Niagara Renovates Program Multi-Unit (Landlord)

Description

The Niagara Renovates Program is a program that provides funding to Owners of rental properties in Niagara to assist in major repair of units and accessibility modifications. For the fiscal year 2018-19, buildings containing two or more self-contained residential units are eligible.

Eligible Projects

Only residential buildings that include fully self-contained rental units are eligible for funding. To qualify, units must:

  • Need repairs to bring them up to a minimum level of health and safety
  • Need permanent modifications to increase accessibility for the occupant’s disability
  • Have rents at or below the approved Average Market Rents for the full 15 year forgivable period
  • All repair work must include energy-saving products where possible. Examples of eligible repairs include:

  • Structural (walls, floors, foundations)
  • Roofs
  • Major plumbing/bathroom repairs
  • Fire safety
  • Electrical and/or heating systems
  • The accessibility work must be permanent and remove physical barriers and safety risks. Examples of eligible accessibility work includes:

  • Handrails and chair/bath lifts
  • Height adjustment to counter tops
  • Cues for doorbells/fire alarms
  • Ramps
  • Ineligible Projects

    Properties that have previously received Niagara Renovates funding are not eligible.

    Facilities such as nursing homes, care facilities and hostels are not eligible for funding.

    Ineligible work includes:

  • Landscaping
  • Routine maintenance
  • Cosmetic renovations and repairs
  • Conversion of non-residential space to residential space
  • Funding

    Owners are allowed one application for one building under this program. Applications for other rental properties owned by the same landlord – whole or in partnership – are not eligible. Funding is provided as a fully forgivable loan, which is written off at an equal rate over a 15 year period.

    The maximum loan amount includes a grant portion for accessibility repairs up to $5,000 per application, if required. This does not need to be repaid.

    # of Units Max. Per Unit Max. Per Building
    2-6 $10,000 $25,000
    7-15 $10,000 $40,000
    16-25 $10,000 $55,000
    26-35 $10,000 $70,000
    35+ $10,000 $90,000

    Program Default

    The Owners are considered in default and the balance of the loan amount must be repaid if:

  • The building is sold
  • The funding is used for other purposes
  • The landlord has misrepresented information about program eligibility
  • Rents are above the approved Average Market Rents during the 15 year forgivable period
  • Applying

    Owners must submit an application along with the following documentation:

    1. Verification that the applicant(s) are the registered Owners of the property
    2. Copies of government issued photo identification for all Property Owners
    3. Verification that property taxes and mortgage payments are current and paid up to date
    4. Confirmation that building is more than five years old
    5. Copy of insurance coverage for the full value of the building
    6. Confirmation of current market rents for the units under application (i.e. copies of leases)
    7. Copy of financial statements for the building for the last two years
    8. A description of the intended work in writing by the appropriate authority

    Funding Agreement

    1. The Owners will be required to sign a Letter of Agreement stating that:
      • Rents must remain at or below the approved Average Market Rents for the full 15 year forgivable period
      • Owners will provide confirmation of the market rents to NRH on an annual basis
    2. NRH will undertake a title search of the property - associated legal fees will form part of the loan
    3. The amount of the forgivable loan will be registered on title as a second mortgage by NRH - associated fees will form part of the loan

    Requirements

    1. The total balance of all existing mortgages/charges and other financing on the property plus the estimated loan amount must not exceed 100% of the market value of the property as per MPAC assessed value (attach copy of latest MPAC statement)
    2. There must be no liens or charges (except a first mortgage) registered against the property
    3. Any work started prior to approval is not eligible for funding
    4. Work must commence within 45 days of final approval

    Approval Process

    1. NRH will assess the application and supporting documentation
    2. Based on the financial assessment, NRH may deny the application
    3. If Conditional Approval is obtained, Owners are required to obtain a minimum of three quotes from qualified contractors for the work approved by NRH, and identify their choice of contractor
    4. Contractors must provide copies of WSIB coverage and Insurance Coverage as part of the quote process
    5. Owners must sign a Funding Agreement outlining the scope of work, funding amount, and roles and responsibilities of both the Owner and NRH
    6. Program funds cannot be used for deposits to contractors
    7. NRH will not issue any payment until the documents have been registered on title
    8. Owners must allow inspections by NRH:
      • Prior to start of work
      • During construction (as required)
      • At project completion

    These inspections are over and above the required inspections for building permit work.

    Contractor Payment

  • Invoices from contractors are to be forwarded to NRH for review and approval
  • Payment of eligible expenses will be made to contractors less 10% holdback (as per the Construction Lien Act RSO 1990). Holdbacks will be released 30 days after completion of work.
  • All work completed that was not pre-approved by NRH and all amounts that exceed the NRH approved funding amount is the responsibility of the Owners

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