The Regulatory and Compliance Framework for Multi-Tenant Houses

Through the Regulatory and Compliance Framework for Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses across Toronto, the City is proposing the creation of a comprehensive city-wide zoning approach and enhancements to licensing and enforcement to encourage and regulate safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across the city. In line with the Toronto Housing Charter adopted as part of the HousingTO 2020- 2030 Action Plan, the Multi-Tenant Housing (MTH) framework is the first housing policy review using a right to housing lens. The proposed MTH framework recognizes tenants' rights to equitable, affordable, adequate, safe, accessible and secure homes while balancing the need for compliance and enforcement.

As part of the engagement process, the City of Toronto and their engagement consultants, LURA, took steps to enhance accessibility for participation in the consultation process. All virtual meetings had a call-in number for community members to participate in the meeting through their telephone only (including landlines). Call-in participants had the same option to raise their virtual hand and ask questions in real-time as participants joining by computer or smartphone. To reach community members with limited access to the internet, a feedback form was made available through telephone. This allowed participants to call a phone number that was published on engagement materials and then complete the questionnaire over the phone using voice or key commands. The phone questionnaire also included pre-recorded audio descriptions to provide background information and context related to each question. As an alternative option, when requested, hard copy questionnaires were sent by mail.

Sometimes, the City can share power in engagement processes by stepping aside and letting the community organize their own meetings. As part of the MTH Framework Review, City staff developed Do-it-yourself (DIY) Toolkits and the City provided grants to eligible organizations to facilitate their own engagement sessions with their communities to enhance participation from equity-deserving groups, multi-tenant housing tenants, operators, and other groups who do not tend to participate in traditional consultations. This approach yielded some success in reaching more people. DIY Toolkits were completed by 14 organizations and included participation from tenants, student tenants, homeless or at-risk of homelessness youth, operators, and racially marginalized populations.


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