Performance highlights: Service Excellence

Our goal is to consistently deliver services that meet the housing needs of residents. In 2015, we strengthened our commitment to accessibility and improved our core services.

We conducted the 2015 Resident Survey to learn how residents feel about their home, building, and community. The survey found moderate satisfaction levels and pointed to several areas where we can improve.

Nielsen Consumer Insights conducted the survey using mail, online and telephone formats. A total of 3,383 surveys were completed by Toronto Community Housing residents from across the city.

Key findings from the survey:

  • The overall satisfaction rating was 64 per cent.
  • The highest rated services were being respectful when serving residents and keeping residents informed of changes that affect them.
  • Areas needing the most improvement were building conditions, cleanliness and community safety.
  • Building condition has the biggest impact on resident satisfaction, followed by keeping residents informed and unit conditions.
  • Seniors (age 65 and older) were the most satisfied, young adults (age 19 to 34) the least satisfied.

The results show moderate satisfaction levels but also point to several areas where we need to do better.

See more results from the survey


Improving core services

Better cleaning services
We hired 60 building cleaning staff in 2015 and, in partnership with our labour union CUPE Local 416, we finalized cleaning routines for all cleaning staff, then trained them on our service standard. The routines document all cleaning activity, including the frequency, order and time of day when cleaning should be done. We completed the second phase of training in early 2016, including a practical, hands-on day where cleaners applied what they learned from the classroom. We will monitor compliance with the routines through regular audits. We will also communicate the service standards to residents in 2016 to set and meet an expectation of cleaner homes across our portfolio.


Conducting annual inspections

Our staff enter units at least once a year to look at essential safety elements like window locks and smoke detectors. We also use these inspections to act quickly to address cleanliness, pest control and excessive clutter. In 2015, we completed unit inspections for 99 per cent of our units.

Of inspected units:

  • 94% had minimal or no clutter in their units
  • 80% did not have any pest problems
  • 82% received a “pass” in all categories (kitchen, bathroom, floor and water penetration)
  • 99% passed fire safety inspection

We replaced or repaired:

  • 1,364 smoke detectors
  • 1,062 carbon monoxide detectors
  • 480 window locks and screens

Responding to service and maintenance requests

Number of requests:

  • 130,580 service requests
  • 454,722 maintenance requests

Top service requests included:

Administration
36,320

Account inquiry
11,861

Transfers
4,744

 Top maintenance requests included:

Plumbing
74,084

Doors
47,120

Electrical
37,928


Closing The Loop

We launched Closing the Loop in May 2015 as a pilot program in the Jane/Firgrove community. The program follows up with residents about the quality of repair work done in their homes. For 12 weeks, our staff made more than 400 follow-up calls to ask residents if the work met their expectations for quality, timeliness and respect. More than three-quarters of residents who participated in the pilot program reported that they noticed improved service and were satisfied with the work and courtesy of staff and contractors. The program was expanded to four Operating Units to include 30,000 residents in late 2015. We will gradually expand the program to all our communities by the end of 2016.

Learn more about Closing The Loop


Creating more accessible spaces

29% of households who pay RGI have a member with a disability (versus 12% in Ontario)

Updated accessibility policies
The board approved an updated Accessibility Policy and a new Accessibility in the Built Environment Policy and standards in 2015. Both policies strengthen our long-standing commitment to provide accessible homes, services and workplaces.
Learn more about accessibility

Working with R-PATH to improve accessibility
The Responsible Personal Accessibility in Toronto Housing (R-PATH) committee continued to provide invaluable resident feedback and advice on all accessibility issues in 2015. Their advocacy has helped us to remove housing design barriers and improve the quality of life for residents with physical disabilities. R-PATH was instrumental in shaping the updated Accessibility Policy and new Accessibility in the Built Environment Policy and standards. In 2015, R-PATH celebrated two years of advocacy work.
Learn more about R-PATH

Tenant Guide now available in alternate formats
We published a new Tenant Guide in early 2015 and focused on making it more accessible to residents. We have translated the Tenant Guide into 18 languages and created braille, large print and audio formats. Except for braille, all these alternate formats are available to download on our website. Tenants can request a printed copy or another alternate format at any time.
Learn more about our Tenant Guide


Responding to the Auditor General’s reports

In 2015, we substantially completed the remaining three of 80 recommendations from the Toronto Auditor General’s 2011 and 2012 audit reports. We continued to make improvements to provide appropriate controls and value for money for the organization.


Increase in repayment agreements for household in arrears

We continued to work with residents to address arrears in 2015. At the end of 2015, we increased the percentage of managed arrears to 80 per cent and increased the value of arrears within repayment agreements to 40 per cent. By working with residents to address arrears and putting in place repayment agreements, we help prevent residents from losing their subsidy or their home.


Better pest management

We continued to do our part to help tackle Toronto’s pest control problem. By strengthening our vendor management process and connecting vulnerable residents to additional services and supports, we reduced the cost for each treatment and number of treatments required across our portfolio. Over 10 per cent of units we visited for pest control needed additional supportive services (for example, extreme cleaning or de-cluttering) before we could address the pest control issues. We became a partner in the Toronto Hoarding Support Services Network, a support system implemented in 2015 to help residents of Toronto who struggle with hoarding.

We also piloted our High Needs Building Approach in 19 buildings, totalling 3,855 units. This pro-active program looks at pest control at the building level, rather than servicing units individually and in isolation. The program:

  • audits the entire building
  • educates residents, staff and social agencies about pest control
  • connects residents to additional supports
  • lets residents provide feedback on the pest control services they receive

Acting to further strengthen rent calculations

We strengthened our processes for calculating rent to ensure that rent-geared-to-income (RGI) households are always charged the correct rent. Currently, we manually review 45,000 files each year to calculate RGI rent. For each file, we must apply 61 legislated rules. We have begun to review options to automate all or a portion of the RGI rent calculation process. Rent calculation is now a part of our regular audits, and we hired 13 staff in 2015 to perform this audit function. We also increased the number of refresher training sessions for staff responsible for calculations.