Toronto Community Housing president and CEO Gene Jones is prepared to lead the organization towards the goals it has set for the years ahead, which include improving the safety of its communities and the condition of its buildings across the city.
The TCH has laid out a series of key priorities in a three-year strategic plan that its board formally approved on Wednesday evening, which also include improving services for residents and reducing an ongoing backlog of repairs.
In a statement, Jones said that the plans provide a "clear path" to where he wants to take the organization in the years ahead.
"I am accountable for the working results. I own it now," Jones said when speaking to reporters on Thursday.
Jones took over the top job at TCH a year ago. Twelve months in, he said he's helped "refocus" the organization’s efforts providing services to residents.
But he acknowledged there are still many challenges the TCH is facing.
Asked to name the biggest issue the TCH needs to address, Jones said it must improve the overall security of its buildings and properties.
"We've got to make sure that our neighbourhoods are safe and that the residents are engaged in helping us," he said.
While Jones also said he had helped make the TCH more accessible, some remain skeptical about the progress made under his watch.
Improvements still needed
Coun. Maria Augimeri, who sits on the TCH board, said that tenants have told her that there are many things that still need to be improved.
"From what I see from my tenants, they are not getting their repairs any quicker, they are not getting satisfaction any better," she told CBC News in an interview on Wednesday.
The organization was recently the subject of a scathing report from the city's ombudsman that said TCH was unfairly evicting seniors.
At the Wednesday evening board meeting, TCH chair Bud Purves said he will personally monitor the progress Jones makes implementing the 30 recommendations made by the ombudsman in her report.
"I will require Gene [Jones] to report monthly to me," Purves said at the meeting.
The TCH website says that it provides services to 164,000 tenants who live in 58,500 households across the city. The organization looks after more than 2,200 buildings, which include apartments, townhouses and houses.