To develop the Community Management Plan for 2010-2012, we brought together residents, staff and the community to help Toronto Community Housing find solutions to the complex challenges we face each and every day. We hosted ten community consultation sessions over four days in late October and early November of 2009. The participants were asked to identify their solutions for the coming years, and to choose priorities for Toronto Community Housing to focus on. The ideas from these sessions were used to help us develop the plan.
Next, we analyzed what we heard at the community consultations and matched it up with realistic budgets and opportunities. We then wrote the framework for the new Community Management Plan and tested it in six feedback sessions across the city with staff, tenants and community partners. They commented on the draft plan and confirmed that we were headed in the right direction.
The strategic planning process at Toronto Community Housing directly links the development of the Community Management Plan to our capital planning process and to business planning in each community and Operating Unit. The result is an integrated vision and approach top to bottom and all across the organization.
What we heard
We received thousands of comments and suggestions during the ten consultation sessions and received ideas via our e-mail and voicemail options. We promised to report back on what we heard. We included most ideas as they were recorded, but in many cases people had the same comment, so the ideas were combined into one suggestion.
While there were many valuable ideas, not all of them appear in the plan. We need to prioritize based on available resources, identified need, and alignment with the Board's direction.
Here is a list of the most common priorities identified by the groups:
Buildings & maintenance
- Clean and well-maintained buildings, including on weekends.
- Take a preventative approach to maintenance and ensure accountability for work done up to standard.
- A pest control program that is aggressive, implemented quickly, enforced and monitored.
- Increase use of open space for community activities.
- Develop better systems for rent reviews and vacancy control.
- More local control over budgets and repair priorities.
- Contract managed buildings should be held to the same quality control standard as direct managed buildings.
- Improve the ability for tenants to interact with Toronto Community Housing in their own language.
- Deliver more co-ordinated, regular communication to tenants on a variety of issues using appropriate methods.
- Communicate our successes to external audiences; tell our story.
Community Management Plan Communication
- Track and report on CMP initiatives regularly.
- Hold "mini" Community Management Plan meetings for each district.
- Encourage a customer service focus - respectful, timely, consistent service.
- Focus on first call resolution at the Contact Center.
- More job fairs, employment opportunities and a "job bank" to help tenants.
- Make Community Safety Unit (CSU) more visible in the community.
- Encourage proactive measures that involve CSU in community-based education and training.
- Increase effectiveness of surveillance activities.
- Educate tenants on how to report safety issues more effectively.
- Increase opportunities for tenant participation in all aspects of the business.
- Ensure building meetings take place on a regularly scheduled basis with staff present to listen to tenant concerns.
- Introduce case management back in to the buildings.
- Improve the referral process and partnership opportunities with community agencies to help support vulnerable tenants.
- Engage other tenants in identifying and supporting vulnerable tenants.
- Community animators to educate tenants on mental health issues.
- More training and agency support for staff to deal with tenants with mental health issues.