Q3 (July 1 to September 30, 2017) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report July 1 to September 30, 2017 be APPROVED and FORWARDED to the Public Health and Social Services Committee and subsequently to Regional and Municipal Councils for information.

Submitted by: Approved by:
 
Dan Troke
Chief Executive Officer
Henry D’Angela
Chair

Directors:

Henry D’Angela, Chair
Regional Councillor
Thorold
Ken Goka
Stakeholder
Welland
Tim Rigby
Regional Councillor
St. Catharines
Patrick O'Neill, Vice-Chair
Stakeholder
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Paul Grenier
Regional Councillor
Welland
Walter Sendzik
Regional Councillor
St. Catharines
Karen Blackley, Secretary
Stakeholder
Thorold
Kely Kendrick
Stakeholder
Fort Erie
Selina Volpatti
Regional Councillor
Niagara Falls
James Hyatt, Treasurer
Stakeholder
St. Catharines
John Osczypko
Public-at-large
St. Catharines

Highlights:

Appliction Activity
710 received & processed
Work Orders
3,263 issued
Capital Program
13 jobs/projects ongoing
7 public tenders closed
22 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $44,326.67
or 3.95% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 200 new referrals
Had partnerships with 42 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
66% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,116 units
Niagara Renovates
60 homeowners received assistance for home repairs in 2017
Welcome Home Niagara
11 homeowners received assistance
Housing First Project
10 individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 15
10 upheld
2 overturned
3 deferred
New Development
Carlton Street, St. Catharines
Construction is underway
Substantial completion scheduled for Dec. 1, 2018

VISION
That the Niagara community will provide affordable, accessible and quality housing for all residents

MISSION
To expand opportunities that make affordable housing an integral part of building healthy and sustainable communities in Niagara

As the administrator of social housing for Niagara Region, Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) works to fulfill our vision and mission through six main areas of responsibility:

  1. Public Housing (NRH Owned Units)
  2. Non-Profit Housing Programs
  3. Rent Supplement Program
  4. Affordable Housing Program
  5. Service Manager Responsibilities
  6. Housing Access Centre and Centralized Waiting List

1. Public Housing (NRH Owned Units)

DAY-TO-DAY MAINTENANCE:

In Q3, 3,263 work orders were issued, representing $929,230.34. $94,677.76 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
# of work orders issued 3,051 3,051 1,761 1,951 3,263

Unit inspections were ongoing throughout Q3 and resulted in a high number of work orders as deficiencies/issues were identified and addressed. The level of work involved and costs associated with repairs/maintenance depends on the length of time the household has lived in the unit and the level of care invested by them.

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

The Capital Program is responsible for maintaining the Public Housing (NRH Owned Units) asset and planning for future sustainability.

In Q3, 22 contract orders were issued, seven public tenders closed and purchase orders issued $2,306,602.29. The Capital Program was responsible for 13 capital jobs valued at $ 2,340,000 including:

  • Balcony door replacement-one project
  • Masonry repair and brick tie installation-one project
  • Replacement of four Make Up Air Units - three projects
  • Design and preparation of tender for balcony remediation - one project
  • Design and preparation of tender for foundation repair and damp proofing - six projects
  • Design and preparation of tender for bathroom replacement - one project
  • Design and preparation of tender for kitchen replacements - three projects
  • Life safety generator replacement
  • Kitchen replacement - three projects
  • Balcony remediation-one project
  • Foundation repairs - six projects

As of September 30, 2017, $5,740,000 of the $8,100,000 budgeted has been committed and or actually spent (71%).

New asset management software has been purchased (VFA Canada) currently populating new BCA data into software.

The Capital Works team continues to be a part of the working group with the Region on the project management workshops.

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 6
Long Term Care Facility 12
Deceased 13
Private Rental 7
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 6
Eviction – Tribunal 9
NRH Transfer 17
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 1
Bought a House 0
Left Without Notice 3
Other/None Given 8
Cease to Qualify 0
TOTAL 81

In Q3, there were 75 move outs. Nine involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board – Arrears (seven) and Other–violated mediated agreements (two). Seven of the evictions were enforced by the Sherriff and the NRH Community Resource Unit offered support as required.

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
# of move outs 98 87 80 76 75

ARREARS:

Although NRH Housing Operations actively works to reduce rent arrears, there has been an increase from 2016. Reasons for this may include:

  1. A few tenants with substantial arrears entered into mediated repayment agreements at the Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) – it will take many months for them to clear the arrears or falter on the agreement (which will result in eviction)
  2. It has been taking six to eight weeks to get a hearing date at the LTB which allows arrears to grow

  Sept 30,
2016
Dec 31,
2016
Mar 31,
2017
June 30,
2017
Sept 30,
2017
Rent charges for
the month
$1,083,124.06 $1,083,124.06 $1,099,834.60 $1,109,091.38 $1,122,027.00
Accumulated rent arrears $23,534.00 $25,033.90 $34,724.50 $43,629.27 $44,326.67
Arrears % 2.17% 2.31% 3.16% 3.93% 3.95%

INSURANCE:

In Q3, one statement of claims was served.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q3, we had partnerships with 42 community agencies across Niagara. As a result of these partnerships, more than 200 support and enrichment activities were offered to tenants at NRH sites. Each partnership contributes to tenant lives and, in turn, the success of the Public Housing community as a whole:

  • The Niagara Region Public Health CASTLE program worked with the Rykert Volunteer Committee to plan community dinners (set up, serving and clean up). In August, this committee prepared food for the community dinners at Ailanthus (seniors and families) and Warden & Waters (families).
  • Central Community Church’s Community Crew donates school supplies to children in Niagara. In August, they held their annual Community Carnival where they gave away 499 backpacks filled with school supplies, some to children in NRH communities such as Manchester.

Also during Q3, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to more than 223 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 52% were considered medium-high need. In particular, there was an increase in the number of tenants needing help with housekeeping/clutter and bed bugs as well as an increase in the number of tenants declining supports.

2. Non-Profit Housing Programs

As administrator of social housing for Niagara Region, NRH provides legislative oversight for 64 Non-Profit Housing Programs (non-profit and co-operative). Operational Reviews are conducted to determine the overall health of each.

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
Healthy 44 43 44 43 42
Routine Monitoring 17 18 18 18 18
Intensive Monitoring 2 2 1 2 2
Pre-PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 65 65 65 65 64

NRH Housing Programs continues to work with Federal Non-Profit Housing Programs as they move toward End of Operating Agreements (EOA). On June 30, 2017, the Operating Agreement with Edelheim Apartments (30 units) expired.

3. Rent Supplement Program

In Q3, there were 1,116 Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance units across Niagara.

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
Fort Erie 21 19 23 24 26
Grimsby 24 24 24 24 25
Lincoln (Beamsville) 2 2 2 2 2
Niagara Falls 173 175 177 183 200
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- -- -- --
Pelham 31 31 28 26 24
Port Colborne 30 32 34 40 44
St. Catharines 508 505 513 525 567
Thorold 19 20 20 21 24
Welland 182 184 183 181 189
West Lincoln 15 15 15 15 15
TOTAL 1,005 1,007 1,019 1,041 1,116

Variances in the number of Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance units reflects the general management of the program and required take-up/deletion of units due to End of Operating Agreements (EOA), move out of tenants, and/or new units/landlords. Totals will be increasing in the future as some Non-Profit Housing Programs transition into a Rent Supplement agreement upon expiry of their operating agreement. It is unknown which areas will be affected.

4. Affordable Housing Program

NIAGARA RENOVATES PROGRAM:

The Niagara Renovates program provides assistance to low-to-moderate income homeowners for home repairs, accessibility modifications and the creation of secondary suites in single family homes.

Niagara Renovates inspections for 2017-2018 funding have now been completed. Inspections include all areas inside and outside of the home to ensure compliance with program guidelines. Issues are identified and a detailed Inspection Report is completed for review before a decision is communicated to the homeowner.

NRH received $550,000 through the Investment in Affordable Housing - Extension (IAH-E) program and $450,000 through the Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF) program, totaling $1,000,000 for 2017/2018 period. An estimated 60 homeowners should receive assistance for home repairs by the December 31, 2017 deadline.

HOMEOWNERSHIP PROGRAM – “WELCOME HOME NIAGARA”:

The Homeownership program assists low-to-moderate income rental households to purchase their first home by providing a down payment loan.

In Q3, 11 homeowners received assistance through Welcome Home Niagara.

HOUSING FIRST PROGRAM:

The Housing First program helps people move quickly from homelessness to their own home by providing supports to help difficult to house individuals find and keep housing.

In Q3, 10 individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program.

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
# individuals/families housed 8 8 13 15 10
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 116 115 116 136 131

Since 2012, Housing First has helped 261 individuals/families.

RENTAL HOUSING (NEW DEVELOPMENT):

In addition to the NRH new development, IAH-E funding has been allocated to three non-profit organizations and will result in the creation of 40 units for seniors and mental health consumers in Niagara:

  Amount Units
Gateway Residences of Niagara, Huron Street, Niagara Falls $720,000 9
Thorold Municipal Non-Profit, Ormond Street, Thorold $1,228,912 14
Stamford Kiwanis, Barker Street, Niagara Falls $1,089,088 17
TOTAL $3,038,000 40

At the end of Q3

  • Gateway Residence of Niagara – complete. The final payment has not been issued. The financial audit is complete.
  • Thorold Municipal Non-Profit – construction is complete. All seasonal work and minor deficiencies have been completed. Final payment was paid. Financial audit was completed.
  • Stamford Kiwanis – Construction is on hold pending financing. Financing is pending a phase 2 environmental assessment and security agreements. Construction is at 60% complete. Construction schedule is delayed and final occupancy is uncertain at this time.
  • Carlton Street
    • Parking Lot – site grading of gravel base is approximately 65% complete
    • Site services – sanitary, storm and water services 98% complete
    • Excavation & backfill of foundation 95% complete
    • Building plumbing installation under slab 95% complete
    • Slab on grade – concrete work 60% complete, south of elevators
    • Remaining slab on grade preparation in progress
    • Masonry contractor has started mobilizing to site – masonry work starting early Q4
    • Structural steel – lintels and beams delivery scheduled early Q4
    • Electrical work – installation of transformer, primary and secondary cable scheduled early Q4
    • Shop drawings – review by consultants is ongoing

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q3, 15 appeals were heard (four more than 2016-Q3). An interpreter was arranged for two.

    Breakdown:
  • Four related to ongoing RGI eligibility, failure to provide information – two overturned, two deferred
  • Three for review of rent calculations – two upheld, one overturned
  • Eight for decisions made by Housing Access (e.g. requests for urgent status or an additional bedroom) – all upheld
    Outcomes:
  • 10 were upheld
  • Two were overturned
    1. The first one was conditional on the appellant providing additional information – the appellant complied
    2. The second one asks that staff revisit the Rent-Geared-to-Income calculation
  • Three were deferred pending investigation by NRH’s Eligibility Review Officer

  2016-Q3 2016-Q4 2017-Q1 2017-Q2 2017-Q3
# of appeals 11 11 7 15 15

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 710
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 74
# of Urgent Status Applications 120
# of Homeless Status Applications 168
# of Eligible Applications 678
# of Ineligible Applications 32
# of Cancelled Applications 369
# of Applicants Housed 143

In Q3, 401 households were removed from the Centralized Waiting List because they were no longer eligible, they found alternate housing or we were unable to make contact.

There was a 15% increase in the number of households housed in Q3 compared to Q2.

CENTRALIZED WAITING LIST:

  2016-
Q3
2016-
Q4
2017-
Q1
2017-
Q2
2017-
Q3
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 3,883 3,875 4,067 4,226 4,282
  Applicants from outside Niagara 563 568 548 603 641
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 4,446 4,443 4,651 4,829 4,923
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 305 304 311 344 428
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 1,824 1,868 1,924 1,973 2,038
  Adults no dependents 1,549 1,522 1,619 1,614 1,652
  Adults with dependents 1,073 1,053 1,108 1,242 1,233
A2 RGI list further segmented (#’s included in A & A1):
  SPP – Special Provincial Priority (Ministry Priority): helps victims of violence separate permanently from their abuser 91 90 100 115 114
  URG – Urgent (Local Priority): for applicants with mobility barriers and/or extreme hardship where their current accommodation puts them at extreme risk and/or causes hardship 103 98 93 98 105
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 610 579 653 748 821
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 30 28 31 29 26
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 135 126 126 133 111
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 403 410 434 437 499
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 4,984 4,979 5,211 5,399 5,533
C NRH maintains a waiting list for market rent units (62 Non-Profit Housing Programs):
  Market: applicants who have applied for a market rent unit in the Non-Profit Housing Programs portfolio 571 556 546 569 592
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 5,555 5,535 5,757 5,968 6,125
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 9,235 9,237 9,602 10,031 10,217

Note: the above chart includes only those who apply to the Centralized Waiting List and does not capture the full number of those in need of affordable housing in Niagara.


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