Performance highlights: Vibrant Communities

People thrive in communities where they feel safe and are engaged. In 2015, we took more steps to make communities safer. We improved the way we connect vulnerable residents to the services they need. With the help of our partners, we also delivered jobs, training opportunities and other programs.


Safety

New Community Safety Unit deployment model
In 2015, our community patrols were reorganized to improve safety. Patrols now take place across 20 zones every day and officers work in the same communities. This new system improves visibility and response times and helps officers build relationships with local residents. We also completed 900 joint patrols with Toronto Police Service. This is a 24 per cent increase over 2014.

New partnerships with Toronto Crime Stoppers
We began a partnership with Toronto Crime Stoppers in September 2015. We installed new high-impact signs and created youth and community outreach programs. More programs are in development for 2016. Crime Stoppers provides a way for people to report criminal activities anonymously.

Read more about our partnership with Toronto Crime Stoppers

Improved security systems
We installed 843 new security cameras in 21 communities in 2015, benefiting over 13,000 residents. We also provided over 3,000 residents with new key fobs and intercom systems in their buildings. We will continue to upgrade or replace 1,000 security cameras in 50 communities in 2016.

Lowering crime through better design
We’re using design to help prevent crime. We continued to use crime prevention through environmental design principles in 2015, conducting 10 community safety audits to identify where we could change the built environment to improve safety. The changes include:

  • trimming trees to improve visibility
  • installing high-intensity lights to brighten parking garages
  • removing shrubs to provide more visible, open spaces

These design principles are also now integrated into our planning for revitalization communities.


Helping residents

Connecting residents to services more effectively
We created a new process to manage requests to support vulnerable residents. In 2015, we responded to over 2,000 new requests and connected 950 residents to services.

We created the Vulnerable Seniors Action Plan to help seniors live independently and keep their homes. The plan will help us to better identify each senior’s unique needs and connect them to services and supports.

The 291 George St. building transformation has been very successful. This pilot program improves security and brings social and health services agencies on site. In late 2015, we expanded the program to other communities where a larger number of residents are living with mental health and addiction issues.

Training in mental health awareness
In the first quarter of 2015, 200 front-line staff completed mental health awareness training developed in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association. Staff learned to identify signs of distress and symptoms of poor mental health. They also learned about supportive communication techniques used to de-escalate challenging situations.

New housing program for victims of sex trafficking
On January 29, 2015, the City launched its first specialized, longer-term housing program for victims of sex trafficking. Toronto Community Housing leased a property to Covenant House Toronto at a nominal cost to operate the new facility, which will open in 2016. Other program partners include the City of Toronto and the Rotary Club of Toronto’s Women’s Initiatives Committee.

Read more about the housing program for sex trafficking victims

 

Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity

The Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity (OCHE) is an independent office whose goal is to make sure support and protections exist for seniors and vulnerable residents facing loss of subsidy or eviction due to rental arrears. The OCHE completed its first full year of operations, and the Toronto Community Housing board of directors approved new terms of reference for OCHE in December 2015. OCHE used a variety of resolution methods to preserve tenancies and strengthened Toronto Community Housing’s focus on fairness and due process.

In 2015, the OCHE:

  • effectively engaged 95 per cent of residents referred to the OCHE
  • brokered $433,138 in local repayment agreements
  • achieved $1,286,875 in direct arrears recovery, repayment agreements, and eviction cost avoidance

Supporting job creation for residents

We continued to work with partners in 2015 to help residents find jobs—and we created a few jobs for residents on our own.

  • We helped create nearly 1,400 jobs for residents through our community revitalization and capital repair programs. In 2016, we expect to create the equivalent of 5,600 full-time jobs.
  • We changed our procurement rules to allow us to directly award a contract up to $100,000 to a resident-led business, encouraging entrepreneurship among residents.
  • We hosted the fifth annual UPS Job Fair, where 14 Toronto Community Housing residents were hired.
  • We connected residents interested in carpentry to training and job placement support with help from the CHOICE Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship program and Hammer Heads program.

We also worked with partners to create jobs and opportunities for youth. In 2015, we hired 340 young residents aged 14 to 29 through these programs, including 115 in the YouthWorx program, 180 in the Rookie League baseball program, and 45 in the KickStart soccer program.


Tenant Representative elections

We held Tenant Representative elections in our communities in early 2015. Many employees from across the organization helped run these elections. Tenant Representatives make sure that residents’ voices are heard. Key numbers include:

  • 418 Orientation and all-candidate meetings held
  • 479 Tenants nominated
  • 96 Tenant Representatives elected; 219 acclaimed
  • 69 Polling stations across the city open for 10 hours on election day, March 26, 2015
  • 7,392 Ballots cast

  • Children and youth programs

We continued to work with our partners in 2015 to offer children and youth programs that promote health, build skills and develop leadership.

Learn more about children and youth programs

KickStart soccer program

  • More than 200 children from 15 communities
  • Partners: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Foundation, Kia Canada and Toronto FC

Midnight Madness basketball program

  • 90 youth from six communities
  • Partner: In 2016, we are partnering with the University of Toronto, St. George campus to deliver Midnight Madness basketball and other youth programming

Rookie League baseball camp

  • More than 1,200 children from over 50 communities
  • Partner: Jays Care Foundation
  • In January 2016, Jays Care Foundation announced they will invest an additional $246,000 in 2016 to help expand the Rookie League program to a year-round after-school program in 10 communities