Tenant Election activities are starting again in phases across Toronto Community Housing communities
For the past two years, Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) has worked closely with tenants on the design and implementation of a new Tenant Engagement System. Under the new tenant service hub model, establishing tenant leadership is a key priority, as it will enable both tenants and TCHC staff to work together to make sure tenants receive quality services.
TCHC is committed to safely resuming the process for tenant elections and establishing tenant leadership while protecting the health and safety of tenants and staff.
The Tenant Engagement System process in 2020
In the first three months of 2020, communities across the city, including those in direct-managed and contract-managed communities and the Seniors Housing Unit, participated in the selection of their preferred local engagement model at the building/townhouse level. Due to COVID-19, TCHC suspended all engagement activities in March. Not all communities were able to select their preferred model before activities were paused due to COVID-19.
As restrictions are lifted and Toronto moves into different phases of business recovery, TCHC staff are poised to resume the tenant election process. TCHC will employ a multi-phased approach so that tenants can participate safely. Tenant elections will be held across the portfolio in three phases.
TCHC's goal is to support communities in phase one to complete their elections by the end of November. Election dates, however, will vary by community.
Communities in phases two and three are expected to have completed elections and established their tenant leadership by the end of June 2021.
Health and safety for tenants and staff
Toronto Community Housing is working closely with Toronto Public Health to establish additional safety protocols to protect tenants who choose to participate in election activities. We are also monitoring updates from the provincial government and Toronto Public Health, so these safety protocols may change as public health directives and advice are updated.
All engagement activities leading up to Election Day will be held online or through conference call if possible. For activities that must be held in person, all health and safety protocols will be followed. Tenants will need to pre-register for any in-person activities, including Election Day.
For communities in phase one that have selected the Community Representative model, voting on Election Day will be done through reserved blocks, as tenants will vote in person.
Additional safety protocols include:
- Wearing a mask all times during election activities.
- Providing contact details at registration in the event contact tracing is needed.
- Answering COVID-19 screening questions before casting their vote.
- Sanitizing hands before entering the polling station.
- Observing proper physical distancing (six feet or two metres).
Accommodations as required
It is important that tenants have opportunities to participate in the elections process so that the engagement system reflects the priorities and views of as many tenants as possible. We understand that some accommodations may be needed for tenants to participate fully in election activities. Tenants are asked to contact their engagement Community Services Coordinator to request accommodations or if they have questions about potential accommodations, including translation or interpretation services, proxy voting, accessibility needs and more.
Importance of getting involved
We encourage as many tenants as possible to get involved in the refreshed engagement system by joining their building/townhouse committee or running to be a Community Representative. These roles act as an opportunity for tenants to work alongside with neighbours and TCHC staff to build vibrant communities.
Community Representatives will have a new role to play in assessing the quality of services provided to tenants in the areas of cleaning, maintenance, tenancy management and community safety and supports.