Toronto Community Housing has solid plan to repair housing

Toronto Community Housing has solid plan to repair housing

December 02, 2008

TORONTO , Dec. 2, 2008 � Toronto Community Housing has laid out its 10-year plan to repair and sustain its housing portfolio with the release today of a comprehensive Real Estate Asset Investment Strategy.

The plan, a key part of Toronto Community Housing�s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of housing for tenants, sets clear building condition benchmarks for measuring a good state of repair. It objectively and systematically documents the state of repair for the entire portfolio, identifies the costs and benefits associated with meeting those benchmarks and determines where it makes the most sense over the long-term to invest scarce resources.

The strategy, subject to approval by Toronto Community Housing�s Board of Directors, proposes investments to improve state of repair, reduce operating costs and increase the portfolio�s long-term sustainability. It includes four approaches to improve the condition of the housing:

  • Repair existing housing that has long-term financial viability
  • Invest in green and smart building technologies to reduce operating costs
  • Revitalize communities that are no longer viable through the creation of mixed-income communities
  • Sell and replace non-viable units that do not have redevelopment potential

More specifically the Asset Investment Strategy calls for:

  • Investing $950 million in repairs and maintenance over 10 years, targeting housing that has long-term viability, to achieve and maintain a state of good repair
  • Executing green and smartbuilding program focused on building automation systems, to improve the efficiency of building operations, reduce energy consumption, improve comfort for tenants, reduce wear on equipment and lower maintenance costs
  • Revitalizing 13 sites into mixed-income communities, starting with planning for five communities with non-viable housing -- Lawrence Heights, Atkinson Co-Op/Alexander Park, Edgeley Village, Flemingdon Park and Jamestown (Rexdale)
  • Selling and replacing three buildings with a total of 326 units and 45 houses that are no longer financially viable
  • Maintaining the number of rent-geared-to-income units, as required by regulations
  • Maintaining a general distribution of rental units across the city

The strategy will ensure Toronto Community Housing has a financially viable portfolio over the long-term and housing that meets tenant needs. That�s key to securing Toronto Community Housing�s ability to continue providing quality affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households. The strategy also supports Toronto Community Housing�s continuing efforts to build safe and healthy communities and improve sustainability.

On December 8, Toronto Community Housing's Board of Directors approved the plan. With respect to the recommendations on the sale and replacement of housing, the board asked for more information about the sale options and the sale process before providing approval on this part of the strategy. This additional information will be provided to the board through the board's City Building Committee. Dates for the January City Building Committee and Board meetings will be set shortly.


�We want all Toronto Community Housing tenants to live in quality housing. Today, with the Real Estate Asset Investment Strategy we�re putting forward, we�re taking real positive action to improve the state of repair for tenants, secure the future viability of our housing assets and achieve the highest standards for efficiency and sustainability,� said David Mitchell, Chair of Toronto Community Housing�s Board of Directors. �Investing in social housing will not only improve tenants� quality of life and address capital needs, it will create jobs and economic activity during these difficult times and help build a stronger and more prosperous Toronto over the long-term,� said Derek Ballantyne, Chief Executive Officer of Toronto Community Housing.

�I am impressed with the approach. Assuming Toronto Community Housing�s Board of Directors approves the strategy next week, I want to say that I am committed to obtaining Council support for the plan and will work with Toronto Community Housing to ensure that is implemented,� said Mayor David Miller.


  • Toronto Community Housing is setting building condition benchmarks using the Facilities Condition Index (FCI). It�s an objective, industry-standard methodology. It expresses the state of repair for a housing portfolio or individual building as a ratio -- the cost of repairs to the building replacement value.
  • Toronto Community Housing proposes an FCI 12% average, with a goal of having all units within an FCI benchmark range of 10% to 20%. This will ensure our housing units are in a fair condition, with no major deficiencies.

  • In the short term, the FCI for the 13 communities identified for revitalization will be set at 20% as it does not make sense financially to make major investments in communities that are slated to be completely rebuilt. It is necessary to make sure these hmes are safe and decent.


  • Since 2002, Toronto Community Housing, with the assistance of the City of Toronto, has invested nearly $630 million in capital improvements and another $85 million on the revitalization of Regent Park and Don Mount Court. Despite these large investments many tenants continue to live in unacceptable conditions.
  • The City of Toronto�s recent decision to contribute $75 million from the sale of Toronto Hydro Telecom to fund capital repairs and an additional $36 million from the provincial government, are important steps in tackling what is now a $200 million backlog.
  • In total, the 10-year plan will cost an estimated $1.5 billion.Toronto Community Housing has identified funding sources for 1.1 billion.Toronto Community Housing will be asking the City of Toronto for an exemption from property taxes and request that the City work with Toronto Community Housing to identify funding sources for the estimated $407 million required for revitalization.
  • Toronto Community Housing is proposing to finance the $950 million required over the next 10 years for repairs and maintenance with:
    • $600 million from existing capital budgets, revenue and operational savings
    • $126 million in property tax exemptions
    • $130 million operational savings and redirected spending
    • $50 million from reserves�

  • Toronto Community Housing has built $4.5 million into the current five-year capital plan for revitalization planning in five of 13 communities.
  • The estimated value of the housing proposed for sale is $35 - 40 M. and reduces the Toronto Community Housing repair backlog and improves operations performance by approximately $35 M over the ten year horizon. The estimated replacement cost falls within the range making the replacement initiatives self financing.
  • Green and smart building investments are self-financing. Funds will be borrowed and paid back with operational savings.




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