Shake-up at Toronto Community Housing as interim CEO steps down

By News staff

Toronto Community Housing (TCH), Canada’s largest social housing agency, has lost its leader for the second time in three years.

At its board meeting on Tuesday, TCH announced that interim president and CEO Greg Spearn is leaving the corporation.

There are reports he was forced out, but board member and councillor Joe Cressy said Spearn is leaving for personal reasons and to pursue other professional opportunities.

“I can tell you that over three years, Greg was a tremendous leader for [the] organization. He provided not only stability for our housing but improved the lives for those residents who live in TCH,” Cressy to 680 NEWS.

Spearn took over the post in April 2014, replacing Gene Jones who was fired following the City of Toronto ombudsman’s report detailing mismanagement.

Earlier this month, Spearn defended the agency’s decision to close 134 townhouse units in the area of Jane and Finch avenue. He said at the time that the units, which were in dire need of repairs, were in worse shape than originally thought.

He also said without more money from the city, as many as 7,500 units could be closed in the next five years.

In a statement, Mayor John Tory thanked Spearn for his service and also assured TCH residents that he is dedicated to making sure community housing is a healthy and safe place to live.

The board’s vice chair Kevin Marshman, who has been a board member since 2015, will assume the CEO’s job on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is named.

“TCH is and will continue to be in good hands as we go forward with Kevin Marshman and later a permanent CEO,” Cressy said.

He said the search for a permanent CEO is nearing the end and that an announcement should come in the next few months.

With files from Charlene Close and Momin Qureshi

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