Q1 (January 1 to March 31, 2019) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report January 1 to March 31, 2019 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:

Walter Sendzik
Regional Councillor
St. Catharines
Gary Zalepa, Treasurer
Regional Councillor
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Tom Insinna
Regional Councillor
Fort Erie
James Hyatt, Vice-Chair
Community Director
St. Catharines
Betty Ann Baker
Community Director
St. Catharines
Betty Lou Souter
Community Director
St. Catharines
Karen Blackley, Secretary
Community Director
Thorold
Barbara Butters
Regional Councillor
Port Colborne
Leanne Villella
Regional Councillor
Welland

Highlights:

Appliction Activity
716 received & processed
Work Orders
2,500 issued
Capital Program
6 projects ongoing
52 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $35,736.89
or 2.97% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 328 new referrals
Had partnerships with 46 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
67% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,419 units
Niagara Renovates
Inspections for 2019-2020 funding are underway.
Welcome Home Niagara
2018-2019 funding fully used at end of 2018
Housing First Project
10 Individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 10
7 upheld
3 overturned
New Development
Carlton - occupancy March 1, 2019
Roach - approximately 35% complete

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, 2,500 work orders were issued, representing $890,955.20. $32,587.37 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
# of work orders issued 2,566 2,768 3,216 3,203 2,500

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

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

In Q1, 52 contract orders were issued and purchase orders issued $2,939,784.92

The Capital Program was responsible for six capital projects valued at $205,000 including:

  • Domestic Hot Water Replacement
  • Parking Lot Consulting Design (two locations)
  • Booster Pump Replacement Design (two locations)
  • Earth Bins - in ground waste collection
  • Various RFPs

As of March 31, 2019, $205,000 of the $11.7 budgeted (excluding emergency) has been committed and or actually spent (2%).

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 3
Long Term Care Facility 4
Deceased 14
Private Rental 3
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 2
Eviction – Tribunal 2
NRH Transfer 11
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 2
Bought a House 1
Left Without Notice 2
Other/None Given 7
Cease to Qualify 0
TOTAL 51

In Q1, there were 51 move outs. Two involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) for Disruptive Behavior with one enforced by the Sherriff.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
# of move outs 67 83 89 65 51

ARREARS:

  Mar 31,
2018
Jun 30,
2018
Sept 30,
2018
Dec 31,
2018
Mar 31,
2019
Rent charges for
the month
$1,167,751.69 $1,136,607.00 $1,165,765.00 $1,187,770.00 $1,203,317.00
Accumulated rent arrears $48,660.91 $35,055.56 $23,378.86 $24,135.76 $35,736.89
Arrears % 4.17% 3.08% 2.01% 2.03% 2.97%

INSURANCE:

In Q1, there were two property damage claims expected to exceed the $25,000 deductible and one notice of claims.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q1, 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 addition to numerous community-building events, the Rykert Volunteer Committee (RVC) began hosting resume-building workshops and sewing classes to enhance tenant employability and skills. The Committee has demonstrated a commitment to responding to the needs of the community, while promoting a positive neighbourhood culture.
  • A teenage Manchester tenant began working as a "Community Attendant", a paid position contracted by NRH through the RAFT, tasked with delivery of notices, updating notice boards, returning shopping carts etc. Created as part of enhanced community development at Manchester, the position was designed to engage youth and encourage pride in the community, as well as provide a part-time job for a community teen.

Also during Q1, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to 328 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 56% were considered medium-high need. In particular, there was an increase in the number of tenants requesting help with paperwork and social issues.


2. Non-Profit Housing Programs

As administrator of social housing for Niagara Region, NRH provides legislative oversight for 60 Non-Profit Housing Programs (non-profit and co-operative). Operational Reviews are conducted to determine the overall health of each.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
Healthy 41 41 41 40 40
Routine Monitoring 18 18 18 17 18
Intensive Monitoring 1 1 1 2 0
Pre-PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 62 62 62 61 60

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 Q1, there were 1,419 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.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
Fort Erie 27 28 28 28 26
Grimsby 26 26 26 26 34
Lincoln (Beamsville) 13 12 12 11 11
Niagara Falls 228 229 230 230 235
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- -- -- 4
Pelham 23 23 22 21 20
Port Colborne 51 53 51 53 67
St. Catharines 657 700 719 732 741
Thorold 32 37 54 53 57
Welland 202 201 197 201 209
West Lincoln 14 15 15 15 15
TOTAL 1,273 1,324 1,354 1,370 1,419

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:

Niagara Renovates inspections for 2019-2020 funding are 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 provided to theh omeowner.

NRH received $600,000 through the Investment in Affordable Housing - Extension (IAH-E) program for homeowner and secondary suite repairs and $311,015 for multi-unit repairs, totaling $911,015 for the 2019/2020 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.

2018-2019 funding was fully used by December 2018. NRH received $180,000 through the Investment in Affordable Housing - Extension (IAH-E) program for the 2019/2020 period, with $100,000 of that allocated to Habitat for Humanity Niagara.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
# of homeowners assisted 5 9 14 19 0

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 Q1, 10 individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program. Since 2012, Housing First has helped 381 individuals/families.

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2018-Q1
# individuals/families housed 17 14 9 27 10
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 165 170 178 184 189

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 Q1:

    Carlton Street
  • Occupancy March 1, 2019
  • Deficiencies are being addressed
  • Landscaping and paving outstanding

    Roach Avenue
  • Structural framing and roofing complete
  • Mechanical rough-in 5%
  • Electrical rough-in 5%
  • Drywall delivered to site, window delivery scheduled
  • Project schedule – approximately 1 month behind schedule
  • Project approximately 35% complete

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 – finishing trades work in progress, approximately 65% complete. Occupancy and substantial completion expected late fall 2019.

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q1, 10 appeals were heard (9 fewer than in 2018-Q1).

  • Six related to ongoing RGI eligibility (one for a Rent Supplement tenant)
    • Four for failure to provide information - three were UPHELD; one was OVERTURNED
    • One for failure to report changes and owes former tenancy arrears - UPHELD
    • One regarding illegal occupant - OVERTURNED
  • Four for decisions made by Housing Access (urgent status) - three were UPHELD; one was OVERTURNED

  2018-Q1 2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1
# of appeals 19 9 15 12 10

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 716
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 83
# of Urgent Status Applications 115
# of Homeless Status Applications 146
# of Eligible Applications 693
# of Ineligible Applications 23
# of Cancelled Applications 352
# of Applicants Housed 171

In Q1, 352 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:

  2018-
Q1
2018-
Q2
2018-
Q3
2018-
Q4
2019-
Q1
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 4,287 4,562 4,642 4,616 4,715
  Applicants from outside Niagara 639 692 758 761 793
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 4,926 5,254 5,400 5,377 5,508
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 569 605 618 639 704
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 2,064 2,173 2,236 2,218 2,257
  Adults no dependents 1,630 1,727 1,764 1,761 1,805
  Adults with dependents 1,232 1,354 1,400 1,398 1,446
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 122 129 129 131 128
  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 104 120 123 116 117
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 842 894 947 954 971
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 17 17 13 13 15
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 152 167 171 168 180
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 518 525 547 535 564
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 5,596 5,946 6,118 6,080 6,252
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 578 597 629 647 667
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,174 6,543 6,747 6,727 6,919
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 10,380 11,052 11,496 11,488 11,884

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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