Last week at the City’s Executive Committee meeting, Local 79 President Tim Maguire was joined by Karen Pascual, a longtime member working at TCHC, to call for a better social housing system for Toronto.
Karen and Tim told the Committee that not only do we need to fix the City’s current social housing, but we also need to build more social housing and decentralize frontline services so more decisions are made by tenants and staff at the local level instead of at head office. Their deputations and Local 79’s submission to the Committee was in response to a staff report outlining a first phase of changes at TCHC as part of the “Tenants First” plan adopted last year.
The staff report highlights that TCHC needs almost a billion dolllars over the next two years just to keep homes from closing due to disrepair. It also recommends shifting seniors housing to a new entity that is more integrated with other seniors services such as long-term care. Local 79 specifically recommended the City increase its budget contribution to TCHC immediately, make the new seniors housing entity a Division of the City, and guaruntee successor rights to any frontline workers at TCHC who are impacted if and when services are shifted out of the TCHC portfolio.
The issue will be considered by City Council next week.
Watch Tim and Karen’s deputations below.