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News and Resources

South African Social Housing Groups Visit Toronto


News and Resources

"We met with staff, board members and residents of Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) to review their property management and community development programs. We were impressed by TCHC’s arrears collection system and handling of complaints. They have two people responsible for revenue collection and we have ten! We will definitely look into increasing our efficiency and hope TCHC will assist us in refining our systems."

 

In August, Dorothy Monnakgotla of Johannesburg Social Housing Company (JOSHCO) visited Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) with two JOSHCO colleagues. She was joined by a representative of Communicare, South Africa’s oldest social housing company based in Cape Town, and another from the National Association of Social Housing Organizations (NASHO), based in Johannesburg.

 

“We have shared information with frontline staff who have in turn, appreciated and implemented ideas from South Africa,” says Gordon Chu, TCHC’s Chief Financial Officer, pointing out the mutual benefit of the exchange visit.

 

The visit was part of an ongoing exchange between TCHC and South African social housing groups. The largest social housing provider in Canada, with a stock of 58,500 units, TCHC supports Rooftops Canada’s work by helping to build the capacity of social housing groups in South Africa. The sector is relatively young in South Africa, where JOSHCO is the flagship municipal social housing agency. Communicare is a leader in the provision of special needs housing, especially for seniors. NASHO is a federation of 18 South African social housing organizations representing 15,000 units countrywide.

 

The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) also hosted the visitor from NASHO. ONPHA represents 770 non-profit organizations and provides many services, including working with governments at all levels to promote non-profit housing. NASHO and ONPHA have similar membership structures, objectives and a shared vision of the importance of rental social housing.

 

“Information from ONPHA will greatly assist us in providing our members with products and services, and also help position NASHO for its interaction with government. We hope to soon finalize a memorandum of agreement with OHPHA to continue sharing ideas on issues of common relevance,” said NASHO’s Joel Mkungwana.

 

Rooftops Canada would like to thank all of the people at TCHC and ONPHA who so generously supported this study visit.