About Tenants First

About Tenants First

​City Council unanimously adopted the Tenants First Phase 1 Implementation Plan in July 2017. The City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) are working together to implement the plan's recommendations. 

On this page:

What does Tenants First mean for you?

Tenants First is about improving the lives of TCHC tenants through better service delivery, increased access to services and improved building conditions.

  • Tenants will NOT be moved or lose their subsidy because of this plan.
  • The Tenants First team will continue to seek input from TCHC tenants.
  • This is only phase one. The full plan will take several years to implement. 

What is the Tenants First Phase 1 plan?

This plan is part of a multi-phase strategy. Key elements of phase 1 include:

  • creating a Seniors Housing and Services entity that will manage TCHC's 83 seniors-designated buildings
  • supporting TCHC in its efforts to be a better landlord and refocus its mandate on families, youth, vulnerable tenants and seniors living in mixed buildings
  • adequately funding both TCHC and the new Seniors entity
  • inviting non-profits, co-ops or land trusts to submit plans for operating TCHC's scattered houses
  • testing new ways of delivering services to tenants in Weston-Rexdale (Operating Unit C) 

Next stage of the Tenants First implementation plan (May 2018)

The City of Toronto has issued a report on the next stage of the City's plan for implementing the Tenants First project. The recommendations in the report focus on addressing the needs of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) tenants who are seniors and advance the City's plan to create a Seniors Housing and Services Entity. The recommendations must be approved by City Council before they can be implemented.

Toronto Community Housing is also sending out a letter from President and CEO Kathy Milsom that lets tenants know about these recommendations and what the next steps will be if the recommendations are approved.

Read a copy of the letter (PDF) that will be posted on all Toronto Community Housing building bulletin boards and sent out individually to units that do not have a bulletin board.

Where can I get a copy of the report?

You can read a copy of the report on the City of Toronto website.

What is the timing for report?

City Executive Committee will consider the recommendations on May 14. Pending decisions at Executive Committee, the plan will go before City Council at its May 23-25 meeting.

What does the report recommend that affects seniors?

The recommendations affecting TCHC tenants who are seniors include:

  • Creating a new integrated service model to promote aging in place, better quality of life and successful tenancies for all TCHC seniors;
  • Establishing a Seniors Housing Unit in TCHC to implement the model and manage the TCHC seniors portfolio; and
  • Creating a Seniors Housing and Services Entity at the City, responsible for strategic planning, and for connecting and integrating services to effectively meet the needs of senior residents and communities.

What is the new service model? Why is the City recommending it?

The report calls for TCHC and the City to design and implement a new integrated service model for seniors, in partnership with the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The new model will promote aging in place, better quality of life and successful tenancies for all TCHC seniors.


What is the Seniors Housing Unit? Why is the City recommending it?

The report calls for Toronto Community Housing to establish a Seniors Housing Unit with a separate management structure within the organization. The unit will deliver the new integrated service model for seniors housing and have oversight of TCHC's portfolio of seniors buildings.


When will all this happen?

If City Council approves the recommendations, TCHC will work in consultation with tenants and the City's Tenants First team to develop the new service model and create the Seniors Housing Unit within TCHC. While work will begin this year, the report contemplates the new model being operational in 2019.


How will these changes benefit TCHC tenants?

If approved and once fully implemented, the recommendations will improve access to services for all TCHC seniors. There will be better coordination of the services provided to seniors by organizations outside TCHC and better alignment of programs focused on seniors delivered by the City of Toronto, the provincial government and the federal government. TCHC tenants who are seniors will be better positioned to age in place.

How is the City informing and engaging TCHC tenants about the plan?

The City's Tenants First project team is holding five meetings for tenants from May 7 to 11 at various locations across the city. All tenants are welcome to attend these meetings to discuss the recommendations.

The meeting schedule can be found on the City of Toronto website.


Were tenants consulted on these recommendations?

The recommendations have been developed through ongoing consultation with the Tenants First Tenant Advisory Panel, through consultation with seniors tenant councils and with input from the City's Seniors Accountability Table. They also reflect feedback from tenants about how seniors could best be served provided during consultations in May 2017. 


Does the report recommend transferring seniors housing out of TCHC's seniors portfolio?

The report does not include recommendations about transferring buildings. It recommends the creation of a new management structure within TCHC that would specifically focus on seniors housing.


What is the City transition team?

The report calls on the City to establish a Seniors Housing and Services transition team within the appropriate division at the City of Toronto. The team will ould oversee the development of the Seniors Housing and Services Entity. 


What are the next steps for Tenants First if these recommendations are approved?

The City's Tenants First project team will continue to work with Toronto Community Housing on implementing the recommendations approved by City Council.

The Tenants First project team will return to City Executive Committee, and then to City Council, in 2019. At that time, the team is expected to bring forward recommendations concerning:

  • The Request for Proposals (RFP) to transfer TCHC's scattered housing portfolio
  • A permanent funding model for TCHC
  • A revised shareholder direction and focused TCHC mandate.

The City Transition Team will report back to City Council in 2020 with recommendations for the creation of the Seniors Housing and Services Entity.

Learn more and get involved