Toronto's public housing agency has invested $3 million in an upgraded security camera system.

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is installing 571 brand new high-resolution security cameras to watch over the buildings following a call from residents to take action for safer streets.

TCHC is adding and upgrading cameras in properties across the city as a way to deter criminal activity and aid police in investigations.

"(Footage) is used quite frequently," TCHC CEO Greg Spearn told CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson on Monday.

"It's one of the first things that is asked for: Is there any footage from any cameras?"

Many buildings are already equipped with cameras, but footage is often too grainy to be of help to police. The new cameras will be able to pick up details including faces and licence plate numbers.

In addition to the cameras, TCHC officials are ensuring streets are properly lit so the footage is clear.

The camera upgrades are being done in consultation with the community, and the housing corporation is deciding on a case-by-case basis whether the cameras are necessary.

Cameras will only be installed if the community agrees to be filmed.

The TCHC closed circuit television surveillance policy is available online ( TCHC will post signs on any property that has security cameras, and all footage is stored in a locked room with limited access.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson