Mayor Rob Ford has clarified comments he made about where he wants to divert $400-million from the anticipated sale of 900 homes owned by Toronto Community Housing Corp.
In a talking points memo obtained by the Globe and Mail, the mayor's office states Mr. Ford “fully agrees” with a recommendation from TCHC managing director Case Ootes to spend all the proceeds from home sales on repairs for the social housing agency’s aging portfolio.
Mr. Ootes, who is set to leave his post at TCHC next week, said on Thursday the $400-million is desperately needed to solve a “crisis situation” created by a $650-million repair backlog that has forced TCHC to leave many units empty.
Mr. Ford initially appeared to contradict the man he hand-picked to run TCHC. “We need the money to fund next year’s budget,” he said, referring to the $774-million budget shortfall the city is facing next year. “Some could go to housing. Some could go to next year's budget. It all depends. We would have to see.”
On Friday, his office sought to amend the comments.
“Mr. Ootes has briefed the Mayor about his recommendations,” it reads. “He explained why any proceeds of the homes sales needs to go directly into capital repairs only…Mayor Ford fully agrees with this and thanks Case for his work.”