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Big cuts in works for housing corporation

North York Mirror - September 6, 2002
by David Nickle


Toronto's new housing corporation will be slashing its management staff by nearly a third, hiking lease rates for commercial properties in their buildings and making some tenants pay more for parking and laundry as a part of a massive restructuring designed to cut $25 million from its annual budget. At the same time, the corporation plans on giving more power to its 160,000 tenants, setting up 25 local boards to manage the housing stock.

That is the core of a business plan unveiled this week by senior staff from the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. The corporation was created by Toronto City Council last year to bring together Cityhome and the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Corporation. The business plan sets a timeline of three years for reaching the $25 million goal.


THREE-PRONGED PLAN

According to Derek Ballantyne, the corporation's chief executive officer, the plan is threefold.

"A huge amount of our operating costs come from administrative overhead," he said. "If you bring together two large organizations you can make a big cut through management. And we are not a productive workforce right now. And we do contract services in now, and we will continue to do that and look for new opportunities."

First on the block, Ballantyne said, will be approximately 60 administrative jobs -- 30 per cent of the corporation's 200-strong management team. On the community side, the company plans on establishing community boards that can potentially handle more day-to-day management of the stock.

Residents will, however, have to shoulder more costs in some cases. The business plan looks at harmonizing fees beyond rent -- such as parking and laundry -- up to a low-end market level.


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