On this episode:
The Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity (OCHE)
In this episode, we are speaking with Cynthia Summers, the Commissioner of Housing Equity at The Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity also known as OCHE. Cynthia’s history of public service has transcended traditional disciplinary lines. She graduated from McMaster University with an MSW in Social Welfare Policy. After working for several years in a variety of front-line social work positions, she was appointed to the Ontario RHT.
There, she adjudicated landlord-tenant disputes while also teaching in the Social Service Worker programs at Sheridan College and Mohawk College. In January 2014 Cynthia was honoured to join Toronto Community Housing as its first Commissioner of Housing Equity. In this role, she ensures the fair, transparent and equitable treatment of seniors and vulnerable persons living in social housing with the goal of stabilizing housing and minimizing evictions.
In this episode, Cynthia describes the unique approach that OCHE takes to addressing eviction prevention in Toronto. The OCHE Approach is an anti-oppressive practice and is centred on relationships with tenants to prevent eviction rather than react to it. Cynthia describes how this effective approach is unique in Canada and how the principles can be applied in other organizations to provide dignified solutions.
Housing at Risk: An Investigation into the Toronto Community Housing Corporation’s Eviction of Seniors on the Basis of Rent Arrears – A report by Fiona Crean, Ombudsman
City of Toronto – Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Responsiveness to Vulnerability (SPIDER)
Phone Number: 416.632.7999
This podcast is supported by the Vancouver Foundation.