Tenant charter consultations

Tenant charter consultations

​​​​Feedback Summary

​A total of six consultation sessions with residents about a resident charter took place from April 26 to May 3, 2016, across the city to accommodate as many residents as possible. The consultations were conducted in east, central and west locations. A summary of the feedback received from residents is below.

Total number of participants for all sessions: 215
Total number of table discussions for all sessions: 25

Consultation meeting locations and dates:
  1. April 26: East location, 65 Greencrest Circuit, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
  2. April 26: East location, 3825 Sheppard Avenue East, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
  3. April 28: West location, 3036 Bathurst Street, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
  4. April 28: West location, 495 Wilson Avenue, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
  5. May 3: Central location, 246 Sackville Street, 1 to 3:30 p.m.
  6. May 3: Central location, 931 Yonge Street, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Question 1:

Think of the 3-6 words that best describe your group's vision of great service; or tell us a phrase that describes your group's vision?

Summary of mentions from residents:
  • Accountability (10 mentions)
  • Responsiveness (10 mentions)
  • Respect (9 mentions)
  • Integrity (6 mentions)
  • Honesty (5 mentions)
  • Committed (2 mentions)
  • Acknowledgement of concerns
  • Attentiveness
  • Caring
  • Competent: Being able to understand and relate to residents efficiently
  • Demonstrating a friendly, professional, attitude
  • Dignity: Avoiding stereotyping of residents
  • Efficiency and effectiveness
  • Empathy: Being able to relate to residents' level of understanding
  • Engagement
  • Equality: Treating residents as clients and respecting our rights
  • Helpful: initiative from all staff
  • Listening to feedback and implementing changes accordingly
  • Personable: Saying hello, good morning, how are you, etc.
  • Polite and professional communication with residents
  • Positive attitude
  • Quality service
  • Reliability
  • Security
  • Treating residents the way you'd want to be treated
  • Trust

Question 2:

Discuss what good service looks like.​

Scenario 1: At the Operating Unit office
  • Approachable (4 mentions)
  • Courteous
  • Develop a confirmation system when forms are submitted
  • Develop an online system for submitting forms
  • Generally, a very positive experience with OU office
  • Helpful
  • Need for local office; current office too far away
  • Offer in other languages
  • Offices should have a private room
  • Organize programs for residents to encourage interaction and reduce isolation
  • Respectful, inclusive service
  • Show initiative and be proactive in addressing resident needs
  • Staff need to be more interactive
  • Staff should wear ID badges

Scenario 2: In your building
  • Cleanliness (3 mentions)
  • Supportive (3 mentions)
  1. Facilities Management needs to support superintendents
  2. Superintendent needs to be supported by Asset Management
  3. Superintendents need to be more vocal
  • Better usage of signage and notices about building concerns
  • Communication materials in other languages
  • Courteous: Building meaningful relationships by saying hi, good afternoon, etc.
  • Clear and consistent communication on Toronto Community Housing changes and initiatives
  • Common space made available for resident programs
  • Listening to all concerns coming from residents
  • More supervisors for high-rise buildings
  • Different attitude toward contract-managed sites
  • Professional attitude
  • Timeliness and integrity: do what you say you will do, complete tasks on time and fulfill promises

Scenario 3: On the phone
  • Timeliness (6 mentions)
  1. Lower wait times
  2. Prompt turnaround times and mentions
  3. Providing timelines for follow-up
  • Clear communication from staff (5 mentions)
  1. Difficult to understand, speaking too fast
  2. Listen attentively
  3. Staff should identify themselves
  4. Transparency in providing details regarding concerns
  • Competent staff
  • Courteous
  • Frontline needs to be trained on customer service
  • Having more knowledgeable staff to deal with issues
  • Need to be more open and caring
  • Original EasyTrac number should remain consistent for each concern
  • Patient and understanding
  • Professional and friendly attitude at all times
  • Provide services in language of choice over the phone

Scenario 4: What is most important to you when raising a concern?
  • Timeliness in solving problems and wait times (4 mentions)
  1. Easy way to raise and follow-up on complaints
  2. Emails should have a standard response time
  3. Resolving problems efficiently
  4. Staff should take initiative and not wait on others ​​
  • Accountability (2 mentions)​
  1. Taking responsibility to address all concerns
  2. Being able to talk to someone knowledgeable and responsible for concerns being raised
  • Effective communication regarding solutions (2 mentions)
  1. Listening and providing the right solutions
  2. Clearly stating what Toronto Community Housing will do to help deal with issue being raised
  • Confidentiality (2 mentions)
  • Sympathy and understanding of issues (2 mentions)
  • Acknowledgment and of communication
  • Difficult to get in touch with the supervisor by phone or in person
  • More staff support on high-level, complex needs (e.g., mental health issues, addiction, people with physical disabilities)
  • Need staff who speak other languages to help ​address concerns; majority of residents do not speak English
  • Not just speed, but quality of work/service is important

Question 3:

What is most important to you when you make a complaint?
  • Following up (17 mentions)
  1. Regular updates
  2. Ability to find out status/progress of complaint
  3. Confirmation through phone, email, letter, etc.
  4. Develop resident committee to review/follow-up on complaints and resolution process
  • Responsiveness (14 mentions)
  1. Deal with sense of urgency; show residents that you care about resolving complaints
  2. Knowing complaint are being heard and dealt with; feeling that staff cares
  3. Specific service standard on how long it will take to address complaints
  • Accountability (9 mentions)
  • Improved complaints process (4 mentions)
  1. One department to raise issue, with authority to deal with complaints quickly
  2. Clear process of who to go to when complaints are escalated or nothing is being done
  3. Easy way to record complaints
  4. Knowing what the process is and who to con​tact regarding complaints at any given time
  • Mechanism to escalate complaints about contract management companies
  • Residents want staff who speak other languages to help deal with their complaints
  • Transparency: Residents want to be kept informed about decisions and timelines regarding the status of their complaints. Residents also want to know the process in which complaints are resolved.

Other things that we heard:

  • "Treat your home as if it were your own."
  • Being clear as to expectations for both staff and residents including service expectations.
  • Clear and transparent understanding of the complaints policy and making sure concerns and complaints are acknowledged.
  • There are concerns about contract management with some people asking if we can discontinue the program.
  • Some residents expressed feelings of positivity, that things are slowly starting to change, on the right path, etc.
  • General communication with residents is poor; need to do a better job of communicating service changes or new initiatives.
  • Some people feel that Toronto Community Housing staff do not care.
  • How is the resident charter is different from past programs?
  • How to ensure residents follow up on their responsibilities?
  • How will the charter be enforced?
  • How will this improve the service and accountability coming from the Community Safety Unit?
  • How will you improve communication with residents?
  • Is this a Toronto Community Housing staff project or will residents be involved as well?
  • Major themes coming from discussions are accountability and transparency.
  • More access to community space.
  • More inclusion of people with mental health issues.
  • Need more safety unit meetings and working groups. Need to build relationship with safety unit and residents.
  • Not just speed, but quality of service provided is important.
  • Provide options; you should be able to paint whichever colour you like.
  • Provide resources to help deal with issues in areas with larger minority groups.
  • Remove stigmas attached to Toronto Community Housing residents.
  • Resident concerned about equality of living space. Bachelors should receive a studio apartment. One-bedroom apartments for couples or families.
  • Residents and staff both have a responsibility in improving customer service.
  • Residents and staff need to work together to ensure great customer service is achieved.
  • How do we change the way Toronto Community Housing residents are perceived?
  • Some residents feel they are always compromised, not treated with respect.
  • Some residents have lost trust in staff, supervisors not behaving professionally.
  • Residents need to enable their community to improve customer service.
  • Residents want to be managed by Toronto Community Housing, not contracted companies.
  • Residents want to see a lot more executives and asset management staff on-site to interact with residents.
  • Resources to deal with residents with mental health issues.
  • Respect, valuing the resident as a human being.
  • Safety is a major concern. How will the charter improve the safety of residents?
  • Safety issues with balconies being overloaded.
  • Safety; ensuring doors are locked after-hours.
  • Site staff need power to make decisions.
  • Strong need to have service and communication materials offered in language of choice.
  • Support residents even in small things; show commitment to residents by following up.
  • Translations are often poor.
  • Work towards building a positive experience for everyone, for both residents and staff.