In the last paragraph on page 5 of the CEO's report it mentions “developing a tenant survey to identify the preferred engagement model” with respect to the tenant engagement system refresh. I spoke in a flurry of words at my “Show and Tell” presentation to the Board back in April about my recommendations if TCHC decided to proceed with a new tenant engagement model. I won't reiterate the complete list of ten items but I will highlight three to make clear my current reasoning for instating such guidelines.
The first item I wish to highlight is number 3) TCHC tenant reps [councils] should have monthly meetings with the tenants they supposedly represent. When the tenant rep for my building recently announced that she had applied for a $24,000 “Social Club” grant even our Community Services Coordinator looked a little stunned. As a tenant I believe strongly in the concept of financial transparency even if the very notion of it makes this board cringe. How can any tenant rep apply for money without first informing their community of the opportunity and the reason for that request?
Now we will jump ahead to number 7) TCHC staff need to be trained to support those of us who are actually willing to go above and beyond for our communities. Furthermore TCHC staff need to give credit where credit is due. Over this past weekend it was brought to key people's attention at TCHC that there are astounding similarities between the proposed changes to a No Smoking Policy for TCHC tenants as announced in the Toronto Star last Friday and an article I posted to my website last month! The Toronto Star article reads in part - “In the future new units will be smoke free” then it continued on to say that “Tenants with existing leases would have the option of signing a new lease that included a smoke-free clause.” That sounds remarkably similar to my statement - “It's never too late to include a no smoking clause in the lease of incoming tenants. It's never too late to ask current tenants to commit to keeping their units smoke free.” In such incidents when responding to previous oversights maybe the response should be thank you for your input. Not - “Thank you for your feedback.” It was my idea after all.
Finally, we will discuss suggestion number 9) TCHC should define in greater detail what it takes for a tenant rep to be removed from their position and replacement procedures. Both within their communities and at Board level. I understand that one of the new tenant board members was considering using her time on the TCHC Board of Directors as a stepping stone to a career in politics. Myself and several other enraged/”engaged” tenants can not comprehend how her tippy toes barely touch the lily pad as she leaps right over TCHC tenants concerns and her responsibilities to this Board into the political swampland.
Amanda, if you don't have the courage to represent TCHC tenants, then gives us the courtesy of vacating the seat so that we can find someone who WILL.