Toronto Community Housing
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC; commonly called TCHC) is a public housing agency in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and is the second-largest housing provider in North America. TCHC is the amalgamation of three housing organizations in Toronto following the downloading of housing to municipalities by the provincial government. These were Metropolitan Toronto Housing Company the short-lived new name of Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority (MTHA) the provincial housing agency, and Toronto Housing Company (TCH) which comprised Metropolitan Toronto Housing Company and City Homes the two city housing agencies. MTHA was created by Metropolitan Toronto in 1954 to deal with housing for the poor and to eliminate the slums in Old Toronto and adjacent suburbs. In 2002 four years after the amalgamation of Toronto, it merged with other public housing providers to form the TCHC, which is one of the largest public housing providers in North America. In October 2008, TCHC was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's news magazine. Later that month, TCHC was also named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers, which was announced by the Toronto Star newspaper.
On April 8, 2010, TCHC tenants between the ages of 14 to 28 years of age went to the polls to vote in the inaugural youth tenant election at locations across the city. Over a two year term, elected youth tenant representatives will sit on youth councils that will have a say on capital priorities and planning in their communities. They will engage youth and work with staff to make things work better at the community level.
On February 25, 2011, an audit conducted by Toronto's auditor general Jeffery Griffiths revealed a list of inappropriate expenses incurred by TCHC as a result of staff abusing the organizations' funds for personal interest. Examples include: A $1850 boat cruise for "staff development"; $1925 for manicures and pedicures; $6000 for a planning session in Muskoka; $53,500 for a 2008 staff party; $40,000 for a staff Christmas party in 2009; $800 to provide massages at a staff picnic.
Frequently deemed the most offensive of all the expenses by media figures, social advocates and TCHC residents alike was the purchase of a box of chocolates from luxury department store Holt Renfrew at a cost of $1000.00.
Additionally, contracts were given to personal associates to do repairs and install equipment, which in some case resulted in inferior work and equipment being provided. Some contracts were awarded multiple times, in one case leading to a personal associate of a TCHC staff member receiving two million dollars when the cost of the work should have been significantly less.
The audit was particularly damaging in light of the neglectful handling of TCHC buildings that have fallen into disrepair.
Toronto mayor Rob Ford demanded the resignation of the board of TCHC and though initially defiant, as of March 3, 2011, all board members have resigned. Rob Ford called for the privatization of Toronto Community Housing Corporation. The feasibility of the privatization of TCHC was greeted with widespread scrutiny and skepticism; many housing and business experts felt that Ford underestimated the complexity of such a transition.
The board has been replaced on a temporary basis by former city councillor Case Ootes. Rob Ford was quoted at the time as saying that a new board will be in place a month later.
- ^ "Beyond the crisis: Fresh ideas on public housing". The Star (Toronto). March 4, 2011. http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/948521--beyond-the-crisis-fresh-ideas-on-public-housing.
- ^ "Reasons for Selection, 2009 Canada's Top 100 Employers Competition". http://www.eluta.ca/top-employer-toronto-community-housing.
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