Updating the tenant transfer process: helping tenants in crisis

Toronto Community Housing put in place a new Crisis priority transfer process in July 2018. 

The new process enables staff to take swift action when there is a direct, immediate, elevated and acute risk to the health or safety of a tenant that can only be addressed by a transfer to another unit. 

TCHC approved 108 Crisis priority transfer requests in 2018. These households were either suffering intimidation, were victims or witnesses of a traumatic incident, or had a need that is protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code which could not fully be addressed by modifying their current unit. 

A key change is the creation of a new Intake Specialist position to administer Crisis priority transfer requests. Intake Specialists help tenants submit the required information and documentation and make sure that contact is made with third party agencies quickly and effectively. 

"I think we make a positive impact on tenant safety," explained Intake Specialist Gifty Frimpong. Gifty's colleague, Charlene Crews, agreed. "Our ability to provide safety to someone who has experienced a significant trauma can be a beacon of hope to a tenant who no longer feels safe in their home," Charlene said. 

Gifty recalled working with a single mother who had been experiencing relentless intimidation in her neighbourhood and feared for her family's safety. Within two weeks of receiving the tenant's application, Gifty was able to approve the transfer and move the tenant into a new home in another community. 

After her move, the tenant reached out to thank Gifty for handling the application with urgency. "She told me that she felt safer in her new home and could now focus more on raising her children," Gifty said. 

Access and support: Going above and beyond to help a single parent in need 

Read more stories like this in the 2018 Annual Report