Toronto Community Housing has launched the Capital Engagement and Conservation Program (CECP) to support tenants through disruptive capital repairs and engage them in conservation activities focused on reducing energy consumption (electricity, water, natural gas) and solid waste.
The program is delivered jointly by Facilities Management Division (FM) and Resident and Community Services (RCS) Division. Its goals are to:
- Reduce impacts of disruptive repairs especially vulnerable tenants
- Improve tenant comfort and quality of life
- Reduce TCHC's utility and waste disposal costs
- Provide tenants with new employment, job training and networking opportunities
Program need and description
Utilities are TCHC's largest controllable cost and they continue to grow significantly. In 2017 they are expected to total $148 million which is more than half of what is spent on capital repairs. At the same time, conserving energy and reducing solid waste improves tenant comfort and quality of life (for example: more comfortable unit temperature, less draft, cleaner garbage areas). CECP will also better inform tenants of upcoming repair work so they fully understand the benefits, as well as the timing and related disruptions.
CECP is taking place in buildings across the portfolio, bundling new and existing programs including:
- Major Capital Repair sites that have vulnerable tenant populations. CECP focuses on projects that involve multiple entry into units, including window, balcony and riser replacement. These sites have been identified by FM as priority sites.
- SHARP sites—provincially funded energy efficiency retrofits in highrises including heating/cooling systems, lighting, and window and toilet replacements.
- Waste Pilot sites—improving on-site waste management and reducing volumes through improved infrastructure, recycling and behaviour change.
The current list of sites can be obtained by contacting the program team. All CECP sites are also undergoing extensive utility monitoring and verification to ensure specified reduction targets are achieved.
The program will notify tenants of upcoming construction before the work begins, to explain why it is being undertaken, how it will ultimately benefit them, the type of disruptions they can expect and the supports that will be available. The program will also engage tenants and building staff in activities and social marketing campaigns that encourage reduced utility use and provide incentives to reward positive behaviour change.
Key to the CECP's success will be the participation of building staff throughout the program. Participation will benefit them by providing a safer and healthier workplace, enabling work to proceed more quickly and reducing the number of tenant complaints.
What type of support does CECP provide?
To make sure tenants are informed and supported throughout the project the CECP team will:
- Hold preliminary meetings with building staff, tenant reps and other community leaders to discuss the scope of work and impacts on tenants
- Keep tenants informed about the project, including description of the work, scheduled construction start and end dates, what to expect in terms of noise and other disturbances, and a contact person for questions and concerns.
- Provide ongoing communications and updates through community meetings, lobby intercepts, flyers and posters and community events such as community barbecues or movie nights
- Work with the RCS Resident Access and Support team to assist vulnerable tenants
- Set up a vacant unit or other common space (if available) where tenants can go during the day while their unit is being worked on.
- Measure, verify and report on a quarterly basis utility consumption and waste output.
- Survey tenants to determine their satisfaction with the customer service provided by contractors, vendors and the CECP team.
What the CECP Team Cannot Do:
- Respond directly to tenant complaints regarding repair work or building issues.
- Work directly at sites other than those listed. However, we are pleased to support other sites by sharing relevant information resources such as PowerPoint presentations, flyers and newsletters.
CECP is managed by Stewart Chisholm (RCS), who is responsible for overall program management, tenant engagement and social marketing, and by Keir Brownstone (FM), who is responsible for data monitoring and verification, waste management and all other technical program elements.
Stewart and Keir are supported by a Program Supervisor who oversees a team of 5 Program Coordinators, who are each responsible for 7 to 10 buildings. The Program Coordinators supervise a team of Senior Program Leaders (SPLs) who are TCHC tenants or residents from the community assigned to each building, working 10 to 12 hours per week. As each SPL will be familiar with their community, they will be able to tap into their local networks and provide advice on how to best engage local tenants.
CECP is being delivered in partnership with:
- City of Toronto (Solid Waste Management, Tower and Neighbourhood Renewal and Toronto Water)
- The Atmospheric Fund
- Enbridge Gas
- Toronto Hydro
- Ontario Energy Board
If you are a tenant or building staff at one of our sites, there are many ways you can help.
- Assist with outreach
- Help organize and support a community event
- Share this document with your neighbours and colleagues
- Contribute content to our quarterly newsletter
For more information
Program Coordinator, CECP
Phone: (416) 981-6123