NEWS

Toronto Community Housing faces 2 probes

09/18/2013 11:16 EDT | Updated 11/18/2013 05:12 EST
Toronto Community Housing Chair Bud Purves confirmed Wednesday that the embattled organization is the subject of two investigations, one dealing with possible financial irregularities and another looking into the organization’s hiring practices.

On Wednesday the Toronto Star reported that TCH is investigating the possibility that documents were falsified by a former TCH subsidiary. Citing a source close to the investigation, the Star reported that the subsidiary may have altered documents to make it appear that work done at 200 Wellesley St. E. may have actually been performed in Ottawa.

A fire at that TCH building in 2010 gutted several apartments and left 1,700 people temporarily homeless.

"There were irregularities that we couldn’t turn a blind eye to," Purves said Wednesday on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

"If proven, this is very serious and we take it very seriously. We are trying to turn this company around."

The Star also reported about a second investigation into hiring practices by TCH CEO Gene Jones.

Purves said city ombudsman Fiona Crean is looking into reports about the hiring practices.

TCH, which is Canada’s largest provider of social housing, has been wracked by problems in recent years.

A series of mass firings and resignations came in 2011 after reports surfaced about questionable staff expenses including spa treatments, manicures and expensive Christmas parties.

New CEO Jones was brought in following that purge with a promise to restore credibility to the organization.

Metro Morning host Matt Galloway asked if either allegation is serious enough to involve the police.

Purves said he couldn’t comment about the specifics of the probe while the investigation is under way.

"We don’t have all the facts in," said Purves.

MORE:cbcNews