How property managers can navigate the homelessness crisis

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Ontario is launching new initiatives to reduce homelessness.

Homelessness affects an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 individuals nationwide, with the majority located in Toronto. Forty-four percent of all Canadian shelters are in Ontario alone.

In response, the Ontario government recently allocated over $9 million to four organizations in Thunder Bay for the construction of 52 new transitional housing units.

Meanwhile, Peterborough repurposed a former parking lot into a modular housing community with promising results. The city of Guelph went as far as looking for volunteer property owners to host a temporary encampment for a minimum of three years.

How can property managers help prevent homelessness?

There are many causes of homelessness, ranging from economic factors such as unaffordable home and rent prices to social issues including addiction and mental health struggles. Property managers can support Ontario's most vulnerable without compromising their businesses.

One approach is to provide easily accessible information on local support services. Provide a list of resources for rental or food assistance, wellness clinics and more – in welcome packets, on websites, or posted in common areas.

Additionally, as new transitional housing units come online, there may be opportunities for property manager involvement.

Other ways property managers can help prevent homelessness include:

  • Offering tenants flexible rent payment plans if they fall behind
  • Ensuring tenants receive adequate notice before serving an eviction
  • Working with landlords to add a garden suite to their property, securing additional rental income

More housing policy headlines

Tenant advocates raise alarms as personal use evictions soar – PayProp

The Canada Rental Protection Fund is launching with just... $5M? – Storeys

Small landlords who became homeless during pandemic blame 'broken' system – CBC

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