Mayor wants TCHC to speed up filling vacant units

A report from Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) interim CEO Greg Spearn states there are 3,540 vacant units in the public housing provider's portfolio and a long list of people waiting to get into them.

The report shows close to 1600 were rentable units, another 1,950 were boarded up or being used for other things like superintendent offices.

In the report the amount of time it takes to fill these vacancies isn't small: it takes an avaerage of 178 days to reoccupy compared to 147 days in January of 2016.

A problem appears to be TCHC's growing repair backlog which sits at $1.6 billion right now.

It's reported around 177,000 people waiting for subsidized housing in Toronto.

When Mayor John Tory heard this he was not impressed.  He has asked for a report within 30 days from Spearn on how the housing authority can do a better job of filling the vacant units immediately.

Tory is also not happy with reports from the TCHC board that said they made 19,000 offers to people on the centralized wait list last year but couldn’t reach 14,000 by any means.

Tory spoke with Mark Towhey on  Newstalk1010 Sunday and said "they can't even track them down anywhere!  You know that there is something wrong with that in 2017 when we have technology and all sorts of other things to help us do a better job."

He wants things to get better but said, "we'll never make it such that every single day one person moves out and the next day somebody else moves in, but we can do a lot better then to have thousands of units vacant for hundreds of days."