Homes and Condo Mississauga

Toronto to sell off almost 800 TCHC-owned buildings


The Toronto city council intends to sell nearly 800 Toronto Community Housing Corps' houses and room houses to buyers who will keep the units as affordable homes.

While the Robford government pushed hard to sell these properties to private investors in 2011 for an estimated windfall of $ 336 million, the latter move aims to own the "scattered property" – shift stock from the city to non-profit cooperatives, community trust and non-profit housing agencies. When the housing portfolio was put together for the first time in the 1970s, the policy reflected the city's desire to promote mixed-income communities, enabling tenants to rent subsidized housing in middle-class neighborhoods as an alternative to concentrated poverty in large subsidized residential complexes

. ] According to the "Tenants First" policy approved by the Board, city officials are looking for potential buyers who will ensure that the units in the city's affordable housing stock are retained forever.

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are nearly 150 cooperatives in the field of housing in Toronto, say the staff of city houses, as well as numerous non-profit social housing agencies that offer housing such as Woodgreen Community Services, as well as a few community landscapes in areas such as Kensington Market and Parkdale.

Last week, council also voted spent $ 179 million more than three years on nine new shelter complexes with 1,000 new permanent beds in response to this winter's homelessness crisis.

toronto community housing portfolio

Agency houses are owned by TCHC but rented to non-profits and aimed at certain user groups. They tend to have multiple units

Single-family homes can be houses for a family or several unrelated tenants, and tend to be concentrated, like many social services, at the eastern end

historically only allowed in certain parts of the city

About half of all departments have one or fewer of these community houses

JOHN SOPINSKI / DE BOL AND MAIL and John Lorinc / special for the world and mail, SOURCE: city of toronto; qgis

toronto community housing portfolio

Estate Agents are owned by TCHC but leased to non-profit organizations and aimed at certain user groups. They tend to have several units

Room Houses are only permitted historically in certain parts of the city

About half of all departments have one or fewer of these community dwellings

Single-family homes can be for one family or for several unrelated tenants, and tend to be concentrated, like many social services, at the eastern end

JOHN SOPINSKI / THE WORLD NEIGHBORHOOD AND JOHN LORINC / special to the world and mail, SOURCE: city of toronto; qgis

toronto community housing portfolio

Agency houses are owned by TCHC but rented to non-profits and aimed at certain user groups. They tend to have multiple units

About half of all departments have one or fewer of these housing for community housing

Single-family homes can be houses for one family or several unrelated tenants, and have a tendency to be concentrated, like many social services, at the east end

Rooming houses are historically only allowed in certain parts of the city

JOHN SOPINSKI / DE BOL AND MAIL and John Lorinc / Special to the globe and mail, SOURCE: city of toronto; qgis

Deputy mayor Ana Bailao said that the sale of the units will strengthen the city's non-profit housing sector and ensures that TCHC, which has been guilty of maintaining these properties for years, focuses on its larger complexes . "We know that there are other non-profits and cooperatives with those assets that can offer a higher quality of service," she said. Officials at the TCHC refused to comment and asked questions to the city.

TCHC, with 350 buildings, has about 110,000 tenants, but less than 2% currently resides in the distributed portfolio.

The portfolio consists of 48 large and small rooms, as well as 660 single-family homes. Combined these homes contain 1,170 units. The single-family homes currently accommodate 2,029 people, including many larger families. Twenty-two of the housings will be transformed into supporting residential complexes with a total of 204 units.

Ms. Bailao said that the transfer will have no effect on those families whose names are on the long waiting list for subsidized housing. When filling vacancies, she said, the new operators will still have to go through the centralized list of the city.

The financial aspects of the deal are more vague. The city currently allocates USD 850,000 per year to TCHC to subsidize the activities of the 1,170 units and has a $ 33.9 million maintenance commitment on its books. Council allocates $ 6 million annually for repairs.

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Yet it is not clear who will pay the required work after these properties change owners. Whether non-profit agencies and land trusts have the capacity to pay for that maintenance remains to be seen. "We will work with the new agencies" about who pays that bill, said Ms. Bailao.

The simple fact that the housing agencies once thought fit to invest in residential real estate seems almost unbelievable in a time when even small and poor dilapidated houses easily reach $ 800,000 or more.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation, based on average real estate prices, suggests that the city could achieve a net windfall in the hundreds of millions

But the magnitude of the potential windfall, said Chris Brillinger, Executive Director of the city of social development, finance and administration, "is not so clear and there are assumptions that the market for those properties will provide enough for [their] replacement."

The mere existence of these homes raises an uncomfortable question at which many Toronto homeowners and politicians prefer to avoid: why should families with lower incomes not live in single-family homes in desirable neighborhoods h well-maintained parks and high-performing schools?

In American cities such as Dallas, Houston and Chicago, housing corporations began to buy single-family homes at the end of the 1960s in response to court rulings and federal policies that wanted to spread low-income families rather than concentrating on them in large and notorious public housing projects.

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In some regions, the transition to scattered housing led to a sharp and often racially motivated repercussion among homeowners fearing crime peaks.

Although some Toronto social housing complexes saw increased levels of crime, no one saw the degree of deterioration and violence that prompted many US housing authorities to demolish projects such as Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes. TCHC and its predecessor business premises have in turn only made modest investments in scattered homes


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