Q3 (July 1 to September 30, 2018) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report July 1 to September 30, 2018 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:
 
Donna Woiceshyn
Chief Executive Officer
Henry D’Angela
Chair

Directors:

Henry D’Angela, Chair
Regional Councillor
Thorold
Betty Ann Baker, Secretary
Community Director
St. Catharines
Tim Rigby
Regional Councillor
St. Catharines
James Hyatt, Vice-Chair
Community Director
St. Catharines
Betty Lou Souter
Community Director
St. Catharines
Walter Sendzik
Regional Councillor
St. Catharines
Karen Blackley, Treasurer
Community Director
Thorold
Paul Grenier
Regional Councillor
Welland
Selina Volpatti
Regional Councillor
Niagara Falls

Highlights:

Appliction Activity
739 received & processed
Work Orders
3,216 issued
Capital Program
32 jobs/projects ongoing
6 public tenders closed
40 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $23,378.86
or 2.01% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 240 new referrals
Had partnerships with 45 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
66% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,354 units
Niagara Renovates
49 homeowners were approved for funding. Repairs/rennovations are underway.
Welcome Home Niagara
14 homeowners received assistance
Housing First Project
9 individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 15
9 upheld
5 overturned
New Development
Carlton - approx. 75% complete
Roach - in the design phase

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, 3,216 work orders were issued, representing $1,004,192.35. $56,698.50 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
# of work orders issued 3,263 2,993 2,566 2,768 3,216

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

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

In Q3, 40 contract orders were issued, four public tenders closed and purchase orders issued $4,157,787.68. This total includes the purchase order for Roach Avenue New Build.

The Capital Program was responsible for 17 capital projects valued at $2,660,416.32 and 15 Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program (SHAIP) funded Capital projects valued at $1,606,976.65 including:

  • Parking lot replacement – one project
  • Installation of Heat Control System – eight projects
  • Foundation repairs/Damproofing – three projects
  • Design and preparation of tender for bathroom replacements – one project
  • Balcony repair and railing replacement – two projects
  • Design and Tender Domestic Hot Water replacements – five projects

As of September 30, 2018, $3,500,000 of the $7,000,000 budgeted (excluding emergency) has been committed and or actually spent (50%).

Reallocating SHAIP year two and three projects to be completed in year one funding.

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 7
Long Term Care Facility 8
Deceased 20
Private Rental 2
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 0
Eviction – Tribunal 8
NRH Transfer 29
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 1
Bought a House 0
Left Without Notice 0
Other/None Given 14
Cease to Qualify 0
TOTAL 89

In Q3, there were 89 move outs. Eight involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) – arrears (six), impaired safety (one), harassment (one). Seven of the evictions were enforced by the Sherriff.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
# of move outs 75 81 67 83 89

ARREARS:

NRH Housing Operations actively works to reduce rent arrears and saw a decrease in Q3.

  Sept 30,
2017
Dec 31,
2017
Mar 31,
2018
Jun 30,
2018
Sept 30,
2018
Rent charges for
the month
$1,122,027.00 $1,150,372.27 $1,167,751.69 $1,136,607.00 $1,165,765.00
Accumulated rent arrears $44,326.67 $49,045.27 $48,660.91 $35,055.56 $23,378.86
Arrears % 3.95% 4.26% 4.17% 3.08% 2.01%

INSURANCE:

Nothing to report in Q3.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q3, we had partnerships with 45 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:

  • Once again this year, NRH partnered with the RAFT to provide summer camps in Manchester, Old Pine Trail and Rykert (St. Catharines) and Warden and Waters (Niagara Falls) and Faith Welland Church in McLaughlin (Welland).

    The cost and transportation required for summer camp is often out of reach for low-income families, so these camps provide workshops, sports, crafts and excursions they would not be able to access otherwise. In addition to offering constructive activities to keep youth occupied during the summer months, summer camps help youth to develop new interests, improve socialization and help partner agencies develop trusting relationships with tenants and their children.

Also during Q3, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to 240 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 54% were considered medium-high need. In particular, as the weather got warmer, there were more requests for help resolving social issues between neighbours. There was also an increase in the number of tenants needing help with clutter and bed bugs, as well as the number of tenants declining supports.


2. Non-Profit Housing Programs

As administrator of social housing for Niagara Region, NRH provides legislative oversight for 62 Non-Profit Housing Programs (non-profit and co-operative). Operational Reviews are conducted to determine the overall health of each.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
Healthy 42 43 41 41 41
Routine Monitoring 18 18 18 18 18
Intensive Monitoring 2 1 1 1 1
Pre-PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 64 64 62 62 62

NRH Housing Programs staff continue to work with Federal Housing Providers as they move toward End of Operating Agreements (EOA).

3. Rent Supplement Program

In Q3, there were 1,354 Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance units across Niagara. In the Rent Supplement program, tenants pay 30% of their gross monthly income directly to the private landlord and NRH subsidizes the difference up to the market rent for the unit. The Housing Allowance program is a short term program that provides a set allowance to help applicants on the wait list.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
Fort Erie 26 26 27 28 28
Grimsby 25 26 26 26 26
Lincoln (Beamsville) 2 2 13 12 12
Niagara Falls 200 219 228 229 230
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- -- -- --
Pelham 24 24 23 23 22
Port Colborne 44 47 51 53 51
St. Catharines 567 600 657 700 719
Thorold 24 29 32 37 54
Welland 189 199 202 201 197
West Lincoln 15 14 14 15 15
TOTAL 1,116 1,186 1,273 1,324 1,354

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 2018-2019 funding are now underway. 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 $500,000 through the Investment in Affordable Housing - Extension (IAH-E) program for homeowner and secondary suite repairs and $626,300 for multi-unit repairs, totaling $1,006,300 for the 2018/2019 period.

49 homeowners were approved for funding in 2018. Repairs/renovations are underway.

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, 14 homeowners received assistance through Welcome Home Niagara. One of these was an NRH tenant.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
# of homeowners assisted 11 13 5 9 14

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, nine individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program. Since 2012, Housing First has helped 344 individuals/families.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
# individuals/families housed 10 22 17 14 9
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 131 148 165 170 178

RENTAL HOUSING (NEW DEVELOPMENT):

NRH New Development
  Amount Units
Carlton Street, St. Catharines    
   Investment in Affordable Housing-Extension (IAH-E), Year 3 $5,806,000 45
   Investment in Affordable Housing-Extension (IAH-E), Year 4 $2,888,000 23
   Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF), Year 1 $2,387,817 17
Roach Avenue, Welland    
   Social Infrastructure Fund (SIF), Year 1 $1,200,000 8
TOTAL $12,281,817 93

At the end of Q3:

    Carlton Street
  • Envelope work – generally 70% complete. EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) is in progress - 50% complete. Other components of the exterior envelope – no change.
  • 1st floor – boarding started, mechanical and electrical rough-in of suite rooms 90% complete
  • 2nd floor – interior drywall of rooms 95% complete, painting of rooms 95% complete, mill work delivered and installation started, flooring in rooms 80% complete, wall tiles installation started, electrical devices, switches, plugs, lights installation 70% complete, doors to suites 10% complete, door hardware installation started, hallways boarding 80% complete
  • 3rd floor – 80% rooms boarded, 30% rooms taped
  • 4th floor – interior drywall of rooms generally 95% complete, painting of rooms 75% complete, floor preparation - sanding is in progress, hallways boarded
  • 5th floor – interior drywall of rooms 95% complete, painting of rooms 90% complete, flooring installation - 90% complete, wall tile installation started, hallways boarded
  • Schedule delayed approximately two months due to the number of Change Orders & lack of performance of trades. Currently we have approximately $259,430 in changes out of cash allowance of $500,000.
  • Overall progress – approximately 75% complete

    Roach Avenue
  • Design build contract signed with T.R. Hinan Construction
  • T.R. Hinan and architects Raimondo & Associates worked on the design drawings and applied for foundation permit
  • Demolition to start in October

Additional New Development

Investment in Affordable Housing-Extension (IAH-E), Year 2 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 and Thorold Municipal Non-Profit – complete and operational
  • Stamford Kiwanis – approximately 60% complete. On hold pending financing. Construction to resume in 2019.

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q3, 15 appeals were heard (same as in 2017-Q3).

Five related to ongoing RGI eligibility

  • Two for failure to provide information
    • One failed to report change in income that resulted in receiving RGI overpayment; must repay the amount. Upheld.
    • One given more time to supply missing information so RGI could be calculated. Tenant provided some information but not all; given more time, not received. Upheld.
  • One where tenant disagreed with amount of former arrears. Committee allowed extra time to provide additional information. Upheld.
  • One where overhoused tenant was denied request for additions to the household. Upheld.
  • One related to review of balance owing for unreported income. NRH agreed to tenant's proposal to pay NRH the difference for only two months. Overturned.

Nine for decisions made by Housing Access (e.g. requests for special priority status, urgent status, additional bedroom). Five upheld, four overturned.

One from an overhoused tenant requesting the extra bedrooms due to health issues. Not eligible. Tenant decided to stay in current unit and pay market rent.

  2017-Q3 2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3
# of appeals 15 9 19 9 15

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 739
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 98
# of Urgent Status Applications 128
# of Homeless Status Applications 171
# of Eligible Applications 713
# of Ineligible Applications 26
# of Cancelled Applications 345
# of Applicants Housed 136

In Q3, 345 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.

CENTRALIZED WAITING LIST:

  2017-
Q3
2017-
Q4
2018-
Q1
2018-
Q2
2018-
Q3
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 4,282 4,344 4,287 4,562 4,642
  Applicants from outside Niagara 641 657 639 692 758
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 4,923 5,001 4,926 5,254 5,400
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 428 505 569 605 618
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 2,038 2,061 2,064 2,173 2,236
  Adults no dependents 1,652 1,703 1,630 1,727 1,764
  Adults with dependents 1,233 1,237 1,232 1,354 1,400
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 114 101 122 129 129
  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 105 99 104 120 123
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 821 832 842 894 947
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 26 19 17 17 13
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 111 143 152 167 171
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 499 513 518 525 547
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 5,533 5,657 5,596 5,946 6,118
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 592 591 578 597 629
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,125 6,248 6,174 6,543 6,747
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 10,217 10,449 10,380 11,052 11,496

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.

ESTIMATED WAIT TIMES:

CITY SENIORS
Age 55 and older
SINGLES
Age 16-54
HOUSEHOLDS WITH DEPENDENTS
Bachelor 1 Bed Bachelor 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
YEARS
Forst Erie - 9 2 8.5 2 1 5 -
Grimsby - 4 - - - - - -
Lincoln - 4.5 - 12 9 8 - -
Niagara Falls 4 6 - 16 5 3 7 14
Niagara-on-the-Lake - 6.5 - - - - - -
Pelham - 3.5 - - - - - -
Port Colborne - 4.5 - 13 3 3 3 -
St. Catharines - 6.5 9 13 3.5 3 9 12
Thorold - 6.5 - 10 6 8 - -
Welland - 5 6 15 5 2.5 7 2
West Lincoln - 4 - - 5.5 7 - -

- no units of this size available in this community
January 2018

Please note:

  • wait time information can fluctuate and is an approximation only
  • wait times may not reflect the actual time one may wait for affordable housing


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