Q4 (October 1 to December 31, 2018) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report October 1 to December 31, 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
Walter Sendzik
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
567 received & processed
Work Orders
3,203 issued
Capital Program
48 jobs/projects ongoing
15 public tenders closed
35 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $24,135.79
or 2.03% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 254 new referrals
Had partnerships with 46 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
66% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,370 units
Niagara Renovates
Inspections are complete. 46 homeowners will receive 2018/2019 funding.
Welcome Home Niagara
19 homeowners received assistance
Housing First Project
27 Individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 12
6 upheld
5 overturned
1 no decision required
New Development
Carlton - to be complete March 2019
Roach - construction began

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 Q4, 3,203 work orders were issued, representing $1,036,642.12. $69,018.54 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
# of work orders issued 2,993 2,566 2,768 3,216 3,203

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

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

In Q4, 35 contract orders were issued, 15 public tenders closed and purchase orders issued $2,919,719.64

The Capital Program was responsible for 39 capital projects valued at $2,500,000 and nine SHAIP funded Capital projects valued at $1,168,000 including:

  • Parking lot replacement – one project
  • Installation of Heat Control System – eight projects
  • Roof replacement – one project
  • Designated Substance Survey – one project
  • Bathroom renovations – one project
  • Foundation repairs – one project
  • Investigation of basements – nine projects
  • Balcony door replacement - one project
  • Design and tender for Domestic Hot Water replacements - three projects

As of December 31, 2018, $6,400,000 of the $7,000,000 budgeted (excluding emergency) has been committed and/or actually spent (91%).

As of December 31, 2018, $1,922,182 of the available $2,537,580 Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program (SHAIP) funding was committed and/or actually spent (76%).

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 4
Long Term Care Facility 8
Deceased 10
Private Rental 10
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 3
Eviction – Tribunal 3
NRH Transfer 13
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 1
Bought a House 1
Left Without Notice 3
Other/None Given 9
Cease to Qualify 0
TOTAL 65

In Q4, there were 65 move outs. Three involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) – Arrears (two), Disruptive Behavior (one). One of the evictions was enforced by the Sherriff.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
# of move outs 81 67 83 89 65

ARREARS:

  Dec 31,
2017
Mar 31,
2018
Jun 30,
2018
Sept 30,
2018
Dec 31,
2018
Rent charges for
the month
$1,150,372.27 $1,167,751.69 $1,136,607.00 $1,165,765.00 $1,187,770.00
Accumulated rent arrears $49,045.27 $48,660.91 $35,055.56 $23,378.86 $24,135.76
Arrears % 4.26% 4.17% 3.08% 2.01% 2.03%

INSURANCE:

In Q4, there was one claim settled and one property damage claim expected to exceed the $25,000 deductible.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q4, we had partnerships with 46 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:

  • In October of 2018, NRH began a year-long partnership with McMaster University in seven NRH senior communities. The Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program (CHAP) provides on-site blood pressure and diabetes risk assessments to participating seniors. Based on these assessments, volunteers provide health presentations, educational resources and referrals. The study is designed to determine if CHAP services help to improve the health of older adults and lead to fewer emergency and hospital visits.

Also during Q4, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to 254 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 56% were considered medium-high need. In particular, there were more requests for help with arrears. There was also a continued increase in the number of tenants needing help with clutter and bed bugs.


2. Non-Profit Housing Programs

As administrator of social housing for Niagara Region, NRH provides legislative oversight for 61 Non-Profit Housing Programs (non-profit and co-operative). Operational Reviews are conducted to determine the overall health of each.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
Healthy 43 41 41 41 40
Routine Monitoring 18 18 18 18 17
Intensive Monitoring 1 1 1 1 2
Pre-PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 64 62 62 62 61

NRH Housing Programs staff continue to work with Federal Housing Providers as they move toward End of Operating Agreements (EOA). On December 31, 2018, the Operating Agreement with Fairview Seniors in St. Catharines expired; a Rent Supplement agreement was successfully negotiated to preserve 14 Rent-Geared-to-Income units.

3. Rent Supplement Program

In Q4, there were 1,370 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-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
Fort Erie 26 27 28 28 28
Grimsby 26 26 26 26 26
Lincoln (Beamsville) 2 13 12 12 11
Niagara Falls 219 228 229 230 230
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- -- -- --
Pelham 24 23 23 22 21
Port Colborne 47 51 53 51 53
St. Catharines 600 657 700 719 732
Thorold 29 32 37 54 53
Welland 199 202 201 197 201
West Lincoln 14 14 15 15 15
TOTAL 1,186 1,273 1,324 1,354 1,370

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.

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.

Niagara Renovates inspections for 2018-2019 funding are complete. Inspections included all areas inside and outside of the home to ensure compliance with program guidelines. Issues were identified and a detailed Inspection Report was provided to the homeowner. 46 homeowners will receive funding during this period.

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 Q4, 19 homeowners received assistance through Welcome Home Niagara. Two of these were NRH tenants.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
# of homeowners assisted 13 5 9 14 19

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 Q4, 27 individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program. Since 2012, Housing First has helped 371 individuals/families.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
# individuals/families housed 22 17 14 9 27
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 148 165 170 178 184

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 Q4:

    Carlton Street
  • Envelope work – EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) is complete with some minor deficiencies. Caulking is 98% complete. Flashing of roof parapet is incomplete.
  • Civil work – sidewalks poured, asphalt base coat complete
  • Landscaping – postponed until spring 2019, topsoil installation 80% complete
  • 1st floor – boarding in progress - 60% complete, framing, boarding, taping and sanding to continue
  • 2nd floor – apartments - painting of rooms 95% complete, millwork progressing in a stop start fashion due to manufacturing delays at the plant, flooring 90% complete, wall tiles installation on going, electrical devices - 80% complete, plumbing fixture installation ongoing
  • 3rd floor – apartments - painting, flooring 95% complete, plumbing fixtures installation on going. Not ready for deficiency inspection.
  • 4th floor – apartments - painting 95% complete, flooring complete, handicap washroom floor tiles complete, wall tile installation 90% complete, millwork 90% complete, no further progress in the hallways. Finishing trades 90% complete. Not ready for deficiency inspection.
  • 5th floor – apartments - painting generally complete, millwork 95% complete, door installation complete, plumbing and electrical fixtures complete, first coat of paint applied in hallways, T bar ceiling 90% complete, hallway floors incomplete
  • Drywall crew – a critical trade that needs continued monitoring. Sufficient human resources is the key to achieving schedule goals.
  • Elevator installation progressing, 80% complete
  • Commissioning of mechanical system started, cleaning and flushing of lines has started
  • Project expected to be complete in March 2019

    Roach Avenue
  • Revised final permit drawings issued December 14, 2018
  • Foundation work – basement walls poured, footings on north side being excavated
  • 1st floor – core slab delivered and installed December 14, 2018
  • Water proofing of basement walls commencing in December
  • Project approximately one month behind schedule

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 Q4:

  • Gateway Residence of Niagara and Thorold Municipal Non-Profit – complete and operational
  • Stamford Kiwanis – approximately 60% complete. Financing has been approved. Construction to resume in 2019. Occupancy and substantial completion expected summer 2019.

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q4, 12 appeals were heard (three more than in 2017-Q4).

Five related to ongoing RGI eligibility

  • Eight related to ongoing RGI eligibility
    • Six for failure to provide information
      • One where Committee allowed extra time to remove commercial vehicles, and prove they are not getting income from child's business and that child is living at different address. OVERTURNED.
      • One where Committee allowed extra time to provide completed self-employment verification forms for most current three months and proof of having applied for income from Ontario Works. OVERTURNED.
      • Four related to undeclared change-illegal occupant(s). Two UPHELD; two OVERTURNED.
    • One where tenant owed former arrears. Committee allowed extra time to enter into repayment agreements and provide current income information. OVERTURNED.
    • One related to review of Rent-Geared-to-Income eligibility and confirmation that rent was calculated correctly. NO DECISION REQUIRED.
  • Four for decisions made by Housing Access (one for Special Priority status and three for Urgent status). All UPHELD.

  2017-Q4 2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4
# of appeals 9 19 9 15 12

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 567
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 86
# of Urgent Status Applications 104
# of Homeless Status Applications 163
# of Eligible Applications 538
# of Ineligible Applications 29
# of Cancelled Applications 436
# of Applicants Housed 120

In Q4, 436 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-
Q4
2018-
Q1
2018-
Q2
2018-
Q3
2018-
Q4
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 4,344 4,287 4,562 4,642 4,616
  Applicants from outside Niagara 657 639 692 758 761
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 5,001 4,926 5,254 5,400 5,377
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 505 569 605 618 639
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 2,061 2,064 2,173 2,236 2,218
  Adults no dependents 1,703 1,630 1,727 1,764 1,761
  Adults with dependents 1,237 1,232 1,354 1,400 1,398
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 101 122 129 129 131
  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 99 104 120 123 116
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 832 842 894 947 954
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 19 17 17 13 13
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 143 152 167 171 168
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 513 518 525 547 535
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 5,657 5,596 5,946 6,118 6,080
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 591 578 597 629 647
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,248 6,174 6,543 6,747 6,727
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 10,449 10,380 11,052 11,496 11,488

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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