I am here today to tell you what is missing from the 2019-2022 Strategic Plan.
The first item on my list is accessibility. As I have outlined in an email to Cathy Birch that the goal of R-PATH should be to phase itself out of existence.
In my opinion, one of R-PATHs mandates should be to decrease, then eliminate, the need for funding at some point in the future because they have successfully advocated for accessibility features to be automatically built in to all future projects.
I believe that TCHC should be building all residential, recreational, commercial, and office spaces to the universally accessible design standards. (In 2016 Daniels Corporation was actually offering these design upgrades for free.)
I think that this would add a level of convenience to even able-bodied tenants. In the same manner that curb cuts have not only benefited those with accessibility issues but also parents pushing strollers and people pulling bundle buggies.
In addition, I believe a targeted approach to spending that 17.4 million dollar R-PATH budget would greatly improve accessibility across the portfolio.
The next item I believe needs to be mentioned is recycling. This is another area where I believe TCHC needs to be more proactive.
Once upon a time when I used to work as a security guard in condominiums across the city I noticed that recycling bins were located in ground floor garbage rooms. Tenants didn't have to walk outside to the far end of the parking lot to recycle.
An accessible option for recycling could be to install parallel chutes alongside garbage chutes for paper and plastic recyclable materials.
Otherwise, I think it would be a great idea to encourage some form of friendly competition between communities to see which community could reduce their ecological footprint the most. (With a plaque or trophy presented annually to the winning community.)
The final area that I believe needs to be improved is actually mentioned in TCHC's Strategic Plan for 2019-2022. But without the specifications that I know are mandatory if Toronto Community Housing does want as Goal #5 states - Tenants [to] feel safe in their communities. TCHC is justifiably concerned about this big threat of “violent incidents”. I firmly believe, however, that there are precursors to many of those events that could be better managed through an anti-bullying/anti-harassment policy. I understand through recent communications with TCHC staffers that there is an effort at the moment to develop a Vulnerable Tenant's Strategy. I'm going on the record now to state clearly that as this initiative moves forward a new Anti-Harassment Policy that applies to tenants and staff should be a key piece of this action plan.
I would go even further and argue that being successful at Goal #5 (with the Anti-Harassment Policy in place) can greatly impact TCHC's ability to achieve both Goal #6 - Tenancies are well managed with a focus on supporting vulnerable tenants to have successful tenancies and Goal #7 - Tenants are engaged in activities that influence their quality of life
Once again, from my perspective as a TCHC tenant, I believe that these initiatives need to be implemented as soon as possible. I would be happy to work with TCHC on any and all of the initiatives that I have discussed here today.
Thank you for your time.