • Let tenants run their own programs without interference
  • Fall prevention
  • Fire safety
  • Community outreach and safety discussions
  • Homework classes for kids
  • Cooking class, including cooking for others
  • Movie nights
  • Estate planning, creating a Will, how to appoint a Power of Attorney
  • Trips for seniors
  • Educating tenants on pest management
  • Dominoes, bingo, board games – assist tenants with disabilities to participate
  • Decorating common spaces
  • Self-care programs
  • Skills training, professional work preparation, hands on training
  • Community kitchen
  • Physiotherapy classes, chronic pain management group
  • Dancing, singing, relaxation program, yoga
  • Guest speakers, politicians, Democracy 101
  • Doctors, nurses, support agencies such as CCAC
  • Men and Women's Support Groups
  • Cultural festivals
  • Youth council, breaking barriers
  • Evening programs so working tenants can participate
  • Visiting doctors, dentists, hygienists, podiatrists
  • Nurses to provide onsite blood pressure and testing for diabetics
  • Budgeting
  • Art classes, book clubs
  • Supportive housing, meals on wheels
  • Public speaking classes
  • Play day activities for kids on PA days
  • Single parent support group
  • Town hall meetings
  • Thrift store, Food Banks onsite
  • Hands on job training opportunities
  • Bus trips
  • GED, home improvements
  • Grant writing course
  • Community animators, social investment fund
  • Return to a city-wide tenant council
  • Grief Support Group
  • Mental health, stress, self esteem courses
  • ONPHA, housing education
  • Funding for events
  • Have management attend meetings including those from head office
  • Anything that improves lifestyle of all tenants without discrimination and more supports for vulnerable tenants

We asked tenants what engagement model would be best for their community



​Tenant Rep​​251
​Tenant Leaders​214
​Combo models​143
​Tenant association​183
​Social club​162
​Don't know​40

Additional comments included:

  • Unrestricted access to community rooms
  • More building meetings, educate tenants about their rights
  • Elect a Tenant Key Holder in every building for tenants and emergencies
  • Perhaps 2-3 reps should be selected, for one person the burden is sometimes too great
  • Early Childcare and Daycare Program to help tenants achieve goals
  • Any program that would promote acceptance of all tenants with emphasis on communication
  • Difficult to track down staff after funding has been approved
  • Make it easier to get insurance for community programs and space
  • Tenants don't feel they are treated equally in contract managed buildings
  • Tenant led events
  • More tenants participate when staff and superintendents are involved
  • An external agency to come in and get tenants engaged
  • More neighbourly events
  • No one cares about our opinions
  • Whatever is used requires the complete support of staff
  • Help build communities that are inclusive to the people within it
  • Need to have onsite meeting rooms in all communities
  • Transparency and honesty helps
  • Tenant advisory to the TCH Board

Would you like to be more involved?



​Yes​No
​233​91​

How would you like to be more involved?​



​Tenant led​​177
​Games night​147
​Special interest​116
​Organise events​123
​Community events​157
​Participate events​130

Suggestions included:

  • Neighbourhood watch groups
  • Neighbourhood Associations - large communal problems may need outside help/influence, there is a need to be a part of the community at large
  • Communities where people feel they belong
  • Mental health and addiction programs
  • Side walk sales, farmers markets, volunteer appreciation night
  • Movies, coffee meetings, theatre, skating, hiking and biking, festivals and exhibitions
  • Contact lists for involvement
  • Multicultural opportunities for engagement
  • Special interest group on disability issues
  • Annual funding so tenants can plan ahead
  • Community support, hoarding support groups
  • A space that seniors can call their own
  • Many marginalized tenants, others do not want to associate with them due to anti social behaviours
  • Must be accessible
  • Would get more involved if funding were available
  • Breakfast clubs held more than once a week which allows tenants to get a healthy meal and socialize

Additional Comments:​​

  • Talk to tenants, have faith and hope in what they want to achieve
  • Provide enough resources, time and again good plans have failed simply due to lack of funding
  • Sometimes staff involvement is indifferent or their involvement is unwanted
  • Staff have little to no experience in mental health issues and tenant experiences, bring in support groups such as CAMH or host AA meetings
  • System must be fair to all who want to be involved
  • More programs and resources available to families
  • Important to have city-wide committees
  • Not enough plots for community gardening
  • Hosting prayer meetings
  • Have Tenant Advisors help tenants understand TCH rules and find solutions to issues
  • Some tenants are intimidated by staff and are afraid to speak up
  • Tenants who need supports only get them during the day, there is no supports after business hours or weekends
  • Keep holding city-wide meetings
  • Educate tenants in recycling and composting
  • Educate tenants on poverty reduction resources available to them
  • Like more supports engaging residents in starting events
  • Need to see management more responsive
  • Like to see more seniors services like those in supportive housing
  • There may be a history of putting up barriers, people may be reluctant to participate
  • Our building is so locked down we can't even use the kitchen, it feels like a jail with the locks
  • Educate tenants about how TCH allocates funding, and how it is monitored to ensure they get value for money
  • Agencies use the community room all week and tenants are locked out on weekends
  • Like TCH to hire more tenants from the communities
  • Translation for all languages
  • More surveys like this for further improvement
  • Staff change things the way they want them, these spaces are meant for tenants to use
  • Would be nice to access community room in evenings for tenants to socialize, with light refreshments
  • Tenants need help to get funding to hold programs and get them up and running
  • Too many barriers placed which discourage engagement
  • Lets all work together
  • Housing makes promises they do not keep
  • Get rid of this whole engagement system, adopt a tenant-led system
  • We need management's support
  • Need to see a system that engages more tenants, not just the ones already involved
  • The problem is tenants don't come out to meetings because they feel staff do not listen to them
  • Become involved with policies wherever possible, such as the Al Gosling, LeSage Report and revising the Annual Review paperwork and Tenant Policies
  • Some reps and staff don't follow existing rules and make their own, unless this changes, tenants will always be the loser
  • Whatever you start, keep it sustained, tenants get frustrated and give up when this happens (ie; security meetings and updates)
  • With the Participatory Budget process staff need to recognize this should be a tenant-led process
  • Have more Income Tax Clinics
  • Recognize the value of all tenants in engagement, speak to tenants in the languages they understand

​Take 5 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Please see the following links for the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Take 5 survey in various languages: ​​


Tenant engagement survey


Please see the following links for the tenant engagement survey in various languages: