WATCH ABOVE: Mayor John Tory’s community housing task force finds more than $300 million for backlog of needed repairs. Mark McAllister speaks with advocates who say they’ll believe it when they see it.
TORONTO – A six-person task force appointed by Mayor John Tory earlier this year to examine the state of Toronto Community Housing has announced that the city has freed up more than $300 million for the backlog in repairs.
Led by Senator Art Eggleton, the group made up of housing, finance and real estate experts had been assigned to review the corporate structure at TCHC and provide recommendations to improve management.
The task force’s interim report states that an additional $171 million has been freed this year, and $200 million next year, to be put towards housing repairs.
The money will come from refinancing TCHC mortgages.
The report also calls on TCHC to take immediate steps to get drug dealers out of buildings by re-deploying TCH community safety staff, providing more jobs and opportunities for residents, and developing stronger, more transparent standards for cleaning, repairs and removal of pests.
The task force’s focus has been to look at TCHC’s current operations and how they serve tenants, partnerships and innovation, capital revitalization and new development, as well as governance.
A number of community meetings were also held in May and June to get input from TCHC residents.
The city currently faces a slew of aging buildings and requires $2.6 billion in new investments to maintain its units over the next ten years.
TCHC has also 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 scheduled to provide a final report by the end of the year.
TCHC is the largest social housing provider in Canada and the second largest in North America.