Q3 (July 1 to September 30, 2019) to Board of Directors

Recommendation:

That Niagara Regional Housing Quarterly Report July 1 to September 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
773 received & processed
Work Orders
3,111 issued
Capital Program
7 projects ongoing
52 contract orders issued
Rent Arrears
= $35,549.21
or 2.80% of the monthly rent charges
Community Resources & Partnerships
Offered supports to 294 new referrals
Had partnerships with 46 community agencies
Non-Profit Housing Programs
67% deemed HEALTHY
Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance
1,440 units
Niagara Renovates
46 homeowners have been approved for funding
Welcome Home Niagara
6 homeowners received assistance
Housing First Project
15 Individuals / families housed
Appeals
= 10
9 upheld
1 overturned
New Development
Carlton - complete
Roach - approximately 95% 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 Q3, 3,111 work orders were issued, representing $947,578.06. $63,676.44 of this amount was charged back to tenants who were held responsible for damages.

  2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
# of work orders issued 3,216 3,203 2,500 3,084 3,111

CAPITAL PROGRAM:

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

In Q3, 52 contract orders were issued and purchase orders issued $4,012,345

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

  • 2 projects - pavement retrofits
  • 1 project - booster pump replacements
  • 1 project - sealant replacements
  • 1 project - balcony repairs
  • 1 project - shingle roof replacement
  • 1 project - concrete repairs
  • 52 RFP's and RFQ's - various investigations, health and safety repairs, emergency repairs, structural repairs and pavement retrofits

As of September 30, 2019, $7,203,207 of the $11.7 budgeted (excluding emergency) has been committed and or actually spent (61%).

TENANT MOVE OUTS:

Move Outs By Reason
Health 3
Long Term Care Facility 7
Deceased 17
Private Rental 4
Voluntarily Left Under Notice 4
Eviction – Tribunal 6
NRH Transfer 4
Moved to Coop or Non-Profit 1
Bought a House 1
Left Without Notice 1
Other/None Given 8
Cease to Qualify 1
TOTAL 57

In Q3, there were 57 move outs. Six involved eviction orders granted under the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board (LTB) – Arrears (four), Disturbances N5 (two). Two of the evictions were enforced by the Sherriff.

  2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
# of move outs 89 65 51 86 57

ARREARS:

NRH Housing Operations actively works to reduce rent arrears which have remained consistent from 2018-Q3 to 2019-Q3.

  Sept 30,
2018
Dec 31,
2018
Mar 31,
2019
Jun 30,
2019
Sept 30,
2019
Rent charges for
the month
$1,165,765.00 $1,187,770.00 $1,203,317.00 $1,257,090.00 $1,267,460.00
Accumulated rent arrears $23,378.86 $24,135.76 $35,736.89 $34,004.39 $35,549,21
Arrears % 2.01% 2.03% 2.97% 2.71% 2.80%

INSURANCE:

Nothing to report in Q3.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES AND PARTNERSHIPS:

In Q3, 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 joined with partners – March of Dimes, Community Support Services Niagara and Niagara Region Senior Programs – to celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary of the Wellness Supportive Living Program (WSLP). This program runs out of NRH communities at Buckley (Niagara Falls), Gale Crescent and Carlton Street (St. Catharines) and King Street (Welland). Offering support ranging from a bathing station to medication prompts to wellness workshops to social activities, WSLP has made an enormous difference in the lives of NRH tenants and reduced their dependence on emergency services. This program has been featured in numerous publications and at conferences as a best practice to help seniors live independently and age at home more successfully.

Also during Q3, NRH Community Programs Coordinators (CPCs) offered support to 294 new referrals of tenants in need of assistance. Of those new referrals, 57% 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 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 60 Non-Profit Housing Programs (non-profit and co-operative). Operational Reviews are conducted to determine the overall health of each.

  2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
Healthy 41 40 40 40 40
Routine Monitoring 18 17 18 17 17
Intensive Monitoring 1 2 0 1 1
Pre-PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
PID (Project in Difficulty) 1 1 1 1 1
TOTAL 62 61 60 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 Q3, there were 1,440 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-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
Fort Erie 28 28 26 32 32
Grimsby 26 26 34 26 24
Lincoln (Beamsville) 12 11 11 11 11
Niagara Falls 230 230 235 239 240
Niagara-on-the-Lake -- -- 4 5 5
Pelham 22 21 20 19 19
Port Colborne 51 53 67 62 65
St. Catharines 719 732 741 780 773
Thorold 54 53 57 61 56
Welland 197 201 209 203 200
West Lincoln 15 15 15 15 15
TOTAL 1,354 1,370 1,419 1,453 1,440

Variance in the Rent Supplement program are a reflection of fluctuation between agreements ending and new agreements taken up with landlords.

In Q3, an In-Situ Rent Supplement Program was developed to engage new landlords and offer applicants on the Centralized Waiting List an opportunity to receive Rent-Geared-to-Income assistance where they currently live. This removes the need for moving related expenses and broadens the network of landlords in business with NRH.

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.

46 homeowners have been approved for funding.

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 Q3, six homeowners received assistance through Welcome Home Niagara.

  2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
# of homeowners assisted 14 19 0 4 6

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, 15 individuals/families were housed through the Housing First program. Since 2012, Housing First has helped 422 individuals/families.

  2018-Q3 2018-Q4 2019-Q1 2019-Q2 2019-Q3
# individuals/families housed 9 27 10 23 15
# of Housing First units (at quarter end) 178 184 189 198 197

17 of these Housing First units were created with NRH’s new development at 527 Carlton Street in St. Catharines.

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

    Roach Avenue
  • 2nd floor – finishing trades 98% complete, minor deficiencies and cleanup outstanding
  • 1st floor – finishing trades 90% 9omplete, finish carpentry and final painting in progress
  • Sprinkler and mechanical commissioning in progress
  • Building envelope complete
  • Site Services – complete, parking lot paved and lines painted, sidewalk incomplete
  • Landscaping has not started
  • Project approximately 95% complete
  • Project forecast completion November 1, 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
COMPLETE
$720,000 9
Thorold Municipal Non-Profit, Ormond Street, Thorold
COMPLETE
$1,228,912 14
Stamford Kiwanis, Barker Street, Niagara Falls $1,089,088 17
TOTAL $3,038,000 40

    Stamford Kiwanis
  • Expected substantial completion December 1, 2019

5. Service Manager Responsibilities

APPEALS:

In Q3, 10 appeals were heard (five less than in 2018-Q3).

  • Four related to ongoing RGI eligibility
    • One Housing Provider appeal for former tenancy arrears – UPHELD with conditions
    • One for former rent arrears and subsidy overpayment – UPHELD with conditions
    • One for failure to report income change – UPHELD with conditions
    • One regarding illegal occupant – OVERTURNED with conditions
  • One related to review of rent increase – UPHELD – tenant brought in more payroll information; NRH will recalculate rent
  • Five for decisions made by Housing Access
    • Four (Urgent Status) – UPHELD
    • One (extra bedroom) – UPHELD

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

INVESTMENTS:

See Appendix A – Investment Report


6. Housing Access Centre & Centralized Waiting List

APPLICATION ACTIVITY:

# of Applications Received & Processed 773
# of Special Provincial Priority Status Applications 103
# of Urgent Status Applications 131
# of Homeless Status Applications 136
# of Eligible Applications 738
# of Ineligible Applications 35
# of Cancelled Applications 386
# of Applicants Housed 128

In Q3, 386 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-
Q3
2018-
Q4
2019-
Q1
2019-
Q2
2019-
Q3
# of households
A Rent-Geared-to-income (RGI) waiting list:
  Niagara resident RGI waiting list 4,642 4,616 4,715 4,926 5,012
  Applicants from outside Niagara 758 761 793 849 897
TOTAL RGI waiting list: 5,400 5,377 5,508 5,775 5,909
  Housing Allowance: a set allowance to help applicants on the waiting list with affordability in the private market until housed in an RGI unit 618 639 704 742 747
A1 RGI waiting list demographics:
  Seniors 2,236 2,218 2,257 2,344 2,362
  Adults no dependents 1,764 1,761 1,805 1,881 1,922
  Adults with dependents 1,400 1,398 1,446 1,550 1,625
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 129 131 128 148 165
  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 123 116 117 109 130
  UHML – Homeless (Local Priority): provides increased opportunity for placement to homeless households 947 954 971 1,012 1,007
  SUP – Supportive/Transitional: provides targeted, provisional services to assist individuals to transition beyond basic needs to more permanent housing 13 13 15 11 12
B In addition, NRH manages:
  Overhoused: households who are living in subsidized accommodation with more bedrooms than they are eligible for 171 168 180 176 181
  Transfer: households who are currently living in subsidized accommodation and have requested a transfer to another provider 547 535 564 573 603
TOTAL RGI households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,118 6,080 6,252 6,524 6,693
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 629 647 667 723 752
TOTAL households on waiting list managed by NRH: 6,747 6,727 6,919 7,274 7,445
TOTAL individuals on waiting list managed by NRH: 11,496 11,488 11,884 12,577 13,059

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

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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