Today the City of Toronto announced that it is preparing to transfer Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s (TCHC) portfolio of single-family homes and selected small buildings to the non-profit housing sector. The transfer will help improve service to the tenants, bring the units into a state of good repair, protect the houses as affordable housing in perpetuity, and build capacity in the non-profit housing sector.
A joint City-TCHC Request for Proposals was issued as part of this process and two successful proponents were selected. The Neighbourhood Land Trust will assume the role of landlord for the homes predominately located in the west end of the former City of Toronto with YWCA Toronto as operating partner. Circle Community LandTrust will assume the role of landlord for the homes in the east end, Scarborough, and in other neighbourhoods across the city. Both successful proponents are committed to providing and expanding affordable housing options to low-income tenants.
These providers have experience and expertise in managing social housing portfolios consisting of single-family homes and small buildings. They are committed to bringing the houses to a state of good repair and are well positioned to offer tenant-focused services such as timely repairs and responsive property management.
Tenants of the single-family homes and selected small buildings will not lose their housing or their subsidy, if they currently receive one, and will not be required to move due to the transfer of ownership from TCHC to The Neighbourhood Land Trust and Circle Community LandTrust.
As part of the transfer, The Neighbourhood Land Trust and Circle Community LandTrust will enter into social housing agreements with the City that will be registered on title. This will ensure that the properties remain affordable housing in perpetuity and that the City continues to have a strong oversight role in the operations of these social housing assets.
The City will sign an operating agreement, as it does with all social housing providers, to ensure the service providers deliver the specified services as landlord, in return for a subsidy from the City. The City will regularly review the landlords’ operations to ensure that the services are delivered as agreed.
The TCHC homes being transferred comprise 643 properties with 761 units located in neighbourhoods across the city. These properties are in high demand as they are mostly single-family homes and are well integrated within their local communities.
Given the magnitude of the transfers, they will take some time to complete. The property transfers are expected to begin starting Q1 2022 and will be completed by the end of 2022.
The transfer of the single-family housing is a component of the City’s Tenants First strategy, which aims to implement a plan in which TCHC focuses on being a social housing landlord, where buildings are kept in a good state of repair, and tenants are connected to appropriate services and are active participants in their communities. More information about the Tenants First strategy is available on the City’s website: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/long-term-vision-plans-and-strategies/tenants-first/
“These homes are an important piece of the City’s affordable housing stock. Transferring them to The Neighbourhood Land Trust and Circle Community LandTrust supports the City of Toronto’s objectives to improve service to the tenants, preserve and increase affordable housing in communities across Toronto, and build capacity in the non-profit housing sector.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The transfer of these assets will enable Toronto Community Housing to focus on our core business of operating multi-residential buildings and our goal of providing tenants with the services and supports they need to have successful tenancies. The houses will never be sold to the private sector, and will remain in the social housing portfolio in perpetuity.”
– Sheila Penny, Acting President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing Corporation
“The Neighbourhood Land Trust is honoured to be partnering with the YWCA Toronto to steward and manage this important social housing portfolio on behalf of communities across Toronto’s west end. Through our unique community ownership model, the Land Trust will ensure that these homes are preserved and protected as permanently affordable rental housing, while also providing tenants new opportunities to participate in decisions about their housing and community.”
– Ayal Dinner, Board President, The Neighbourhood Land Trust
“YWCA Toronto is proud to partner with The Neighborhood Land Trust and the City to offer affordable housing opportunities for existing tenants and women-led families. As one of Canada’s leading housing providers for women, we know how critical access to housing is in advancing gender and racial equity. We are grateful for this partnership and excited about the prospect of advancing women-focused housing.”
– Heather M. McGregor, CEO, YWCA Toronto
“There has never been a better time to scale affordable housing solutions across the city. Circle Community LandTrust is proud to preserve and invest in these family-sized homes to keep them affordable now and for the next generation. We can’t wait to begin collaborating with tenants as we prepare for this transfer.”
– Joy Connelly, President, Circle Community LandTrust
“We, the Scattered Tenant Network, wish to express our hopes for greater transparency, improved communication and more engagement with our new landlord. We have worked together with our fellow tenants and have made our priorities and needs clear. We are all looking forward to a new and improved relationship and sense of security with the new landlord.”
– Scattered Tenant Network
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