As Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I’m pleased to announce that the TCHC Seniors Housing Unit is moving forward with implementing the first stage of the Integrated Service Model (ISM) for seniors housing this month.
Starting on December 11, the Seniors Housing Unit will begin to implement the model in 18 buildings in the south east area of the city. More buildings will implement the model in 2021 and 2022. Once fully implemented by the end of 2022, the ISM will support more than 14,000 low-income senior tenants (age 59+) living in 83 seniors-designated buildings across the city, most of whom live alone, to age in place and enjoy better quality of life and successful tenancies.
Implementing the model is a key deliverable of the City’s Tenants First plan to improve Toronto Community Housing. TCHC and City staff, with input from the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), have worked closely over the past year, with input from senior tenants, to develop a model that will promote aging in place, better quality of life and successful tenancies for seniors living in TCHC buildings.
The Integrated Service Model will build relationships of trust between senior tenants and housing staff; improve the delivery of housing services with an increased focus on issues that affect housing stability; and increase seniors’ access to health and community support services through better integration of community agencies within each seniors-designated building. The ISM promotes aging in place, better quality of life and successful tenancies for seniors living in TCHC buildings. It is designed to build relationships of trust between senior tenants and housing staff; improve the delivery of housing services; and increase seniors’ access to health and community support.
- A new staffing model establishes new roles, increases staffing levels, assigns dedicated staff for specific buildings, and also supports the Senior Housing Unit team with new training curriculum on aging-related topics.
- We’re updating seniors-specific operating policies and procedures in priority areas, including safety, unit/building condition, housing retention, communication and more.
- One key innovation is the addition of Seniors Health and Wellness Hubs in select TCHC seniors-buildings. These hubs will offer a range of social and health services for tenants and other seniors living in the community.
- Since health care is a key component of successfully aging in place, designated TC LHIN Care Coordinators will be assigned to specific TCHC seniors buildings and will work with building staff to help tenants access health supports.
An accountability framework designed to strengthen the City’s oversight and evaluation of the model has been developed jointly by TCHC, the City and the Toronto Central LHIN, with expert advice by the Sunnybrook Research Institute. It will enable the City to track key indicators as the ISM is launched and once the City has established the Seniors Housing Corporation.