August 29, 2019
In June, 2019, Toronto’s Auditor General, Beverly Romeo-Beehler published an audit on Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing. According to her report, entitled “Opening Doors to Stable Housing, ” there are 1,400 vacant RGI bachelor and one- and two-bedroom apartments in buildings owned by the Toronto Community Housing Corporation and Toronto’s not-for-profit subsidized housing providers. In fact, Romeo-Beehler cites the TCHC primary vacancy rate as 2.29%, more than double that of the 2019 market primary vacancy rate of 1.1%.
Of those 1,400 vacant units, 140 are being used by contractors to store construction materials and tools, and as onsite offices. Some are being used to facilitate tenant participation programs. Others still are being used by various community organizations. To add insult to injury, not-for-profit housing providers still receive the subsidized portion of the rent from the City of Toronto even for vacant units, costing taxpayers $7 million in unnecessary rent subsidy payments in 2018.