Table of Contents

Introduction

Programs
      Housing Support Programs

Tenant/Resident Handbook 2017

Policies & Procedures
      Rent Payment
      *Pre-Authorized Payment Plan
      Eviction Prevention Policy

      Seasonal Decorations
      Tenant Swimming Pool
      Barbeques

Housing Matters News

Applicant/Tenant Responsibilities
      Maintenance Reporting

Resources
      Legal Clinics
      HRDC - Gov't of Ont
       HRDC - Job Bank
      Ontario Works - Hamilton
      Ontaio Works - Gon't of Ont
      Links to Other Resources
      FOI - Access/Correction

Question and Answers
      Rent Geared To Income

City Housing Hamilton Eviction Prevention Policy

Intent

• To ensure that the most vulnerable in our community have the basic services they need to maintain and improve their quality of life and increase their self reliance
• To decrease risk of homelessness due to financial reasons.
• To foster an environment in which tenants feel comfortable discussing their challenges in order to encourage early resolution of arrears or potential arrears
• CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) will make every effort to protect tenants right’s to natural justice and procedural fairness with regard to their tenancy and their right to be heard

Policy

CityHousing Hamilton will make every effort to prevent tenants from losing their housing due to economic reasons. CHH is committed to working with tenants in order to provide a systemic provision of safe, affordable and respectful housing.

• Eviction is a remedy of last resort for CHH
• Eviction Prevention Policy applies to both market and rent geared to income tenants
• It is recognized that some tenants may have trouble paying their rent. CHH staff will work with those tenants to help them keep their housing
• CHH will make every reasonable effort to ensure that tenants will not be evicted from a subsidized rental unit for economic reasons
• It is understood that tenants are responsible for:
--paying their full rent on or before the first of every month
--reporting all changes in income or household composition and providing verification required within 30 days of the change to ensure the rent is calculated properly
• CHH is responsible to all tenants for collecting rent on time. Lost rent revenue means there is less money for building maintenance and other services for all tenants
• Eviction prevention strategies must not be an incentive not to pay rent on time and in full

Procedure

CHH has internal procedures which will augment the application of this policy. The following is an overview of the guiding principles of the internal strategies to assist tenants in maintaining housing.

The City Of Hamilton, Ontario Works has developed procedures to support tenants to ensure that eviction from subsidized housing is prevented and that the tenant has access to financial assistance and other supports which will assist in sustaining independent living.

Communication

• CHH will make efforts to acknowledge good payment history
• The Eviction Prevention Important Number Listing (accompanied by the Language Translation Notice) will be incorporated to the initial and subsequent lease signing. Every tenant will be advised of the Eviction Prevention Policy during the lease signing.
• The Eviction Prevention Important Number Listing (accompanied by the Language Translation Notice) will be attached to every N4 served to tenants
• The Dispute Procedure Information Notice (accompanied by the Language Translation Notice) will be attached to every L1 served to
tenants
• If a tenant appeals a rent calculation then CHH will make every effort to include the tenant in the internal review process in order to accurately calculate their rent.
• If a tenant appeals a subsidy removal decision, an Internal Review Hearing will be held with a committee of staff not previously involved in the original decision. The tenant will be given the right to attend the meeting alone or with a representative
• Interpreting services will be engaged if required. If family or friends are unable to translate, the services of a paid interpreter will be engaged by CHH.

Rent Payment

• CHH will enter into at least one repayment agreement, at any stage of the eviction prior to enforcement. Repayment plan is to be fair and reasonable based on the tenant’s income and expenses.
• Under normal circumstances, the terms of the repayment plan will not exceed a six (6) month period. It will be at the discretion of CHH to extend.
• CHH agrees that rent will be reduced up to six months retroactively from the date that a tenant or former tenant provides appropriate income verification.
• CHH fully supports a procedure by which a landlord can alert the ORHT regarding rental payments or rent recalculations made after an application has been filed but before a default order has been issued. Since the ORHT currently has no such procedure in place, CHH supports the advocacy efforts of Hamilton's Community Legal Clinics in this regard

Intervention

• Face to face meeting to be attempted and documented prior to the filing of an application with the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal
• CHH will make attempts to intervene prior to the filing of an application with the ORHT. CHH will attempt to ensure that these interventions are appropriate to the tenant(s) and employ appropriate community resources.
• CHH will consent to reasonable requests for adjournment made by the tenant at the ORHT in order to prevent eviction and facilitate the tenant’s right to a fair hearing
• In every situation where a CHH staff person is requested by the tenant to assist with problem solving eviction, an informed consent must be obtained by the tenant and documented. It is preferred to be in a written form.

Education

• Eviction Prevention Policy will be incorporated as an agenda item for all tenant meetings and/or tenant letters
• Ongoing training will be provided to OW and CHH Staff on Eviction Prevention.

Program Evaluation

The Eviction Prevention Policy will be monitored and evaluated based on the performance indicators contained within the Performance Measurement and Evaluation Strategy. The Eviction Prevention Working Group will reconvene in semi-annual increments to review the performance indicators to determine preliminary outcomes.

The Evaluation Report will be completed at the end of one year of implementation. The report will include feedback from tenants, community partners and staff.

The final report and the findings will be presented to the CityHousing Board of Directors and CCCOSH

Definitions

CHH CityHousing Hamilton
ORHT Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal
PM Property Manager
CRW Community Relations Worker
OW Ontario Works
ODSP Ontario Disability Support Program Language
Translation Notice Formatted letter with states "this is an important document…" Translated into 20 Languages
Eviction Prevention Important Number Listing Listing of agencies which will assist tenants with avoiding the eviction
Dispute Procedure Information Notice Letter attached to L1 stating how to dispute the "Application to Terminate a Tenancy"
N4 Notice to Terminate a Tenancy. First step in the legal notice of the eviction
L1 Application to Terminate a Tenancy. Landlord files form with Housing Tribunal to obtain an Eviction Order. L