Tenant Engagement System Refresh Process

Tenant Engagement System Refresh Process

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Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is working with tenants to develop a new tenant engagement model. The new model will give tenants a say on issues that affect their community and allow tenants to have input on local decision-making.

The new tenant engagement system will be guided by the principles of being respectful, equitable, informative, inclusive and collaborative.

How did we get here?

Since 2003, Toronto Community Housing has worked with tenants to develop a tenant engagement system that will increase participation in communities.  Here are some of our milestones:

  • 2003: The City of Toronto mandated TCHC to create a tenant engagement system.
  • 2008: TCHC implemented the current tenant engagement system which consists of elected tenant representatives who advocate for the needs of their communities and participate in decision-making.
  • 2015: Tenant Representative Elections took place across the city. Over 300 tenant representatives were elected or appointed by members of their community.
  • 2015: Based on the Mayor's Task Force recommendations, Toronto Community Housing committed to refresh the tenant engagement system as mentioned in the 2015 Getting it Done report (PDF).
  • 2015: At an Open Space Forum, tenants identified common issues with the current engagement model and developed a plan for moving forward. A group of tenants and TCHC team members worked together to develop the "Take 5 survey."
  • 2016: Tenants received feedback from the "Take 5 survey" through nine town hall meetings held across the city. Tenants selected other tenants who would represent them on the City-wide Tenant-Staff Engagement Advisory Committee (CWTSEAC).
  • 2017: CWTSEAC created a shared vision and operating principles to guide any changes to the tenant engagement system. The committee presented 52 recommendations in the Tenant Engagement System Refresh Proposal Report (PDF) at the Tenant Services Committee meeting July 2017.  The committee adopted the principles of these recommendations. 
  • 2018: TCHC started a broad consultation process to develop a refreshed tenant engagement system. This goal was to make that the refreshed system was shaped by as many tenants as possible, and that it represented the diverse views and needs of TCHC’s tenant population. The priorities identified by tenants through the community priority-setting process laid the foundation of the new tenant engagement system. The refreshed tenant engagement model was presented to tenants at six community feedback forums in late November/early December. 
  • 2019: The Tenant Engagement System and implementation plan were approved by the Board of Directors in July 2019. The Tenant Engagement System includes a new three-level structure for the local, operating unit/community and city level and options for tenants to select the local engagement model that best fits their community. Check out the news release on our website to learn about the refreshed Tenant Engagement System. Tenants voted for their preferred local engagement model in a building-by-process that happened at the end of 2019 and into the beginning of 2020.  
  • 2020: Tenant engagement activities, including any outstanding local model selection, were temporarily put on hold in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As TCHC moves to restart services in phases, tenant engagement activities will start in phases as well. Tenant elections and related engagement activities for communities in phase one started in September. Elections were held in phase one communities in November.
  • 2021 and 2022: Elections and by-elections in remaining communities were completed.

The health and safety of tenants and staff is top priority. TCHC is working closely with Toronto Public Health to establish additional safety protocols to protect tenants who wish to participate in election activities. We are also monitoring updates from the provincial government and so these protocols may change as updates are released.

Resources and communication materials

  • For all communications and resources about the Tenant Engagement System Refresh, visit the resources page.
  • For more information and resources for the upcoming Tenant Elections, visit the Tenant Elections page

Key objectives of the Tenant Engagement System

The City-Wide Tenant-Staff Engagement Advisory Committee developed a shared vision, core values and principles, and key objectives to guide any changes to the current Tenant Engagement System.


Key objectives


Establish a Governance System
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TCHC collaborate with tenants to build a democratic system that will "provide for tenant input for decisions at the corporate and local levels."  
Create an accountability framework
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The refreshed Tenant Engagement System must be accountable to the needs of communities, tenants and TCHC's Shareholder Direction.

Knowledge and information: building profile

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Communities and tenant leadership can be strengthened through a systemic examination of tenant demographics and community needs and assets.
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Building a successful communications strategy that emphasizes the importance of clear, concise and timely communication.

Increase tenant participation
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Support and provide resources where tenants are engaged, and have opportunities to thrive and play leadership roles to build their communities.
Capacity building for tenants and staff
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Providing TCHC team members with the right tools to do their work and build their skills and develop tenant capacity to increase participation.


How can you get involved?

There are many ways you can get involved in your community:

  • Building and local community meetings
  • Lobby and community intercepts
  • Building and community surveys
  • Local community forums

Tenants are encouraged to speak to their tenant representative, tenant leaders or their Community Services Coordinator to find out more about the Tenant Engagement System Refresh and how they can get involved. Be on the lookout for posters about the tenant engagement refresh.


Email EngagementRefresh@torontohousing.ca or call 416-981-4435 to learn more about tenant engagement in your community or tell us if you want to get involved.

Follow us on social media:

Twitter: @TOHousing

Facebook: @Toronto Community Housing

Instagram: @torontohousing

LinkedIn: Toronto Community Housing

Share your favourite photos regarding the Tenant Engagement System Refresh. Remember to use the #yourcommunityyoursay hashtag in your posts!