Removal of a tenant representative guideline
Policy Owner: Community Health Unit
Approval: Executive Leadership Team
First Approved: November 2011
Effective Date: N/A
These guidelines provide a framework within which Toronto Community Housing can meet the following objectives:
Outline consistent procedures for removal of a Tenant Representatives across the organization
Maintain high ethical standard, good judgment, and accountability for Tenant Representatives
Support activities that will enable Tenant Representatives and Tenant Council to become more involved in governance and decision-making in their communities
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.
The Tenant Representative position is a volunteer position, not a compensated position. Tenant Representatives have a responsibility to act in good faith when representing their communities.
There may be times when Tenant Representatives are unable to fulfill these roles or meet their responsibilities and removal is required.
The purpose of these guidelines is to outline consistent procedures for removal of a Tenant Representatives across the organization.
These guidelines apply to all Tenant Representatives.
Maintain high ethical standard, good judgment, accountability and conduct for Tenant Representatives.
Community Health Manager is responsible for the process of determining if the Code of Conduct has been breached.
Community Health Manager is responsible determining the severity of the breach.
Community Health Manager is responsible for creating resolution plans when applicable and or removal when applicable.
Process for determining a breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
This process is guided by the principles set out in Toronto Community Housing’s Community Standards.
The Community Standards are guidelines by which tenants, staff, contract property managers, community partners and contractors agree to live and work in Toronto Community Housing communities.
The complete process from receipt of an alleged breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct to the resolution of the matter shall not exceed 60 days. Reasonable exceptions can apply upon review by staff.
Staff should make reasonable efforts to communicate to all individuals involved and it should be done in an accessible manner. For Example: preferred languages, large print, Braille etc.
Procedure for reviewing a reported Tenant Representative Code of Conduct breach
A breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct must be reported to the local staff or through the Client Care Center when staff are not available. The staff must document the complaint (using EasyTrac) and respond within three business days to all individuals involved. The response should notify all individuals involved that an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct has been reported.
After notifying all involved individuals in writing, staff must assess and clarify the issue(s) with all parties.
The recipient staff must try to resolve the issue at the local level.
If the alleged breach of the Code of Conduct cannot be appropriately resolved at the local level, it will be escalated to the Community Health Manager (or their delegated staff).
The Community Health Manager will :
confirm the individuals involved in the complaint
meet with all individuals involved (separately)
assess and clarify the issue(s)
give all individuals involved opportunity to present their position in writing
give all individuals involved an opportunity to be accompanied by support persons
Upon completion of the meetings the Community Health Manager will :
Document the outcomes using the standard template and update the EasyTrac file
Provide copies of the findings (see Appendix 1) to all individuals involved
Give all individuals involved an additional opportunity to respond to the findings in writing within 14 business days
Make a determination as to whether a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred
Breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
If there is a determined breach of the Code of Conduct based on the outcomes of the process listed above, the Community Health Manager will:
Create a Resolution Plan with the Tenant Representative when a breach is of low or intermediate severity
Prepare and send a removal Letter to the Tenant Representative when a breach is of high severity
Make sure that the impacted Tenant Representative has been given an additional opportunity to respond to the findings in writing within 14 business days of the decision
Determining severity of the breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
Toronto Community Housing’s Community Standards describe different levels of severity for unacceptable behaviors. The Community Health Manager will use these descriptions as a guide to determine the applicable level of severity of the breach of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct.
The following are a few examples:
Low Severity and Intermediate severity: exerting undue or inappropriate influence on tenants and staff, unintentional conflict of interest, unintentional discrimination, unintentionally violating privacy rights.
High Severity: intentional conflict of interest, intentionally behaving in a manner that is intimidating or threatening, intentional discrimination/ harassment, or intentionally violating privacy rights.
Creating a resolution plan for intermediate and low severity breaches of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
When a breach in the Code of Conduct is not severe, a Resolution Plan is required to provide the Tenant Representative an opportunity to change their actions. The Resolution Plan will be created together with the Tenant Representative (and their supports) and the Community Health Manager (or their delegated staff).
The Resolution Plan will:
Explain the breach
Notify the Tenant Representative that they have a right to bring a support person who is not involved in the matter
State the agreed upon outcomes
Determine what other support(s) the Tenant Representative may need to achieve agreed upon outcomes
Identify reasons why having support is critical to success
List the goals
Set a reasonable timeline for completion – no more than 30 days
Communicate that failure to complete or follow the Resolution Plan will result in removal from the office of Tenant Representative. If the Tenant Representative does not accept the terms of the Resolution Plan, they will be issued a letter of removal.
Removal for high severity breaches of the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct
When a breach of the Code of Conduct is determined to be of high severity, the Tenant Representative will be issued a Removal Letter which will be attached in EasyTrac. This letter will notify the Tenant Representative of the following:
The Tenant Representative has been removed from their position
The reason for removal
The Tenant Representative is not eligible to participate in the by-election for the vacant position
The Tenant Representative is not eligible to participate in the election for the next full term (3- year term) of office
The removal of the Tenant Representative is immediate upon receipt of the Removal
The Tenant Representative will reconcile outstanding Council Funds within three business days
When a Tenant Representative is removed
When the Tenant Representative is removed, the Community Health Manager will:
Communicate to the community that the Tenant Representative has been removed using a standard sign to be posted on bulletin boards (See, Appendix 2)
Create a community health plan to address the impacted individuals and the community as a whole
Fictitious or unsubstantiated alleged breaches of the tenant representative Code of Conduct
If the report of a breach is determined to be fictitious or unsubstantiated, then the Community Health Manager will notify all individuals involved in writing that the process is considered completed without cause and will:
- create a community health plan to address the impact on individuals and the community as a whole
If the report is determined to be fictitious, the reporting individual could be penalized subject to Ontario Human Rights Code; and the Toronto Community Housing’s Community Standards; the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct; the Staff Code of Conduct; or the Human Rights; Harassment and Fair Access Policy or any other applicable policies or legislations.
Ineligibility after removal
A Tenant Representative is ineligible to participate in any by-election for the vacated position whether caused by their removal or resignation. Any person who has been removed from the position of Tenant Representative or has resigned from a Tenant Representative position is ineligible to become a Tenant Representative for the remainder of the current term and the immediate next term, in their or any other Toronto Community Housing community.
Removal can impact the Tenant Representative’s participation in other facets of the Tenant Engagement System. The Director of the Community Health Unit will review and discuss eligibility with the Tenant Representative in other facets of the Tenant Engagement System.
The Director of the Community Health Unit will review and written response to findings if there is a conflict of interest with the staff managing the process.
Action will be taken against Tenant Representative who breach the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct including removal from the position of Tenant Representative and may also be accountable to the Ontario Human Rights Code. All Code of Conduct breaches are determined by an equitable and fair process.
Fictitious complaints of breaches of the code of conduct will be penalized subject to Ontario Human Rights Code; and the Toronto Community Housing’s Community Standards; the Tenant Representative Code of Conduct; the Staff Code of Conduct; or the Human Rights; Harassment and Fair Access Policy or any other applicable policies or legislations.
Staff includes Health Promotion Officers, Youth Engagement Coordinator or any other designated employees of Toronto Community Housing.
Governing and applicable legislation
- Municipal Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act
- Housing Services Act
- Ontario Human Rights Code
- Ontario Tenant Protection Act