The province has formally enacted regulations that will allow social housing providers to reject applications from tenants who have been evicted for criminal activity in the past.

The Progressive Conservative government had previously committed to making the change in April following lobbying from Mayor John Tory.

At a news conference on Monday Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark confirmed that the regulatory change has now been made. He said that housing providers, such as the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, will now have the authority to develop their own policies and procedures on how they deal with prospective tenants who have previously been evicted for criminal activity.

“We are allowing local service managers to make the determinations. They are the people on the ground and they know the circumstances with their own building so we are allowing them to deal with the implementation of the policy,” he said.

Mayor John Tory has repeatedly called for legislative changes to give social housing providers the power to ban tenants who have been evicted for “serious behavioural misconduct.”

Speaking with reporters Monday, he said that the new regulation will give TCHC staff the discretion to make decisions in the best interests of residents.

“Our job is to protect the broader interests of the tenants and when you have an instance where somebody has been evicted for serious criminal behaviour, I think it is very fair and I thank the government for allowing TCHC to have the discretion to say no,” he said. “I recognize it could cause a problem for that person but it is one of those things where you have to put the wellbeing of many tenants first.”