Annual Report feature: Tenant engagement

The TCHC Board of Directors approved the refreshed Tenant Engagement System and implementation plan in July 2019. 

By participating in the system, tenants and communities can get involved in local decision making, address local priorities and have their voices heard in the community. The refreshed system includes a new three-level structure for tenant engagement at the local, community and city-wide levels. There is also a process for tenants to select one of four options for local engagement, enabling them to choose the model that best fits the needs of their community. 

Community Action Plans

Community Action Plans are local plans co-created by tenants and staff to reach solutions in response to tenant-identified priorities. During 2019: 

  • 3,128 tenants took part in the first round of meetings where their local plan was drafted. 
  • 2,704 tenants took part in the second round of meetings, where the draft local plan was presented and finalized.
  • 261 communities/developments finalized or approved a Community Action Plan.

Tenant Action Funds

Under the refreshed system, tenants can apply for Tenant Action Funds to address local priorities. Four Interim Funding Tables—one in each region and one in the seniors portfolio—reviewed, approved and allocated funding requests for projects that address community priorities. Together, the tables approved 113 applications and allocated more than $70,000. TCHC will establish new Tenant Action Fund Tables in 2020 so tenants can continue to have access to resources and apply for funding. 

Tenant-Staff Election Working Group

In 2019, TCHC established a Tenant-Staff Election Working Group in response to recommendations that the City-Wide Tenant-Staff Engagement Advisory Committee had presented two years earlier. The working group met biweekly for a total of 17 productive meetings. The group developed terms of reference for the three levels of the refreshed Tenant Engagement System and a local engagement voting process. It provided recommendations on the development of 

an anti-oppression framework and changes to the current Tenant Representative Code of Conduct. And it adopted a tenant election and by-election process while providing recommendations on how the process should be evaluated.

Local engagement model selection

Starting in the fall of 2019, tenants voted for the local engagement option that would best meet their community’s needs (including an option to be independent of the system). By the end of the year, 176 communities had voted for their preferred option, with 6,743 tenants taking part in the process. All TCHC building and townhouse communities, including those in direct and contract-managed communities and the seniors portfolio, will have the opportunity to take part in a process to select their preferred local engagement model at the building or townhouse level.

Read more about this and other stories in the 2019 Annual Report (PDF)