Tory asks province for legislation change to keep repeat criminals out of Community Housing

Mayor John Tory has sent a letter to provincial Housing Minister Steve Clark, asking him to make amendments to provincial legislation which currently does not ban repeat criminals from Toronto Community Housing buildings. 

In a news release, Tory says this is unacceptable and officials must do everything possible to "stop the misconduct of a small group of people who are disrupting the lives of law-abiding Toronto Community Housing residents."

"The number one concern I hear from Toronto Community Housing residents is security and safety," Tory told reporters Sunday afternoon. "We asked Kathleen Wynne. Her government ended up saying no to us on that, so I'm going back to the new government of Ontario and saying 'I believe [there needs to be] change to the law that says you don't get a free pass back into Toronto Community Housing'."

Tory is referencing the 2011 Housing Services Act, of which in April 2017, city council voted unanimously in favour of amending the legislation to enable officials to ban all tenants who were previously evicted for serious criminal activity. The government did not approve the changes.

In recent consultations held by Senator Art Eggleton's Task Force on issues facing Community Housing residents, the Mayor said tenants reported feeling unsafe in their own homes and greater communities.

"The [new] government of Ontario is very interested in issues of community safety, but I think this is one more thing they can do to address the safety of a particular group of people," Tory explained, saying that some seniors are even terrified of leaving their own apartments. 

In the release, Tory says changes to the legislation would send a "strong message to criminals that they are not welcome in TCHC."