Box 18, Folder 11, Document 16

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The Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority

August 19653

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Basic Premise

The conclusions of this study which deal with the attitudes towards ublic
housing of families who have moved out are affected by the move-out rate which
exists in the projects under the administration of the Metropolitan Toronto
Housing Authority. If it is considered that these move-out rates are greater
than might ordinarily exist in the private rental market, then the cata takes
on more significance, Conversely, if the move-out rates are consid: :ed to

be less than the normal privete experience, then the data takos on sser

Significance, It should be clearly understood that the findings of ‘his

study are based essentially on interviews held with those families who have

left-public housing communities in Netropolitan Toronto.

Physical Accommodation and Environment

It would appear, based on the evidence supplied by former tenants, that the
public housing communities are essentially satisfactory places to live, at
least as far as the majority of tenant families are concerned. It would also
appear that the housing projects provide a reason=bly satisfactory environment
for the majority of the families,

The major satisfection which tends to keep the family in the public housing
project centres around the physical accommocation, As femilies are given
housing to meet their renuirements physical overcrowding seldom occurs. The
larger units provide accommodation which literally cannot be found snywhere
else in the Metropolitan Toronto area, The housing unit, particuvulerly the

house type, provides the families with their greatest single satisf«ction.

Facilities for Children at Projects

This study indicates little dissatisfaction with the facilities prov: :d for
children in the housing projects, What was indicated, however, wes 1.2 pro-
jects which are densely child populated produce an irritation with the children

in the project, The tenant apparently feels that he is unable to get way from

the children, This probably accounts for the action taken on the prt of the

Tenants' Association in both projects to get community centres with cnild

oriented programmes.

This wiconsetcas reaction to the large number of children seems a clear in-
aicetion sha mojeets in tae future should not attempt to congregate large
numbers of large units in one site as in South Regmt Park, aA larger pro-

portion of houses to apartments seems necessary,

Attitude Towards Hanagement

Perhaps it will be surprising, at least to those who administer public housirz,
that there is a very positive fecling towards the public housing expcrierce

of those families who have moved out. Only a very sm3ll percentage cf this
group felt that no housing should be supplied for other fanilies in simila-
circumstances. More than 90% of the families interviewed felt thet some pre--
gramme of public housing is necessary, The majority of families fel» thet

they had been helped, at least financially, by their public housing expericice

The Housing Authority has for a long time felt that perhaps it interfered too
much in the lives of its tenants, This study does not bear out this feeling

at all, in fact, there was little expressed dissatisfaction with the control


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exerted by the Housing Authority. On the contrary, these families indicated

“that there was too little control exercised over other femilies in th: com

munity. This group felt that the behaviour of the neighbours should be more
strictly supervised. In this latter reaction, however, the expression was by
a minority of former residents.

Mobility of Public Housing Families



The annual move-out rete for a family in projects under administratic 1 is
proximtely 14%. Sush rates are fouid to be less than that which obt:ins
generally in the maivets rmtalL marvct in Canada. iecre sipnificantly probably
is that suca raies ars iess toen the nove-tus rates in poblic housizg in the

United States which went as high ns 28% in 195i.

While satisfaction with public housing living is possibly the major rezsou why
tamilies stay, it is also likely that the mobility is somewhat restricted oy
the lack of an alternative choice. The private housing market has besn unro.s
to provide this alternative.- In order to assess the importance of “hic i ox

of an alternative, the satisfactions and dissatisfections of families reme:nir,
in public housing might be studied to determine why they senain in puclis

housing. This might possibly be the next study carried out by the Metropslivtan

Toronto Housing Authority.

Social Welfare Considerations
One rather disconcorting fact appears in this study which seems to surfest
further action bv the Housing Authority. This is the fact that the «-ictad

families are substantially the kind of families who should be helped Ly the

public housing programme, They are large families with low incomes containing



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both parents. For some reason they heve not been able to adjust to living in
their new environment. Because these families are probably "troubl«: " or
"problem" families, although they represent a very small percent>cs * the
public housing populétion, it is possible that they require more tim and at-
tention than has been given to them up to the present. It would also suggest
that greater efforts to reh=bilitate these families are necessary. Co-operation
with all essential Welfare Agencies should be established so thet greater sup~

port and assistance can he provided,

Rertal 3c¢_e

I theory Sue fro. that rent is geared to ability to vay should provide a

source of satisfaction. The fact that the monthly rent fits the family's in-
come “Ss that income fluctustes has been thought by many experts to provide

tne families with an excellent form of social and economic security which ovhe:-
families do not have, In theory, therefore, this should be a major scoursze ci
satisfaction. In practice this expectation is not realized, Generally enexkineg
there was dissatisfaction expressed on the prt of the move-out families with
the rental scale. This might have been expected in the upper incom rances
wnere the nenalty rent charged in public housing applies, However, many fami-
lies with very low incomes felt that the rents were too high. This

brought about largely from the establishment of minimum rents, whic.

that many families are paying too high a proportion of their income

The real dissatisfection with the rental scale shows up in those families who
refused public housinr. They felt thet the rents asked by the Authority were
not low rental. In fact, when the other move-in charges were addec to the

first month's rent many families could not afford to move into rm! ic housing.


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This stated dissatisfaction on the mrt of move-out familics and refusal fami-
lies indicrtes that the rental sesle does not wholly perform its function cer-
tainly °s it affocts the familics on very low incomes. indications are that
the establishment of a new scale, updated to family expenditures of the present
time, is an absolute necessity. Such a scaic if devised should be based upon

a dynemic situation and changed on review periodically rather than hephozardly.

High-Rise Buildings

This study does not peoducs damaging evidence against high-rise amrtments

within tiself “gf ae’, Ghesstiefaction with living in elevate; builainss is
not esDresscd to any Heesu extent. The -nove-out rate from the walle-vp apart-

ments in uswrence Heights ij8 greater than in Seuth Regent Park. “This cn be


acco mted for by the fact that 1 and 2-bedroom families in Lawrence Heishts

Da aste

find it easier to move out then the 3-bedroom families in South Regent Cari.


Although hign-rise buildings seem to provide greater management and mr ote.
costs to the sdministrstion, the excellent physical layout of the actus. t-«L-
ling unit appears to outweigh all problems in the minds of the tenants, iI

should be noted that this evidence is bescd on families who heave moved out

and not families who continue to live in the projects.

Social Stigma

In general, while there was some dissatisfaction expressed with a veri youl
social factors these did not seem as great as might be expressed by fr: lies
who voluntarily moved out of public housing. The social factors do now seri
te affect the move-out rate to the same degree as the rent and lack of adenvate

shopping and transportation fecilities. Although there was a slight ?. «ling



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of stigma attached to public housing it did not seem to minifest itself in

many families. Inu fact, it is prob>ble that the social rezctions expressed

by these families ere no grester than those that might apply in any nzighdour=-


Reasons for Refusal

In descending of importance families in apparent need of housing refi. ed for

the following reasons:=

Rent toc adgh

Lack of transpertetion and other facilities

feciing of social stigma.

‘rong type of dwelling i.e. apartment instead of house
(5) Rules and regulations

(6) Personal anc family reasons

(7) Condition of unit offered

t+ is interesting to note that the first two reasons were fer and away tac

most important accounting for nearly 60% of all reasons given.

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