Why form a committee?
Being part of your community’s Building/Townhouse Committee is a rewarding experience and an opportunity for you to work alongside your neighbours and TCHC staff to build vibrant communities.
How do we form a Building/Townhouse Committee?
If your community chose the Building/Townhouse Committee model, watch for communications on when the open call meeting will take place in your community. Attend the meeting for your community and sign up to be a part of the committee. If you are unable to attend, contact your local Community Services Coordinator (CSC) to find out what you missed and how to sign up.
Who qualifies to be on a Building/Townhouse Committee?
A member of the Building/Townhouse Committee must be:
• A tenant, co-tenant or dependent of a tenant in the building or townhouse community where he/she lives and be registered on the TCHC household lease.
• 16 years of age or older by the time they sign up to be a member of the committee.
How is our community represented at the Tenant Community Action Table?
Each committee will select two members to represent their community and sit at the Tenant Community Action Table.
What if I change my mind and no longer want to be on the committee?
Committees are established for a three-year term. If you wish to withdraw your membership, you can do so by writing at any point in time to your local Community Services Coordinator (CSC).
Who qualifies to be a Community Representative?
Any committee member interested in being a Community Representative must be:
• A tenant, co-tenant or dependent of a tenant in the building/ townhouse community.
• A committee member registered on the TCHC household lease and, seconded by another tenant committee member in the building/ townhouse community where he/she is running. You can nominate yourself.
• Be 16 years of age or older to sit on the committee and run for a Community Representative.
• In good standing as a tenant in order to be a candidate.
If you are a permanent full time staff of TCHC, resident key persons, rooming house representatives and have a family member living in the same household, neither of you can participate.
How long do Committee members and Community Representatives serve?
Committee members and Community Representatives serve a three year term ending April 15, 2023.
What it means to have a tenancy in good standing:
A tenancy in good standing means:
- The tenant has no arrears on their lease with TCHC or, if there are arrears, they have a signed agreement with TCHC to repay the arrears and are in compliance with the agreement.
- TCHC is not taking any legal action against the tenancy.
- There have been no reported acts by the tenant, their household or guests, on or in relation to TCHC property, that constitute a serious violation of a federal, provincial or municipal law.
- There have been no reported anti-social behaviours, which constitute an ongoing disturbance caused by the tenant, their household or guests that intereferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the unit or complex for its reasonable uses by the landlord or tenants and which has not been resolved through tenancy management.
How do I become a Community Representative candidate?
1. Submit a nomination form no later than March 16, 2020.
2. You can nominate yourself, but your nomination needs to be seconded by another tenant committee member in the building/ townhouse community where you are running.
3. Each application must be signed by you the candidate, which will indicate your acceptance. Applications must be received no later than Monday, March 16, 2020.
4. You will receive a letter indicating whether or not your nomination was accepted and you are eligible.
Information for committee members interested in being a Community Representative
What if I change my mind and no longer want to be a candidate?
If you wish to no longer sit at the Tenant Community Action Table, you can withdraw your nomination and application by writing to your local Community Services Coordinator (CSC).
What if I have a comment or complaint about the process?
Please submit your comment or complaint in writing by completing a complaint form. You can get a complaint form by contacting your local engagement Community Services Coordinator (CSC) and submitting it to them. Don’t know who your CSC is? Call the Client Care Centre and an agent will connect you to the right person.
How does TCHC support you in your role?
TCHC staff will support you by:
• Delivering mandatory training and provide learning and capacity building opportunities.
• Removing barriers to participation by providing food and transportation reimbursement, translation and interpretation support, etc.
• Providing tools and resources to carry out roles and responsibilities.
• Assisting with Tenant Action Funds applications.
Campaign Information for Building/Townhouse Committee members interested in being a Community Representative
What you need to know before you get started on your campaign
• Develop a key message: It is good to share the reason why you are interested in being a candidate with your neighbours and committee members. What motivates you to run? Is there a particular area that you are passionate about? What would you like to change in your community? It is also good to ask about and listen to the ideas and concerns from community members. What are
their priorities? Is there something you could do to try and address those issues?
• Follow the Code of Conduct: TCHC will not tolerate negative cam- paigning strategies. This includes:
- spreading rumours or mistruths regarding other candidates
- harassing or threatening other candidates or their supporters Violating the Code of Conduct could result in having your name
removed from the ballot.
What you can do when campaigning as a Community Representative at the Tenant Community Action Table?
• Create a flyer: TCHC will provide you with a template of a flyer that you can use.
• Distribute copies of the flyer: Your engagement Community Services Coordinator will give you copies of your flyer. It must be letter-sized and single-sided. The maximum number that staff will provide is double the number of units in your community. Copies of the poster will be printed in colour, if requested.
• Get volunteers: Having friends or neighbours help you with your campaign is always a good idea. They can accompany you when you are knocking on doors seeking support, help you to distribute flyers or put them on bulletin boards. Your volunteers can also encourage others to vote for you and accompany you at debates. All campaign volunteers must follow the Code of Conduct.
• Track supporters: TCHC cannot provide you with tenants’ names and unit numbers. However, while campaigning, you can ask your neighbours if they wish to share that information with you so you can keep track of who is supporting you. When a tenant has pledged their support, make a note of their name and unit number. That way you can remind them to vote for you on Election Day. Your volunteers can also remind your supporters to vote.
What you need to know for April 16:
• April 16, 2020 is when committee members will elect two tenants to sit at the Tenant Community Action Table.
• You will have an opportunity to share your vision and why you are interested in being a Community Representative and sitting at the Tenant Community Action Table.
Tips for candidates
On April 16, 2020:
• Share your vision. Tell committee members why you are running and give them some ideas you have in mind for change. Be clear and consistent with what you have been advocating for during the campaign. Candidates are encouraged to prepare some remarks ahead of time.
• Learn the issues in the community and know your audience. It is always good to find out about the issues in your community and the feelings people have toward those issues ahead of time. This shows that you are taking the steps to understand your community better. Think about ways you can connect with your audeince and find similarities in the concerns they have.
• Be respectful. When interacting with tenants and other candidates, remain calm and collected. Avoid making negative comments.
What happens once voting ends on Election Day?
All votes submitted by committee members are recorded on a public tally sheet. Results are documented in a poster template and posted in the community.
What happens if there is a tie?
If there appears to be a tie after counting all the ballots, votes will be recounted. If there is still a tie, staff will declare a tie and ask the candidates to flip a coin.
If a tenant committee member is unable to vote, can someone else vote on their behalf?
Yes. This process is called proxy voting. Proxy voting is a form of voting whereby you may delegate your voting power to another committee member to vote for a candidate of your choice on your behalf.
What if a tenant committee member can’t leave their home to vote?
If a tenant is unable to leave their home on Election Day, staff may be asked to arrange for a ballot to be taken to the committee member who is in the building but unable to attend the meeting. A staff member and a volunteer will go to the individual’s unit with a ballot and pencil so the tenant may vote.