Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • Winnipeg's State of the Inner City 2018 January 3, 2018
    Winnipeg's community-based organizations are standing on shakey ground and confused about how to proceed with current provincial governement measurements.  Read the 2018 State of the Inner City Report.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: Winter 2018 is online now! December 18, 2017
    For the first time, this winter we are making Our Schools/Our Selves available in its entirety online. This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves focuses on a number of key issues that education workers, parents, students, and public education advocates are confronting in schools and communities, and offers on-the-ground commentary and analysis of what needs to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Charting a path to $15/hour for all BC workers November 22, 2017
    In our submission to the BC Fair Wages Commission, the CCPA-BC highlighted the urgency for British Columbia to adopt a $15 minimum wage by March 2019. Read the submission. BC’s current minimum wage is a poverty-level wage. Low-wage workers need a significant boost to their income and they have been waiting a long time. Over 400,000 […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC joins community, First Nation, environmental groups in call for public inquiry into fracking November 5, 2017
    Today the CCPA's BC Office joined with 16 other community, First Nation and environmental organizations to call for a full public inquiry into fracking in Britsh Columbia. The call on the new BC government is to broaden a promise first made by the NDP during the lead-up to the spring provincial election, and comes on […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Income gap persists for racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people in Canada October 27, 2017
    In the Toronto Star, CCPA-Ontario senior economist Sheila Block digs into the latest Census release to reveal the persistent income gap between racialized people, recent immigrants, Indigenous people, and the rest of Canada.
    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