It was a pleasure to at last be able to talk directly with “scattered house” tenants at this month’s Information Meetings hosted by the City of Toronto’s Tenants First Team.
The three meetings were a great opportunity to answer tenants’ questions about Circle and what they can expect from a transfer. Here are a few of them.
No sell-offs, no rent increases because of the transfer
Will Circle sell our house?
No. Circle was formed to preserve scattered houses and keep them affordable forever. No-one will lose their home as a result of this transfer.
Will our rent increase because of this transfer?
No. If you pay rent-geared-to-income, your rent will be calculated in the same way it is now. If you are a market rent tenant, your rent will not increase more than the provincial Rent Increase Guideline, set at 0% in 2011 and 1.2% for 2022.
Transfers and over-housing
What counts as over-housed?
The rules for over-housing are set by the Provincial Government and will not change with the transfer of the scattered houses to Circle.
What will happen to my spot on the transfer list?
This is one of a number of issues that still need to be worked out. We look forward to working with TCHC, tenants and the City to create the path that works best for tenants.
An ambitious maintenance plan
How will you manage repairs?
Circle plans an 11-person team that will enable front-line maintenance staff to really get to know the houses they are responsible for. Tenants will be able to request repairs online, by email or by phone.
Who do we call if we need repairs now?
Until the houses are transferred in 2022, TCHC is your landlord. All requests should go to them.
Tell us more about house inspections.
Over the next six months Circle will inspect all vacant houses and a representative sample of occupied houses. If your house is one of those inspected, you will receive five days’ notice.
The inspections will help Circle set its maintenance budget. There is no relationship between the houses we inspect and which houses will receive repairs first.
Other questions on your mind?
Check Circle’s Q&A page or contact us at circlelandtrust.ca or 416-466-2371.
If you live in a TCHC single family house in Toronto’s east end, Scarborough, North York, York or Etobicoke, you will have already heard the news: that the City of Toronto is preparing to transfer the ownership of your home to Circle Community LandTrust.
The transfer won’t happen until mid-2022. But this is a special moment for Circle because, for the first time since the City issued its formal Request for Proposals in 2019, Circle is at last able to talk directly to the tenants living in the homes we hope to own and manage.
When Circle was first incorporated in 2017, we benefitted immensely from meeting with a small group of tenants. Some were members of the original Tenants4Social Housing group formed a decade ago. Others were simply intrigued at the potential for a greater say in the future of their homes. Together this Tenant Advisory Group informed Circle’s proposed governance structure, our draft tenant engagement plan and some of our tenant-facing policies.
We also learned from the report on the Tenant Network Meetings held in the Spring, 2019, summarizing the recommendations of the 215 tenants convened by peer workers hired by St. Stephen’s (now The Neighbourhood Group).
We are now looking forward to hearing much more from our future tenants. If you live in a TCHC “scattered house” east of Yonge or live in a house in North York, York or Etobicoke, then we want to hear from you.
For the tenants living in TCHC’s “scattered unit” houses, life will go on as usual until the transfer begins in mid-2022.
For Circle, it will be a whirlwind of activity. This week we are starting a 6-month due diligence process. We will use this time to inspect all vacant houses, heritage houses and a sample of the remaining houses. We will also be working closely with TCHC and the City to plan the transition process, hiring our staff, and setting up management and back office systems.
We look forward to using this website to help keep tenants up-to-date on this transition.