Relocation Policy

Policies and programs

Relocation Policy

​​Policy Owner:​Operations
​Policy Type:​Management
​First Approved:​February 6, 2​​​013
​Approved By:​Board of Directors
​Last Reviewed:​N/A

Download a PDF version of the policy


Policy Summary

This policy provides the framework to govern the temporary or permanent relocation of households because of revitalization, conversion, sale or substantial rehabilitation of a unit, development, group of developments or area. It also defines compensation levels for expenses of relocated households.


Policy Statement

Toronto Community Housing is committed to promoting healthy communities and quality of life for residents. We recognize that relocation may cause hardships for those directly affected and the community.


Purpose

The purpose of the policy is to minimize the adverse effects of relocation on residents facing temporary or permanent displacement from Toronto Community Housing properties. The goal is for Toronto Community Housing residents to continue their life in a new or temporary unit with minimum disruption.


Scope

This policy applies to residents of Toronto Community Housing with a tenancy in good standing that are required to move out of their units because of a decision made by the company to renovate, revitalize, redevelop, rehabilitate or sell a property.

This policy applies to conversion of rental housing to another use, whether or not Toronto Community Housing stays the owner.

Except as stated otherwise, this policy applies to all forms of tenancy, including market rent, rent-geared-to-income (RGI), affordable rental and rent supplements.

Toronto Community Housing may be required to develop relocation plans for specific buildings or communities as part of the City of Toronto's approval process. Where these plans are in place, they will take precedent over the standards in this policy.

Where Toronto Community Housing is not requiring a household to move out of their unit for the reasons provided above, and where a rent-geared-to-income (RGI) household wants to move from one TCHC unit to another TCHC unit, the Tenant Transfer Policy will apply.


Standards

  • Residents who move because of a decision made by Toronto Community Housing to renovate, revitalize or sell will not be subject to the process for Tenant Transfer;
  • Households must relocate to a unit for which they are eligible under provincial social housing legislation, City of Toronto Occupancy Standards and any other applicable regulations;
  • Toronto Community Housing may choose not to relocate a household if their tenancy is not in good standing;
  • Toronto Community Housing will make reasonable efforts to assist each household to address any outstanding tenancy issues and ensure their tenancy is in good standing before relocation;
  • Toronto Community Housing will work with community partners and will assist in connecting residents with community partners and services, where needed;
  • Eviction is always a last resort; the Eviction Prevention Policy for Arrears and the Evictions for Cause Policy will apply and be followed;
  • Notification to residents must be provided according to the timelines set out in governing agreements and legislation, except in emergency situations, such as fire or other immediate risk to public health, refer to Emergency Response Policy (see also section 2 "Notice");
  • A household will have the opportunity to indicate their preferences for a location;
  • The relocation process cannot be used to split tenancies;
  • If required, the order in which households will be offered a unit will be established through a random selection draw;
  • If a household does not choose a unit by the deadline provided on their notification, Toronto Community Housing may begin procedures for termination of tenancy in accordance with legislative guidelines;
  • A plan for security will be put in place to address potential risks due to relocation;
  • Temporary relocation units will continue to be maintained in accordance with Toronto Community Housing standards;
  • Where there is the opportunity to reoccupy the same community after relocation, Toronto Community Housing will offer relocated households priority to return to the community from which they were relocated (see section 11. "Right to Return");
  • Households that move out of Toronto Community Housing at any point during the relocation process will lose their RGI subsidy and their right to return.
  • For rent-geared-to-income residents, rent will continue to be based on income. For all other tenants, rents may change as a result of relocation.
  • Resident relocation will abide by the Residential Tenancies Act and all other applicable legislation.

Policy Details


Communications

Toronto Community Housing will work with residents to prepare for moving well before they have to move. When applicable, resident information sessions will be held to give residents a chance to ask questions and receive information directly. Regular communications, as well as written notification of events, changes and decisions will be provided to all households. Staff will be available to meet with each household individually to explain the process and help in the selection of an alternative unit.

Toronto Community Housing's translation and interpretation policy continues to apply. Information will be accessible to those requiring translation or interpretation services. Not all documents will be automatically translated; translation is available upon request for official notices and documents, with at least seven (7) days notice. Residents may request interpretation at least three (3) days before a meeting, and every reasonable effort will be made to provide this service.


Notice

An official notice will be issued to each household in writing at least five (5) months before the move (unless there is an emergency as defined by the Emergency Response Policy). The notice will include a deadline for moving out of the unit. Two follow-up notices will be provided to households that do not respond to the first official notice.


Selecting a unit

Residents may choose to move to any available Toronto Community Housing unit that matches their household eligibility. It is the resident's responsibility to update changes in household composition.​

Toronto Community Housing's relocation staff will arrange one-on-one meetings with each household to discuss the household's needs and options and review their preferences for unit selection.

Each household will have the opportunity to choose a unit that matches their household eligibility and best meets their needs. Toronto Community Housing staff will work with households to match their preferences to available units.

Toronto Community Housing cannot guarantee that a household's desired unit or location will be available.

Residents will be provided with a unit selection package that includes information such as locations and floor plans, when available. The package will also identify any supplementary charges associated with the unit, such as parking, laundry and utilities fees.


Offer acceptance

After a resident has selected a unit, Toronto Community Housing will issue an offer. Once an offer is accepted, the household will sign a new lease for their selected unit and an Agreement to Terminate the Tenancy for their existing unit, if applicable.


Financial support

Moving assistance will be provided to all households (see sections 8. - 9. "Moving Assistance"), including those choosing to leave Toronto Community Housing (see section 10. "Moving to a non-Toronto Community Housing unit").


Moving date

After an offer has been accepted, Toronto Community Housing will confirm the date by which the household must vacate their current unit. The moving date will be at least 60 days from the date an offer has been accepted, unless occupancy of a unit poses an immediate risk to life safety, and as long as the household vacates their existing unit on or before the deadline provided on their official notice (see Section 2. "Notice" above).


Grievances

Toronto Community Housing's Complaint Process continues to apply. If a household that is involved in relocation has a grievance about decisions made by the Toronto Community Housing staff, they will be addressed as per the Tenant Complaints process starting with staff responsible for relocation.

Residents can also seek assistance from legal counsel, their local elected representative and the Shelter Support and Housing Administration of City of Toronto. Toronto Community Housing will work to connect residents to services in the community where applicable.


Moving assistance

Toronto Community Housing will provide the following moving assistance as required:

  • Moving company services for moving belongings;
  • Insurance for major furniture items during the move;
  • Packing materials (such as boxes and tape);
  • Costs related to the disconnecting and reconnecting of utilities such as, cable television, home phone, internet, gas, water and hydro (documentation required);
  • Payment for 4 months of mail forwarding by Canada Post; and
  • Reimbursement of up to $50 per household for the cost of changing addresses on government-issued documents such as driver's license or health card (documentation required).

Additional moving assistance

Additional moving assistance (e.g. packing and unpacking services) will be available for those who need it, such as frail elderly and persons with disabilities without an adult in the household who is able to assist. Additional moving assistance will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may require medical documentation.


Moving to a non-Toronto Community Housing unit

Some residents may choose to move out of Toronto Community Housing when they are asked to relocate. These residents will be eligible for the supports listed below. The household will still be required to vacate the unit by the deadline on their official notice (see section 2 "Notice").

If a household receiving RGI assistance chooses to move to a non-Toronto Community Housing unit and stops being a Toronto Community Housing resident, they will lose their RGI subsidy.

Moving assistance for residents permanently relocating to a non-Toronto Community Housing unit includes the following:

  • As defined above in "Moving Assistance" (see section 8.), OR
  • A moving allowance which is equal to the value of the moving support (valued at the cost of a move within the city of Toronto), AND
  • Free last month's rent, if there are no rent arrears.

Residents receiving a RGI subsidy are eligible for a one-time payment from Toronto Community Housing (set at $560 in 2012 – increases will follow the Consumer Price Index) to help the household adjust to a non-Toronto Community Housing unit.


​Right to return

If a household is being relocated and there is an opportunity to return to the same community after revitalization or renovation, Toronto Community Housing will provide relocated households with the right to return to the community from which they were relocated.

The following standards apply only to those households that have a signed Relocation Agreement stating their right to return. All other standards in this policy will continue to apply.


  • The right to return will be assured by a Relocation Agreement that is signed by Toronto Community Housing and the household when moving to an alternate unit.
  • Only households with a signed Relocation Agreement will be eligible for right to return, subject to the terms set out in their Relocation Agreement and provided they continue to meet the requirements of a tenancy in good standing.
  • Once a household has exercised their right to return there will be no further offer to relocate.
  • Households may waive the right to return and remain in their relocation unit.
  • Households may be able to defer their right to return for a later opportunity, if available. Conditions for waiving or deferring the right to return will be set out in the Relocation Agreement, and applicable community-specific plans.

​​Definitions

Tenancy in Good Standing – A tenancy in good standing means:

  • The resident/household has no arrears on their lease with Toronto Community Housing or, if there are arrears, they have a signed agreement with Toronto Community Housing to repay the arrears and are in compliance with that agreement; and,
  • Toronto Community Housing is not taking any legal action against the tenancy (for example, it has not filed an application against the tenancy at the Landlord and Tenant Board).

Relocation Agreement - a written contract between the household, through the leaseholder(s), and Toronto Community Housing, that outlines the rights and obligations of both parties during a temporary relocation process, such as revitalization or renovation.


Governing and Applicable Legislation

  • Residential Tenancies Act
  • Housing Services Act
  • City of Toronto Occupancy Standards
  • City of Toronto Property Standards Bylaw
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
  • Ontario Human Rights Code

Related Policies and Procedures

  • Eviction Prevention Policy for Non-payment of Rent
  • Policy on Evictions for Cause
  • Human Rights, Harassment and Fair Access Policy
  • Accessibility Policy
  • Tenant Transfer Policy
  • Translation and Interpretation Policy
  • Tenant Complaints process
  • Emergency Response Policy (under development)

Commencement and Review​

  • Effective February 6, 2013
  • Next Review Date Feb, 2015

Questions

Questions about this policy should be directed to Toronto Community Housing's Director of Program Services.