Policy Owner:||Community Health Unit|
Date Approved:||November 2011|
|Last Reviewed:||January 2010|
Download a PDF version of the policy
This policy provides a framework within which Toronto Community Housing can meet the following objectives:
- Support activities that will enable Tenant Representatives and Tenant Councils to become more involved in governance and decision-making in their communities
- Ensure that funds allocated for Tenant Councils use are equitably distributed to each Operating Unit for further distribution to the Tenant Councils within the Operating Unit
Through tenant engagement initiatives, Toronto Community Housing facilitates the participation of tenants in issues that have an impact on their buildings and their communities. In meeting its mission, Toronto Community Housing applies its resources to support meaningful engagement, reduce barriers and spark social change.
Tenant Council Funds are an annual grant to the Operating Unit Tenant Council which is focused on building tenant leadership. Toronto Community Housing tenants are eligible to apply for the Tenant Council Funds through the local Tenant Council for community building and engagement purposes.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure an equitable process in allocating Tenant Councils funds locally.
This policy applies to staff, Tenant Representatives and tenant leaders who apply for Tenant Council Funds through their local Tenant Councils to enhance capacity in representing constituencies and engaging neighbours and communities.
As in all financial transactions at Toronto Community Housing, high ethical standards, good judgment, and accountability, as well as a commitment to due diligence and transparency.
Community Services Coordinators are responsible for supporting Tenant Councils in allocating funds and reconciling expenditures.
Distribution of Tenant Council Funds
Every January, each Operating Unit Tenant Council will receive a budget amount. The amount is based on the number of tenants living in their Operating Unit on the last day of November of the previous year.
The distribution formula: Available Funds X OU % of Tenant Population = OU Tenant Council Fund
Allocation of Tenant Council Funds
Funds must be allocated to activities that assist Tenant Councils, individual council members, and tenant leaders to enhance their capacity in representing their constituencies. Use of Tenant Council funds cannot personally benefit an applicant through the form of pay, a stipend, honourarium, wage, or purchase of goods/services or any other items that are deemed to be or can be perceived to be a conflict of interest.
Each Tenant Council is responsible for determining priorities and for approving funding requests. Tenant Councils will establish clear parameters for decision making for their current term. Tenant Council funds can only be used for these expenditures:
- Training (leadership workshops, advocacy training)
- Memberships (join tenant, social justice and community organizations)
- Conferences (to pay fees and associated expenses as outlined in the Tenant Expense Guidelines for Tenant Representatives and tenants -- with reasonable limitations)
- Advocacy (support to organize a rally, support for tenants to participate in issue-based advocacy groups)
- Volunteer recognition for non-applicants (awards, plaques, certificates, annual appreciation event for community volunteers)
- Consultations (resources for developing a funding application, training modules)
- Administrative expenditures (for Tenant Council expenses not covered in Operating Unit budgets, for example ink or paper for Tenant Representative outreach or a community newsletter, food for tenant council meeting – see Tenant Expense Guidelines)
Tenant Representatives and Tenant Councils
- Tenant Representatives and Tenant Councils are jointly responsible to promote the availability of the fund and how to apply for funding in their community.
- Tenant Representatives and Tenant Councils are jointly responsible to update their communities on activities being funded by posting monthly minutes.
- Tenant Councils must administer funds by following this policy, ensuring transparency and fairness in distribution.
- Actions will be taken against tenants and staff who do not follow these guidelines, including seeking reimbursements.
Reconciliation of Funds
- All applicants (when applying for funding or upon receiving funding) must follow the requirements and procedures set out in the Expense Reconciliation Procedures for Toronto Community Housing Tenant Guidelines.
- All funded applicant must reconcile allocated funds within 14 days of the completion of the event with their Community Services Coordinator. Failure to do so is a breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct (if you are a Tenant Representative).
- Community Services Coordinator must submit the expense report with official receipts and unused cash, if any, to finance department within 30 days of the event.
- All funded applicants must reconcile allocated funds by submitting an expense report and original itemized sales receipts to their Community Services Coordinator.
- All funded applicants must reconcile allocated funds before seeking further funding from Toronto Community Housing. Outstanding unreconciled funds may preclude the funded applicant from further participation in other facets of the Tenant Engagement System.
- All funded applicants must spend funds according to the approved description issued by their local Tenant Council. Failure to do so is a misappropriation of funds and will be treated as unreconciled funds.
- Actions will be taken against tenants who do not follow these guidelines, including seeking reimbursements and or removal from participation in other facets of the Tenant Engagement System, if applicable. Reasonable exceptions can apply upon review from the Community Services Coordinator.
Related Policies and Procedures
- Roles and Responsibilities for Tenant Representatives
- Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
- Removal of a Tenant Representative
- Distribution and Allocation of the Use of Space Funds
- Expense Reconciliation Procedures for Toronto Community Housing Tenants
Commencement and Review
- Commencement-This policy takes effect on November 22, 2011.
- Next Review Date November, 2013.