WATCH: Mayor Tory has appointed a former Toronto mayor as the head of a Toronto public housing task force. Dave Trafford reports.
TORONTO – Toronto Mayor John Tory announced Friday the appointment of Senator Art Eggleton to head a six-member task force on Toronto public housing.
Tory said the task force will conduct a review of the corporate structure at TCHC and provide recommendations to improve management and generate new ideas.
“I think that there has to be a big priority placed on getting Toronto community housing right. There’s still lots to be done,” Tory told reporters Friday.
As part of his mayoral platform, Tory had initially promised to spend $864-million to combat TCHC’s growing backlog of repairs.
TCHC has been plagued in recent years by spending scandals and questionable hiring practices which has forced the dismissal of several management officials including the removal of CEO Gene Jones last year.
The task force is expected to provide an interim report by July with a final report due at the end of the year.
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“We want to hear from various stakeholders, particularly the tenants,” Eggleton said. “Having more affordable housing has clearly got the be a priority for this city.”
Meanwhile, city councillor Ana Bailao was also named the city’s housing advocate.
She says steps have been taken to improve community housing, but the changes are not always visible to outsiders.
“I think money has been put to good use. A lot of it is structural. You have to understand a lot of these buildings were built 40, 50 years ago and a lot of what they need is boilers, roofs, it’s sometimes not the exciting stuff (like) a new flashy lobby,” she said.
Bailao said there’s a need for residents of the city to push all level of governments to help get work done.
“I need Torontonians to get mad. We have a federal election coming up. Housing needs to be an issue. And we need to be mad at everyone from municipal politicians to the federal to make sure everyone is working together on the issue,” said Bailao adding she needs those other levels of government to help fund the construction and repairs for housing.
“We need $2.6 billion and we have $866 million from the city,” said Bailao. “We believe this should be an infrastructure project in the city and we are asking the province and feds to come up with the other two thirds.”