Skip to main content

Who We Are

Print

Someone you can turn to

OCHE stands for the Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity. 

Our job is to help tenants who are facing eviction for arrears of rent from Toronto Community Housing (TCHC).

Our Principles

The OCHE operates on the principles of integrity, impartiality and independence. These three words reflect the core values of the OCHE and guide all that we do.

Integrity

Impartiality

Independence

The OCHE team

Our Mandate

The OCHE’s mandate is eviction prevention for senior and vulnerable tenants living in Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) who have arrears (unpaid rent).  We also provide TCHC with recommendations when a senior or vulnerable tenant has lost their rental subsidy.

Who We Report To

The OCHE was created by the TCHC Board of Directors, and is an arms-length accountability office for TCHC.  The Commissioner reports directly to the TCHC Board of Directors through the Tenant Services Committee of TCHC.

A representative from the OCHE writing up a plan to help a TCHC tenant avoid eviction due to unpaid rent.

Our history

The OCHE’s mandate is eviction prevention for TCHC seniors and vulnerable tenants.  We work to support TCHC and tenants in accordance with the Terms of Reference (PDF). Since opening on April 1, 2014, the OCHE has achieved a high-level of eviction avoidance, and results are reported quarterly to the Board of Directors through the Tenant Services Committee.  Details of the OCHE’s work can be found in our Quarterly Reports.

LeSage Report

The Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity (“OCHE”) was created in response to the death of a senior tenant who failed to complete his annual Household Income and Assets Review Form, lost his Rent-Geared-to-Income (“RGI”) subsidy and was evicted and passed away.  An inquiry was conducted and in 2010, Justice LeSage recommended a new independent office be created and named the Commissioner of Housing Equity.

Housing at Risk

Following the LeSage Report, The City of Toronto Ombudsman opened their own investigation into TCHC’s eviction process and, in June 2013, agreed on the need for the OCHE.

Were it not for this office, my family and I would have been left homeless.  OCHE interventions, mainly in the form of liaison, were integral to keeping us housed. 

- Jaycel Murphy

Cynthia Summers, the leader of the OCHE, and one of the people who helps TCHC tenants avoid eviction due to unpaid rent.

The Commissioner

The Commissioner of Housing Equity (OCHE) is Cynthia Summers.  Cynthia began her role in January 2014 and leads a team of professionals who have experience in legal matters, social work, mental health, dispute resolution and social housing. 

INTEGRITY

IMPARTIALITY

INDEPENDENCE