Independent Commissioner of Housing Equity to Ensure Integrity and Impartiality for Residents

Independent Commissioner of Housing Equity to Ensure Integrity and Impartiality for Residents

March 26, 2014

Office Will Work to Keep Seniors and Vulnerable Persons Housed�
TORONTO, March 27, 2013 � Cynthia Summers, Commissioner of Housing Equity, Bud Purves, Chair, Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors, and Gene Jones, President and CEO of Toronto Community Housing, joined dignitaries and residents today to celebrate the official opening of the Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity.
The commissioner will review cases involving seniors or other vulnerable residents who could lose their subsidy or face eviction for arrears. The review will determine whether Toronto Community Housing�s Eviction Prevention Policy has been correctly and consistently applied, and ensure that staff are working to find solutions that can keep residents housed.
The creation of an Office of Commissioner of Housing Equity was recommended by the LeSage Review on Toronto Community Housing�s eviction prevention policy in 2010. It was further supported by the Toronto Ombudsman in her 2013 investigation into the eviction of seniors on the basis of rent arrears, and by Toronto City Council in accepting the Ombudsman�s report.
An external advisory committee co-chaired by board members Catherine Wilkinson and Jennifer Wood and consisting of Toronto Community Housing residents, representatives from the human rights, community law, mental health sector, and City of Toronto staff, advised the board on the creation of the independent office. The Commissioner of Housing Equity reports to Toronto Community Housing�s board of directors.
Quotes:�

�Today marks one more step Toronto Community Housing is taking to become a landlord of excellence. The commissioner will serve a valuable role in protecting our most vulnerable residents and ensure all eviction policies are followed correctly and consistently applied.�
�Bud Purves, Chair, Toronto Community Housing Board of Directors

�I look forward to serving Toronto Community Housing�s vulnerable residents as an advocate, adjudicator, and resource to find solutions to keep them housed. The principles that will guide my office are integrity, impartiality, and independence to ensure fair process for and equitable treatment of all vulnerable Toronto Community Housing residents.�
�Cynthia Summers, Commissioner of Housing Equity
More information:
Cynthia Summers biography�
Backgrounder: Role and responsibilities of Commissioner of Housing Equity
External Advisory Committee for the Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity�

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About Toronto Community Housing:
Toronto Community Housing (www.torontohousing.ca) is Canada�s largest social housing provider, and home to 58,500 households with low and moderate incomes. By providing clean, safe, well-maintained, and affordable homes, Toronto Community Housing delivers better homes, better neighbourhoods and a better Toronto for all.
Media Contact:
Sara Goldvine, 416-981-4252 or media@torontohousing.ca�