Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Uploading the subway will not help Toronto commuters December 12, 2018
    The Ontario government is planning to upload Toronto’s subway, claiming it will allow for the rapid expansion of better public transit across the GTHA, but that’s highly doubtful. Why? Because Minister of Transportation Jeff Yurek’s emphasis on public-private partnerships and a market-driven approach suggests privatization is the cornerstone of the province’s plan. Will dismembering the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2018 State of the Inner City Report: Green Light Go...Improving Transportation Equity December 7, 2018
    Getting to doctors appointments, going to school, to work, attending social engagments, picking up groceries and even going to the beach should all affordable and accessible.  Check out Ellen Smirl's reserach on transportation equity in Winnipeg in this year's State of the Inner City Report!
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Inclusionary housing in a slow-growth city like Winnipeg December 3, 2018
    In Winnipeg, there is a need for more affordable housing, as 21 percent of households (64,065 households) are living in unaffordable housing--according to CMHC's definition of spending more than 30 percent of income on shelter.  This report examines to case studies in two American cities and how their experience could help shape an Inclusionary Housing […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

Toronto Community Housing Corporation

I have an opinion piece in today’s Toronto Star regarding the recent controversy surrounding the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC).  In the way of background:

-TCHC is Canada’s largest provider of social housing, and Toronto’s largest landlord.

-There have been two recent reports by the City of Toronto’s auditor–one looks at staff expenses at TCHC, and another looks at TCHC’s procurement practices. 

-The report looking at staff expenses draws attention to “a culture at the TCHC” which has allowed inappropriate expenses totalling approximately $200,000 a year.  Though TCHC’s expense policy itself has been deemed appropriate, the auditor has concluded that it was not being followed.  In one case, eight staff members held their divisional planning meeting at a Toronto spa.  At a cost of over $1,900, they were treated to a “three-course lunch, pedicures, manicures and water therapy.” In 2008, TCHC held a staff Christmas party at a banquet hall at a cost of over $53,000; it included a chocolate fountain.  What’s more, many staff expenses were approved without supporting documentation.

-Likewise, the report on procurement finds that TCHC’s policies and procedures on procurement were not always followed.  If TCHC were to improve the way it awards contracts, the auditor estimates that TCHC could save as much as $10 million a year. 

-Since the release of the two reports, TCHC’s entire board of directors has been replaced (there is now a temporary, one-person board).  There have also been multiple firings, including TCHC’s two most recent CEOs.

-Toronto’s Mayor, meanwhile, has made no secret of the fact that he is quite open to seeing TCHC privatized, and that he would rather see low-income households housed in the private market (with the assistance of rent supplements) than by a non-profit entity.

In my opinion piece, I make two arguments against the privatization of TCHC.  First, I argue that, over the long term, non-profit landlords (such as TCHC) keep rent lower than private landlords.  Second, I argue that rent supplements–on a large scale–have an inflationary impact on the rent of unsubsidized units.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Andrew Jackson
Time: April 13, 2011, 6:50 am

Nick – I wonder if one could also plausibly argue that social housing reduces demand for low rent private rental housing, and thus brings down rents even fro those who do not get into the directly subidized units.

Comment from Purple Library Guy
Time: April 13, 2011, 1:10 pm

Sounds like a management culture problem to me, not a staff problem.

Funny how, whenever an organization is doing something right, even if it’s mainly due to hard work done in the trenches, it’s always because of “leadership” from upper management. And whenever there are problems, even if they are exclusively among the people at the top making procurement decisions and messing with expense accounts, it’s a “culture” problem among the “staff”.

Write a comment





Related articles