Q2 (April 1 to June 30, 2019) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report April 1 to June 30, 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, Chair
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
804 received & processed
Work Orders
3,084 issued
Capital Program
7 projects ongoing
27 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $34,004.39
or 2.71% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 285 new referrals
Had partnerships with 46 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
67% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,453 units
Niagara Renovates
Inspections for 2019-2020 funding are underway.
Welcome Home Niagara
4 homeowners received assistance
Housing First Project
23 Individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 12
9 upheld
3 overturned
New Development
Carlton - deficiency work continuing
Roach - approximately 70% 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 Q2, 3,084 work orders were issued, representing $124,094.66. $58,706.26 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2
# of work orders issued 2,768 3,216 3,203 2,500 3,084

Work order volume increased in 2019-Q2 due to the implementation of the Electrical Safety Authority Continuous Safety Inspections.

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

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

In Q2, 27 contract orders were issued and purchase orders issued $2,033,033

The Capital Program was responsible for 7 capital projects valued at $4,300,000 including:

  • 3 projects - washroom replacements
  • 1 project - exterior insulation and finish system
  • 1 project - carport rehabilitation
  • 1 project - kitchen replacements
  • 1 project - canopy installation
  • 19 RFP's and RFQ's - various investigations, health and safety repairs, emergency and structural repairs and washroom accessibility

As of June 30, 2019, $4,687,000 of the $11.7 budgeted (excluding emergency) has been committed and or actually spent (40%).

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 5
Long Term Care Facility 18
Deceased 21
Private Rental 4
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 2
Eviction – Tribunal 7
NRH Transfer 12
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 1
Bought a House 0
Left Without Notice 1
Other/None Given 15
Cease to Qualify 0
TOTAL 86

In Q2, there were 86 move outs. Two involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) for Disruptive Behavior with one enforced by the Sherriff.

  2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2
# of move outs 83 89 65 51 86

ARREARS:

NRH Housing Operations actively works to reduce rent arrears and saw a slight decrease from the end of 2019-Q1 to the end of 2019-Q2.

  Jun 30,
2018
Sept 30,
2018
Dec 31,
2018
Mar 31,
2019
Jun 30,
2019
Rent charges for
the month
$1,136,607.00 $1,165,765.00 $1,187,770.00 $1,203,317.00 $1,257,090.00
Accumulated rent arrears $35,055.56 $23,378.86 $24,135.76 $35,736.89 $34,004.39
Arrears % 3.08% 2.01% 2.03% 2.97% 2.71%

INSURANCE:

In Q2, there were two property damage claims expected to exceed the $25,000 deductible and one notice of claims.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q2, 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:

  • NRH began a new Social Enterprise Pilot with Niagara Resource Service for Youth ("RAFT"). Through a Niagara Prosperity Initiative grant, the RAFT is hiring and training at-risk youth to be mentored by an experienced contractor in preparing NRH units for new tenants. RAFT youth will learn how to complete minor repairs, paint and clean units in NRH communities to develop skills and increase employability. This is the fourth NRH/RAFT partnership which employs tenants and RAFT youth in NRH communities.

Also during Q2, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to 285 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 52% were considered medium-high need, (e.g. child safety concerns, eviction, social issues, cognitive concerns). In particular, there was an increase in the number of senior tenants referred to Seniors Programs.

Another highlight in Q2 was the introduction of the Pilot CPC. This one-year position is designed to assist existing CPCs with the dramatic increase in vulnerable populations in NRH communities and gauge the need and assist non-profits and co-operatives who are struggling with eviction prevention.


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

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 Q2, there were 1,453 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-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2
Fort Erie 28 28 28 26 32
Grimsby 26 26 26 34 26
Lincoln (Beamsville) 12 12 11 11 11
Niagara Falls 229 230 230 235 239
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- -- 4 5
Pelham 23 22 21 20 19
Port Colborne 53 51 53 67 62
St. Catharines 700 719 732 741 780
Thorold 37 54 53 57 61
Welland 201 197 201 209 203
West Lincoln 15 15 15 15 15
TOTAL 1,324 1,354 1,370 1,419 1,453

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 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 the homeowner.

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.

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.

In Q2, four homeowners received assistance through Welcome Home Niagara.

  2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2
# of homeowners assisted 9 14 19 0 4

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 Q2, 23 individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program. Since 2012, Housing First has helped 407 individuals/families.

  2018-Q2 2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2
# individuals/families housed 14 9 27 10 23
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 170 178 184 189 198

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 Q2:

    Carlton Street
  • Occupancy was March 1, 2019
  • Final change orders and deficiency work continuing
  • Landscaping 100% complete
  • Final commissioning complete, awaiting final report
  • Final paving and line painting complete, minor deficiencies outstanding

    Roach Avenue
  • 2nd floor – drywall taping complete, prime painting has commenced
  • 2nd floor – doors & carpentry installation continuing
  • 1st floor – drywall boarding in progress, mechanical & electrical rough-in complete
  • Building envelope – 99% complete, caulking incomplete
  • Site services installation delayed one month due to scheduling issues by sub-trade
  • Project approximately 70% complete
  • Project is on budget, forecast completion is September 31, 2019

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 Q2:

    Gateway Residence of Niagara and Thorold Municipal Non-Profit
  • Complete and operational
    Stamford Kiwanis
  • Construction approximately 75% complete
  • Drywall taping in progress, 90% complete
  • Mechanical & electrical rough-in complete
  • Flashing of roof parapet, siding of soffit and mansard roof in progress
  • Exterior sidewalk slabs 80% complete
  • Painting in progress, floor installation in progress, finishing work has commenced
  • Construction schedule to be provided, forecast completion late fall 2019

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q2, 12 appeals were heard (three more than in 2018-Q2).

  • Five related to ongoing RGI eligibility
    • One regarding illegal occupant - OVERTURNED
    • One for failure to provide information - UPHELD
    • Three for former tenancy arrears – one OVERTURNED; two UPHELD; all three had conditions
  • Three related to review of rent increase – UPHELD; one resulted in a lower exchange rate for the calculation
  • Four for decisions made by Housing Access – one OVERTURNED (Special Priority status); three UPHELD (Urgent status)

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

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 804
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 103
# of Urgent Status Applications 117
# of Homeless Status Applications 172
# of Eligible Applications 771
# of Ineligible Applications 33
# of Cancelled Applications 271
# of Applicants Housed 127

In Q2, 271 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-
Q2
2018-
Q3
2018-
Q4
2019-
Q1
2019-
Q2
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 4,562 4,642 4,616 4,715 4,926
  Applicants from outside Niagara 692 758 761 793 849
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 5,254 5,400 5,377 5,508 5,775
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 605 618 639 704 742
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 2,173 2,236 2,218 2,257 2,344
  Adults no dependents 1,727 1,764 1,761 1,805 1,881
  Adults with dependents 1,354 1,400 1,398 1,446 1,550
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 129 129 131 128 148
  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 120 123 116 117 109
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 894 947 954 971 1,012
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 17 13 13 15 11
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 167 171 168 180 176
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 525 547 535 564 573
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 5,946 6,118 6,080 6,252 6,524
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 597 629 647 667 723
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,543 6,747 6,727 6,919 7,274
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 11,052 11,496 11,488 11,884 12,577

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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