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ORIOLE RESEARCH& DESIGNINC.

URBANANDSOCIALPOLICY, PROJECTMANAGEMENT ANDCONSULTING

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Acknowledgements

ThisstudyofroominghousesincludedinterviewswithTorontotenants,landlords,service providers,andmunicipalstaff.Theresearchteamgratefullyacknowledgesalloftheindividuals whodirectlycontributedtothisstudy.Wethankyouforsharingyourstories,youropinionsand yourexpertise. Wealsoappreciatethepracticalhelpreceivedfromhousingworkers,staffindropincentresand landlordswhointroducedustoindividualswholiveinsharedaccommodation.Wecouldnothave completedthestudyinthetimeframeavailabletouswithoutyourthoughtfulassistance.Thank youaswelltothosestaffwhohelpedadministeroneofthesurveytools. ThisstudywasguidedbyanAdvisoryCommittee,comprisedofmembersoftheRoomingHousing WorkingGroup.Theyare: JanetFairfield RosemaryFoulds HousingHelp/LandlordLiaisonSpecialist,EastYorkEastToronto FamilyResources PolicyDevelopmentOfficer,Shelter,Support&Housing AdministrationCityofToronto DistrictSupervisor,Toronto&EastYorkDistrict,MunicipalLicensing &StandardsDivisionCityofToronto Broker,BosleyRealEstateLtd., CommunityWorker,TorontoChristianResourceCentre Manager:HousingImprovementPrograms,AffordableHousing OfficeCityofToronto (Former)DevelopmentConsultant,HabitatServices

JoeMagalhaes

BillMunro PhilNazar ArnieRose

BobYamashita

Wethankeachofyouforyourtime,insightsandenthusiasmduringthecourseofthisproject. Thestudyisricherasaresultofyourparticipation. EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourcesprovidedadministrativeandmanagementsupportfor thisproject.AspecialthankyoutoEYETstaffJanetFairfield,RosaleeBenderandSandraGuerra foryourexpertassistanceduringthecourseofourwork. ProjectTeam DeborahHierlihy KaarenChrist SueHierlihy


ThisdocumentcontainsfourreportspreparedaspartofthestudySharedAccommodationinToronto: SuccessfulPracticesandOpportunitiesforChangeintheRoomingHouseSector.Thefourreportsare: ExecutiveSummaryandRecommendations Component1GoodPracticesinTorontosRoomingHouseSector Component2LearningfromTenantsinRoomingHouses Component3ThreeBusinessCases:TheEconomicsofRoomingHousesinToronto

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Allrightsreserved. EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources 947QueenSt.E Toronto,ONM4M1J9 416.686.3390 info@housingworkers.ca www.housingworkers.ca www.landlordconnect.ca June2008


EastYorkEastTorontogratefullyacknowledgestheCityofTorontoforfundingthisresearchproject.

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ORIOLE RESEARCH& DESIGNINC.


URBANANDSOCIALPOLICY, PROJECTMANAGEMENT ANDCONSULTING
SharedAccommodationinToronto:SuccessfulPracticesandOpportunitiesforChangeintheRoomingHouseSector

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ExecutiveSummaryandRecommendations
InFebruary2008,EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourcescontractedOrioleResearchand DesignInc.toundertakeastudyoftheroominghousesectorinToronto.Thestudyaimsto: raiseawarenessofthepositivecontributionroominghousesmakeaspartofthecitys housingcontinuumandtoworktowardsincreasingthesupplyoflegal,safeandaffordable housingforsinglepeoplewithlowincomes. Theprimarytenantpopulationforconsiderationinthisstudyislowincomesingleadults.To addressagapintheexistingliterature,akeyfocusofthestudyistobetterunderstandthe profileoftenantslivinginunlicensedroominghouses,theiraspirations,andtheirviewsabout wheretheylive. Thestudyhasthreemaincomponents.Theyare: (1)Aninventoryofgoodpracticesintheroominghousesector Thiscompilationincludesinitiativesthatassisttenantstomaintaintheirtenanciesinrooming housesandpersonalcareboardinghomes.Italsoprovidesexamplesofsupportsforlandlords wantingtoinvestinsafe,affordableandstablehousingforsinglepeoplewithlowincomes. (2)Aprofileofroominghousetenants Thetenantprofiledrawsondatafrommultiplesourcestodescribethepopulationofsingleadults livinginroominghouses.Specialconsiderationisgiventotheprofileoftenantslivingin unlicensedroominghousesoutsideoftheformerCityofToronto. (3)Businesscasesforthedevelopmentandoperationofroominghouses Usingactualpropertiesinthreedifferentsuburbanareasofthecity,businesscasesarepresented toillustratethecostsandrevenuesassociatedwithdevelopingandoperatingroominghouses. ThestudyconcludeswithrecommendationstotheCityofTorontoforconsiderationduringthe developmentoftheAffordableHousingFramework.OtherfindingsofthestudyareforEastYork EastTorontoandtheRoomingHouseWorkingGrouptouseinpreparingresourcesforthe roominghousesector,designinginformationandtrainingsessions,andlaunchingapublic educationandawarenesscampaignabouttheroleofroominghousesaspartofacontinuumof housingoptionsinthecity. 1.GoodPracticesintheRoomingHouseSector Aliteraturereviewcombinedwithinterviewswithtenants,landlords,municipalstaffandagency staffwerethekeyinformationsourcesforpreparingthisinventoryof20goodpracticeinitiatives. (RefertotheComponent1reportofthisstudy.) Findings: Supporttotenantsisrelatedtobothreferralservicesandongoingworkthatbuildshousing stability. SupportcanincludeofferingassistancewithID,securingasourceofincome,evictionprevention work,searchingforhousingoptions,viewingunits,meetingandliaisingwithlandlords,obtaining furnitureandpersonalitems,assistingwiththeprocessesofsettlinginandestablishingnew routines,doinghomevisits,negotiatingandmonitoringrentpaymentplans,andresolving conflictsordifficultiesastheyarise.Forsometenants,supportcanbeassimpleasfinancial: makingitpossibleforasingleadultwithlowincometoaffordhisorheraccommodationandthe othernecessitiesofliferegardlessofwhethertheyreceiveincomefromsocialassistance,CPPor
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alowwagejob.Forotherssupportmeansongoinghelpwiththetasksofdailylivingorintensive casemanagementtocopewithcomplexhealth,mentalhealth,addictionsorotherpersonal challenges. Supporttolandlordscantakeavarietyofformstorespondtothechallengesofacquiringand operatingroominghouses. Landlordsneedtobeabletoaccessfavourablefinancingandinsurancerates.Theyneedaccess tofundingtoundertakeupgradestodwellings,includingupgradesthatarerequiredtocomply withlocalfiresafetyandpropertystandardsaswellasthosethataddresstheexteriorand interiorappearanceofaproperty.Theyneedtobepartofasubsidyprogramthatbridgesthe gapbetweentheactualcostsofowningandoperatingalicensedroominghouseandwhata tenantwithalowincomecanafford. Landlordsandotherstakeholdersneedaprocesstobegintomovetowardsmorewidespread licensingofroominghousesinthecity,andzoningthatpermitsroominghousesinallofthe formermunicipalitiesthatnowmakeupToronto. Owner/operatorsofunlicensedroominghousesneedtobeabletoobtainadviceandassistance frommunicipalofficialsandengageincommunitydialogueaboutlicensingandstandards,without fearingreprisals.Ownersofunlicensedroominghousesneedaprocessinplacethatallowsthem toworktowardsbecominglicensedanddemonstratingtheircompliancewithreasonableand agreeduponstandardsforroominghouses.Todothis,roominghousesneedtobeableto operatelegallyincommunitiesacrossthecity,freefromthethreatofNIMBYorbeingclosed down.Thisrequireschangestothezoninginmanypartsofthecity. 2.ProfileofTenantsLivinginRoomingHouses Interviewswith44individualslivinginroominghousesandtheresultsofearlierstudiesformthe basisofthetenantprofile.Mosttenantsinterviewedforthisstudyliveinunlicensedrooming houses.(RefertotheComponent2reportofthisstudy.) Findings: Amajorityofroominghousetenantsaremen,butwomenappeartorepresentasizeable portionofthetenantgroupaswell. AmajorityofroominghousetenantsareCaucasianoridentifyasbeingfromBritishorAnglo ancestry.Nevertheless,thisstudyfoundthepresenceofrecentandmoresettledimmigrants aswellasCanadianbornindividualswhoidentifywithparticularethnicandculturalgroups amongthepopulationofsingleadultslivinginunlicensedroominghouses. Amajorityofroominghousetenantsappeartobemiddleagedthoughtheactualagerange foundinthisstudywas21to74years. Roominghousetenantslargelyidentifyassingle,separated,ordivorced,withfew identifyingthattheyareinalongtermrelationship. Roominghousetenantsvarygreatlyintheirlevelofeducation.Manyhavepostsecondary training. Tenantsinunlicenseddwellingsareverydiverseintermsoflifestage,healthstatus, connectionstofamilyandsupportnetworks,andinvolvementinthelabourforceand voluntarysector. Adefiningcharacteristicofindividualslivinginroominghousesistheirlowincomewhether fromsocialassistance,adisabilitypension,CPP,oralowwagejob.Lowincomesandbeing

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singlemeanthatfewhousingoptionsareavailabletothem.Oncerentispaid,thereislittle leftovertopayforfoodandothernecessities. Roominghousetenantsvaluetheaestheticqualitiesoftheiraccommodation,the locationoftheirhousingwithinneighbourhoods,andbeingpartofacommunity. Manyinvestinthesocialnetworksthatspringfromtheroominghouseitself,while othersusetheiraccommodationasabasefromwhichtopursueothergoalsand interests. Characteristicsassociatedwithtenantsatisfactionincludethedwellinghousingfiveorfewer tenantsblendingwellwithotherhousesonthestreethavingminimalinterioralterations asidefromtheadditionoflocksonbedroomdoorsandbeinglocatedinaresidential neighbourhood,closetoservicesincludingpublictransit. Satisfying,safe,smallergrouplivingofferslowincomesingleadultsanumberofpotential benefits.Theseincludeconnectionswithothers,assistancewithdaytodaylivingtasks, safetyandsecurity,andpotentialincreasedawarenessofandaccesstocommunityservices. Allofthesefactorsmayplayaroleindetermininganindividualshealthoverthecourseofa lifetime. Communityservicesprovideavarietyofsupportstoroominghousetenants,pointingtothe importanceofensuringroominghousetenantsareawareofwhatresourcesareavailableto them.Thisincludesdropincentresthatofferasinglepointofaccessforhealth,food,legal andspiritualsupports.Landlordsmaybeabletoprovideavaluablelinktosuchservicesby providinginformationtotenantsinneed. Roominghousesareaviablehousingchoiceforlowincomeadultslivingwithoutchildrenor apartner.Thisformofsharedaccommodationincludesstabletenanciesthatspanmany years.

3.ThreeBusinessCases:EconomicViabilityintheRoomingHouseSector Threescenariosfordevelopingandoperatingroominghousesillustrateopportunitiesthatcould existoutsideoftheformerCityofTorontowhereroominghousesarecurrently,generally,illegal. Threedifferenttypesofsitesareconsidered: singledetachedhome, multiplexdwellingthatformerlyoperatedasalodginghome, commercial/retailsitethatcouldberenovatedandusedforhousing. (Formoreinformation,refertotheComponent3reportofthisstudy.) Findings: Thethreebusinesscasespresentedinthisstudywerecalculatedassumingaroomrentalat $500amonth.Twoscenarios,whenpurchasedandrenovatedtocomplywithmunicipal standards,failedtoshowanattractivereturnoninvestmentwhenprojectedrevenueswere comparedtocosts. Theresultsofthebusinesscasespointtothedisparitybetweenwhatlowincomesingleswho areinminimumwagejobsoronfixedincomescanactuallyaffordandwhatitcoststo profitablyoperatearoominghouseifthepropertywaspurchased,renovatedaccordingto currentmunicipalstandardsandoperatedwithonetenantperroom. Thebusinesscasesdemonstratetheneedforrentsupplementstobeavailablefortenantsin roominghouses.Rentsupplementswouldlikelybeawelcomefinancialincentiveforrooming houseowners,giventheapparentdifficultyinrealizingahealthyreturnoninvestmentfor newlyacquiredroominghousesthatareupgradedtocomplywithmunicipalstandards.
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Asidefromconstraintsrelatedtorentalincomefromproperties,otherfactorswhichaffectthe economicviabilityofroominghousesinclude:difficultyobtainingfinancingforpurchase, conversion,renovationandoperationsdifficultyobtainingmortgageinsurancehighcostof insurancepremiumsforfire,publicliability,andpropertydamagerapidincreasesin operatingcostsinsufficientfinancialsupportfromgovernmentforindividualswithmental illnesstoprovidethecarethattheyneedincreaseinandcomplexityofgovernment regulations,especiallyrelatedtothefirecode,andinsufficientoperatingrevenuetoaffordto hirequalifiedstaff.Thesearealsobarrierstocreatingnewsupply. Additionalbarrierstoencouragingnewsupplyinclude:restrictivezoningthatprohibits roominghousesinmanyareasofthecity,reluctanceonthepartofinvestorstobecome involvedinthesectorduetothecomplexregulatoryenvironment,gentrification,ratepayer oppositiontoroominghouses,andtheabsenceofafundingprogram. Propertymanagementandtenantrelationsworkintheroominghousesectorneedtobe properlyresourced.Frontlinestaffneedtobeavailabletocollectrent,managerentarrears, dealwithtenantconflict,docleaninganddailymaintenance,paybills,arrangeforrepairs, monitorcompliancewithregulations,andrespondtoneighbourhoodissues. Fromtheperspectiveofallocatingresources,investmentinsupportedandaffordablelong termhousingforsingles,includingroominghouses,canalleviatecostandserviceusage pressuresinmoreexpensivesectorssuchasthecorrectionsandjudicialsystems,thehealth caresystem,policingandotheremergencyservices. Ifroominghousescanbeshowntoproduceamodestreturntotheinvestor/owner,thisform ofsharedaccommodationcanbedevelopedandoperatedwithrelativelylittlecosttothe public. Recommendations Elevenrecommendationsemergefromthisstudy.ThesearepresentedtotheCityofTorontofor considerationastheCitysFrameworkforAffordableHousingisbeingdeveloped. 1. Inplanningforroominghousestandards,takeintoaccounttheimpactof proposedstandardsonallstakeholders.Therecanbetensionbetweenwhat standardsaroominghousemustmeetinordertobelicensedandthepreferencesof tenants.Tenants(andarguablylandlordsandneighbours)appreciatearoominghouse thatblendsinwellwithintheneighbourhoodandinsideretainsthecharacterofafamily home. 2. Updatezoningregulationsacrossthecitytoincluderoominghousesasa permittedlanduseineachoftheformermunicipalities.Zoningthatincludes roominghousesasapermitteduseinallresidentialzonesandcommercialresidential zonesisneededtohelpprotecttheexistingstockandencouragenewsupply. 3. ImplementaprocessthatallowsroominghousestobelicensedacrosstheCityin avarietyoftypesofneighbourhoods.Identifyoptionsormodelsforcoordinatingthe activitieswhichareintegraltotheprocess.Ensuretheprocessincludesincentivesfor landlordstoeducatethemselves,worktowardsbeinglicensedandcomplywithCity standards.Widelypublicizeinitiativestoensureroominghouseoperatorsareawareof opportunitiesavailabletothem. 4. Uselicensingasaframeworkforprovidingsupportstoroominghouselandlords. Encourageownerstoobtainlicensesbylinkinglicensingwithavarietyofsupportsforthe sector.Thiscouldincludeownersoflicensedroominghouses(orthoseintheprocessof becominglicensed)beingeligibleforhousingallowances,morefavourablefinancingand insurancerates,formalpartnershipswithsupportserviceagencies,andparticipationin educationalinitiatives.Widelypublicizetheopportunitiesavailabletolandlords.
SharedAccommodationinToronto:SuccessfulPracticesandOpportunitiesforChangeintheRoomingHouseSector

5. Fundthedevelopmentandimplementationofaroominghouselandlord educationinitiative.Landlordeducation,throughthedevelopmentofappropriate workshops,curriculum,andresourceswouldaimtohelproominghouselandlordsbe betterinformedaboutallaspectsofroominghousemanagement,relevantlegislationand regulation,thesupportneedsoftenants,communityreferrals,emergencyprotocols,and howtoworkeffectivelywithmunicipalofficials.Participationinalandlordeducation initiativecouldbetiedtootherCityinitiativesthatsupporttheroominghousesector,such asRRAPandlicensing. 6. Extendhousingallowancestoincludetenantslivinginsharedaccommodation. Considerhousingallowancesasawaytobridgethedifferencebetweentheshelter allowanceportionofsocialassistanceandtheactualcostsofowningandoperatinga licensedroominghouseinToronto. 7. Ensurethatsupportservicesfortenantsreceiveadequateandsustaining funding.Anetworkofsupportsforlowincometenantsneedstorepresentafull continuumofservicesfromminimalshortterminterventionsforthemajorityofindividuals throughtoongoingandintensivecasemanagementservicesfortenantswhostruggleto maintaintheirhousingandcarryoutthetasksofdailyliving.Sufficientfundingisneeded toavoidunreasonablewaittimesandtoallowtenantstoaccessservicesforaslongas necessary. 8. Identifynewopportunitiesforlicensedroominghouseoperatorstopartnerwith existingcommunityservicestoofferonsiteservicestotenants.Partnerships betweenroominghouseownersandcommunityagenciescanbeavehicleforbringing routineandemergencysupportservicestotenantswhohavehighneedsduetocomplex mentalhealthandaddictionsissues. 9. Combatthenegativeimageofroominghousesbychangingthetermusedto refertothistypeofhousing.Formany,thetermroominghouseisassociatedwith stereotypesaboutwhatpropertieslooklike,howtheyaremaintained,whoownsthemand wholivesthere.Thesestereotypesarechallengedbythisstudyandotherrecentresearch. Describingthishousingusingneutrallanguagecanbeasteptowardsfosteringgreater communityacceptanceofthistypeofaccommodation. 10. Throughresearch,exploreandreportonthesignificanceofshared accommodationamongnewimmigrantsandrefugeesinToronto.Considertherole andvalueofroominghouseaccommodationinthesettlementpatternsofnewcomersto thecity.Examinetheroleandexperienceofrecentandearlierimmigrantsas entrepreneursintheCitysroominghousesector. 11. Establishamultistakeholderbodywithauthoritytolead,coordinateandmonitor theimplementationoftheaboverecommendations.Thisentity,withaccountability backtotheCityofToronto,wouldhaveaclearmandateandbesufficientlyresourcedto achieveitsobjectives.

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ORIOLE RESEARCH& DESIGNINC.


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TableofContents
1.Introduction .............................................................................................................. 16 1.1PreviousStudies................................................................................................. 17 1.2Methodology....................................................................................................... 17 1.3Limitations ......................................................................................................... 17 1.4StructureoftheReport ........................................................................................ 18 2.GoodPracticesintheRoomingHouseSector:TenantandLandlordPerspectives ..... 18 2.1PhysicalandLocationCharacteristicsofRoomingHouses ......................................... 18 2.1.1LocationofRoominghouse............................................................................. 18 2.1.2AestheticQualitiesandAmenitiesofRoomingHouses......................................... 19 2.1.3.AcquiringaNewProperty............................................................................... 19 2.1.4SummaryofGoodPractices:PhysicalandLocationCharacteristics....................... 20 2.2LandlordRelationshipswithTenants ...................................................................... 21 2.2.1FillingVacancies............................................................................................ 22 2.2.2Supportfortenants........................................................................................ 24 2.2.3SummaryofGoodPractices:LandlordTenantRelations...................................... 25 2.3RoomingHouseManagement................................................................................ 26 2.3.1FinancialManagement .................................................................................... 26 2.3.2Leases.......................................................................................................... 27 2.3.3Rules............................................................................................................ 27 2.3.4SafetyandSecurity........................................................................................ 28 2.3.5PropertyManagement.................................................................................... 28 2.3.6SummaryofGoodPractices:RoomingHouseManagement................................. 30 2.4RoomingHouseRegulationandSectorSupport....................................................... 30 2.4.1LicensingandRegulation................................................................................ 30 2.4.2RoomingHouseSectorEducation..................................................................... 31 2.4.3TheRoleofHousingWorkers........................................................................... 31 2.4.4OtherSourcesofSupportfortheSector........................................................... 33 2.4.5Whatsinaname?......................................................................................... 33 2.4.6SummaryofGoodPractices:RoomingHouseRegulationandSectorSupport........ 33 3.SupportforRoomingHouseTenantsandLandlords:AnInventoryofInitiatives...... 34 4.SummaryandRecommendations .............................................................................. 55 5.References ................................................................................................................ 57 ListofTables Table1 ........................................................................................................................... 35

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SharedAccommodationinToronto:SuccessfulPracticesand OpportunitiesforChangeintheRoomingHouseSector Component1:GoodPracticesinTorontos RoomingHouseSector 1.Introduction


InFebruary2008,EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourcescontractedOrioleResearchand DesignInc.toundertakeastudyoftheroominghousesectorinToronto.Thegoalofthestudyis to: raiseawarenessofthepositivecontributionroominghousesmakeaspartofthecitys housingcontinuumandtoworktowardsincreasingthesupplyoflegal,safeandaffordable 1 housingforsinglepeoplewithlowincomes. Inthisstudy,thetermroominghousereferstoalicensedorunlicensedbuildingwithrooms intendedtobeusedasaccommodationbythreeormoretenantsandinwhichabathroomor kitchen,ataminimum,issharedbetweentenants.Avarietyofaccommodationsaredescribedin asimilarway.Theseinclude:lodginghouses,boardinghouses,andpersonalcarehomes.For many,thetermroominghousehasanegativeconnotationandissurroundedwithinaccurate stereotypes(Campsie1995).Amoreneutraltermwouldarguablybesharedaccommodation. Theprimarytenantpopulationforconsiderationinthisstudyislowincomesingleadults.We makethisdistinctionbecauseroominghousesandotherformsofsharedlivingarealsothe housingofchoiceofmanypostsecondarystudents.Studentsexperiencesofshared accommodationareexcludedfromthisstudyasthistenantpopulationforthemostpartuses sharedlivingasatemporarystrategywhileinschool.Inaddition,studentsarepartofnetworks ofsupportthroughtheircollege,university,andoftenfamily.Thistypeofsupportisnotavailable tomostlowincomesingleadultsand,incontrast, theyareheavilyconstrainedbypovertyinthe housingchoicesthatareavailabletothemwithlittlechanceofsignificantorrapidupward mobility. Theprojectisdividedintofivecomponents.Theyare: (1)Documentgoodpracticesintheroominghousesector,highlightinginitiativesto: a)Assisttenantstomaintaintheirtenanciesinroominghousesandpersonalcare boardinghomesand, b)Supportlandlordstoinvestinsafe,affordableandstablehousingforsinglepeople withlowincomes. (2)Compileaprofileofroominghousetenantsandtheirneedsthroughinterviewsanda reviewofrecentliteratureontheroominghousesector. (3)Prepareabusinesscasethatdocumentsthecostsofcreatingroominghousesfromthe existingsuburbanhousingstockcomparedwiththecostsofprovidingtemporaryshelter andemergencyservicesandthecostsofinvestigationsintoillegalunits. (4)FormulaterecommendationstotheCityofTorontosAffordableHousingFramework.

ExcerptedfromRoomingHouseWorkingGroupResearchProposalHousingforSinglePeople withLowIncomes,November15,2007.
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(5)Presentthefindingsoftheresearchatacommunitymeetingofstakeholdershostedby theRoomingHouseWorkingGroup. ThisreportforComponent1oftheprojectpresentsaninventoryofgoodpracticesintherooming housesector.ItalsopresentsasetofrecommendationsfortheCityofTorontoindevelopingthe AffordableHousingFramework.

1.1 PreviousStudies
Thisstudygoesbeyondearlierpublishedandunpublishedstudiesinthatitseekstoexplicitly includetheviewsoftenantsinunlicensedroominghousesinthediscussionofgoodpracticesin thesector.ThetenantexperiencesfromareasofTorontowheretherearenolicensingprovisions forroominghousesareofparticularinterest.ThisincludestheformermunicipalitiesofNorth York,Scarborough,York,EastYorkandpartsofEtobicoke. TheresultsofthisresearchwillbeusedbytheRoomingHouseWorkingGrouptopromote increasedawarenessofroominghousesasaviablehousingchoicefortensofthousandsoflow incomeTorontonianswhileadvocatingforrecognitionoftheroominghousesectorintheCityof TorontosAffordableHousingFramework.

1.2Methodology
Thisinventoryofgoodpracticeswascompiledusinginformationcomingfromavarietyofsources, including:
2 (1)Informationreportedinpreviousstudiesaboutroominghouses

(2)Datacollectedthroughasurveyoftenantsinunlicensedroominghouses (3)Datacollectedthroughinterviewswithlandlords,includingowner/operatorsofboarding homesaswellaslicensedandunlicensedroominghouses (4)KeyinformantinterviewswithmembersoftheResearchAdvisoryCommitteeforthisproject, Citystaffandagencypersonnelresponsibleforservicesandprogramswhichsupporttherooming housesectorand (5)Areviewofdocumentationoninitiativesthatsupportroomingandboardinghousetenants andlandlord/owners.

1.3Limitations
Thisreportpresentsamyriadofideasaboutgoodpracticesinoperatingroominghousesand supportingthetenantswholiveinthem.Theideascomefromvarioussources,includingtenants, landlordsandserviceproviders.Inthefollowingpagesthegoodpracticeideasaregroupedby theme,butdonotconstituteanexhaustivelistofallpossiblebestpracticesthatarerelevantto thissector.TheAdvisoryCommitteeforthisproject,comprisedofroomingandboardinghome operators,Citystaff,serviceprovidersandrepresentativesofthehousinghelpsectorreviewed thedraftreportandprovidedadditionalinputandanalysis.Nootherprocessforevaluatingthe meritofparticularideaswasundertakenaspartofthisproject.

Includes:Tremblayetal.2007SocialDataResearchLtd2006SocialHousingStrategists 2004a&bEnergyPathwaysInc.1995CityofToronto1992StarrGroupInc.2000Campsie 1994Steinetal.1994StarrGroupInc.2001.

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1.4StructureoftheReport
Theremainderofthisreportisdividedintothreesections.Thenextsection(Section2)presents tenantandlandlordviewsongoodpracticesintheroominghousesector.Thisdiscussionis enhancedbyfindingsfromearlierstudies. Section3presentsprofilesof20programs,servicesandinitiativesthataredesignedtosupport tenantsorlandlord/operatorsofroominghouses.Afewofthesearepastinitiativeswhich demonstratedinnovativesupportsforthesectorandmanyareinitiativescurrentlyunderway. Section4isasummarydiscussionandrecommendationstoconcludethisreport.

2.GoodPracticesintheRoomingHouseSector:Tenantand LandlordPerspectives
Thisdiscussionofgoodpracticesintheroominghousesectorspansfourmainthemes: Physicalandlocationcharacteristicsofroominghouses Landlordandtenantrelations Roominghousemanagement Roominghouseregulationandsectorsupport.

Interviewswithtenantsandlandlordsaswellasareviewofearlierstudiesarethesourcesofdata forthisdiscussion.Itisimportanttonotethatinterviewswithlandlordsincludedboth owner/operatorsofroominghousesandboardinghomes.Whiletheseformsofaccommodation aresimilarinthatthetenantorresidentrentsaroomandissharingotheramenities,asignificant differencebetweenthemisthelevelofsupportandservicesassociatedwiththem.Withboarding homes,roomandboardareincludedintherent.Theresidentsreceiveallmeals,housekeeping servicesandsometimeslaundryservices.Thehomesaretypicallystaffed24hoursaday.The boardinghomemayormaynotbelinkedwithasupportserviceagencysuchasHabitatServices. Insomeboardinghomes,theremaybetworesidentstoaroom. Roominghousestypicallyofferthetenantaprivateorsharedroomanduseofsharedamenities suchaskitchenand/orbathroom.Somelicensedroominghousesarelinkedtoasupportservice agency,butmostarenot.Theservicesprovidedonsitearenotformalizedorasextensiveas withboardinghomes. Thedistinctionsbetweencommentsreceivedfromroominghouseversusboardinghomeowners arenotedinthefollowingdiscussionofgoodpracticesinthesector.

2.1PhysicalandLocation CharacteristicsofRoomingHouses
Thefollowingoutlinesanumberofconsiderationsandgoodpracticesrelatedtothelocationof roominghouses,theirphysicalqualitiesandamenities,andacquisition.

2.1.1 LocationofRoominghouse
Oursurveyfoundthatroominghousetenantsvaluemanyattributesoftheneighbourhoodswhere theylive.Thisincludeseasyaccesstogrocerystores,pharmaciesandservicessuchaslibraries, TTC,andfoodbanks.Italsoincludeslivinginneighbourhoodswheretherearefamiliesand neighbourswhosefamilieshavelivedintheareaforgenerations. Tenantslivingoutsideofthedowntowncoredescribethevalueoflivinginaresidentialarea.This canbeassociatedwithfeelingsofsafetyduringthedayandnightandadesiretoliveawayfrom downtown.Itisalsolinkedwithlivinginaneighbourhoodofwellmaintainedhousesinsteadof largehousingprojects.Tenantpreferencesonthelocationofroominghousessuggestthe benefitofpermittingroominghousesinoradjacenttoresidentialareaswithincloseproximityto retailandcommunityservices,includingpublictransit.
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2.1.2AestheticQualitiesandAmenitiesofRoomingHouses
Tenantssharedtheirviewsonwhattheylikedabouttheirroominghouse.Thefollowingaesthetic qualitiesofsomeroominghouseswerementioned: Beingindistinguishablefromothersinglefamilyhomesintheneighbourhood Notbeingconvertedontheinsideasidefromlocksonthebedroomdoors Havingthelookandfeelofafamilyhome Beingwellmaintained Pleasantlandscaping.

Agoodpractice,then,appearstobeavoidinghavinganinstitutionalfeelintheroominghouse andtoworkathavingthehouseblendinwellwithotherdwellingsintheneighbourhood. Inoursurveyandinpreviousstudies,tenantsatisfactionwiththeiraccommodationappearstobe linkedtohowmanyresidentsshareabathroomorkitchen.Theidealreportedintheliterature andbysomelandlordsisforeachtenanttohaveanensuitebathroomorfortheroominghouse totaketheformofaSingleRoomOccupancy(SRO)buildingwhereeachtenanthasherorhis ownkitchenandbathroominasmallselfcontainedunit. Inroominghouseswherekitchenandbathroomsareshared,fiveorfewerresidentssharingthese facilitieswasnotedasagoodpractice.Inourstudy,whenroominghouseshadmorethanfive tenants,thehomewasusuallydescribedasbeingdividedintotwoorthreefloorswithtenants socializingandsharingfacilitiesprimarilywiththoselivingonthesamefloor.Inthisway,amid sizedroominghousecouldfeellikeasmallerroominghousebecausetenantswereonlysharing theamenitiesontheirfloorwithafewpeople.Sharingwithfewerpeoplehasbeenassociated withgreateroverallsatisfactionandhealthinotherstudies. Tenantsinourstudynotedlesswearandtearonthehouse,lesstensionandfewerproblemswith thingsbeingstolenwhensharingwithasmallernumberofpeople. Inthinkingaboutthesizeofroominghouses,thesocialnetworksthatdevelopamongtenantsare anotherconsideration.Forsome,thesocialconnectionsarehighlyvaluedandareareason roomersaresatisfiedwiththeirhousing.Positiveconnectionswithotherscanresultinhelpwith thetasksofdailyliving,moreinformationaboutcommunityservicesandsupports,andgreater feelingsofsafetyandsecurity. Earlierstudiesbasedoninterviewstenantsnotedthefollowingamenitiesasbeinghelpfulin roominghouses:laundry,furniture,internetaccess,phoneline,fridgeforeachtenant,secure bicycleparkingandacommonroom(SHS2004aSocialDataResearch2006). Arecommendedpracticeinthesectoristohaveonlyonetenantperbedroom.Issuesthatcreate tensioninsharedaccommodation,suchasdifferentstandardsofcleanliness,alackofprivacy, notfeelingsafeandsecure,andinterpersonalconflictareexacerbatedwhenroomsaredouble occupancy.

2.1.3.AcquiringaNewProperty
Landlordsinoursurveyreportedanumberofwaysthattheyassesstheviabilityofapotential roominghouseproperty.Considerationisgivento: Purchaseandrenovationcosts Thelayoutofthebuilding,thenumberofpeoplewhowouldoccupyit,theamountof personalspaceeachtenantwouldhaveandtheextentofrenovationsrequired ThecostsofconversiongiventherentlevelsthatareaffordedbyOWandODSP recipients Comparisonoffinancialswithotherproperties

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Whetherthebasementhasbeenretrofittedandincludesaseparateentranceandwhether thereisaseparateentrancetothesecondfloor Numberofbathroomsandevidencethatthehouseformerlycontainedmorethanone kitchenand, ProximitytoTTC. Landlordstoldustheywantapropertyinalocationthatwillappreciateinvalueovertime.One landlordcommentedthathewillnotbuyanewhouseinasubdivision. Previousstudieshavedocumentedthedifficultiesinsecuringaffordablefinancingforrooming housesandCMHCspracticeofdenyingmortgageinsuranceonlicensedroominghouses(Social DataResearch2006SHS2004a).Inthepresentstudy,thestrategiesmentionedbylandlordsfor financingroominghousesincludedusingtheequityintheirownhomeoranotherpropertythey owned,usingconventionalmortgages,andhavingprivateinvestors. Priortopurchasingaproperty,somelandlordstakestepstoconfirmthezoningandlegaluseof thepropertybycontactingtheCity,havingtheirownlawyerinvestigate,checkingtoseeifthere areanyoutstandingworkordersontheproperty,assessingwhetherearlierrenovationswere legalordonewithoutapermit,andconductingresearchbyinternettodeterminezoningand informationonpreviousowners. Onelandlordoperatinginajurisdictionwheretherearenoprovisionsforlicensingcommented thathewillonlybuypropertiesinareaswhereheknowsthatotherroominghousesexist.

2.1.4SummaryofGoodPractices:PhysicalandLocationCharacteristics
Fromtheviewpointoftenants,goodpracticesidentifiedinthisstudyrelatedtothelocationof roominghousesinclude: BeingclosetoamenitiessuchasTTC,affordablegrocerystores,apharmacyandservices suchaslibrariesandfoodbanks Havingroominghousessituatedthroughoutthecity,notjustindowntownlocations,and notalwaysnearlargelowincomehousingdevelopments Beingpartofresidentialneighbourhoodsorneighbourhoodsthataremixeduse (commercialandresidential). Thedesirablephysicalcharacteristicsofroominghousesmentionedbytenantsinthisstudy include: Thedwellingbeingindistinguishablefromotherhousesintheneighbourhood Minimalalterationstotheinsideofthehouse,otherthanlocksonbedroomdoors Wellmaintainedhouseandproperty Eachresidenthavinghisorherownroom Organizedsothatfiveorfewerresidentsaresharingabathroomorkitchen,orhavinga bathroomandminimalcookingfacilitieslocatedineachroom.

Landlordsidentifiedgoodpracticesrelatedtoacquiringanewproperty.Theseincluded: Assessingconversioncostsandcomparingcoststotherentlevelaffordedbytenantson OWorODSP Comparingcostsandpotentialrevenuebetweenproperties Investigatingzoningandapplicablebylawsforthearea,determiningifpriorrenovations tothedwellingwerelegal,andcheckingforanyoutstandingworkordersontheproperty.

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2.2LandlordRelationshipswithTenants
Inourstudybothtenantsandlandlordsofferedideasabouthowtoensurethebestpossible landlordandtenantrelationshipsintheroominghousesector.Tenantstoldusthatlandlordsneed to: Exercisecommoncourtesywheninteractingwithtenants Respectprivacyandnotgointoroomswithoutpermissionornotice Addressmaintenanceandotherissuesastheycomeup,includingdifficultiesbetween tenants Maintaincalmandpredictableinteractionswithtenantsand, Haveaknowledgeofgoodbusinesspracticesincludingtheabilitytoscreentenants. Withrespecttomaintainingproperties,tenantssuggestedthatlandlordsshouldkeepthingsas theywouldintheirownhomes,asentimentalsoechoedbyanoperatorofaboardinghome.A tenantremarkedthatbykeepingapropertyingoodshape,tenantswonthavereasonsto complainabouttheplace. Theideathatgoodlandlordsareoneswhocareabouttheirtenantscameupindifferentways. WhenImethim,hesatdownwithme.ItoldhimwhatIhadgonethrough, andhegavetheroomtomeonthespot.Hewasverykind. Theactionsofonelandlordwhowaspartofthehomecultureweredescribedthisway: Inthemorning,wheneveryoneisgoingtowork,hedsayImcooking dinnertonight,doesanyonewantanythingspecific?Othertimes,ifhe didntwanttocookorhaveanyonemessuphiskitchen,hewouldsayIm orderingin,whoisin? Interviewswithroominghousetenantsmentionedspecificwaysthatlandlordsbuiltpositiveand caringrelationswiththeirtenants.Onelandlordwasnotedtobegayfriendly,severalotherswere knowntogiveoutgiftsatChristmas,andothersorganizedspecialoutings.Onelandlord recognizedtheimportanceofsocialinteractionandorganizedchurchservices,foodandmusic. Sometenantsdescribedasenseofgiveandtakebetweenthemselvesandtheirlandlordas thesequotessuggest: Ihelpthelandlordshovelsometimes,heappreciatesthat,heisalittlebit older,soitshardonhim.Everyonehelps. Itsnice,wheneveryonegets togethertohelp. IfImsick,hewillgivemesoupandallthat.Hewilldothatforeverybody. IgavehimanicebottleatChristmastime.Asathankyou. Whenaskedaboutmaintaininggoodrelationshipswithtenants,landlordsofferedthefollowing tips: Haverespectforwhothetenantsare:theyneedasenseofidentity Makesurealltenantsknowwhoyouareandbereadytolistentotheirconcernsevenif youarebusy.Dontloseyourcoolorbetoostrict.Validatetheirconcerns,eveniftheyare delusional ProvidecableTVforeachtenant:just1TVinthelivingroomcausesproblems Invitetenantstocontributetoredecoratingorgardeningactivities.

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Anumberoflandlordsspokeabouttheimportanceofsocialinteractionandmutualsupportin theirroomingorboardinghome.Thisexamplecomesfromtheowner/operatorofaboarding house: Theboardinghouseistheirhome.Theybuildrelationshipswithotherpeople inthehomewhobecometheirfamily.Wehavelongtermstaffandresidents alsobuildrelationshipswiththem. Tenantsandlandlordsalikevaluelongtermtenancies.Thefollowingisfromatenantwhohad livedinseveralroominghouses: InthisplacewhereIamnow,itslongterm.Theseguyshavebeenhere longer,oneguyhasbeenherefiveyears,theotherguyhasbeenhere sevenyears.ButtheoneIwasinbeforeitwasarevolvingdoor.Totally different.Theywouldcomeandgo.Itsbetterwhentheystay,yougetto knowtheirquirksandtheirgoodhabitsandbadhabitsandiftheyarent tolerable,thenyougottomove.Longtermisbetter.Youarentworried aboutyourstuff. InterviewswithtenantsandlandlordsinMontreal,VancouverandOttawapointedtostrategiesfor strengtheninglandlordandtenantrelationships.Agoodpracticeforlandlordsistoworkat diffusingtensionsandbepreparedtohavehandsoninvolvementwiththetenants.Landlords whohaveagoodknowledgeofsocialandhealthservicesandhaverelationshipswithkeyservice agenciescanfeelmoreequippedtoworkwiththeirtenants(SocialDataResearch2006). Landlordshousingindividualsfromtheirownethnicorculturalbackgroundmayexperience greateraffinitywiththeirtenants.Thismayalsomeanthatthelandlordisabletospeaktothe tenantinhisorhernativedialectorlanguage.

2.2.1FillingVacancies
Whentenantsareaskedtoidentifygoodpracticesinroominghouses,manymentiontheareaof tenantselection,urginglandlordstoscreenapplicantscarefully,askforreferencesandIDand findouthowoftenthepersonhasmoved.Tenantsalsourgelandlordsnottoshyawayfrom applicantsonOWbecausetherentisguaranteed.Throughtenantsweheardaboutanumberof landlordpracticeswhenfillingunits.Oneexamplewasalandlordwholetstenantsknowwhenhe isinterviewingpotentialroommatessothatexistingtenantscanmeettheapplicants. Acommonexperiencewaslandlordsfillingtheunitsbywordofmouthorthroughpeoplethat theypersonallyknew.Onetenantdescribeditthisway: Igottoknowthelandlordthroughafriend,ataBBQ.Ididsomeworkfor him,andhetoldmeifIeverneededaroom,herentedoutfourofthe rooms.Hesaidmostofhistenantslastedacoupleofyears,thisisnota flophouse.ThatshowIfoundit. Atenantdescribedhislandlordasagoodjudgeofcharacterandwiththeabilitytosensewho wouldlikeeachother: Shehadapersonaboutmyage(21)shethoughtwewouldgetalong,and shebroughthimover,andwegotalonggreatsoshehasreallygood judgmentofcharacter.Whofitstogether,whowillgogood.Ifyoucant getalongthere,shehasotherroomsforyoutoo,inotherplaces. Theissueofproperlyscreeningprospectivetenantswasraisedbylandlordsandtenantsalike. Landlordsfeelitisimportanttoprotectexistingtenantsfromnewtenantswhowouldbring destructivebehavioursintothehouse(suchasdrugdealing)andtolookforagoodfitbetweena
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newtenantandtheexistingones.Activitiestosupportthelandlordsscreeningofapplicants included: Talkingtotheapplicants AskingforID(driverslicense,OHIPcard,birthcertificate)and, Askingfor2or3references,includingfromanemployerorOWworker,afamilymember, aformerlandlordorafriendtheyhadwhileinashelter.

Acommonpracticeforlandlordsistohouseindividualswhoarereferredbyexistingtenants.This waytheirtenantisprovidingthereference.Tenantswhoaresatisfiedwiththeirhousingwillonly refersomeonewhotheythinkwillbeagoodfit.Theyareunwillingtojeopardizetheirgood rapportwiththelandlord. Onelandlordspecificallynotedthatappearanceisnotafactorheconsiderswhenscreening applicants.Othersnotedthatagoodpracticeistoobtainareferencefromahousingworkerwho knowssomethingabouttheindividualsbackground,suchasifthepersonisdoingdrugsorhas hadmanypreviousevictions. Boardinghouseownersexplainedthattheyneedfulldisclosurefromtheapplicantsmentalhealth workeranddoctorinordertoassesssuitabilityfortheirhome.Oneownerdoesnothouseanyone withdrugabuseissuesastheyneedmoresupportandsupervisionthanshecanprovide,but thosewithpsychiatricissuesarewelcome. Anotherboardinghomeoperatorlooksatwhethertheapplicanthassupportservicesalreadyin place.Shealsoconsiderswhethertheindividualhashadissueswithaggressioninthepasttwo years,howtheyreacttocertainstressors,andhowagitatedtheyarefromtheoutset. Atoneboardinghomeinthisstudy,thelandlordasksapplicantstospendaweekendatthehouse totryitout.Iftheyseetheplace,likebeingthereandlikethefood,thenatenancycanbegin. Recruiting,screeningandselectingapplicantsforsharedaccommodationisanareaofrooming housemanagementthattenantspointedtowhenaskedtocommentongoodpracticesinthe sector.Itisalsoanareawherelandlordsdevelopasetofpracticesthattheyfollowtofind potentialtenantsandassesstheirsuitability.Thiscanincludewordofmouthadvertising,lawn signs,oradsinnewspapersandwithonlineresources,suchaslandlordconnect.ca.Itmayinclude anapplicationform,aninterview,andtheopportunitytomeetotherindividualslivinginthe house.Itmayalsoincludetheapplicantagreeingtoabidebyhouserulesand/orsigningarental agreement.Forsomelandlords,fillingavacancymeanshavinganapplicantdoatrialstayinthe home. Anotherkeyconsiderationinfillingvacanciesintheroominghousesectoristheroleof communityagencieswhoprovidehousingsearchassistancetolowincomeindividuals.In Toronto,housinghelpworkersspecializeinhousingsearchassistanceandworkinavarietyof settingsincludinghousinghelpcentres,shelters,dropincentres,andcommunitycentres.Direct connectionsbetweenhousinghelpworkersandroominghouselandlordsarehighlyvaluedby manyhousinghelpagencies.Thesepersonalconnectionsmeanthatsingleadultswhoareclients ofhousinghelpagenciescanbeplacedmorequicklyinhousingtheycanaffordandthehousing helpworkercanliaisewithlandlordstoidentifyindividualswhomaybesuitabletenantsfora particulardwelling. Housinghelpworkersprovidedifferenttypesofassistancetoclientsdependingontheirneed. Thisassistancecanincludehelpidentifyingvacanciesandcontactinglandlordsaccompaniment toviewunitsandhelpwithfillingoutforms.Housingfollowupworkersprovidesupportto individualsandfamilieswhohavebeenrecentlyhoused,inordertohelpthemadjustandadaptin theirnewsurroundingsandliaisewithlandlordsifconcernsarise.

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2.2.2Supportfortenants
ThetenantpopulationlivinginroominghousesinTorontoisverydiverse.Atoneendofthe spectrumthereareindividualswhoareintheworkforcefulltimeandwhosimplyrequiresafe, affordable,andwellmaintainedaccommodation.Attheotherendofthespectrum,thereare individualswithcomplexmentalhealthandaddictionsissues,requiringnotonlysafeand affordablehousing,butalsoasupportnetworkthatcanassistthemwiththetasksandchallenges ofdailylivingandhelpthemfulfilltheirresponsibilitiesasatenant. OnsiteSupportProvidedbyLandlords Intheroominghousesector,goodpracticesrelatedtotenantsupportincludeavarietyofonsite andoffsiteopportunities.Inourinterviewswithtenants,somementionedtheavailabilityof informalbutonsitesupportfromlandlords,suchashelpwithbudgetingoraccessingservices. Tenantswhoweresatisfiedwiththeirhousingoftendescribedlandlordswhowereprovidingboth emotionalandpracticalsupportinassistingthemaccessservicesorasourceofincome.A numberoftenantsnotedhowimportantitwasforpeoplewithmentalhealthandaddictions challengestohaveassistanceandsupportwiththeirhousing. Tenantsalsospokeabouthavingthelandlordshelpindealingwithinterpersonaltensions. Problemswithothertenantswasthemostoftencitedreasoninourtenantsurveyforleaving onesformeraccommodation.Agoodpracticeforlandlordsistoquicklyrespondtoproblems betweentenantsthatheorshehearsabout.Astructureforconflictresolutionwasdescribedby onetenantinthestudy: Wehaveameetingonceamonth,andifanythingiswrongorsomeoneis botheringyou,itgetsputonthetable.Noonelivesonsitebutwehavea fulltimeworkerwecancallinasecond. Oneintervieweedescribedaroominghousewherethelandlordlivedonsite,andheandall tenantsweregoingtoAA: ThelandlordhadAAexperience,andranaprograminwhichpeoplewho wereusinglivedupstairs,peoplewhowerenotliveddownstairs.Itwasa cleanenvironment,intermsofnodrugs.Eventheonesupstairshad respectfortheonesdownstairs.Butdontforget,thelandlordwasabig guy.WewereallgoingtomeetingsNA,AAorwhereveryouweregoing. Wewouldallgotogetherinhistruck. Agoodpracticeisforlandlordstohaveknowledgeofcommunityservicesandbeabletorefer tenantstooutsidesourcesforparticularphysicalandmentalhealthneeds.Thiswouldalsoinclude referralstofoodbanks. Roominghouselandlordsmentionedthefollowingkindsofsupportsthattheyprovidetotenants: Meals,furniture,potsandpans,housekeepingservices Information,advice,referralstocommunityorganizationsincludingfoodbanksand, Emotionalorspiritualsupport. Notsurprisingly,boardinghouseoperatorsdescribedawiderangeofsupportstheyprovideto tenantsincluding: Meals,housekeeping,andlaundry Takingresidentstoclinics,doctorsappointments Helpingtoensureresidentsfollowdoctorsorders Offeringpracticalhelptoresidentswhentheyareinhospitaland

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Ensuringeachresidentisconnectedtoamentalhealthproviderwhowillmeetthemin theirhome. OnsiteSupportsProvidedbyCommunityAgencies Earlierstudiesandinterviewswithboardinghomeownersnotethevalueofsupportworkers visitingtenantsintheirhomesonaregularbasis.Aboardinghomeoperatorputitthisway: Avoidhavingtheclientgotoaninstitutionfortreatment.Whenworkers seeclientsintheirownenvironment,theycancatchthingsthatmaybe problematicfaster.Thismeansbetterneedsassessmenttoo. Aboardinghomeoperatornotedthebenefitofthesubsidyandsupportservicesforherhomes thatarearesultofhercontractwithHabitatServices(profiledelsewhereinthisreport).Shehas aliaisonworkerandmentalhealthworkersworkingonsitedailythroughHabitatorCOTA providingongoingsupporttoresidentswithcomplexmentalhealthneeds.HabitatServicesworks inconjunctionwithlicensedboardinghomesandsomeroominghousesandisamodelthat supportslongtermpartnershipsbetweenprivatesectorowner/operatorsandcommunity agencies.TheHabitatmodelmaybeastrategytoexpanduponinthefutureasawayofworking withlandlordstomaintainaccommodationtoacceptedstandardsandensurehighneedtenants areadequatelysupported. OffsiteSupports Earlierreportsonappropriateinterventionstosupportroominghousetenantsandlandlordsnote theuseofoffsitesupportssuchasmediationservices.Communitymediationserviceswillwork directlywithtenantsandlandlordswhoareindispute.Thegoalofmediationistohelpboth partiesinadisputefocusontheissuesthatareattherootoftheconflictandidentifysolutions thatareworkabletobothsides.Theprocessrecognizesthatbothpartiesinadisputehaverights andresponsibilitiesaswellasneedsandinterests.Communitymediationisacosteffective alternativetoresolvingconflictswithoutinvolvingthepolice,legalsystemortheLandlordand TenantBoard.InToronto,somehousinghelpcentresprovidemediationservicesforlandlordsand tenants,asdoesSt.StephensCommunityHouse. Landlordconnect.camediatesbetweenhousing workersandroominghouselandlordswhoaremembersofthisservice.Thepurposehereisto resolveconcernswiththegoalofpreventinghomelessnessamongtenantsinshared accommodationandimprovingtheaccommodationthatisavailabletolowincomesinglesinthe city. (SeeMediationservicesprofiledelsewhereinthisreport.) Dropincentresareanotheroffsiteservicethatsupportsroominghousetenants.Theseare locatedindifferentareasofthecityandofferlowincomeindividualsaplacetosocialize,do laundry,accesscomputersandphone,haveameal,seeksupportforpersonalgoalsorproblems, andexperienceasenseofcommunity.(Seeprofileelsewhereinthisreport.) Lastly,anumberofsupportswerementionedbyboardinghomeownersforuseinemergency situations: Theresidentsmentalhealthworker Theresidentsdoctor Theresidentsfamily Psychiatricdoctoratthelocalhospitaland Thehospitalwhena24hoursadaysuicidewatchisneeded.

2.2.3SummaryofGoodPractices:LandlordTenantRelations
Tenantsandlandlordsinthisstudyprovidednumerousexamplesofgoodpracticestocreate positiverelationsbetweenownersandresidents.Theseincludedownerstreatingtenantswith
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respect,courtesyandprofessionalism,andabidingbyprovisionsoftheResidentialTenanciesAct withrespecttonotenteringprivateroomswithoutpermission.Othergoodpracticesincludedthe landlordhavingasolidknowledgeofbusinesspracticesandbeingwillingtobehandsonwith tenantstohelpdiffusetensionsorlistentoconcerns.Bothtenantsandlandlordsdescribed reciprocalorgiveandtakerelationshipsasamonggoodpracticestoaimforinthesector. Carefulscreeningofpotentialnewtenantswasmentionedbylandlordsandtenantsinthisstudy. Formanylandlords,theirownnetworkingoracceptingareferralfromanexistingtenantaregood practicesinfillingvacancies.Anothergoodpracticeistoliaisewithahousingworkerwhoknows thelandlordandtheroominghousetoidentifyanapplicantwhowouldfitinwellwiththeexisting tenants. Thisstudyreinforcesthenotionthatawidespectrumofsingleadultsmakearoominghousetheir home.Someoftheseareintheworkforcefullorparttime,othersareemploymentready,others stillareseniorsoronadisabilitypension,andmanyareonsocialassistance.(Referto Component2ofthestudyforamoredetaileddiscussionofroominghousetenants).Thereis amplerecognitioninearlierstudiesandagaininthisstudythatsomeroominghousetenantsand somelandlordsneedtobeabletoaccesscommunitysupportsthatareaimedatmeetingthe individualneedsoftenants.Clearly,sometenantshavenoneedforonoroffsitesupportsto helpthemkeeptheirhousingormoveforwardwiththeiraspirations.Others,however,needshort orlongertermfinancialassistance.Othersstillneedavarietyofinterventionsthatmaybeshort term,sporadicoronanemergencybasis,orlongtermandongoing.Withoutaccesstothevariety ofsupportstouchedoninthisreport,manylowincomesingles,includingthosewhoareliving withcomplexmentalhealthoraddictionsissuesareunabletobesuccessfullyhousedand remainedhoused.

2.3RoomingHouseManagement
Anumberofgoodpracticesemergefromthisstudyrelatedtofinancialmanagement,leasesand rules,andpropertymanagement.

2.3.1 FinancialManagement
PayDirectwasmentionedbybothlandlordsandtenantsinterviewedforthisstudyasagood practice. PayDirectisapolicywithintheOntarioWorksincomesupportprogramthatindicates, undercertainconditions,fundssuchasrentalpaymentscanbetransmitteddirectlytoalandlord onbehalfofatenantonamonthlybasis. OnetenantexplainedthebenefitofPayDirectthis way: ThatwayIdonthavetoworryaboutit.Therearenourgesorscrewupsit goesrighttohim[thelandlord]andIknowitsthere. WhenthePayDirectprocessbreaksdownorfailstobesetupaccordingtoexpectations, therearerepercussionsintermsoftenancies,relationshipsoftrustbetweenhousing workers,landlordsandtenants,andsystemcosts.PayDirectisanareaofservicewhere manyfeelthatthereisroomforimprovementeventhoughrespondentsinthisstudynote itasgoodpractice. AnalternativetoPayDirectisthelandlordbeingavailableandwillingtocollecttherent whenthetenanthasit.Afewtenantsmentionedthatagoodpracticeistobeflexible aboutrentpaymentsby,forexample,allowingagraceperiodorallowingrenttobepaidin installments. Afewtenantsmentionedthepaymentoflastmonthsrent.Forsomenothavingtopay lastmonthsrentwasafactorintheirdecisiontomoveoffthestreetandintohousing. Othersappreciatedalandlordbeingabletobeflexibleaboutthelastmonthsrentdeposit andallowingittobepaidovertime.ItisusefulforlandlordstoknowthatOWandODSP willhelpatenantwithfirstandlastmonthsrentonceeverytwoyears.

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Intalkingtoroominghouselandlords,wewereprovidedwithexamplesofroominghouserents rangingfrom$350to$500.Therentincludedheat,hydroandwaterandinafewcasesincluded basiccableinthehouseorineveryroom.Therentvariedaccordingtothesizeoftheroomorthe numberoftenantssharingthebathroomandkitchen. Inboardinghousestherentweheardaboutrangedfrom$600to$1,200perperson,depending onwhethertheroomissharedornot,orhasanensuitebathroom.RentincludedcableTV,four mealsperday,laundrydoneweekly,linenschangedweekly,anddailycleaning. Previousstudiesabouttheroominghousesectornotedthatagoodpracticeisforlandlordstobe abletoaccessasubsidythatcanbeputtowardsoperatingcosts.Landlordsinthesectorare typicallygivingtheirtimeatnocharge.Manyroomingandboardinghomesonlybreakevenor arelosingmoney.LandlordsneedtokeeprentsinlinewithwhatsingleswhoareonOWand ODSPcanafford.Increasedrevenuewouldallowtheroomingorboardinghouseoperatortohire experiencedstaff,enhanceprogrammingforresidents,andundertakecapitalimprovements. Withthestatusquoandrisingpropertyvalues,someoperatorsareintermittentlytemptedtosell andgetoutofthebusiness. Theissueofinsuranceintheroominghousesectorwasraisedduringthisstudy.Fromearlier Torontostudies,itisunclearwhetheralloperatorscarryfireandpropertyinsurance.Regardless, adequateinsurancecoverageisrecognizedasagoodpracticeandanimportantprotectionfor landlords.Ideallytheroominghousesectorwouldbeabletoobtainmorefavourableinsurance ratesthroughagroupplan.(Seeprofileongroupinsuranceelsewhereinthisreport.)

2.3.2Leases
Duringthisstudyaroominghousetenanttoldusthatlandlordsneedtobehonest,givereceipts anduseleases.Theissueofleaseswaslessclearcutforlandlords.Ononehand,somelandlords toldusthattheyuseleasesorresidencyagreements.Onenotedthataleaseisespeciallyusefulif hehasagoodtenantandwantstoencouragehimorhertostayoverthelongterm.Others commentedtheleaseishelpfulasawaytoletthetenantsknowtherulesupfrontandasatool forenforcingrulesdowntheroad.Itisawaytofostermutualunderstandingbetweenthe landlordandthetenantatthebeginningofthetenancy. Ontheotherhand,aboardinghomeoperatornotedthataleasecanmakesometenantsfeel lockedinandcancreatehardshipforthosewhohavebeennomadic.Regardlessofwhether roominghousetenantssignaleaseorhaveaverbalagreementwiththelandlord,theyare coveredbytheResidentialTenanciesAct(RTA).UndertheAct,aleaseisconsideredtobein effectforthefirstyear.Thereafter,thetenancyisonamonthtomonthbasisandprotectedby theRTA.

2.3.3Rules
Overallinthisstudyofroominghouses,theresearchersheardaboutveryfewhouserules,with afewexceptionsrelatedtosafety,smoking,respectforothers,andhousemaintenance.Hereisa samplingofwhattenantshadtosayabouttherulesintheirroominghouses: Thenodrugsandnoviolencerulesherearegood. TheresanosmokingrulehereandIabidebyit.Igooutsidefora cigarette. Arulelikeeveryonecleaningupafterthemselvesreallyhelps.Taking turnscleaningupdoesnotworkbuthavingahousecleanercomein everyweekor2workswell. Expectationsherearethatyoukeepyourselfclean,takethegarbageout, keepyourownplacecleanandcleanupafteryourself.
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Therearefewruleshere,butthereisunderstandingabouttheneedto respectothers.IfIuseapot,Icleanit.Wewentonamajorcleaningand nowwedoitonceaweekinthecommonareas.Itisadominoeffect.If onepersonstartscleaning,theothersdoittoo. Thelandlordsincludedinthestudynotedthathavingsomerulesishelpfulandthatifyouhave rules,requirethemtobefollowed.Rulesarealsoneededforstaff:rulesthatsetboundariesfor staffandensurerespectforclients.Thisisespeciallyimportantinboardinghomeswherestaff providessomelevelofpersonalcare. Previousstudiesnotethathouserulesandconsistentenforcementcanhelpincreaseresidents feelingsofsafety.Rulesthattenantswerefoundtoappreciaterelatedtosafetyandsecurity,a banondruguseonthepremises,andzerotoleranceforviolenceorabusivebehaviour.(Social DataResearch,2006)

2.3.4SafetyandSecurity
Thesafetyandsecurityissuesraisedbytenantsinthisstudyrevolvedaroundtheabilityto securelylockthedoortoonesroomorthefloorofthehousewherethetenantlives.Nospecific mentionwasmadeoffiresafety.Thefollowinggoodpracticeswereidentifiedbytenants: Eachroomneedstohaveadoorandlockthatworkproperly Makesuretenantsdontgiveouttheirkeystoanyone Deadboltlocksarepreferabletoothermoreflimsylocks Ensurethereisaworkinglockonthebathroomdoor Whenseveraltenantsareallsharingonefloorinahouse,provideasecureentrancetothe floorwhichcanbelockedifthetenantswish.

Theconversationaboutsafetyandsecuritywithlandlordswasbroaderandpointedtotheneed forestablishedpracticesfordealingwithhealth,lifeorsafetyconcerns.Somelandlordswith unlicensedroominghousescouldnotidentifywheretheywouldturnforassistanceincaseofa securityemergency.Theirexperienceusingthepolicetohelpwithsecurityissueswasnegativeif, forexample,amentalhealthcrisiswithatenanthasnotactuallyledtoacrime. Someideasforgoodpracticesemerged: EstablishemergencysupportsthroughtheCityofTorontoforpeoplewhoarethreatening tocommitacrimeduetomentalillness,regardlessofwheretheyarehoused Educatethepoliceabouttheroominghousesectorandhowtoassistlandlordsin respondingtosecurityconcerns Equiproominghouseswithacommonintercomfortenantstousetocontactthelandlord.

2.3.5PropertyManagement
Anumberofaspectsofpropertymanagementwerehighlightedduringthecourseofthisstudy, includingtheroleofongoingmonitoringofroominghousepropertiesbytheirownerroutine propertymaintenancerepairsandrenovation. Propertymanagementissuesraisedbytenantspointedtotheneedforlandlordstoensuretheir roominghousesaremonitoredonaregularbasis.Monitoringensuresroomsarenotrentedout withoutthelandlordspermission,keysarenotsharedwithnonresidents,standardsof cleanlinessaremaintained,garbageistakencareof,andfireextinguishersandsmokealarmsare tested. Insomehouses,theresidentsareresponsiblefordailyandweeklymaintenancesuchastaking outgarbageandrecycling.Insomecasesitwasnotedthatthelandlordhelpstosuperviseor organizethesechores.
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Somelandlordsnotedthattheyarearoundtheirpropertiesseveraltimesperweek,ifnotdaily. Whentheycannotbethere,oftenacaretakerisonsite.Fortenantsthisispositivebecauseitis easytoletthelandlordknowifsomethingneedstobedone.Aroominghouselandlord,however, cautionedthathavingthelandlordonsiteoftenmightintimidatesomeresidentsandthathaving trustedmaintenancestaffbeonsitedailyisabetterapproach.Ontheotherhand,sometenants reportedthattheirlandlordlivedonsite.Boardinghouselandlordswithoneormultipleproperties reportedregularvisitstothehomes. Fortenants,agoodpracticeisforthingstobefixedquickly,assuggestedbythisremarkfroma tenant: Thefurnacedidbreakdown,andhegotitfixedrightaway.Hesnota slumlord. Theneedforsomeitemstobetakencareofonaregularbasiswasnotedbytenants,andtenants appreciatedproactiveactionsbythelandlord.Thisincludedsnowshoveling,puttingdownsafety saltonthesidewalks,grasscutting,supplyinggarbagebags,repairinglocksandcleaning commonareas.Anownerofseveralboardinghomesnotedthatherpracticeistocontractout lawncareandsnowremoval. Sometenantsandlandlordsmentionedhiringresidentstodoworkaroundthepropertyasagood practice.Forthisrole,landlordsinthisstudyreportedlookingforatenantwhoisgoodwithhisor herhands,responsibleandaselfstarter.Whetherornotalandlordhiresacaretakerwhoisa residentoranemployee,thecaretakeralsohelpsthelandlordmonitortheroominghouse environmenttoidentifyandaddressproblemsintheirearlystages.Inpreviousstudies,landlords pointedtothefollowingqualitiesofatenantcaretaker: caresaboutothers abletosolveproblems reliable trustedbyneighbours abletocarryoutcleaning,repairsandmaintenanceand, abletodealwithemergencysituations.

Thenatureofboardinghousesbringswithitaheavierstaffcomponentthanroominghouses.A boardinghouseoperatordescribedherstaffteamandherapproachasfollows: 1cook,1cleaner,1PTfillinstaff,withmeprovidingsupervisionand qualitycontrol.Staffmustcomewithreferencesanddoa3month probation.Myphilosophyisthatthehousebewellenoughkeptatalltimes sothatitwouldbesuitableformyhusbandandfamilytoeatandsleep heretoo. Goodpracticesforundertakingrepairsandrenovationsinroominghousesthatwereidentifiedby participantsinthisstudyincluded: Usingqualifiedbuildingtradespeopleforrenovations,ensuringarelevantbackgroundin engineeringorconstruction Usingtheyellowpagestoidentifytradespeoplewithanestablishednameandcredentials Havingatrustedcontractoroncallformajorandminorrepairs Obtainingadetailedwrittencontractformajorjobsthatspecifiesexactlywhatwillbe doneand, Obtainingmorethanonewrittenquoteforbigjobs.

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SeverallandlordswithlicensedpropertiesreportedhavingusedfundingthroughtheResidential RehabilitationAssistanceProgram(RRAP)tocarryoutrenovations,bringingpropertiesupto minimumhealthandsafetystandards.Thisassistanceisintheformofaforgivableloan.(See profileofRRAPelsewhereinthisreport.)

2.3.6SummaryofGoodPractices:RoomingHouseManagement
Thisstudyidentifiedgoodpracticesinvariousaspectsofthemanagementofroominghouses, drawingontenant,landlord,andagencyperspectives.PayDirectforensuringthattherentis paidforindividualsonOWorODSPwasviewedbymanyasagoodpractice.Keepingrentsdown tothelevelthatcanbeaffordedbyindividualsonsocialassistancewasfavouredbymany,with thecasemadeforarentsupplementprogramoranotherformofoperatingsubsidybeavailable withintheroominghousesectortoclosethegapbetweenwhatasinglepersononOWcanafford topayforaroomandtheperunitoperatingcostsforalicensedroominghouse. Sometenantsnotedthatagoodpracticeisforalandlordtobeflexibleaboutthelastmonths rentdeposit. Usingaleaseisagoodpractice,andrelatedtothiswasthenotionthatthe expectationswithinthehousebecleartoeveryone(suchasanexpectationthateachperson cleanupafterthemselves.) Theimportanceofhavingadequateinsuranceforroominghouseswasnotedinthisstudy,along withrecognitionoftheneedforbetterinsuranceratesforroominghouseowners.Goodpractices relatedtosafetyandsecuritymentionedbytenantsrelatedtodoorsandlocksthatworkproperly andasecureentrancetoeachfloorinahousewhentenantsarenotsharingamenitiesbetween floors.Thedesireforclearermentalhealthandpoliceemergencyresponseprotocolswerenoted. Tenantsandlandlordsmentionedtheregularandongoingmonitoringofroominghouseproperties asagoodpractice.Clarityisneededaboutwhoisresponsiblefordailyandweeklymaintenance andhowthisworkisdone.Agoodpracticementionedbysomewashiringacaretakertomonitor andmaintainthepropertydailyorseveraltimesperweek.Beingproactiveinmakingrepairswas mentionedbytenantsasagoodpractice.Somelandlordssuggestedhiringatenanttoassistwith monitoring,maintenanceandrepairs. Forlargejobs,landlordsnotedthevalueofhiringaqualifiedtradespersonandobtaining detailed,writtenquotes.Somelicensedroominghouseoperatorsmentionedaccessinga forgivableloanthroughRRAPasagoodpracticetofinanceextensiverepairandrenovationwork.

2.4RoomingHouseRegulationandSectorSupport 2.4.1 Licensing andRegulation


Previousstudiespointtohowstrictregulationsappliedtotheroominghousesectorcanappearto drivelandlordsoutofthebusinessorimpedethecreationofnewsupply(CityofTorontoRooming HouseReview1992Campsie1995SHS2004aSocialDataResearch2006).Earlierworkhas alsonotedtheusefulnessoflicensingasawaytoknowthenumber,location,andconditionof roominghousesandtoensureregularinspections.Theenforcementoffirecodeandproperty standardsbylawscanbewaystoensurethestandardsinroominghousesaremetandtenant safetyisnotjeopardized(SHS2004b,StarrGroupInc.2001,SocialDataResearch2006). Previousstudiesnotethatproactiveenforcementofregulationsthroughregularinspectionsis seenasabetterpracticethaninspectionstriggeredbycomplaints.Annualinspectionscanbethe protocolinmostcases,withalongerintervalbetweeninspectionsforwellrunoperationsanda shorterintervalforoperationswherethemunicipalityhasconcernsaboutcompliance(SHS2004 b).InareviewofregulationandlicensingofroominghousesinToronto,Ottawa,Winnipegand EdmontonconductedbySocialHousingStrategists,theauthorscomment:

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Manyroominghouseoperatorswelcometheseinspectionsalbeit,nottheir frequencyorintrusivenessbecausetheyareawayofreassuringlenders, neighboursandothersthattheaccommodationcomplieswithmunicipal standards. (SHS2004b:c3) Duringthecourseofthisstudy,landlordswhosepropertieswerenotlicensedexpressedinterest intheprocessandwereawareofpotentialbenefitstothem,includingtheprospectofnothaving tooperateinaclimatecharacterizedbythethreatofNIMBYormunicipalauthoritiesshutting themdown.Anamnestyforroominghouselandlordswasfavouredbythosewhowere unlicensed.Atenantofferedthefollowingopinionaboutroominghousestandards: Therehastobesomestandardsetthatroominghouseshavetoliveupto. Butthen,youknowwhatwillhappen?Everybodyisgoingtoraisetherent. Right?Thatstheproblemwiththat.Therehasgottobeahappymedium somewhere.Impaying$375amonth,Illpayanextra$25amonthifthe standardoflivingisrising. Forareasofthecitywheretherearelargenumbersofroominghouseunitsandcommunity tensions,themediatedprocessusedinParkdaleprovidesanexampleofhowbringingdiverse stakeholderstogethercantransformacommunityandleadtosolutionsthateveryonecanbuy into.(SeeprofileofParkdaleMediationProcesselsewhereinthisreport.)Examplesofsuccessful approachestoworkingwithunlicensedoperatorstoupgrade,legalizeandlicenseroominghouses existwithintheCityofTorontosParkdalePilotprojectwhichaimedtoaddresstheproblemof unlicensedbacheloretteunitsintheCityswestend.(Seeprofilelaterinthisreport.)

2.4.2RoomingHouseSectorEducation
Inthisstudy,tenantsandlandlordsnotedthateducationforroominghouselandlordsisagood practice.Previousstudiesoftheroominghousesectorreachedthesameconclusion.This educationcouldrevolvearoundissuessuchas: Propertymanagementprinciplesforsmallrentalproperties Zoning,bylawenforcement,roominghouselicensingpracticesandbuildingpermitsinthe CityofToronto LegalissuesandrelevantlegislationincludingtheResidentialTenanciesAct,Toronto MunicipalCode,andOntarioBuildingCode Dealingwiththefiremarshal,inspectorsandcontractors Howtohandledifficulttenantsandtenantsincrisis Rolesofhousinghelpworkers,housingfollowupworkers,andhousingsupportworkersin keepingtenanciesstableand Communityresourcesforlandlordsandvulnerablelowincometenants. Awaytoconnectlandlordsintoeducationsessionsistoofferthemalongsideotherincentive programsforlandlords,suchasasubsidyprogramoraninitiativetolegalizeandlicense propertiesoutsidetheformerCityofToronto.Astartingpointforrespondingtotrainingneedsis tolookattheeducationalinitiativesalreadyunderwaythroughlandlordconnect.caandHabitat servicesaspartoftheirsupporttoprivatesectorpartners,aswellaseducationandtraining opportunitiesthroughprofessionalpropertymanagementassociations.

2.4.3TheRoleofHousingWorkers
Thisstudyhasnotedthatsupportfortenantsinfindingandmaintainingaccommodationinthe roominghousesectorisagoodpractice.ThesearethekeyresponsibilitiesofTorontohousing helpworkersandhousingfollowupworkers.Additionally,housingsupportworkersandsocial workersemployedbyagenciessuchasCanadianMentalHealthAssociationandCentrefor

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AddictionandMentalHealthprovidesupporttotheirclientswhoarelivinginroominghousesdue toaffordabilityissues. Somesupportneedsoftenantsareeffectivelyhandledthroughperiodicorongoingcontactwith housingworkers.Othertenantsrequiremoreintensivesupportwhichmaycomeintheformof casemanagementservices.Landlordswhohaveconnectionswithstaffincommunityagencies andhousinghelpcentresareinabetterpositiontoassisttheirtenantsinlinkingwithservices whentheyneedhelp. Landlordsinthisstudyofferedtheirperspectivesabouthowhousingworkerssupporttherooming housesector.Landlordswillturntohousinghelpworkerstohelpfillaunit.Somesaidtheywill callhousinghelpworkersorhousingfollowupworkerstohavehelpwithdrugrelatedissueswith atenant,orwhentenantsareinvitingtoomanyfriendsintoadwelling.Housinghelporhousing supportworkersarealsobroughtintothepicturewhenthelandlordisfacedwithevictinga tenant,whenatenanthassignificantlydamagedaunit,orwhenthetenantshealthorsafetyisin jeopardy. Onelandlordproposedthathousingworkerswerewellsuitedtoassistwithmanagingrooming houseproperties.Alandlordcannotoperatemanyhousesonhisorherown,andtheskillsand knowledgeofmanyhousingworkersmakethemidealpropertymanagersforroominghouses whichneedregularonsitesupporttomaintainthetenancies.Sucharoleforhousingworkers wouldneedtobesubsidizedthroughthegovernmentoranagency.Aliveinhousingworker couldbeprovidedwithaccommodationinlieuofaportionoftheirsalary. Akeyinformantinterviewwithamentalhealthworkerhighlightedgoodpracticeswhenworking withnewlyhousedtenantswithmentalhealthproblems.Thesearegroupedasfollows: Provideintensivesupportfortheindividualattimeofmovein Providethelandlordwithadirectconnectiontoahousingorsupportworkerand, Offerongoingsupport. Thesestrategiesaremorefullydiscussedbelow. Provideintensivesupportfortheindividualattimeofmovein Intensivesupportatthetimeofmoveinhelpsthenewtenantassembleallofthethingsthatare requiredforindependentliving,suchasfurnitureandpersonalitems.Italsohelpstheindividual establishroutines.Theseroutineswillincludeconnectingwithacommunityactivityorgroup, developingshoppingpatterns,adoptingcleaningandhygienepractices,andgrowingcomfortable goingfromplacetoplaceonhisorherown. Thisintensivesupportinitiallyhelpstoreducethestressorsthatareassociatedwithmoving. Oncearoutinehasbeenestablished,andthepersonhasrelaxed,thenthesupportlevelcanbe decreasedgradually,dependingonthepersonsneeds.Ideallytheindividualwouldhaveaccess toongoingorincreasedsupportwhenneeded. Providethelandlordwithadirectconnectiontoahousingorsupportworker. Landlordsbenefitbyhavingsomeonetocalliftheyrunintodifficultieswithatenant,especially whenmentalhealthissuesmaymakeadjustingtothenewlivingsituationdifficult. Apositiveconnectionbetweenthetenantandlandlordmediatedthroughthehousingworkermay givethelandlordtheopportunitytocometolikethetenant. Landlordswillacceptahigherlevel ofdifferentbehaviouriftheythinkthatthetenantisagoodpersonratherthansimplysomeone withamentalillness. Thelandlordsimpressionofatenantwillbeestablishedwithinthefirst month.Ifthelandlordseesthetenantreceivingahighlevelofsupportthiswillmaymakehimor herfeelmorepositivelyaboutthetenancy.
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Oncethelandlordandthehousingworkerhaveaconnection,theworkermayfindwaysto increasethelandlordsawarenessofmentalhealthissues.Landlordsareavaluablelinkbetween tenantsandcommunityservices. Offerongoingsupport. Theofferofongoingsupportcanbeacomforttothetenantandthelandlord.Thissupport,once thetenancyissecure,mayonlybeamonthlycallorvisit,butthecontactisthereifitisneeded again.

2.4.4OtherSourcesofSupportfortheSector
Landlordsmentionedaccessingavarietyofothersourcesofsupportthatcanbeincludedinthis discussionofgoodpractices.Theseincludecommunitycentres,mealsonwheels,shelters,John HowardSociety,StreetstoHomes,andlandlordconnect.ca.Thefiredepartmentwasmentioned whenhelpisneededtoaddresstenantsafetyissues.Othersourcesofsupportincludethe GersteinCentreforcrisissituations,culturalagenciesandassociations,andagenciesworkingwith newimmigrants. Aboardinghomeoperatornotedthatshewouldturntoaresidentsmentalhealthworker (throughCOTAorHabitatservices)ifdifficultieswitharesidentweretoemerge.Partnerships withagenciesareabigsourceofsupportforthisowner/operator. Previousstudiesnotedtheimportanceofeducatingpoliceofficersaboutlandlordandtenant rightsandappropriatereferralandinformationsources.Othergoodpracticesincludemunicipal initiativestocoordinateinformation,educationandsupportstotheroominghousesector. Whilesomelandlords,especiallyboardinghouseoperators,havereliablecommunitysupportsin placethattheycanturntowhendealingwithanemergencysituation,thesamecannotbesaid foralllandlordsinterviewedforthisstudy.Agoodpracticewouldbeensuringthatallrooming houselandlordsknowhowtoaccessongoingandemergencysupports,includingappropriate supportfromthepoliceandmentalhealthprofessionalswhenunsafesituationsemerge.

2.4.5Whatsinaname?
Anissueraisedbytenantsinterviewedforthisprojectisthatthetermroominghousehasabad connotationandcomeswithstereotypesaboutwhatthepropertylookslikeandwholivesthere. Thispointisalsomadeinrecentliterature(SHS2004b).Forsome,apositivestepinchanging howTorontothinksaboutroominghousesistochangethewaytheyarereferredto.Shared living,sharedaccommodation,sharedhouses,convertedhouses,singleroomoccupancy,and multipleconversiondwellingsaretermswhichwerenotedduringthecourseofthisresearch.

2.4.6SummaryofGoodPractices:RoomingHouseRegulationandSector Support
Thisstudyoutlinesanumberofpracticeswhichcouldhelpprotectandstrengthenthesector.One wouldbeaprocessthatwouldallowroominghouseoperatorsthroughoutthecitytobelicensed, insteadoflicensedroominghouseslargelybeinglocatedintheformerCityofToronto.Landlords inthisstudy,includingunlicensedoperators,recognizedthepotentialbenefitsofbeinglicensed andexpressedinterestinaprocessthatwouldseelicensingprovisionsbeavailableallacrossthe amalgamatedcity. Expandingrentsupplementprogramstoincluderoominghousetenantsasnotedearlieraswell asexpandedprovisionsforlicensingcreateopportunitiestolinkroominghouselandlordsinto educationalinitiativesthattheymightnototherwisetakeadvantageof.Landlordeducationcould includeworkshops,resourcesandmaterialsrelatedtogoodpracticesinroominghouse management,handlingdifficulttenantsorcrisissituations,dealingwithCityinspectorsandthe

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firemarshal,andinformationaboutcommunityresourcesthathelptoimprovethequalityoflife oflowincometenants. Acriticalsourceofsupporttoroominghousetenantsandlandlordsisthehousinghelpsectorand housingworkerswhodofollowupworkwithnewlyhousedindividuals.Housingworkerscan activelypromotethehealthandwellbeingofroominghousetenants,helpstabilizethelivesof vulnerableindividualsandbuildstrongcommunitiesoftenants.Examiningthevalueandroleof housingworkersinworkingwithtenantsandroominghouselandlordsisausefulstartingpointin ensuringacomprehensivenetworkofservicesisinplacetosupportandstrengthenthesector. Afinalpointwhichwasraisedbytenantsinthisstudywasuseofthetermroominghouseto describetheiraccommodation.Adoptingmoreneutrallanguage,suchasthetermshared accommodation,mayhelpchallengethestereotypesandmythsheldbymanyinthecommunity aboutthisviableformofhousing.

3.SupportforRoomingHouseTenantsandLandlords:AnInventory ofInitiatives
Thevalueandroleofservicesandprogramssponsoredbycommunityagenciesormunicipal governmentwerethemesthatemergedininterviewswithtenants,landlordsandkeyinformants knowledgeableabouttheroominghousesector.Thefollowingsectionprovidesaninventoryof20 initiativeswhichsupporttheroominghousesectorinsomeway.Whilethisisnotanexhaustive discussionofinitiativesthatarebeneficialtothesector,itdoes,nonetheless,introduceawide rangeofwaysthatroominghousetenantsandlandlordsaresupportedbythebroader community. Table1liststheinitiativesinalphabeticalorderbyprogramname,indicatingsponsoring organization,currentstatus,andwhethertheinitiativeofferssupporttotenantsorlandlords. Mostoftheinitiativesinthisinventoryarecurrentlyinoperation.Afewarenot.Theyareincluded forinformationonlyandtoillustratetherootsofinnovativeactiononroominghouseissuesinthe past.Thisinventorywascompiledtoillustrateexamplesofinitiativesthatareaimedat: 1. Assistinglowincomeindividualsfindsuitableaccommodation(e.g.HousingHelpCentres, landlordconnect.caandStreetstoHomesnotedunderMunicipalInitiatives). 2. Preventinghomelessness(e.g.TheTorontoRentBankProgram,VoluntaryTrusteeship Program,MediationServices,andtheRoomingHouseEmergencyResponsePlan). 3. Supportingtenantstodevelopandmaintainstablehousing(e.g.Casemanagement services,Habitatmodel,dropincentres,languageinterpretationservices,voicemail project,RupertPilotProject). 4. Developandexpandtheroominghousesector(e.g.SHOPandtheSouthSt.Jamestown Initiative,RRAP). 5. SupportingRoomingHouseoperators(e.g.RupertPilotProject,ParkdaleConflict ResolutionProcess,Habitatmodel,groupinsuranceforroominghouseownersandRRAP). 6. Increasingtheopportunitiesforroominghousestobelicensed(ParkdaleConflict ResolutionProcess,ParkdalePilotProject,YIMBYtoolkit).

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Table1
Programor Service currently underway? yes yes yes yes yes P P P P P P P P Providessupportto: Rooming House Tenants Rooming House Landlords P

InitiativeName

Sponsor

CaseManagementTeamatThe CornerDropin DropinCentres HabitatContractModel HousingHelpCentres LanguageInterpretationServices

St.StephensCommunity House Variouscommunityagencies HabitatServices Variouscommunityagencies MultilingualCommunity InterpretationServices(MCIS) EastYorkEastTorontoFamily Resources (landlordconnect.ca) CityofToronto CityofToronto CityofToronto CanadaMortgageandHousing Corporation(CMHC) EastYorkEastTorontoFamily Resources: CityofToronto,WoodGreen CommunityServices, CanadianRedCross,Salvation Army,CriticalIncident WorkingGroup(CIWG) SoHoInsurance (SocialHousingServices Corporation) RupertCommunityResidential ServicesofToronto,Inc. CityofTorontoinpartnership withCityhome(Nowpartof TorontoCommunityHousing Corporation(TCHC) CityhomeNonProfitHousing (NowpartofToronto CommunityHousing Corporation(TCHC) NeighbourhoodInformation Post CentralNeighbourhoodHouse St.StephensCommunity House HomeComingCommunity ChoiceCoalition

MediationwithLandlordsand HousingWorkers MunicipalInitiativestoSupportthe RoomingHouseSector ParkdaleConflictResolutionProcess ParkdalePilotProject ResidentialRehabilitationAssistance Program(RRAP) ResourcesExistforNetworkingand Training(RENT): www.landlordconnect.ca RoomingHouseEmergency ResponsePlan

yes

yes no no yes yes

P P P P P

yes

RoomingHouseOwnersGroup InsuranceProgram

Under development

RupertPilotProject SinglesHousingOpportunity Program(SHOP)(exampleof innovative development/management SouthSt.Jamestown(exampleof innovativefinancing)

no no

P P

no

TorontoRentBankProject VoiceMailProject VoluntaryTrusteeshipProgram YesInMyBackYard(YIMBY)Tool Kit

yes yes yes yes

P P P P

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Thefollowingpagesdetailtheinitiativeslistedabove.
Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview CaseManagementTeamatTheCornerDropin St.StephensCommunityHouse Providementalhealthcasemanagementandhousingsupportstoclientswhoareattendingthedropin and/orarereferredbyotherdropinsandagencies TheCornerDropinopenedin1986.CasemanagementserviceshavebeenofferedatSt.StephensThe CornerDropinforover10years.Theseservicesareongoing. St.StephensHousingandHomelessServicesarefundedbytheMinistryofHealth,theCityofToronto, theUnitedWayandthroughdonations. TheCaseManagementTeamworkswithupto100clientsatatime.Themajorityofreferralscomefrom dropincentresorshelters.Someclientsareselfreferred.MostclientsareonODSPorOW.Inaddition, almosttwothirdshavementalhealthissues,includingmanywithaconcurrentdisordereachofthese individualsrequiresadditionalsupportinordertobecomeandremainsuccessfullyhoused. Manyhomelessclientsmoveintoroominghousesbecausethisiswhattheycanafford.Forsomeone comingfromashelterorthestreetandnotusedtolivingalone,theroominghousecanprovidesomeof thesocialinteractionthattheyareaccustomedto.Thisenvironmentcanalsobechallengingbecauseof thetensionsinherentinlivinginasharedfacilitythatdoesnothavestafftomediateissues.Clientswho havementalhealthissuesarechallengedevenfurther.Theteamrecognizesthattheseclientshave highersupportneedsinordertostabilizetheirhousing. Insupportingnewlyhousedtenants,theteamhelpsclientsestablishdailyroutines,withbudgetingand paymentofrent,becomeaccustomedtoaccessingandpreparingfoodforthemselves,andsecure furnishing.Thestaffworkswithlandlordsandtenantstodealwithissuesthatariseinanattemptto savethetenancyortopreventtheclientfrombecominghomeless.Thelandlordandclientsare encouragedtocontactthestaffwhenthereareconcernssothatasolutioncanbefoundpriortothe housingbeingjeopardized. Fortenantswhowillneedlongtermsupport,theteamworksatlinkingthemwithotherservicesas appropriate.ThiscanincludeCOTAorCAMHiftheindividualhasorisabletogetamentalhealth diagnosis.Thisistypicallydifficulttodo.Othersupportscanbebrokeredthroughcommunitycentres (forexamplelinkingaseniorintoaprogramforseniors)throughveteransservices(iftheindividuals servedinthearmedforces)andthroughservicesforabusedwomen.Clientsofthecasemanagement teamarewelcometocontinuegettingsupportthroughthedropincentreatSt.Stephensevenafter theyhavebeenlinkedtootherservices. Key Features TheCaseManagementTeamiscomprisedof4fulltimeandoneparttimestaffandconsistsof: AnAddictionsWorker HarmReductionTrusteewiththevoluntarytrusteeshipprogram MentalHealthCaseManagementCoordinator Outreachstaffworkingtohouseindividualswhoarehomeless.

Theteamcontinuesworkingwithclientsaslongastheconnectioncontinuestobenefittheindividual. Manyclientswillstayconnectedtoamemberoftheteamaftertheynolongerrequireintensiveor formalsupportthroughperiodicphonecallsandvisits.InadditiontothesupportoftheCase ManagementTeam,clientsarealsoabletoaccessspecializedassistancefromtheHousingTeamwhere needed. Successes Theteamlooksforsuccessinwhetherclientsaremeetingtheirowngoals.Havetheybeenabletoget basicneedsmetandgobeyondthat? Staffmembersworkwithclientstostabilizetheminhousingandthenencouragethemtogoontoother accomplishmentswhichleadtoanincreasedsenseofpersonalpride. Forsomeclients,successisverybasicandismarkedbysmallsteps.Forexampleaclientwhoatfirstis soanxiousandagitatedbybeinginenclosedspacesthatshecanonlyacceptaplateoffoodatthedoor ofthedropinovertimebecomesabletoenterthedropin,sitdownforameal,watchTVwithothers andreadthenewspaper.Shenowhassomewherethatshecangoandbecomfortable.These accomplishmentsaremajorstepsontheroadtosuccessinhousing. Forotherclients,successincludeslongtermhousing,reconnectingwithfamilyandreturningtoschool and/orwork.ManyclientsoftheCaseManagementTeamhaveattainedandmaintainedhousingafter havingexperiencedyearsofhomelessness.Numerousclientswhohavebeensupportedhavebecome

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volunteersatTheCornerDropinandhaveusedthisasabuildingblocktowardemployment. Intheir ownwords Whenworkingwithsomeonewestartfromwheretheyare.Welookathowto meettheirneedsandhelpthemidentifytheirgoals.Weallowindividualstobe themselves,wedontpigeonholethemwithexpectations.Andwhennecessary, weadapttheprogramtosuittheindividualsneeds. SarahAllen MentalHealthCaseCoordinator St.StephensCommunityHouse www.ststephenshouse.com

Formore info

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

DropInCentres VariouscommunityorganizationsacrossToronto Providesasafespaceforindividuals,whoaresociallymarginalized,typicallyduetopovertyor homelessness,toassistwithbasicneeds,supportimprovedwellbeing,andcreateopportunitiesfor change. Ongoing Varies,butcanincludeCityofToronto,theLocalHealthIntegrationNetworks,theUnitedWay,faith basedorganizations,charitablefoundations(e.g.TrilliumFoundation),andagencyfundraising. Thereareover45dropincentresacrosstheCityofToronto.Eachcentreisdifferentinthehoursof operation,theservicesprovided,andthesizeandcharacteristicsofitsgroupofmembersor participants. Serviceisflexible,responsive,holistic,andrespectsindividualautonomy.Individualswhocometodrop incentrescanaccessservicesthatareprovidedonsiteorthroughreferralstootherserviceproviders. Servicescanincludemeals,clothing,personalsupplies,showers,laundry,theuseofaphoneor messagecentre,computers,internet,foodbank,lockers,healthcare,harmreductionservices,ID replacement,applicationsforsocialassistance,housingsearchhelpandfollowup,andidentificationof volunteer,trainingandvocationalopportunities.

Key Features

Successes Intheirown words

Dropincentresvaryintheiroperatingphilosophiesandorigins.Someareanextensionoffaith basedorganizationswhileothersarepartofmultiservicecommunityagencies. Mayberunalmostentirelybyvolunteers,acombinationofvolunteersandstaff,orprimarilystaff. Somedropincentresareformenonly,womenonly,andyouthonly.Othersareopentoamixed groupofparticipants. Dropincentresworkwithclient/memberstoenhanceselfesteem,motivation,confidenceand skillsasstrategiesforhelpingindividualsfindandmaintaintheirhousingandpursuepersonal goals. Thecentresprovideanopportunityforsupporttoindividualswhoarehomeless,tothosewhoare marginallyhoused,andtothosewhoareatriskoflosingtheirhousing. Dropincentrestakeaholisticapproachinworkingwithindividuals,theyareresponsiveand flexibleandrespectindividualautonomy. Helpslowincomeindividualsmanagefinanciallybyprovidingfreeservices. Providesopportunitiesforindividualswhoaresociallymarginalizedtotakecontroloftheirlives,be recognizedfortheirleadershipskills,andbelongtoacommunity. Helpsbringasenseofpurposeandroutineintothelivesofsomeindividuals,especiallythosewho livealone,withfewfamilyorcommunityconnections. Providesasteppingstonetopersonalgrowth,developingleadershipskillsorfindingemployment. Staffwillhelpyouwithwhatyouneedwhereyouareinyourlife.Theywillhelp youfeelnormalandbeaproductiveperson.Istillleadmylifethesameway, butIfeelbetteraboutmyself.Cominghereallowsmetogetoutandlivelife. ParticipantatTheMeetingPlacedropincentre

Formore info

www.toronto.ca/housing/pdf/tdin_brochure.pdf SomeindividualdropincentresalsohaveWebsites.Seeforexample: www.stchrishouse.org/adults/meetingplace/ www.lampchc.org/ProgramsServices/outofthecold.php www.goodneighboursclub.com

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Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

HabitatContractModel HabitatServices Improvestandardsinboardinghomeandroominghouseaccommodationsandservices Established1987.Ongoing CentralTorontoLHINCityofToronto TheHabitatmodelisbasedonacommercialcontractbetweenHabitatServices,anonprofitagency, andtheownersofprivatesectorboardingandroominghousesinToronto.Inadditiontotheservices providedbythehomeownersandtheirstaff,onsitesupportservicesfortenantsareprovidedby HabitatServicesorCOTAHealth. PerDiemsubsidypaidtolandlordsinexchangeforcompliancewiththecontractand standards. Habitatmonitorscompliancewiththecontractandstandards,whichhasaoneyearterm. Habitatstaffmakescheduledandunscheduledvisitstothehomechecktoseethatthe houseisingoodrepairandthatthetenantsarereceivingtheservicestheyareentitledto addresscomplaintsorquestionsfromtenantsfacilitateTenant/OperatorDisputeMeetings. Sitesupportstaffmakeregularscheduledvisitstohomesandoffergroupsocialand recreationalopportunitiestotenants,aswellasofferingsupporttonewtenantsandhelping tenantsworkonpersonalorinterpersonalissues,developnewskills,orlinkwithcommunityor socialservices.Theymayalsooffersupportoradvocacytoatenantindealingwithincome supports,communityandhealthcareservices,ortheoperatorofthehome. Educationsessionsareprovidedtoboardinghomestaff.

Key Features

Habitatisacentralintakepointformorethan100referralsourcestoHabitatfundedhousing, oftenavailablequickly. Successes Providespermanenthousingfor931adultsin45differentlocationsacrossToronto. Manyimprovementsinhousingstandardsandamenitiesfortenantshavebeenmadeoverthe lifeoftheprogram. Servicesaregearedtosupportadultswithseriousmentalhealthissueswhohavetenancyrights andresponsibilities. Habitathasassistedownersasagroupwithissuessuchasincreasedcostofinsurance,and coolingequipmentandstrategies. SupportservicesandfacilitatedTenant/OperatorDisputemeetingsassistvulnerabletenantsto maintaintheirhousing. Asanoperator,Habitatassistsmeinfulfillingmyfinancialobligationsandmakesit possibleformetoprovidemyresidentswiththequalityoflifeandthehealthy settingthattheyneedtoheal,growandexperienceasenseofhome. SandraFerguson, BoardingHomeOperator Formore info www.habitatservices.org

Intheirown words

Initiative Sponsor

HousingHelpCentres VariouscommunityorganizationsacrossToronto: EtobicokeHousingHelp(AlbionNeighbourhoodServices) YorkHousingHelp(YorkCommunityServices) NorthYorkHousingHelp(COSTIImmigrantServices) WestTorontoHousingHelp(WestTorontoCommunityLegalClinic) WoodgreenHousingHelp(Woodgreen) EastYorkHousingHelp(EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources) FlemingdonHousingHelp(FlemingdonNeighbourhoodServices) ScarboroughHousingHelpCentre(standaloneorganization) Assistpeoplewhoarehomelessorareatriskofhomelessnessfindandkeeptheirhousing Ongoing Various,includingtheCityofToronto

Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners

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Overview

Thehousinghelpsectorassistspeopletoimprovetheircurrenthousingstatusandpreventthosewho arehousedfromlosingtheirhousing. Thereare8housinghelpcentresinToronto.Inaddition,housinghelpworkerscanbefoundindozensof otherlocations,including:shelters,dropins,outreachprograms,supportivehousingproviders,and multiserviceorganizations. Wherevertheyarelocated,housinghelpserviceshavethreecoreareasofwork:(1)housingaccess, stabilizationandevictionprevention(2)incomesupportandspecialtyfundsaccessandadvocacy(3) communitymappingandreferral. Housinghelpworkersdevelopexpertiseinthefollowingcapacities:assessment,casemanagement, supportforspecificclientpopulations,communitycontacts,andclientfollowup. Theyworkwithclientsonissuesrelatedtohousingaccess,evictionprevention,incomesupports, landlord/tenantrelations,mentalhealthandaddictions,andstressmanagement. Housinghelpworkersareroutinelyincontactwithprovidersofpublic,nonprofit,andsupportive housing,aswellasprivatelandlordsOntarioWorks,OntarioDisabilitySupportProgram,and employmentandvocationalsupportprogramslegalservicesmentalhealthprogramsandsettlement services. Servicestailoredtomeetindividualhousingstatusneedsofclients Workingwithprivate,publicandnonprofitsectorlandlords Sectorprovidesservicesinmultiplelanguages Continuumofsupportsofferedtoclients,fromhelpobtainingasourceofincometointerventionsto preventeviction. In2006,HousingHelpCentresassisted8,600Torontohouseholdswhowerelookingforhousing. Overfivethousandhouseholdswerehousedthroughthisassistance. Inthesameyear,HousingHelpCentresworkedwith5,800householdstopreventeviction.4,100 households(71%)avoidedeviction. HousingHelpCentresworkedwith7,700householdsin2006tohelpthemstabilizetheirhousing. Thereisnopossiblesettlementwithoutaplacetocallhome.Everydaypeoplewalkintothe COSTINorthYorkHousingHelpcentrelookingforsupportintheirhousingsearch. NewcomerstoTorontofacemultiplebarriersinaccessingaccommodationnotknowingthe insandoutsofrentinginCanada,nofriendsorfamily,communicationbarriers,etc. HousingHelpstaffprovideservicesthatmakethisprocesseasierandeducatethepublicto preventmisinformeddecisionsthatcanputnewcomersinavulnerablesituation.Rentinga roomandsharingcommonareaswithstrangerscanbeafearfulexperience.Itisessential toknowyourrightsandhaveaccesstoservicestoturntoforhelp. CarolinaGajardo,Manager COSTINorthYorkHousingHelp Dorindawaslivingtemporarilywithafriendinthefriendsapartmentbutneededtomove out.TheapartmentwasovercrowdedandthefriendwastakingadvantageofDorinda. DorindawasattendingtheLAMPhomelessdropin.Shehadrecentlylivedatseveral differentaddressesandwashavingtroublestabilizingherhousingsituation. OneofourhousinghelpworkersworkedwithDorindaandhelpedherlocatearoom.Our staffcontactedthelandlordandnegotiatedareducedrentthatwaspossiblewithin DorindasincomefromOntarioWorks.TheroomisinaquietareaofsouthEtobicokethat isaccessibletocommunityservicesandtolocalshopsbystreetcar. StaffliaisedwithOWandhelpedsetuparrangementsforDorindatoobtainCommunity Startupandfortherenttobepaiddirectlytothelandlord.Thelandlordmaintained contactthroughouttheprocessand,whenDorindawasready,hehelpedherwiththe movein.DorindahasreturnedtothehousinghelpofficesatLAMPafewtimessince movingintochatwithhousinghelpstaffandkeepthemupdatedonhowthingsare going. JohnBagnall,Manager AlbionNeighbourhoodServicesEtobicokeHousing HelpCentre

Key Features

Successes

Intheirown words

Formore info

www.housingworkers.ca http://www.housingworkers.ca/about/find.cfmHousingHelpCentresarelocatedacrosstheprovince.

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Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

LanguageInterpretationServices MultilingualCommunityInterpretationServices(MCIS) ProvidelanguageinterpretationandtranslationservicesinTorontoandbeyond 1991ongoing MinistryofCitizenshipandImmigrationMinistryoftheAttorneyGeneral,CityofToronto MCISworkswithover800interpretersandoffersinterpretationservicesinmorethan96languages andnumerousdialectsacrossOntario.Approximately10percentofthecaseloadrelatestohousing issues,includinginterpretationservicesforrenttribunalprocesses.Housingworkersworkingthrough sheltersandagenciesarrangeforinterpretationservicesfortenantsinneed.Thefeeforthisserviceis $45/hourplusGST,witha2hourminimum(2008feelevel). Freeserviceforvictimsandwitnessesofdomesticabuseandsexualassault. Interpretationandtranslationservicesavailableonafeeforservicebasisforallother situations. Interpretationservicescanbeprovidedfacetofaceorbytelephone. ServicesincluderelayingshortmessagestononEnglishspeakingindividuals,forexampleto confirmanappointment. Servicesavailable24/7witharesponsetimewithinminutesinemergencies. Termsandconditionsofleasesareclearlyunderstoodandagreedtowiththehelpofan interpretertherebypreventingfutureissuesfromarising. Anevictionprocesswasterminatedbecausethetenantandlandlordwereabletocometoa resolutionwiththehelpofaninterpreter. Amaintenanceissuewasdealtwithinatimelymannertherebyavoidingadditionalandmore costlyrepairswiththehelpofaninterpreter. Ineedtobeabletoexpressmythoughtsinmyownwordswithoutsomeone editing,summarizingordistortingmymessage.Itisthemostrespectful thingtodotogivesomeonetheirownvoice. MCISClient orwww.mcis.on.ca

Key Features

Successes

Intheirown words

Formore info

multiling@mcis.on.ca

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

MediationwithLandlordsandHousingWorkers EastYorkEastTorontothroughitslandlordconnect.caproject Respondtoconcernsexpressedbyhousingworkersandlandlordswhoaremembersof landlordconnect.caandresolvedisagreementsthatemergebetweenthem. 2006ongoing CityofToronto Theresourcelandlordconnect.calinkshousingworkerswithlandlordswhohaveaffordableunitsto rent(seeprofileelsewhereinthisreport).Complaintsarereceivedbylandlordconnect.castaffabout membersadherencetoprotocolsand/orprofessionalpractice.Forexample,alandlordmight complainifahousingworkerdidnotrespondtotheircallforsupporttoatenancysetupbythat worker.Similarly,aworkermaycallifalandlordrefusestorenttotheirclientsimplybecauseincome isbasedonsocialassistancepayments. Theinitialproblemsolvingstepstakenbylandlordconnect.castaffaretoprovideactivelistening, informationgathering,problemassessment,andprovideadvicetothecomplainant.Next,theliaison contactstheotherparty,andengagesinshuttlenegotiationwiththeaimofreframingthesituation toassistpartiestoseeoneanotherspointofview.Ifneededanddesiredbybothparties,the landlordconnect.caliaisonwillprovidethreewaymediation.

Key Features

Mediationthroughlandlordconnect.capromotesanevictionpreventionapproachtotenancy problemsbyofferinganavenuefordeescalatingissuesbeforetheybecomeinsurmountable.The liaisonstaffupholdsconfidentiality,maintainsneutrality,andfocusesonstrengtheningpartnership relationsbetweenlandlordsandhousingworkerstofindsolutionsthatareagreeabletoallparties. 53mediationssinceJune2006,with27involvingroominghouses. Morerespectfulcrosssectorcommunication,therebyincreasingopportunitiesforhousingstability forclientsincorehousingneed.

Successes

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Examplesofspecificsuccesses: Liaisonwithalandlordpreventedadisruptivetenantfrombeingillegallyevictedandfrom becominghomeless. Liaisonbetweenahousingworkerandlandlordresultedinalandlordbeingcompensatedfor damagestoaunitcausedbyatenant. Workwithahousingworkerandlandlordrevealedacasewhereabuildingcustodianchargeda differentrenttoatenantthanthelandlordhadadvertised.Thisresultedinthelandlord implementingasystemwherehewouldoverseeallleasesandrentalrates. Liaisonsupporttoahousingworkerandlandlordresultedinatenanthavingadequatetimeto findnewhousingwhenhertenancywasbeingterminated. Intheirown words Inthefirststepofmediation,disputantstellthestoryfromtheirownpointof view.Thisopportunityoftendiffusesmuchoftheconflict.Onehousingworker saidshejustneededtoreviewthesituationwithme,totalkitthroughinorder tofreeupherenergytogobackandworkitout.Asidefromlistening,Ialso offeredreferralsandstrategiesshehadnotyettried. JanetFairfield HousingHelp/LandlordLiaison RENT/landlordconnect.ca Formore info www.landlordconnect.ca Otheragencieswithsimilarinitiativesinclude: St.StephensCommunityHouse(ConflictResolutionService) TorontoChristianResourceCentre(ProjectConnect)

Initiative Sponsor Timeframe Overview

MunicipalInitiativestoSupporttheRoomingHouseSector CityofToronto Ongoing TheCityofTorontoprovidesongoingsupporttotheroominghousesectorinvariousways.TheRRAP programisanobviousexampleandisprofiledelsewhereinthisreport.Otherexamplesofmunicipal initiativeswhichsupporttheroominghousesectorareasfollows: RoomingHouseWorkingGroupprovidesaforumforroominghouseoperators,tenants, communityagencyrepresentativesandCitystafftointeractandshareinformation.Activitiesofthe workinggroupaimtosupportimprovementandexpansionoftheroominghousestock,aswellas supporttenantsandlandlordsinthissector.Typicalactivitiesoftheworkinggroupinclude:organizing consultationsandworkshops,preparingbriefs,collaboratingwithothergroupsandcommitteesand participatingindeputations.Theworkinggroupaimsto: InfluenceCitypolicythatpertainstoroominghouses Promoteincreasedawarenessamongthepublic,politicians,andotherdecisionmakersabout issuesthatimpactonroominghouseoperatorsandtenants Developeffectiveworkingrelationshipsamongstakeholdersinthesectorand Fosteramorepositivepublicimageofroominghousesinthecommunity.

ThePersonalCareRoomingHouseBylawsetsoutstandardsforroominghouseoperationwhere room,boardandpersonalservicesareprovidedtoresidents.Thebylawoutlinesminimumstandards ofcare,includingprovisionstoensuresafeandsanitaryconditions.Itoutlinesownerresponsibilities provisionsforlicensingandinspectionsandtheauthorityfordealingwithnoncompliance. TheRoomingHouseLicensingBylawcoverstheprovisionsforlicensingandinspectingrooming housesandtheresponsibilitiesofowners.Thisbylaw,alongwithfiresafety,publichealth,and propertymaintenancebylawsandcodesprovidesaframeworkforensuringthehealthandsafetyof roominghouseresidentsandamechanismfordealingwithcomplaints.Forthelandlord,theregular inspectionsthatgoalongwithlicensingcanofferlenders,insurancecompanies,neighbours,and serviceprovidersassurancethatthehousingmeetscurrentCitystandards(SHSInc.2004b). MunicipalLicensingandStandardsDivision(MLS)isresponsibleforbylawadministrationand enforcement.TheDivisionprocessesroominghouselicensesintheformerCityofTorontowhere roominghousescanlegallyoperate. InvestigationservicesofMLSensureprovisionsoftheTorontoMunicipalCodeareupheld:ensuring thatbusinessesoperateinaccordancewiththeconditionsoflicenses,ensuringmaintenanceof
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propertiestoacceptedstandards,andensuringsafetyandhealthconcernsthatrelatetopartsofthe MunicipalCodeareresolved.Approachestoresolvingproblemsofcompliancecaninclude: inspections,alternativedisputeresolution,education,enforcement,andprosecution. Zoningregulationsforeachoftheformermunicipalitiesprovideadefinitionofroominghouses(or lodgingorboardinghouse)intheirzoningregulations.ThezoningprovisionsforYork,Etobicokeand theformerCityofTorontoindicatewhatareasofthemunicipalityroominghousesarepermitted,for exampleinmultifamilyresidentialzonesorcommercialzones.ThisisnotthecaseforScarborough, NorthYork,andEastYork,however,wherezoningprohibitsthistypeofdwelling. AffordableHousingOfficeworkswithallhousingstakeholders,includingseniorgovernment,the privateandvoluntarysectors,andotherCitydepartmentstofacilitatethedevelopmentofaffordable housinginToronto.Thisincludesfacilitatinginvestmentsfromthreelevelsofgovernment.TheOffice isdevelopingtheCitysAffordableHousingFrameworkfor20082018. StreetstoHomesisahousingfirststrategyimplementedbytheCityofTorontoin2005tomove individualswhoarelivingonthestreetdirectlyintopermanenthousing.Citystaffandcommunity agenciesdoextensiveoutreachtohomelessindividualsandhelpthemdevelopaplanforhousing. TheindividualreceivesassistancewithobtainingIDandincomesupport,choosingweretheywantto live,lookingatunits,andfindingfurniture.Anextensivenetworkoffollowupservicesdeliveredby Citystaffandcommunityagencieshelpsthenewlyhousedtenantskeeptheirhousing.Mostare housedintheprivaterentalmarket,includinginroominghouses.Thisinitiativeisadirectbenefitto homelessindividualsandlandlordswithaccommodationtooffer. Intheirown words Overthepast10years,theRoomingHouseWorkingGrouphasbeenaneffective "meetingplace"forthedifferentactorsinvolvedinthesector(Landlords,tenants,city staffandvarioussocialagenciesandadvocates)thatwouldotherwisehavelittleorno contactwitheachotherandfewmeansofcommunicatingwithcityhallandthebroader public.Havingthisuniqueaccesstotheadviceandsupportofcitystaffhasbeen invaluable. Throughthisprocesseveryonehasrealizedthattheyshareacommonalityofinterests andthereisnowagreaterunderstandingofthechallengesfacingallpartiesthatwould nothaveotherwisebeentherewithoutthisgroup. PaulDenison,CommunityCoChair,RHWGandRooming HouseDevelopmentWorker,TorontoChristianResource Centre www.toronto.caSHSInc.(2004b).CityofTorontoRoomingHouseIssuesandFutureOptions. BackgroundReportTwo.RegulationandLicensingofRoomingHousesintheCityofTorontoandOther Jurisdictions.InassociationwithRichardDrdlaAssociates,April.

Formore info

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

ParkdaleConflictResolutionProcess CityofToronto ToachieveconsensusontheappropriateapproachtobetakenbytheCityofTorontoonexisting illegalroominghousesintheParkdaleneighbourhood 19981999 CityofToronto(providedastaffpersontofacilitatetheprocess).Otherstakeholderscontributedtheir timeandexpertise. Whilethereisevidencedatingbacktotheearly1970softheCityofTorontoattemptingtoaddress disagreementsinParkdaleabouttheexistenceofroominghousesandbacheloretteunits,bythemid 1990sneighbourhoodtensionshadreachedanewlevel.Atoneendofthespectrumofopinionwas theviewthatParkdalesroominghousesandbacheloretteswereillegalbuildingsandneededtobe shutdown.Theopposingviewwasthatthisaccommodationofferedmuchneededaffordablehousing intheCityandthebuildingsneededtobelegalizedwithnoquestionsasked. TheproposalforaconflictresolutionprocesswasendorsedbyTorontoCityCouncilinOctober1998. Thehopewasthatamediatedprocesswouldresultinaconsensuspositionamongcommunity stakeholdersandidentifyanapproachthattheCitycouldtaketoresolvetheissueoftheillegalunits. Amediatorwasappointedwhohadthesupportofallstakeholders.Sevenstakeholdergroupswere identified:theBusinessImprovementAssociation,ResidentAssociations,communityagencies, bacheloretteowners,bachelorettetenants,Parkdaletenants,andtheCity.

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Theprocessbeganwiththemediatormeetingwithallstakeholdergroupsseparatelytofully understandanddocumentthevariousinterestsandpositions.Fourgrouprulesprovidedaframework fortheprocess: Avoiddehousing Identifysolutionsthatareclear,legalandabletobeimplemented Ensurehousingquality,safetyandstandardsand Ensureavailabilityofaffordablehousing.

Theunderstandingattheoutsetwasthattheprocesswouldendonlywithdecisionsreachedby consensus.Eachstakeholdergrouphad2representativesatthetableandwerewelcometohave otherinterestedindividualspresentatmeetingstoactasacaucusorsharetheresponsibilitiesof representingstakeholderinterests. Themediationprocessspanned12months,withallstakeholdergroupsexcepttheParkdaleTenants Association,remainingatthetable.Attheendoftheprocessthegroupaswholewasinagreement thatthecoreissuewastheneedtocreateandmaintainhighqualityhousingoptionsforhouseholds ofdifferenttypesandincomelevels.Asaresult,anewprocessforregulating,inspectingand licensingunitswascalledfor. Thestrategythatcameoftheprocessidentified18issuesorapproachestotheproblem,withthe2 keyrecommendationsbeingthecreationofamultistakeholderParkdaleHousingCommitteeanda PilotProjectGroup.ThepurposeoftheParkdaleHousingCommitteewastocontinuebringing togetherrepresentativesfromstakeholdergroupsandprovidingtheCitywithameansforongoing communityinput.ThePilotProjectGroup,comprisedoffulltimeCityofTorontostaffwithavarietyof expertise,wastheentitychargedwithimplementingtherecommendationscomingfromthe mediationprocess.(SeeelsewhereinthisreportforaprofileoftheParkdalePilotProject). Mediatoracceptabletoallstakeholdersandwhodidnotcomewithanexpertknowledgeof theneighbourhoodhistoryorplanningissues. Detailedexplorationoftheproblemfromallstakeholderperspectives. Focusonfindingwinwinsolutionssothatallstakeholderswereinvestedintheoutcomes. Recommendationsreachedbyconsensus. TheParkdaleConflictResolutionprocess: ReachedaconsensuspositiononhowtheCityshouldbeproceedwiththeissueofillegal roominghousesandbachelorettesthatbecamethebasisforrecommendationstotheCity andactionsintheyearstocome. Demonstratedamodelofcommunitytransformation:thatbyvaluinglocalsolutionstolocal problemsandworkingwithcommunitystakeholderstoidentifysolutions,itispossibleto movebeyondstereotypesandpositionsentrenchedinonevieworanother. Builtempathyandunderstandingacrosssegmentsofthecommunitywhobeganwith opposingviewsontheissueofroominghousesandbacheloretteunits. LaidthefoundationfortheCitytodeveloptheParkdalePilotProjectusingCityresourcesand relyingoncommunityinputstoreviewproposedprojectstobelegalized.

Key Features Successes

Intheirown words

Whenyouseehowlifeisonadailybasisforpeopleonthemargins,youcantobjectifyit andjustsaytheyshouldbekickedout,becausewherearetheygoingtogo? BruceVoogd,RoncesvallesMacDonnelResidentsAssociationandChairofParkdale HousingCoalition(2007).(Barna2007:p.33).

Formore info

Barna,M.(2007).BridgingDivides:AnExaminationofthe1998ParkdaleConflictResolutionProcess. CompletedaspartoftherequirementsoftheMasterofScienceofPlanning,UofT,April.

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

ParkdalePilotProject CityofToronto TopreserveaffordablehousingstockintheParkdaleareawhileensuringcompliancewiththeZoning Bylaw,FireCode,OntarioBuildingCodeandotherapplicableBylaws. 20002006 TheCityofTorontoprovidedstaffresourcesforinspection,reportingout,andmonitoring. TheParkdalePilotProjectwasanoutcomeoftheParkdaleConflictResolutionProcess.Thepilot projectfocusedonlargesinglefamilyhomesintheParkdaleareaofTorontothathadbeenconverted

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intoroominghousesandbacheloretteunits(smallselfcontainedunits)andwasaresultofa communitymediationprocessbegunin1998.(SeeParkdaleConflictResolutionProcesselsewherein thisreport.)Manyoftheseconversionswereundertakenwithoutbuildingpermitsandtheendresult contravenedthelocalZoningBylaw.Citystaffandhousingadvocates,amongothers,were concernedthattheconvertedbuildingsdidnotmeetfiresafetyandpropertystandardsrequirements. Propertyownerswereencouragedtoparticipateintheprojectwiththreekeyincentives: Theirapplicationforrezoningwouldbesubjecttodevelopmentstandardsthathadbeen temporarilyreduced TheCitycommittedtosupportingandfacilitatingtheapprovaloftheirapplicationsforre zoningandlicensingand, Oncelegalized,thepropertiesbenefitedfrombeingassessedundertheresidentialtaxrate.

Anownerwantingtolegalizebegantheprocessbysubmittinganapplicationalongwithdrawingsof theexistingproperty.ACityInspectorwouldthenvisitthepropertyandverifytheaccuracyofthe drawingsatthetimeoftheapplication.Subsequently,theplanswereexaminedbystaffinthe MunicipalLicensingandStandardsDivision,BuildingsDivisionandFireServicestoidentifyareasthat wouldnotmeetthestandardsdevelopedforthepilotproject.Citystaffandthepropertyownerwould thenmeetandtheownerwouldreceiveadetailedlistofimprovementsrequiredforlegalizationanda timelineforcompletingthework.FinalinspectionwasdonebythesameCityofficialswhooriginally visitedtheproperty.Ifallrequirementshadbeenmet,sitespecificrezoningwaspassedbyCity Councilforuseasaroominghouse.Thefinalstepintheprocesswasforthepropertyownertoapply foraRoomingHouselicensetooperatelegally. Key Features Acommunitymediationprocessinvolvingresident/homeownerassociations,business improvementgroups,roominghouseowner/operators,serviceagenciesandtenants,and facilitatedbyCitystaffresultedinadraftdocumentthatleadtoalternate(andachievable) standardsforexistingillegalroominghouseandbacheloretteproperties. Alternatestandardswerepermittedforexistingpropertieswhichweretobelegalized.This includedreducedrequirementsforunitsizes,excessgrossfloorarea,andparking.These alternatestandardsweredeemednottojeopardizethesafetyoftenants. Onewindowapproachforpropertyownersapplyingforrezoningandalicense.Applicants dealtwithonestaffpersonforalltheirinformationneeds.TheCityassignedadedicatedstaff teamtotheprojectwhichresultedinthecoordinationofinformationandservicesacross variousCitydepartments. Existingstockofbacheloretteunitsandroominghousespreserved.Aguiding principleoftheprojectwasthatunitswouldnotbelostasaresultoftheinitiative. PropertyownerswantingtolegalizereportedsatisfactionwithbeingabletomeetwithCity Inspectorsandreceiveinstructionontheupgradesneeded. Unitswereupgradedtocomplywiththebuildingcodeaswellasfiresafetyandproperty standardsbylaws. StarrGroupInc.(2001)FinalReport:InterventionsforRoomingHouses/SROsandTenants.Ottawa: CanadaMortgageandHousingCorporation. www.toronto.ca/licensing/rooming_houses.htm

Successes

Formore info

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s)

ResidentialRehabilitationAssistanceProgram(RRAP) CanadaMortgageandHousingCorporation(CMHC) Targetinglowandmodestincomehouseholds,thisprogramprovidesfundingfora)repairand rehabilitationofexistingaffordablehousingandb)thecreationofnewunitsthroughconversionand thedevelopmentofsecondsuites. Establishedin1973ongoing CanadaMortgageandHousingCorporationfundingdeliveredthroughtheCityofTorontotoeligible homeownersandlandlords.RRAPisdeliveredthroughoutOntariobyanetworkofmunicipaland independentdeliveryagents. RRAPfundingconsistsofaforgivableloan:onethatisnotrepaidaslongasallofthetermsofthe loanaremet. RoominghouselandlordsmayuseRRAPfundingfor: Essentialrepairsorreplacementstobuildingstructureorexterior,electrical,plumbing,or

Timeframe Funding Partners

Overview

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heatingsystems,orfiresafetyinitiatives.(In2007,themaximumloanforrepairsper roominghousebedunitwas$16,000) Convertingnonresidentialbuildingsintoaffordablerentalhousing.(In2007themaximum loanforconversionperroominghousebedunitwas$16,000). Modifyingaunittomeettheneedsofatenantwithphysicaldisabilities.(In2007,upto $16,000wasavailableperunitformodificationsforroominghouseaccommodation.)

CMHCissuesaRequestforApplicationsforlandlordsannually,subjecttofundingbeingavailable. Key Features Acommitmenttoaffordablehousing:Landlordsmustagreetooperatetherentalhousingfor eligibletenantsataffordablerentlevelsforupto15years. Acommitmenttoaffordablerents:LandlordsmayapplyforRRAPfundingiftheirrentalratesare belowlimitssetbyCMHC.In2007therentlimitforaroominghousebedunitwas$537permonth. Adheringtolocalzoningandstandards:Repairstoroominghouses,conversionopportunities, andmodificationsfordisabilitieswillonlybeconsiderediftheprojectmeetsoriscapableofmeeting applicablezoning,buildingandotherlocalstandards. Successes RecentRRAPactivity(from200304to200708):

$3.7millioninRRAPfundsassistedintherepairof336legalroominghouseunits. RRAPhasbeensuccessfullycombinedwithSCPIandHPIfundingtoprovidesupportiveand
transitionalhousinginToronto.Since2000,RRAPRoomingHouseandConversionfundsof $4.87millionhaveassisted10supportivehousingprojectsbyrepairingandcreating237 housingunits. Intheirown words AroominghouseoperatorwhoreceivedRRAPfundstorepairaroof,replacedamagedinterior ceilings,dampproofafoundation,installanewfurnace,updatewiringtoreplaceknobandtube, installnewsecuredoors,andbuildnewwalkwayswrote: Ijustwantedtosayaformalhugethankyoutoallthestaffwhohelpedme andothersinTorontowiththeRRAPgrantThedecisionbythe governmentofCanadatohelpCanadianswiththisprogramwasagood decisionandIhopethattheywillcontinuetohelppeoplelikemyselfoffer affordablehousing.Ihopeourgovernmentseeshowimportantitis,and howcosteffectiveitis,intheend,toaidinofferingsafer,clean,warm housingtoitscitizens. Formore info HousingImprovementProgramsat4163927620orrrap@toronto.ca www.toronto.ca/affordablehousing/rrap_outline.htm

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s)

ResourcesExistforNetworkingandTraining(RENT):www.landlordconnect.ca EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources Toidentifyprivatelandlordswillingtoworkwithhousinghelpservices,andincreasethe numberofprivaterentalmarketunitsaccessedandsustainedbytheclientsservedinthe housinghelpsector. Toenhancecontactsandworkingrelationshipsbetweenhousinghelpservicesandprivate landlordsinordertostrengthenhomelessnesspreventionworkacrossthecity. Toprovideliaisonsupporttolandlordhousinghelprelationships. 2006ongoing CityofToronto Landlordconnect.caisaRENTresourcetosupporthousinghelpworkintheToronto.(RENT: ResourcesExistforNetworkingandTraining,aprogramofEastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources, buildsthecapacityofthehousinghelpsectorbyfacilitatingthehousingworkerspeerlearning networkinwhichcoordinatedresourcedevelopmentisapriority.) Landlordconnect.caisanonlinevacancylistandliaisoncentre,facilitatingtheidentificationof landlordsofferingaffordablehousingandprovidingsupporttolandlordhousinghelprelationships. Landlordconnect.caisaresourcethatlinkshousingworkersacrossTorontowithlandlordswhohave

Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

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affordableunitstorentandwhoarepreparedtorenttoclientsfromallhousinghelpservices (whetherfromshelters,dropins,multiserviceagenciesorhousinghelpcentres.)Manyofthemost affordableunitsavailableareinroominghouses. Landlordconnect.caisapasswordprotectedsitewhichisaccessibletoregisteredhousingworkers andlandlords.Itisthemechanismforpostingunitvacancies,detailsabouttherentalhousing,and contactinformationforhousingworkersandlandlords.Itallowshousingworkerstoindicatethat theyhaveconfirmedappointmentsforclientstoviewunits. Thetrackingfeaturesoflandlordconnect.caallowlandlordstoindicatewhenaunithasbeenrented andwhichagencyreferredthesuccessfulapplicant.Byloggingthisinformation,thelandlordcan knowwhotocontactincasethetenancyneedsfollowupsupport. Landlordconnect.caisameansfordevelopingandstrengtheningpartnershipsbetweenlandlordsand housingworkersthatcanresultinclientsofhousinghelpservicesbeinghousedfasterwith homelessnesspreventionsupportsbeinginplace.Alliancesbetweenhousingworkersandlandlords arealsoastartingpointfordiscussionstoaddressissuesintheprivatemarketrentalsectorsuchas propertystandardsandthedirectpaymentprogramforrent. Onefeatureoflandlordconnect.cathatdistinguishesitfromotheronlineorprintbasedlistingsof vacanciesisthecommitmenttoserviceonthepartofthehousinghelpservices.Injoining landlordconnect.ca,housinghelpservicesagreeto: Providesupportforclientswhobecometenants Followupwithclientswhoarehousedforaminimumofthreemonthsandclearly communicatehowthatfollowupwillhappenwiththelandlordand, Agreetobeavailableforthedurationofthetenancytomediateorexploreoptionsifthe tenantbecomesvulnerable.

Landlordsalsomakeaservicecommitmentwhenjoininglandlordconnect.ca.Theyagreeto: Postunitsaffordableforthoseonfixedincome,socialassistanceandtheworkingpoor Maintainapropertythatmeetsmunicipalandprovincialregulationsandlaws Contactthehousingworkerassoonasproblemsariseandbeforeinitiatingeviction proceedingsand, Tagunitswhenfilled.

Key Features

Successes

Asaliaisoncentre,landlordconnect.casponsorsopportunitiesforhousingworkersandlandlordsto meeteachother,network,andidentifycommonconcerns. Offerslandlordsandhousingworkersanonlinemeanstoconnectwitheachotherandmatch clientswhoneedhousingwithlandlordswithavailableunits. Offersagreaterlevelofdetailaboutavailableunitsthanotherlistings. Nocosttolandlordsorhousingworkersforusingtheservice. Linkstheplacementofaclienttofollowupassistanceifrequired. Promotesrelationshipbuildingbetweenhousingworkersandlandlords. Sincelandlordconnect.cawaslaunchedinJune2006: Over200landlordshavejoined. Over475housingworkersfromover200agenciesareloggingin. Over2900appointmentshavebeenmadetoviewover1400units. Over50mediationshavebeenfacilitatedbetweenlandlordsandhousinghelpservicesto preventhomelessness. Iwanttoworkwithhousingworkerstogetpeoplehousedandgetthem healthyIfwekeepsomesortofconnectionbetweenthelandlordandthe housingworker,itwillbeimportantfortheclient.Thelandlordmaybetheonly support[forthetenant]buthedoesnthavetheresourcesthathousingworkers have.Ifthetenanthasaproblemwithalandlord,heshouldhavesomeoneelse totalkto. Landlord(Memberoflandlordconnect) Iamwithasettlementagency,placinghomelessfamiliesandrefugees.Our entiredepartmentuseslandlordconnect.ca.Ijustregistered2daysagoand haveusedittoconnectwithtwolandlords.Landlordconnectisapowerfultool. HousingWorker(Memberoflandlordconnect.ca)

Intheirown words

Formore info

www.landlordconnect.ca

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Initiative Sponsor

RoomingHouseEmergencyResponsePlan CityofToronto,WoodGreenCommunityServices,CanadianRedCross,SalvationArmy,Critical IncidentWorkingGroup(CIWG) Torespondtothesuddenorimminentclosingofaroominghouseinacoordinated,safeandtimely manner. Launchedin2002andongoing Roominghousesthatclosewithlittleornowarningdisplacelowincometenants,puttingthemat imminentriskofhomelessness.Aclosuremaybeshorttermorpermanentandresultfroman unforeseenemergencysuchasfire,flooding,orhealthandsafetyhazards.Oritmaybeduetothe roominghousenotcomplyingwithlocalzoning,propertystandardsorlicensingregulations.The closuremaybeinitiatedbyalandlordortheCity. TheEmergencyResponsePlanisaguidethatcoordinatestheresponsesofseveralagencies,their personnelandtheirresourcesduringaroominghouseclosure.Theleadagenciesare:WoodGreen CommunityCentre,theCanadianRedCross,theSalvationArmy,andtheCityofToronto.Other agenciesandlocalbusinessesalsoroutinelyprovideassistanceduringemergencyresponses. Theprioritiesforserviceintheeventofaclosureare: immediateresidentsafety residentassessmentandsupport,and owner/landlordsupport.

Goal(s)

Timeframe Overview

The30pageplandescribeshowtheemergencyresponseisactivatedanddeactivatedandhowthe actionswhichflowfromtheplanarecoordinated.Theplanspecifiestheservicestobeprovidedand thedutiesandresponsibilitiesofparticipatingagencies.Itincludesprotocolsforrespondingto closuresduetofire,alackofvitalservices,andhazardstothesafetyandhealthoftenants.It outlinesactionstotakedependingonwhethertheclosureisexpectedtobeshortterm,longterm,or permanent.Theplancoverssituationswherethereisaremedyforthecauseoftheclosureandwhere thereisnot,aswellassituationswherethelandlordisorisnotpreparedtotakeremedialactions. Key Features EmergencycallsgototheRedCrossforsuddenclosureofaroominghouseortoWoodGreen CommunityServicesforaclosurethatwillhappeninthenearfuturebutwithoutthetimerequiredfor alegalnoticeofeviction. Supportsavailabletotenantsaffectedbyclosuresinclude: Emergencyshelterarrangements Transportationtoashelter Clothing Personalservicesandsupports,includingwhenpossiblehelpmovingandstoringbelongings Advocacy,referral,andcommunicationwithOntarioWorksandOntarioDisabilitySupport Programand, Longtermhousing. www.woodgreen.org/homeless/RoomingHBooklet_1.pdf

Formore info

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

RoomingHouseOwnersGroupInsuranceProgram SoHoInsuranceInc.(AdivisionoftheSocialHousingServicesCorporation). Developacomprehensiveandaffordableinsuranceprogramforroominghouseowner/operators. Developmentphase:2007ongoing Notapplicable SoHorecognizesthatroominghouseownersoftenfinditdifficulttoobtainsuitableinsuranceat competitiverates.Yetwhentakenasagroup,SoHosviewisthattheroominghousesectorspends enoughoninsurancepremiumstowarrantavolumediscount.Fortheroominghouseoperator,the prospectofbulkpurchasingwouldmeansavingsthrougheconomiesofscaleandaccesstocoverage

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thatisnotavailableonanindividualbasis. Thegroupinsuranceprogramalsobenefitsthesectorbyestablishinggoodpracticesandcommon comparisons.Bulkpurchasingcreatesamarketforce,andgivesmembersmorecontroloverthe volatilityinthemarket.Insuranceforroominghousesectorisseenasabestpracticeandwill increasethecomfortleveloflendersworkingwiththesector. SoHohasaninsurerwhoisinterestedintheRoomingHouseOwnersGroupInsurance.Tomove forward,SoHoneedscompleteinformationfromagroupofabout60licensedowner/operatorsto demonstratethatthereissufficientsectorinterestinthisinitiative. Key Features MemberbenefitsinSoHosinsuranceprograminclude: Standardcoverageforallmemberswithoptionstocoverindividualneeds Reducedbrokeragecommission Rebateincentivesforgoodpracticesincontrollingriskandclaimsand, Accesstoriskmanagementexpertiseandbestpracticesinformation. Thesebenefitsareonlyavailabletoownersofmunicipallylicensedroominghouses. Successes Stakeholdersandmembersareinvolvedinprogramdevelopment. Overthepast3years,membersintheSHSC/SoHoinsuranceprogramhaveseena20 percentreductioninoverallinsurancepremiumrates. InterestfromtheroominghousesectortodatemeansSoHoismorethanhalfwaytomeeting itsgoalofbuildingasizeablepurchasinggroup. www.sohoinsurance.ca

Formore info

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

RupertPilotProject RupertCommunityResidentialServicesofToronto,Inc. ImprovethequalityoflifeforroominghousetenantsintheCityofTorontobyimprovingphysical conditionsinthehousing,rehabilitatingsomeexistingstock,creatingnewunitsintheroominghouse sectorandprovidingsupportservicestotenants. 19911993 OntarioMinistryofHousingOntarioMinistryofCommunityandSocialServicesCityofToronto TheRupertPilotProjectinvolvedeightprivatesectorlandlordswith200tenantsinsevenrooming housesandsevennonprofitlandlordswith150tenantsinnineroominghouses.Thestandardsfor roominghousesdevelopedfortheprojectexceededtheCityofTorontoslegalrequirements. Landlordsintheprojectagreedtomeetthestandardsandweresupportedtodosothrougha monitoringandliaisonservice. Theprojectsgoaltoimprovephysicalconditionsinroominghousesincludedaddressingfiresafety, personalsafetyandsecurityissuesprovidingtenantswithaccesstokitchenfacilitiesupgrading kitchens,bathrooms,laundryfacilities,individualrooms,andcommonareasandprovidinggood qualityfurniture. Supportservicestoassisttenantswereprovidedbyanagencyotherthanthelandlordorhousing provider.Tenantsreceivedhelpwithindividualproblemsrelatedtohealth,personalissues,financial problems,orconcernsabouttheirlivingsituation.Supportworkersencouragedtenantsineach roominghousetogettoknowoneanother.Theaimwastodevelopasenseofcommunityamongthe tenantsandfosterresponsibilityamongtenantsfortheirpartinimprovingthelivingconditionsin roominghouses.

Key Features

ContractualAgreementsbetweenlandlordsandtheOpenDoorCentresetoutaclear businessrelationshipthatincludedtherequirementthattenantsbecoveredbytheLandlord andTenantAct.Theagreementspecifiedtheamenitiestobeprovidedtotenantsanda guaranteethatsupportworkerswouldhaveaccesstothetenantsintheroominghouses. PerDiemsPaidtoLandlordsintheamountof$5.00pertenantperdaywereseenasa majorreasonwhyprivatesectorlandlordswereattractedtotheprojectandwhytheywere motivatedtocomplywiththetermsandstandardssetoutinthecontractualagreement. AMonitoring/liaisonservicewasresponsibleforensuringlandlordscompliedwiththe standardsdevelopedbytheRupertCoalitionandmediatingbetweentenantsandlandlordsor supportworkersandlandlordstoresolveproblems. Supportworkersvisitingtheroominghousesmeantthattenantsreceivedoneononehelp withpersonalproblemsandbenefitedfromaccesstocommunityservicesthatwere previouslyunavailabletothem. 48

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Successes

Financialsupportintheformofloanswasavailabletoprivatesectorlandlordstoassist withrenovatingandrehabilitatingtheirroominghouses.Thisincludedfundstopayforan architecttoworkonrehabilitationdesigns. Demonstratedthatprivatesectorlandlordscanprovidegoodroominghouseunits. Demonstratedthesuccessofamonitoringservicewithfinancialsupportforlandlordsasa waytoimprovethephysicalconditionsofroominghousesandthequalityoftenantslives. Fosteredmoreharmonioustenantcommunities. Tenantsindicatedincreasedsatisfactionwiththeirhousingandreportedincreasedabilityto gethelpsolvingdaytodayproblems. Brokerednewpartnershipsbetweengovernment,serviceagenciesandroominghouse operators. Improvedlivingconditionsforover500roominghousetenants.Thisincludestenants benefitingfromimprovedandrehabilitatedhousingandthoseaccessingnewunitsthat becameavailablethroughnonprofithousingproviderstowardstheendoftheprojectand thefollowingyear. IusedtobeashamedofwhereIlive.Icouldntbringvisitorsinwithmebecause itwasashithole.TodayIfeellikeIhaveahome.Ibringfriendsinandtheyare impressedbywhereIlive.

Intheirown words

Formore info

Tenantinalargeforprofitroominghouse (JimWardAssociates1993:15) JimWardAssociates(1993).MakingRoomsintoHomes:AnEvaluationofTorontosRupertPilot Project.Toronto. RupertCommunityResidentialServicesofToronto(1993).RupertIncorporatedPilotProjectReport: SelfEvaluationandRecommendations.Toronto:SocialPlanningCouncilofMetropolitanToronto. Stein,H.,Teeple,C.andFoley,K.(1995).ThePrivateRoomingHouseProjectoftheRupertHotel CoalitionPilotProject.RoomingHousesintheCityofToronto:ThreeRecentStudies.Toronto:Cityof TorontoHousingDepartmentPublishingWorkgroup.

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s)

SinglesHousingOpportunityProgram(SHOP) CityhomewhichisnowpartofTorontoCommunityHousingCorporation(TCHC) Respondtotheneedformoreaffordablehousingstockforlowincomesinglesbybuyingsinglefamily homesandconvertingthemintodwellingssuitablefornonrelatedindividualstolivetogetherasa family. Thisprogramcameintobeingafterachangeinprovincialgovernmentpolicythatallowedsinglesto beeligibleforRentGearedtoIncomeAssistance.Itrespondedtoaneedinthecommunityfor affordablehousingforsingles.

Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

19891993 ProvinceofOntario, HomesNow Intheearlynineties,SHOPemergedasaCityledresponsetotheneedformoreaccessible, affordableandhigherqualityhousingforsinglesinToronto.Playingacoordinationrole,theCityof TorontoHousingDepartmentpartneredwithCityhome(theCitysnonprofithousingagency)anda dozennonprofitcommunityorganizationstoimplementSHOP. Undertheprogram,Cityhomepurchasedandconverted15singlefamilyhomesintohouseswhich couldbeoccupiedbysinglenonrelatedindividualslivingtogetherasafamily.Themaximumnumber ofunitsallowedwithineachhousewas7. Thehouseswerethenleasedtononprofitorganizationstooperate,withCityhomeprovidingproperty managementservices.Thecommunityorganizationswereresponsibleforallaspectsoftenant relations,supporttotenants,andworkingwithtenantsaroundroutinemaintenanceissues.Awide rangeofcommunityorganizationswerepartnersinSHOP,including: ParkdaleAdolescentResourceCentre,YoungStreetMission,CliftonYouthServices,andthe TorontoBoardofEducationworkingwithyouth SistershareLivingandNelliesworkingwithsinglewomen HomesFirstSocietyandSt.ChristopherHouseworkingwithsinglemenandwomen FifeHouseworkingwithindividualswithHIV/AIDS

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CanadianAfricanNewcomerAidSocietyofTorontoworkingwithAfricanrefugeesand St.VincentdePaulworkingwithindividualsinrecoveryfromaddictions.

SHOPgeneratedover170unitsofhousingforsingleyouthandadultsinneighbourhoodsacrossthe formerCityofToronto.OneofthelastprojectstobedevelopedthroughSHOPwasJarvisHistorical Homes,aninitiativewhichconverted4historicalrowhousesinto24unitsforsinglemenreferredby theSeatonHouseshelter.Eachunithaditsownbathroomandkitchenspacewassharedbyclusters offourtenants.Commonsittingroomsandacommunalkitchenwereavailabletoalltenants.The projecthadonsitestaffduringregularworkhours. TodayallofthepropertiesformerlyundertheSHOPprogramareownedbytheTorontoCommunity HousingCorporation.Theycontinuetohousesingleswhorequirerentgearedtoincomeassistance andareoperatedthroughheadleaseswithcommunityorganizations. Key Features ThetenantshousedthroughSHOPwerelowincomeandeligibleforRentGearedtoIncome assistance. Tenantsweresingleswhowereabletoliveontheirowninasharedhousewithminimal supports.Theprogramdidnotofferliveinsupportstaff. AnagreementbetweenCitydepartmentsensuredthatthehouseswererenovatedtomeet appropriatefiresafetystandards.Enhancedfirecodestandards,aboveandbeyondwhatis normallyrequiredforasinglefamilyhome,suchasthirdfloorexits,firesafetyplanningwith tenants,andmonthlymonitoringoffiresafetyequipmentwereineffect. Quicklycreatednewhousingstockwithnoplanningapprovalsnecessary. UsingamodelofEnhancedManagement,allowedcommunityagenciestoprovidedirect supporttotenantsandbringtheirexpertiseasserviceproviderstotheprogram. UsedCityhomesexpertiseintheacquisitionanddevelopmentofthepropertiesaswellasfor ongoingmaintenance. Helpedlocalorganizationsexpandtheservicesthattheyofferinthecommunity. Providedmanyindividualswhohadexperiencedhomelessnessorvulnerabletenancieswith anopportunitytostabilizetheirlives. Whenwestartedout,everyonealwayssaidwomencantlivetogether,theyll fightaboutthekitchen.Butthatisnotwhatwefound.Yes,therewassome interpersonalconflictbutthatexistsinanyhousehold.IfIwassingle,Iwould ratherlivewithothersthanaloneinanapartmentonmyown. BarbaraKilbourn,FoundingBoardMember,SistershareLivingwhichopeneda houseforwomenaged50+inTorontosParkdaleneighbourhoodunderSHOP. SincethenthismodelhasinspiredhousingforolderwomeninPeterborough.

Successes

Intheirown words

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

SouthSt.Jamestown CityhomeNonProfitwhichisnowpartofTorontoCommunityHousingCorporation(TCHC) Preserveroominghousesforlowincomesingles 19771982(development)1977present(operational) CityofToronto(operatingsubsidies),ProvinceofOntarioandGovernmentofCanada Cityhomeacquired53roominghousesfromtheSt.Jamestowndeveloperandprivateownersinthe lateseventiesandearlyeighties.Theseroominghouseswerehometoover750individuals. Todaythesehousesarehometo320individuals.Manyofthehousesarenow1or2unitdwellings.

Key Features Successes

Theacquisitionpreservedinnerroominghousestockclosetoservicesandcommunitythatsupports thispopulationoftenants. Atatimeofacceleratinggentrification,apartoftheroominghousestockwasprotectedfrom redevelopment.TheacquisitionoftheroominghousesbyCityhomewasseenaswaytoprevent homelessnessandimprovethelivesandhousingconditionsofmanymarginalizedmembersofthe community. Thisprojectwasarareopportunitytoensurehousingforpeoplewhowere

Intheirown

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words

stabilizedinasupportivecommunity. BobYamashita (former)DevelopmentConsultant HabitatServices

Formore info

Ward,J.1988.SouthSt.JamestownRoomingHouseStudy.Cityhome.

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s)

TorontoRentBankProgram NeighbourhoodInformationPost Preventhomelessnessbyassistingtenantswhoareinimminentdangerofbeingevictedtomaintain theirhousingandbecomemorestableintheirhousing. Beganasapilotprojectin1998.Ongoing. CityofToronto,theProvinceofOntarioandUnitedWayofGreaterToronto. Begunasapilotprojectin1998,theloanfundwas$40,000foroneyear.Thefollowingyear,the projectexpandedwitha$200,000loanfund. Atpresentthefundisjustover$1millionperyearin additiontotherepaymentsfromclients. Thefundprovidesloanstoeligiblehouseholdstobeusedtocoverrentalarrears.Theloansare interestfreebutarerepayable. TobeeligiblefortheprogramtheapplicantmustbearesidentofTorontoandbeinveryrealdanger oflosinghisorherhousingduetorentalarrears,butotherwisebeinhousingthatissustainable.The applicantmustnotowemorethantwomonthsrentandhaveasteadyincome.Socialassistance recipientsinrentarrearsaredirectedtootherprogramsforhelp. Assistancetolowincometenantsintheformofarentbankisacriticalcomponentofcommunity homelessnesspreventionstrategies.

Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

Key Features

Theprogramprovidesthefollowingservicesandsupportstolowincomehouseholdsinadditiontothe loans: Counseling Casecoordination Advocacyforclientsingainingaccesstocommunityservicesand, Assistancenegotiatingwithlandlords.

Theprogramisadministeredthroughacentraladministrationofficeand7localaccesscentres locatedacrossthecityincommunityagencies. Successes SinceNovember2004,3,183householdshaveavoidedevictionasaresultofrentbank loans.Thisincludes961singles.Sixmonthsafterreceivingtheloan,over85percentofthe householdsassistedthroughtheprogramwerestillstablyhoused. Theprogramgiveslowincometenantsanopportunitytogettheirpersonalfinancesbackon trackagain,andprovideslinkagestoothercommunitysupportservices.

Intheirown words

Theprogramsaveslandlordsfromcostlyevictionproceedingsduetorentarrearsornon paymentofrent. FromaclientinJan.08(asexpressedinathankyoucard): NotonlyhastheRentBankhelpedmeasasinglemother,theRentBankhasalso helpedmylittlegirl.shewonthavetomoveout,startalloverinanewschool,or possiblyendupinahostel.Pleasecontinuetoprovidehelpfortheworkingpoor!

Formore info

www.nipost.org

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Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

VoiceMailProject CentralNeighbourhoodHouse(CNH) Toprovideaffordablevoicemailservicetolowincometenants. 1994ongoing. AdministrativecostspaidforthroughthecorefundingthatCNHreceivesfromtheUnitedWay Begun14yearsagoaspartoftheRupertHotelPilotProject,thevoicemailprojectemergedfroman identifiedneedamongroominghousetenants.Acommunityworkersupportingtenantsrealizedthat individualswithoutaccesstoaprivatephoneorvoicemailhadtroublearrangingmedical appointments,confirmingjobinterviews,andresolvinghousingorotherissues.Inaddition,withouta phoneorvoicemail,tenantshaddifficultystayingincontactwithfriendsandfamily. Thecostofhavingaprivatephonelinecanbeoutofthereachofmanylowincomeindividualsdueto therequiredsecuritydeposit,setupfeeandmonthlycharges.Whilesomeroominghouseshavea centralphoneavailabletoalltenants,thisdoesnotworkforeveryone.Phonemessagesmaynotbe takendownorpassedon.Alowcostvoicemailserviceisanaffordablealternative.

Key Features

Successes

Intheirown words Formore info

Thecostofoperatingthesystemisinpartcoveredbyuserfees:theindividualuserspay $10for3months. Additionaladministrativecostsrelatedtotheservice,including10hoursperweekofstaff timeforuserregistrationandfollowuparecoveredbytheagency. Freeinternetserviceisalsoprovidedthroughonsitecomputeraccessattheagency 500voicemailnumbersareinusethroughCNH. Programbeganfortenantsinroominghousesexpandedtoalsoincludeindividualswhoare homeless. Providesanaffordablevoicemailserviceforlowincomemembersofthecommunity:a2006 surveyofparticipantsnotedthatover75%ofusershadamonthlyincomeoflessthan$900. [Voicemail]isveryuseful.IdontknowwhatIddowithoutit. 50yearoldtenantinToronto Hasusedtheserviceforover2years CentralNeighbourhoodHouse 4169668595x204

Initiative Sponsor Goal(s) Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

VoluntaryTrusteeshipProgram St.StephensCommunityHouse Assistindividualswithaddictionstostabilizetheirlivesandhousingthroughfinancialmanagement, casemanagementsupportsandharmreductionstrategies. 2001ongoing UnitedWay,privatedonations Thetrusteeshipprogramisdeliveredwithinthecontextofacasemanagementservice.Clientswho arepartofthetrusteeshipprogramalsoreceiveassistancewithbudgeting,shoppingandmanaging moneymanagingaddictionsthroughaharmreductionapproachorabstinencekeepingmedical appointmentsandmanagingmedications. Theprogramisforindividualswhoselivesarechaoticduetosubstanceuse.Thechaosand unpredictabilitycanmeanthatrentdoesnotgetpaidandtheylosetheirhousingwithafewmonths. Participantsintheprogramareindividualswhowanttostayhoused,butwhoneedassistanceto remaininstablehousing.Currently25individualsareassistedthroughtheprogram. St.Stephensishopingtoexpandthetrusteeshipprogramto60clientsinthenearfuture.Thiswould allowtheprogramtoworkwithindividualslivingwithmentalillnessaswellasthosewithaddictions andconcurrentmentalhealthandaddictionsissues.

Key Features

Thisisavoluntaryprogram.ParticipantsnotifyOntarioWorksortheOntarioDisabilitySupport ProgramthattheywishtohavetheirbenefitsdirectedtoSt.Stephensforadministration throughtheprogram.Inthecaseofparticipantswhoareintheworkforce,somebringtheirpay chequetotheagencydirectlywhileothersinformtheiremployerswheretosendpaycheques. St.Stephensensuresthattheparticipantsrentandbillsarepaidbeforetheyaccesstheirfunds. Oncethebillsarepaid,theHarmReductionTrusteeWorkermeetswitheachindividualtobudget forthemonth. Participantscanaccesstheirfunds5daysaweekduringsethoursorbyappointmentandcan

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withdrawamaximumof$50perdayoralargeramountwithpriornotification. TheHarmReductionTrusteeprovidescomprehensivecasemanagementsupports,including assistingparticipantswithhousing,evictionprevention,accessinghealthcareforphysicaland mentalhealthissues,andanyotherareasofneededsupport.

Successes

TheHarmReductionTrusteeWorkerwillstrategizewiththeparticipanttohelphimorherto managetheirsubstanceusethroughharmreductionstrategies.(Iftheparticipantidentifies abstinenceastheirgoal,thetrusteewillassistthemtoachieveit.)Forexampleifsomeone drinksandthentypicallygetsintotroublewiththelaw,theworkerandtheparticipantwill identifywaysfortheindividualtostayoutoftrouble,drinkonlyatcertaintimesduringtheweek, minimizecontactwithothersduringabinge,andstaysafe. Theindividualissupportedtotakecontrolofhisorheruseofsubstances,bringingmorestability todailylife.Managingaddictionssuccessfullyisafactorinstayinghoused. Withonlylimitedaccesstothefunds,theabilityofparticipantstoresistactingimpulsivelyis greatlyenhanced. Ifaparticipantneedsalargersumofmoneytopurchasenecessitieslikeclothingorfootwearbut hasdoubtsabouthisorherabilitytocarrythroughwiththepurchase,thetrusteeworkerwill provideaccompaniment. Oneparticipantinthisprogramwhodiedlastyearwasadiagnosedschizophrenic andcrackaddictliving,also,withadevelopmentaldisability.Despitethemany challengeshefaced,heknewthathewantedtobehoused.Withthesupportof ourtrusteeshipprogram,hesuccessfullymaintainedhousingforthelastsix yearsofhislife.ThelandlordoftheroominghousecalledSt.Stephensafterhe diedandtoldusthatthismanwashisfavouritetenantashewasquiet,friendly, andpleasanttobearound.Thisisnotwhatmostpeoplethinkofwhentheythink ofsomeoneaddictedtocrack! RobinGriller Manager,HousingandHomelessServices St.StephensCommunityHouse www.ststephenshouse.com

Intheirown words

Formore info Initiative Sponsor Goal(s)

St.StephensCornerDropIn

Yes,InMyBackYard:AguideforOntariossupportivehousingproviders HomeComingCommunityChoiceCoalition ThistoolkitisdesignedtohelpproponentsofnewsupportivehousingprojectsdealwithNotInMy Backyardopposition FirstpublishedbyHomecomingCommunityChoiceCoalitionin2003,revisedin2005. AtkinsonFoundation,OntarioNonProfitHousingAssociation,GovernmentofCanadathroughthe SupportingCommunitiesPartnershipInitiative Thisguidebookfocusesontheconsultationprocessthatsurroundsthedevelopmentofsupportive housingprojects.Itprovidesconcretestrategiesfordealingwiththemyths,fearsandprejudices aboutpeoplewholiveinsupportivehousing. Thiskitisapotentialresourceforproponentsofprivatesectorroomingandboardinghouseswhoalso faceconsiderableneighbourhoodoppositiontotheseformsofaccommodation.

Timeframe Funding Partners Overview

Key Features

Thetoolkitillustrates: Howtherightsofpeoplewithmentalillness,disabilitiesorlivinginpovertyareviolatedby communityoppositiontosupportivehousing HowtheOntarioHumanRightsCode,civillawandtheCriminalCodecanbeusedtoprotect therightsofvulnerabletenants Whatproponentsoroperatorsofaccommodationfortenantswithmentalhealthorother challengescandotoprotecttheprivacyoftheirtenantsandadvocatefortheirrights Whatconstituteslegitimateoppositiontoadevelopment Themunicipalapprovalsprocessfornewhousingprojects Goodpracticesinplanningforcommunityconsultation,identifyingsupportersandbuilding alliancesand, Waystodealwiththetypicalobjectionstohousinglowincomeindividualsorthosewith mentalhealthissues.

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Successes

Helpedchangethewayhousingprovidersandgovernmentofficialsthinkofsupportivehousing approvals: TheOntarioHumanRightsCommissionhasidentifieddiscriminatoryNIMBYasahuman rightsissue TorontoCityCouncilmembersrebutcommunityoppositionusingthekitshumanrights perspective TheCityofTorontosAffordableHousingCommitteenowopenseachmeetingwith an affirmationofhumanrightsand, Housingprovidershavebecomemorestrategicabouttheircommunityoutreachefforts.

Intheirown words

Before the Yes In My Backyard toolkit, many people including city councilors andpublicofficialsthoughtitwasOKtostandupatapublicmeetingandsay, wedontwantyoupeopleinourneighbourhood. Now more and more housing providers are realizing they dont have to take it anymore, and more and more officials are backing themup. Our next goal isto root out discriminatory planning practices, such as distancing requirements and bylawsthatzoneoutroominghouses. JoyConnelly,Authorofthetoolkit

Formore info

Foracopyofthetoolkit:www.homecomingcoalition.com

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4.SummaryandRecommendations
Thisreportongoodpracticesintheroominghousesectordrawsoninputfromtenants,landlords andagencies.Ithighlightspracticesthatcurrentlybenefitandstrengthenthesectorwhile contributingtothewellbeingoflowincomeadultswholiveinthisformofshared accommodation. Inidentifyinggoodpractices,considerationwasgiventowhatitmeanstoprovidesupportto roominghousetenantsandlandlords.Supporttotenantsisrelatedtobothreferralservicesand ongoingworkthatbuildshousingstability.SupportcanincludeofferingassistancewithID, securingasourceofincome,evictionpreventionwork,searchingforhousingoptions,viewing units,meetingandliaisingwithlandlords,obtainingfurnitureandpersonalitems,assistingwith theprocessesofsettlinginandestablishingnewroutines,doinghomevisits,negotiatingand monitoringrentpaymentplans,andresolvingconflictsordifficultiesastheyarise.Forsome tenants,supportcanbeassimpleasfinancial:makingitpossibleforasingleadultwithlow incometoaffordhisorheraccommodationandtheothernecessitiesofliferegardlessofwhether theyreceiveincomefromsocialassistance,CPPoralowwagejob.Forotherssupportmeans ongoinghelpwiththetasksofdailylivingorintensivecasemanagementtocopewithcomplex health,mentalhealth,addictionsorotherpersonalchallenges. Supporttolandlordscantakeavarietyofformstorespondtothechallengesofacquiringand operatingroominghouses.Landlordsneedtobeabletoaccessfavourablefinancingand insurancerates.Theyneedaccesstofundingtoundertakeupgradestodwellings,including upgradesthatarerequiredtocomplywithlocalfiresafetyandpropertystandardsaswellas thosethataddresstheexteriorandinteriorappearanceofaproperty.Theyneedtobepartofa subsidyprogramthatbridgesthegapbetweentheactualcostsofowingandoperatingalicensed roominghouseandwhatatenantwithalowincomecanafford. Owner/operatorsofunlicensedroominghousesneedtobeabletoobtainadviceandassistance frommunicipalofficialsandengageincommunitydialogueaboutlicensingandstandards,without fearingreprisals.Ownersofunlicensedroominghousesneedaprocessinplacethatallowsthem toworktowardsbecominglicensedanddemonstratingtheircompliancewithreasonableand agreeduponstandardsforroominghouses. Todothis,roominghousesneedtobeableto operatelegallyincommunitiesacrossthecity,freefromthethreatofNIMBYorbeingclosed down.Thisrequireschangestothezoninginmanypartsofthecity. Anumberofrecommendationsemergefromthisstudy.ThesearepresentedtotheCityof TorontoforconsiderationastheCitysFrameworkforAffordableHousingisbeingdeveloped. 1. Inplanningforroominghousestandards,takeintoaccounttheimpactof proposedstandardsonallstakeholders.Therecanbetensionbetweenwhat standardsaroominghousemustmeetinordertobelicensedandthepreferencesof tenants.Tenants(andarguablylandlordsandneighbours)appreciatearoominghouse thatblendsinwellwithintheneighbourhoodandinsideretainsthecharacterofafamily home. 2. Updatezoningregulationsacrossthecitytoincluderoominghousesasa permittedlanduseineachoftheformermunicipalities.Zoningthatincludes roominghousesasapermitteduseinallresidentialzonesandcommercialresidential zonesisneededtohelpprotecttheexistingstockandencouragenewsupply. 3. ImplementaprocessthatallowsroominghousestobelicensedacrosstheCityin avarietyoftypesofneighbourhoods.Identifyoptionsormodelsforcoordinatingthe activitieswhichareintegraltotheprocess.Ensuretheprocessincludesincentivesfor landlordstoeducatethemselves,worktowardsbeinglicensedandcomplywithCity

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standards.Widelypublicizeinitiativestoensureroominghouseoperatorsareawareof opportunitiesavailabletothem. 4. Uselicensingasaframeworkforprovidingsupportstoroominghouselandlords. Encourageownerstoobtainlicensesbylinkinglicensingwithavarietyofsupportsforthe sector.Thiscouldincludeownersoflicensedroominghouses(orthoseintheprocessof becominglicensed)beingeligibleforhousingallowances,morefavourablefinancingand insurancerates,formalpartnershipswithsupportserviceagencies,andparticipationin educationalinitiatives.Widelypublicizetheopportunitiesavailabletolandlords. 5. Fundthedevelopmentandimplementationofaroominghouselandlord educationinitiative.Landlordeducation,throughthedevelopmentofappropriate workshops,curriculum,andresourceswouldaimtohelproominghouselandlordsbe betterinformedaboutallaspectsofroominghousemanagement,relevantlegislationand regulation,thesupportneedsoftenants,communityreferrals,emergencyprotocols,and howtoworkeffectivelywithmunicipalofficials.Participationinalandlordeducation initiativecouldbetiedtootherCityinitiativesthatsupporttheroominghousesector,such asRRAPandlicensing. 6. Extendhousingallowancestoincludetenantslivinginsharedaccommodation. Considerhousingallowancesasawaytobridgethedifferencebetweentheshelter allowanceportionofsocialassistanceandtheactualcostsofowningandoperatinga licensedroominghouseinToronto. 7. Ensurethatsupportservicesfortenantsreceiveadequateandsustaining funding.Anetworkofsupportsforlowincometenantsneedstorepresentafull continuumofservicesfromminimalshortterminterventionsforthemajorityofindividuals throughtoongoingandintensivecasemanagementservicesfortenantswhostruggleto maintaintheirhousingandcarryoutthetasksofdailyliving.Sufficientfundingisneeded toavoidunreasonablewaittimesandtoallowtenantstoaccessservicesforaslongas theyneedto. 8. Identifynewopportunitiesforlicensedroominghouseoperatorstopartnerwith existingcommunityservicestoofferonsiteservicestotenants.Partnerships betweenroominghouseownersandcommunityagenciescanbeavehicleforbringing routineandemergencysupportservicestotenantswhohavehighneedsduetocomplex mentalhealthandaddictionsissues. 9. Combatthenegativeimageofroominghousesbychangingthetermusedto refertothistypeofhousing.Formany,thetermroominghouseisassociatedwith stereotypesaboutwhatpropertieslooklike,howtheyaremaintained,whoownsthemand wholivesthere.Thesestereotypesarechallengedbythisstudyandotherrecentresearch. Describingthishousingusingneutrallanguagecanbeasteptowardsfosteringgreater communityacceptanceofthistypeofaccommodation. 10. Throughresearch,exploreandreportoutonthesignificanceofshared accommodationamongnewimmigrantsandrefugeesinToronto.Considertherole andvalueofroominghouseaccommodationinthesettlementpatternsofnewcomersto thecity.Examinetheroleandexperienceofrecentandearlierimmigrantsas entrepreneursintheCitysroominghousesector. 11. Establishamultistakeholderbodywithauthoritytolead,coordinateandmonitor theimplementationoftheaboverecommendations.Thisentity,withaccountability backtotheCityofToronto,wouldhaveaclearmandateandbesufficientlyresourcedto achieveitsobjectives.

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References
Campsie,P.(1994a)ABriefHistoryofRoomingHousesinToronto19721994.InRooming HousesintheCityofToronto:ThreeRecentStudies.RupertCommunityResidential ServicesofTorontoInc.Toronto,1996. Campsie,P.(1994b).Perceptionvs.RealityintheWorldofRoomingHouses.InRoomingHouses intheCityofToronto:ThreeRecentStudies.RupertCommunityResidentialServicesof TorontoInc.Toronto,1996. CityofTorontoRoomingHouseReview(1992).ReportoftheRoomingHouseReview.Toronto: CityofToronto. EnergyPathwaysInc.(1995)AffordabilityandChoiceToday(ACT)DemonstrationProject. InnovativeRoomingHouses.Preparedfor:FCM,CHBA,CHRA,CMHC.Ottawa. HomeComingCommunityChoiceCoalition(2005).YesInMyBackYard.AGuideforOntarios supportivehousingproviders.Toronto.Availableat:www.homecomingcoalition.com RupertCommunityResidentialServicesofToronto(1993).RupertIncorporatedPilotProject Report:SelfEvaluationandRecommendations.Toronto:SocialPlanningCouncilof MetropolitanToronto. SocialDataResearchLtd.(2006).ProfileofRoominghouseTenants.SocioeconomicSeries06 019.Ottawa:CMHC. SocialHousingStrategistsInc(SHS)(2004a).CityofTorontoRoomingHouseIssuesandFuture Options.BackgroundReportOne.DescriptionoftheRoomingHouseSector.Preparedfor CityofTorontoShelter,HousingandSupportDivision.(InassociationwithRichardDrdla Associates.) StarrGroupInc.(2001)InterventionsforRoomingHouses/SROsandTenants.Ottawa:CMHC. StarrGroupInc.andRichardDrdlaAssociates(2000).RegulatoryFactorsintheRetentionand ExpansionofRoomingHouseStock.Ottawa:CMHC. Stein,H.,TeepleC.,andFoley,K.(1994).ThePrivateRoomingHouseProjectoftheRupertHotel CoalitionPilotProject.InRoomingHousesintheCityofToronto:ThreeRecentStudies. RupertCommunityResidentialServicesofTorontoInc.Toronto,1996. Tremblay,J.,DenisonP.,andNazarP.(2007).SubmissiontoTheWellesleyInstituteUrban HealthResearchProgram,EnablingGrantFinalReport.TorontoChristianResourceCentre (TCRC). JimWardAssociates(1993).MakingRoomsintoHomes:AnEvaluationofTorontosRupertPilot Project.Toronto.

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ORIOLE RESEARCH& DESIGNINC.


URBANANDSOCIALPOLICY, PROJECTMANAGEMENT ANDCONSULTING
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TableofContents
1.Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 62 1.1PreviousStudies ............................................................................................................ 62 1.2Purpose........................................................................................................................ 63 1.3Methodology ................................................................................................................. 63 1.3.1DesignofSurveyandInterviewTools.......................................................................... 63 1.3.2RecruitingSurveyParticipants.................................................................................... 64 1.3.3InterviewingTenants................................................................................................. 65 1.3.4CompilingandAnalyzingData..................................................................................... 65 1.4Limitations.................................................................................................................... 65 1.5StructureoftheReport ................................................................................................... 66 2.ProfilesofRoomingHouseTenants ....................................................................................... 66 2.1Gender......................................................................................................................... 67 2.2Age ............................................................................................................................. 67 2.3FamilyStatus ................................................................................................................ 68 2.4CountryofOriginandEthnicity......................................................................................... 69 2.5Education ..................................................................................................................... 70 2.6IncomeandMonthlyRent................................................................................................ 71 2.7Summary..................................................................................................................... 72 3.TenantsinUnlicensedRoomingHouses................................................................................. 72 3.1LifeCircumstancesofRoomingHouseTenants .................................................................... 73 3.1.1HousingHistoryandLifeStage................................................................................... 73 3.1.2Poverty................................................................................................................... 75 3.1.3HealthandWellness.................................................................................................. 75 3.1.4Gender,SexualOrientationandHousing....................................................................... 77 3.1.5FamilyofOrigin........................................................................................................ 77 3.1.6CulturalandImmigrantExperiences........................................................................... 78 3.2ExperiencesandPerceptionsofTenantsinUnlicensedRoomingHouses................................... 78 3.2.1AtHomeinaRoomingHouse..................................................................................... 79 3.2.2Location.................................................................................................................. 79 3.2.3Neighbourhoods ....................................................................................................... 80 3.2.4ConnectionstoOpportunitiesintheCommunity............................................................. 80 3.2.5ConnectednessandFriendship .................................................................................... 81 3.2.6SafetyandSecurity................................................................................................... 81 3.3GoodPracticesintheRoomingHouseSector ...................................................................... 82 3.4Summary..................................................................................................................... 83 4.ConcludingRemarks ............................................................................................................. 83 References ................................................................................................................................. 85 AppendixA:DemographicandLifeStageQuestionnaire..................................................................... 86 AppendixB:InterviewQuestionsforRoomingHouseTenants ............................................................. 95 AppendixC:ProfilesofTenantsInterviewed.................................................................................... 98 ListofTables Table1:RecruitmentofSurveyParticipantsbyAgencyandLocation.................................................... 64 Table2:RecruitmentofSurveyParticipantsthroughRoomingHouseLandlords ..................................... 64 Table3:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyGender........................................................................ 67 Table4:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyAge............................................................................. 68 Table5:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyMaritalStatus ............................................................... 68 Table6:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyEthnicity ...................................................................... 69 Table7:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHighestLevelofEducation.............................................. 70 Table8:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyIncome........................................................................ 71 Table9:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyMonthlyRent ................................................................ 72 Table10:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyLengthofResidency..................................................... 74 Table11:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHistoryofHomelessness ............................................... 75 Table12:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHealthStatus.............................................................. 76
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Component2Report:ProfileofRoomingHouseTenants 1.Introduction
InFebruary2008,EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourcescontractedOrioleResearchand DesignInc.toundertakeastudyoftheroominghousesectorinToronto.Thegoaloftheproject isto: raiseawarenessofthepositivecontributionroominghousesmakeaspartofthecitys housingcontinuumandtoworktowardsincreasingthesupplyoflegal,safeandaffordable 3 housingforsinglepeoplewithlowincomes. Theprojectisdividedintofivecomponents.Theyare: (1)Documentgoodpracticesintheroominghousesector,highlightinginitiativesto: a)Assisttenantstomaintaintheirtenanciesinroominghousesandpersonalcare boardinghomesand, b)Supportlandlordstoinvestinsafeaffordableandstablehousingforsinglepeople withlowincomes. (2)Compileaprofileofroominghousetenantsandtheirneedsthroughinterviewsanda reviewofrecentliteratureontheroominghousesector. (3)Prepareabusinesscasethatdocumentsthecostsofcreatingroominghousesfromthe existingsuburbanhousingstockcomparedwiththecostsofprovidingtemporaryshelter andemergencyservicesandthecostsofinvestigationsintoillegalunits. (4)FormulaterecommendationstotheCityofTorontosAffordableHousingFramework. (5)Presentthefindingsoftheresearchatacommunitymeetingofstakeholdershostedby theRoomingHouseWorkingGroup. ThisreportforComponent2oftheprojectpresentsaprofileofroominghousetenants.

1.1PreviousStudies
Anumberofstudiesinthepasttenyearshaveexaminedtheroominghousesectorinvarious Canadiancities,includingToronto.Somehavedocumentedthedeclineinthehousingstockinthe sectorandhowlowincometenantsareadverselyaffectedbygentrification.Othershavelooked morespecificallyatthepopulationlivinginroominghousesandhaveattemptedtodescribetheir circumstancesandneeds. In2006,CMHCpublishedastudyofroominghousetenantsinMontreal,OttawaandVancouver (SocialDataResearchLtd.2006).Interviewswereconductedwith240roominghousetenants andasmallnumberoflandlordsinordertocreateatenantprofile,assessresidentsviewsabout housingqualityandaffordability,andidentifytheroleofroominghousesastemporaryversus permanentaccommodation. Distarioetal.(2002)lookedatroominghousesinWinnipeg,focusingonqualityoflifeissuesfor residentsandhowphysicalaspectsoftheroominghousesweredescribed.Thestudyincluded interviewswith38roominghousetenants.

ExcerptedfromRoomingHouseWorkingGroupResearchProposalHousingforSinglePeople withLowIncomes,November15,2007.
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InToronto,Hwangetal.(2003a&b)exploredtherelationshipbetweenhealthandhousing throughinterviewswithasampleof295tenantsin171licensedroominghouses. AcomprehensivestudyoftheroominghousesectorinTorontowascompletedin2004bySocial HousingStrategistsInc.Thisstudyexaminedtheregulatorycontextofthesectorandwaysto sustainthehousingstock.Aspartofthestudy,theconsultantspresentedademographicprofile oftenantsusingmultiplesourcesofdata,includingtheresultsoftheirownsurveyof101 individualswithexperiencelivinginaroominghouse. Acommonthemerunningthroughstudiesinthepast10yearsistheneedtoseeroominghouses asanessentialpartofthehousingcontinuuminCanadiancities.Seniorgovernmentinvestment insocialhousinghasnotkeptpacewiththedemandforaffordablehousing,andunsubsidized apartmentsinprivatemarkethousingarebeyondthereachofmanyoftheover140,000low incomesingleadultsinToronto.Rentingaroomandsharingakitchenandbathroomwithothers canbeamoreviablefinancialoptiongivenlimitedincome.Forsomethisisashortterm arrangementandforothersitisalongtermtenancy.

1.2Purpose
Thepurposeofthepresentstudyistocreateaprofileoftenantswholiveinroominghousesin Toronto.Particularconsiderationisgiventoidentifyingdemographicandsocioeconomic characteristicsofroominghousetenants,theirneedsandcircumstances,andopportunitiesto supporttheirtenancies. Thisstudygoesbeyondearlierpublishedandunpublishedstudiesinthatitseekstoexplicitly includeinformationabouttenantsinunlicensedroominghousesinthediscussionofwholivesin roominghousesandhowbesttosupportthem.Furthermore,thestudyexplorestenant experiencesintheformermunicipalitiesofNorthYork,Scarborough,York,andEastYorkwhere licensingprovisionsforroominghousesarenotcurrentlyavailable. TheresultsofthisstudywillbeusedbytheRoomingHouseWorkingGrouptopromoteincreased awarenessofroominghousesasaviablehousingchoicefortensofthousandsoflowincome TorontonianswhileadvocatingforrecognitionoftheroominghousesectorintheCityofTorontos AffordableHousingFramework.

1.3Methodology
Informationusedtocompiletheprofileofroominghousetenantsforthepurposesofthisreport camefromtwosources: (1)DemographicinformationreportedinpreviousTorontobasedstudiesand, (2)Datacollectedthroughanewsurveyoftenantsinunlicensedroominghouses. Thefollowingoutlinesthemethodologyforthesurveyresearchthatwaspartofthisstudy.

1.3.1 DesignofSurveyandInterviewTools
Theexistingliteratureprovidedaframeworkfordesigningsurveyandinterviewtoolstousewith tenants.Thefollowingobjectivesguidedthedevelopmentofthesurveytools: Determinedemographicinformationabouttenantslivinginunlicensedroominghouses outsidetheformerCityofToronto Betterunderstandcharacteristicsofsuccessfulroominghousesoperatedwithoutlicense outsideoftheformerCityofTorontoand, Betterunderstandthediversityofvalues,preferences,circumstancesandlevelof satisfactionofroominghousetenantswiththeiraccommodation.
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Asurveyquestionnairewasdesignedtobeadministeredwithallparticipantsinthestudyto collectbasicdemographicandlifestagedata,aswellassatisfactionratingsfortheirpresent roominghouseaccommodation.This41itemquestionnairetookapproximately15minutesto complete.(SeeAppendixA). Aguideforconductingsemistructuredinterviewswithroominghousetenantswasalso developed.(SeeAppendixB).Theseinterviewstookapproximately1hour,withquestionschosen tohelpidentifytheexperiences,values,preferencesandsatisfactionlevelsoftenants.

1.3.2RecruitingSurveyParticipants
Thechallengesofidentifyingtenantswholiveinunlicensedroominghousesandtheshort 4 timeframeavailablefordatacollectionandanalysisresultedintheuseofaconveniencesample. Outreachtopotentialsurveyparticipantstookplaceinthreeways.Firstly,housingworkersin communityagenciesintheformermunicipalitiesofScarborough,NorthYork,Etobicoke,Yorkand EastYorkwerebriefedaboutthestudyandwereaskediftheywouldbewillingandableto identifytenantslivinginunlicensedroominghousesfromamongtheirclientgroup.Table1 summarizestheresultsofthisoutreachintermsofnumberandgenderofstudyparticipants referredbycommunityorganizations.Secondly,additionalparticipantswereidentifiedthrough landlordswhothemselvesownandoperateroominghouses.(SeeTable2.)Thirdly,the interviewersrandomlyapproachedpotentialstudyparticipantsatvariousresearchsites. Table1:RecruitmentofSurveyParticipantsbyAgencyandLocation
Organization RedcrossDropin 700KennedyAve. CummerDropin WoodgreenDropin LAMPDropin COSTIDropin WychwoodDropin Location Scarborough NorthYork EastYork Etobicoke NorthYork Toronto(alsoservingYork) Numberofparticipants Total Male Female 4 4 4 7 6 2 3 3 4 4 2 3 1 3 2

Totalparticipantsrecruitedthroughagencies:59%(26)

Table2:RecruitmentofSurveyParticipantsthroughRoomingHouseLandlords
Location Numberofparticipants Total Male Female 5 10 3 4 6 2 1 4 1

LandlordA:Scarborough LandlordB:NorthYork LandlordC:Toronto

Totalparticipantsrecruitedthroughlandlords:41%(18)

Aconveniencesampleimpliesthattheresearchparticipantschosenforthisstudywere individualswhohappenedtobeavailableatparticulartimesandplacesandwhometour eligibility.Theseindividualswereoneswhocouldeasilybereachedduringthecourseofthedata collection.Carewastakentoselectindividualslivingindifferentareasofthecityandtouse variousoutreachmethodstoidentifyparticipants.


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Whilethemainfocusofthesurveyresearchwastocaptureexperiencesofroominghousetenants livingoutsideoftheformerCityofToronto,asmallsampleoftenantslivinginunlicensedrooming houseswithintheoldboundariesoftheCityofTorontowasincluded.Animportantdistinctionis thatlandlordslivingintheformerCityofTorontohaveaprocessthattheycanpursuetoapplyfor alicenseandensuretheyareincompliancewithlocalzoningandbylaws.Landlordsoperatingin EastYork,York,ScarboroughandNorthYorkdonothavethatoptionundercurrentzoningand bylawprovisions. Thereisanecdotalevidencesuggestingthatnetworkingwithinparticularethniccommunities resultsinveryrecentimmigrantstoTorontofindingaccommodationinroominghouses.Whilethis particularhousingexperienceisnotexpresslyrepresentedamongthetenantsinterviewedforthis study,itservesasareminderofthecrucialneedforsafeandaffordableaccommodationfor singleswhoarenewtoCanadaandjustbeginningthesettlementprocess.

1.3.3InterviewingTenants
Thedemographicandlifestagequestionnairewasadministeredforthemostpartbythe researchers.Insomecases,thequestionnairewasadministeredbyprogramstafforstudentson placementwiththecommunityorganizationsassistingwithoutreach.Thirtytwomalesand12 femalescompletedthequestionnaire.Givenaperceptionthatfemaletenantsmayhavebeen underrepresentedinearlierstudies,specialeffortwasmadetorecruitfemalesforthisstudy.This wasdonebywordofmouth(researchersaskinghousingworkerstoassistinidentifyingfemale roominghousetenants)andbytheresearchersspecificallyapproachingpotentialfemale participantsatresearchsites.A$15voucherforTimHortonswasprovidedtoeachtenant surveyed. Resultsfromthequestionnaireswereusedtoscreenparticipantsforthelonger,semistructured onehourinterview.Criteriaforinclusioninthelongerinterviewincludedtheparticipantsreporting satisfactionwithatleastsomeaspectsoftheirhousingsituationcombinedwithawillingnessand abilitytodescribetheirexperiencesinamoredetailedmanner. Thepurposeofthesemistructuredinterviewswastodocumentadiversityofexperiencesamong roominghousetenants,explorethenatureofpositivetenantexperiences,andidentifygood practicesinroominghousemanagement.Fieldnotesweretakenduringtheinterviewsanda numberwererecordedforfuturereference.Atotalof21individualswereinterviewedduringthis phaseofthestudy.Ofthese21,14weremaleand7werefemale. A$25honorariumwas providedtoeachofthetenantsinterviewed.

1.3.4CompilingandAnalyzingData
Theresultsofthedemographicandlifestagequestionnairewerecompiledinaspreadsheet.The qualitativedatafromthesemistructuredinterviewswerereviewedandcompiledbytheme.The followingquestionsguidedtheanalysisoftheinterviewdataandthedevelopmentoftheprofileof roominghousetenants: 1. Wholivesinunlicensedroominghouses? 2. Howdotenantsinunlicensedroominghousesthinkandfeelabouttheirhousing, communityservices,healthandneighbourhoods? 3. Whatarethecharacteristicsofasuccessfulroominghouse? 4. Howdothecircumstancesandexperiencesreportedinthisstudyofroominghouse tenantsrelatetothefindingsofearlierstudies?

1.4Limitations
Itwasbeyondthescopeofthisstudytodevelopamethodologythatwouldincludea representativesampleoftenantslivinginunlicensedroominghouses.Asaresult,itisnot
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possibletogeneralizethefindingsofthisstudyandmakedefinitivestatementsaboutallrooming housetenantsoralltenantsinunlicensedproperties. Giventhemodestsamplesizeandtheuseofaconveniencesample,nocorrelationanalysiswas undertaken.Theresearchersdo,however,pointtofactorsthatappeartobeinterrelated,drawing onthequalitativedataemergingfrominterviewsandtheresultsofearlierstudies. Alargenumberofresearchparticipantswereidentifiedthroughcommunityagenciesand organizations.Thisrecruitmentstrategyhaslikelyresultedintheresearchershavingcontactwith tenantswhomaybegenerallymoresociallyconnectedintheircommunitythanothertenants notlocatedinthismanner.Relianceontherecruitmentofsurveyparticipantsthroughdropin centresisalsoassumedtomeanthatroominghousetenantswhoworkfullorparttimeare disproportionatelyunderrepresentedinthissample.Additionalevidenceofroominghousetenants whoareintheworkforcecameoutanecdotallyduringtheinterviews.

1.5StructureoftheReport
Theremainderofthisreportisdividedintothreesections.Thenextsectionisaprofileofrooming housetenants,bringingtogetherthefindingsofthissurveyresearchwiththeresultsofearlier Torontostudies.Followingthis,thefocusisnarrowedtospecificallylookattheexperiencesand perceptionsoftenantslivinginunlicensedroominghousesinToronto,highlightingthesurveyand interviewresultsofthisstudy.Thisisfollowedbyadiscussionofgoodpracticesinrooming housemanagementfromtheviewpointoftenants.Thefinalsectionisadiscussionofkeythemes andconclusionsstemmingfromthisstudy.

2.ProfilesofRoomingHouseTenants
Accordingto2006Censusdata,Torontoishometoover165,000lowincomeadultswhoare unattached.Thisrepresentsa17percentincreaseinthenumberoflowincomesinglessince 2001.Fortyonepercentofallsingleindividualsnotinfamiliesarelowincomeandarepayingat least70percentoftheirincometowardsfood,clothingandshelter. Ananalysisof2001censusdatashowedthatcloseto40percentoflowincomesingleslivewest oftheHumberRiver,northofthe401,andeastofVictoriaPark.Aquestionthatisattherootof thisstudyiswhattypesofdwellingsarehousingthe165,000singlesinthiscity?Amongthe rentgearedtoincomestock,thereare16,000bachelorand23,000onebedroomunits,and thesewouldbehometoaportionoftheselowincomeadults.Afewthousandwouldliveinthe unitsprovidedbysupportivehousingproviderssuchasEcuhome,Houselink,Mainstayandothers. Upto10,000singleswouldbelivinginlicensedroominghousesintheformerCitiesofToronto andEtobicoke.Littleisknownaboutwheremostoftheother100,000lowincomesingleslive. Whatisknownisthatmanysinglesliveinunlicensedroominghousesandmanyoftheserooming housesarelocatedintheformermunicipalitiesofEtobicoke,York,NorthYork,Scarboroughand York.Whatisnotknownishowmanyunitsofhousingarefoundamongunlicensedrooming housesinthecity. Todate,fewattemptshavebeenmadetoexplicitlyexaminetheexperiences,perspectives,and preferencesofindividualswholiveinunlicensedroominghouses.Addressingthisgapin informationabouttheroominghousesectorwasanimpetusforundertakingthisstudy.The followingsectionsummarizestheresultsofinterviewswithtenantsinunlicensedroominghouses andcomparesthemtotheresultsofearlierstudies.Thegoalistodescribethedemographicand lifestagecharacteristicsofroominghousetenants.Thedatapresentedaredrawnfromseven 5 sources:

Inthesummarytablesthatfollow,ifnodatawereavailableonatopic,thedatasourcedoesnot appearinthetable.
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ThestudyoftenantsinlicensedroominghousesbyHwangetal.(2003a&b) TheTorontoChristianResourceCentrestudyofprivateboardinghomes(TCRC2007) 2003dataontenantslivinginHabitatfundedroominghousesasreportedinSHSInc. (2004a) 2003dataontenantslivinginHabitatfundedboardinghomesasreportedinSHSInc. (2004a) 2003dataontenantslivinginroominghousesownedby Profile theTorontoCommunityHousingCorporation(TCHC)as Name:Beth reportedinSHSInc.(2004a) Findingsofthe2003surveyconductedbySHSInc.of Age:61 101roominghousetenants,includingsomeresidingin Location:EastYork unlicensedroominghousesand, Findingsofthe2008surveyoftenantsinunlicensed Pastimes:Bethvolunteersata roominghousesconductedaspartofthisprojectfor dailyfoodprogram,whereshe EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources(EYET).

helpstodistributeclothingto thosewhoarehomeless.She lovestowalkandstayfit.

2.1Gender
ThemajorityofroominghousetenantsinearlierToronto studiesweremale,withfemalesonlyaccountingforbetween8 and23percentofstudyparticipants(Table3).Oursampleof tenantsinunlicensedroominghousesincludesaslightlyhigher prevalenceoffemales(27percent).

Fiveyeargoal:Tofindbetter housing,toworkwithbabies andtoddlers,ortoworkina literacyprogramwithyoung children.

Whileitappearsthatmorementhanwomenseekandmaintainroominghouseaccommodation,women nonethelessconstituteasizeablegroupwithinthepopulationservedbytheroominghousesector.

Table3:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyGender
Study Hwangetal.(2003a&b)Licensedroominghouses TCRC(2007)Privateboardinghouses Habitatfundedroominghouses(SHSInc.2004a) Habitatfundedboardinghouses(SHSInc.2004a) TCHCownedroominghouses(SHSInc.2004a) SHS(2004a)Licensed&unlicensedroominghouses EYET(2008)Unlicensedroominghouses N= 295 75 26 838 307 101 44 Male 84%(249) 92%(69) 77%(20) 79%(664) 83%(256) 87%(88) 73%(32) Female 16%(46) 8%(6) 23%(6) 21%(174) 17%(51) 13%(13) 27%(12)

2.2Age
Inoursurveyoftenantsinunlicensedroominghouses,50percentofrespondentswerebetween 31and50yearsofage,withafurther20percentbetween51and65.Inearlierstudies,the majorityoftenantswerealsonotedtobemiddleaged,makingtheneedsofagingroominghouse tenantsanimportantemergingissue.(Table4).

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Table4:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyAge
Study N= <20 2030 3150 Mostwere25 55 54%were4055 19%were over56 1%(3) 58%(176) 124(40% were5175) 17%(17) were5564 20%(9) 5%)(5 were65+ 7%(3) 5165 66+

Hwangetal.(2003a&b) 295 Licensedroominghouses TCRC(2007) Privateboardinghouses TCHCownedrooming houses(SHSInc.2004a) SHS(2004a) Licensed&unlicensed roominghouses EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses 75

307

101

1%(1)

14%)(14 were2134 23%(10)

64%(64)were 3554 50%(22)

44

2.3FamilyStatus
Ourstudyfoundthat61percentoftenantsweresingle, withthenextlargestgroupbeingseparatedordivorced(18 percent).Availabledatasuggeststenantsacrossother studieswerealsoprimarilysingle(Table5). Morethanhalfofthetenantswesurveyedareparents(52 percent).Thisisaninterestingstatistic,asitsuggests potentialfamilyconnectionswhilechallengingthe stereotypeofatypicalroominghousetenantbeing someonewithoutfamilialconnectiontoothers.Regardless ofmaritalorfamilystatus,roominghouseaccommodation meansthatthevastmajorityoftenantsdonotlivewitha relatedfamilymember.

Profile Name:Theresa Age:43 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Theresacrochets,knitsand bakes.Sheliveswithherbestfriend, Dawn. Fiveyeargoal:Havingherown apartment,ownfridgeandstoveand sharingitwithherlongtermpartner Steve.

Table5:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyMaritalStatus
Study N= Single Separated/ Divorced 28%(82) Longterm Relationship Notindicated Married/ commonlaw 7%(19) Widowed

Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses Habitatfundedboardinghouses (SHSInc.2004a) SHS(2004a) Licensed&unlicensedrooming houses EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses

295

64% (188) 70% (593) 41% (41) 61% (25)

2%(6)

838

10%(81)

Notindicated

3%(27)

2%(16)

101

49%(49)

Notindicated

6%(6)

3%(3)

44

18%(8)

5%(2)

7%(3)

9%(4)

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2.4CountryofOriginandEthnicity
Ourresearchidentified14participantsbornoutsideof Canada(32percent).Amongsurveyparticipantswhowere bornoutsideofCanada,allhadlivedinCanadaformore thanfiveyears.Thefollowingcountriesoforiginwere mentionedbythesurveyparticipants:Jamaica,Angola, USA,Surinam,Morocco,PhilippinesandAustria.By comparison,27percentofroominghousetenantsinthe 2004surveyconductedbySHSInc.reportedacountryof originotherthanCanada.Othercountriesoforigin mentionedincluded:England,Guyana,China,HongKong, Trinidad,Italy,Holland,Poland,India,Macedonia,andTogo (SHSInc.2004a) Seventeentenants(37percent)inourstudyindicateda culturalbackgroundotherthanFirstNations,British/Anglo ancestryorFrancophone,ascomparedto15percentof surveyrespondentsinthestudybyHwangetal.(2003a&b). (SeeTable6).

Profile Name:Roni Age:72 Location:NorthYork Pastimes:Roniworkseveryschoolday asacrossingguard.Hedoesnotwantto retire,ashesayshefeelstooyoung. Whennotworking,heenjoysballroom dancing,playingwithhisgrandchildren, andhelpinginhisfamilysgarden. Fiveyeargoal:Tostayhealthyand wellandliveagoodlife,closetoGod.

Thegreaterethnicandculturaldiversityinoursamplemaybearesultofthesurvey methodology.Regardless,thefindingsmayreflectatendencyforthosewithparticularcultural tiestoliveinroominghousesinparticularareasofthecity.Thismayoccurbecausesocialand familynetworksshareinformationaboutavailableaccommodations.Roomersmayalsowantto livenearothermembersoftheirethnicorculturalcommunityornearpotentialemployment opportunities(Krahnetal2005McDonald2004). ItisusefultothinkaboutnewimmigrantstoTorontoaspartofthetenantpopulationlivingin roominghouses.Recentimmigrantsandrefugeesfacesignificantbarriersinaccessingaffordable housing,suchas:notbeingabletosignaleaseforanapartmentbecausetheylackaguarantor difficultyaffordingmarketrents,anddiscriminationlinkedtolinguistic,culturalorreligious attributes(DansoandGrant2000,Miraftab2000,Dion2001). AmultiyearstudyofnewimmigrantstoCanadafoundthat31percentofskilledworkersshared ahousewithnonfamilymembersupontheirarrivalinCanada(StatisticsCanada2005).Given thepopularityofTorontoasadestinationfornewcomerstoCanadaandthehousingpressures thatresult,roominghousesareonewaythatsomenewcomerstakecareoftheirhousingneeds astheysettleintheirnewcountry. Theinfluencesofethnicity,culture,andimmigrationstatusintheroominghousesectorhavenot beenfullyexploredinthisorotherrecentstudies.Anareaforfutureinquiryistoexploretheview thattheroominghousesectorprovidesopportunitiesforentrepreneurshipfornewcomersto CanadaaswellaffordablehousingforindividualswhoarenewtoToronto.Table6reflects differencesintheethnicmixofstudyparticipantsbetweenthecurrentstudyandtheearlierstudy byHwangetal. Table6:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyEthnicity
Study N= FirstNations British/Anglo/European ancestry 82.3%(243)(included Francophone) Francophone Other

Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedrooming houses EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses

295

2%(7)

15.3%(45)

44

14%(6)

41%(18)

2%(1)

37%(17)

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2.5Education
Acomparisonoffivesourcesofdataon roomingandboardinghousetenants showssignificantdifferencesinthelevels ofeducationalachievementreportedby studyparticipants.Inourstudy,32 percentreportedsomeformofpost secondaryeducationwhichissimilarto thefindinginHwangetal.(2003).Survey dataforresidentsinHabitatfunded roomingandboardinghouses,however, showmuchlowerlevelsofeducation,with onlyasmallminorityofrespondents reportinganypostsecondaryschooling. ThismaybelinkedtoHabitatfunded roominghousesservingatenant populationwithmorecomplexmental, emotionalandphysicalhealthchallenges comparedtothegeneralroominghouse population.

Profile Name:Juna Age:34 Location:NorthYork Pastimes:Junaisamotheroftwochildrenlivingin thePhilippines.Themoneysheearnsasafulltime nannyallowsthemtoattendprivateschoolback home.Whensheisntworking,shehelpsalocal charityorganizationwithfundraising.Shehasa degreeinbusinessadministration.Sheenjoys karaokeanddancing. Fiveyeargoal:Tobeabletobringherhusbandand childrentoCanada, andtoenjoyagoodlifeall togetherasafamily.

Twentyfourpercentofparticipantsinour studyselfreportedalearningdisability thatcreatedchallengesforreadingandwriting.

Table7:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHighestLevelofEducation
Study N= Elementary Some Completed Secondary Secondary Some Collegeor University 20%(59) Completed Completed College University

Hwangetal. (2003a&b) Licensedrooming houses Habitatfunded roominghouses (SHSInc.2004a) Habitatfunded boardinghouses (SHSInc.2004a) SHS(2004a) Licensed& unlicensedrooming houses EYET(2008) Unlicensedrooming houses

295

12%(35)

35% (102)

19%(55)

Not indicated

15%(44) (included college)

26

4%(1)

23%(6)

4%(1)

Not indicated

4%(1)

4%(1)

838

Not indicated

38% (314)

20%(166)

6%(50)

6%(51)

5%(44)

101

7%(7)

35%(35)

14%(14)

24%(24)

20%(20) (includes university) 7%(3) 7%(3)

44

5%(2)

36%(14)

27%(11)

18%(8)

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2.6IncomeandMonthlyRent
Asinotherstudies,wefoundthatthemajorityofsurveyedtenants(73percent)receivedeither OntarioWorksbenefitsorODSP.Parttimeorfulltimeemploymentcontributedtotheincomeof 17percentoftenantssurveyed.Similarly,thestudybySHSInc(2004a)reportedthat16percent ofsurveyrespondentswereemployed. Theaverageincomeoftenantsinourstudywas $840/month.Fiftythreepercentofsurveyrespondents receiveOWbenefits.Therateforasinglepersonis$560 permonthincludingamaximumshelterallowanceof$349. Twentythreepercentoftenantssurveyedreceivebenefits fromODSP.Therateforasinglepersonis$999permonth, includingashelterallowanceof$445.Theaveragerental ratefoundinourstudyofprivateunlicensedhomeswas $451.41permonth. Thecommoncharacteristicamongroominghousetenantsis thattheylivebelowthepovertylineandmanypaymore than50percentoftheirincometowardsrent.Allindividuals receivingOWbenefitsinthisstudypaymorethan50 percentoftheirmeagerincometowardsrent.Thisleaves littlemoneyforothernecessitiessuchasaphone,food, clothing,personalcaresuppliesandtransportation.

Profile Name:John Age:50 Location:EastYork Pastimes:Johnisaplumberwho wasforcedtoquitworkduetoheart disease.Heisexploringretraining opportunitiesandhopestoreturnto school.Hispassionisgolf,andhe enjoyssketching. Fiveyeargoal:Johnhopeshis healthremainsstablesohecan returntotheworkforce.

Table8:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyIncome
Study Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses CityofTorontoTCHC(2004) N= 295 AverageIncome 962.00($11,544/yr)

86

31.4%earnlessthan$5,000/year. 24.4%earnbetween$5,000and $10,000/year.24.5%earnover $15,000/year. 81%earned$12,500orless annually 13%earned$12,500to$25,000 annually

SHS(2004a) Licensed&unlicensedrooming houses

95

EYET(2008)Unlicensedrooming houses

35

Averageincome:$840.68/mo. 53%ofrespondentsreceive$560 permonthfromOW.23%receive approximately$1,000permonth fromODSP.17%areemployedwith incomesreportedtobebetween $700and$2200permonth.

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Table9:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyMonthlyRent
Study Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses Habitatfundedrooming houses(SHSInc. 2004a) Habitatfundedboarding houses(SHSInc.2004a) N= 295 AverageMonthlyRent Theaverageofincomepaidtorentinthisstudywas44.8%of income=$423.29/month OWrecipients(26.9%oftenants)pay$325.00/month ODSP(53.8%oftenants)pay$414.00/month 838 OWrecipients(13.4%oftenants)pay$356.72/month ODSPrecipients(77.0%oftenants)pay$543.30/month. Privatetenants(3.6%)pay77%ofincome. TCHCownedrooming houses(SHSInc.2004a) EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses 307 Rentgearedtoincomehousing.75%oftenantspaylessthan $150/month.55%paybetween$85$125/month. $451

26

41

2.7Summary
Thissectionhaspresentedthefindingsof44interviewswithtenantsinunlicensedrooming housesalongsidedatafromsixothersources.Thegoalwastodescribethetenantpopulationin Torontosroominghouses.Ourfindingssuggest: Amajorityofroominghousetenantsaremen,butwomenappeartorepresenta sizeableportionofthetenantgroupaswell. AmajorityofroominghousetenantsareCaucasianoridentifyasbeingfromBritish orAngloancestry.Thepresenceofrecentandmoresettledimmigrantsaswellas Canadianbornindividualswhoidentifywithparticularethnicandculturalgroups makestheprofileofroominghousetenantsonethatischaracterizedbydiversityin termsoflifeexperienceandculturalaffinity. Amajorityofroominghousetenantsappeartobemiddleaged,thoughtheactual agerangefoundinourstudywas21to74years. Roominghousetenantslargelyidentifyassingle,separated,ordivorced,withfew identifyingthattheyareinalongtermrelationship. Roominghousetenantsvarygreatlyintheirlevelofeducation.Manyhavepost secondarytraining. Whatdoesdefinetheresidentsofroominghousesistheirlowincome,regardlessofwhethertheir incomeisfromsocialassistance,adisabilitypension,CPP,oralowwagejob.Lowincomesand beingsinglemeanthatfewhousingoptionsareavailabletothem.Oncerentispaid,thereislittle leftovertopayforfoodandothernecessities.

3.TenantsinUnlicensedRoomingHouses
Thissectionhighlightstheresultsofthe2008surveyresearchconductedforEYET.Shortand longinterviewswith44individualsprovidedinsightintotheperceptionsandexperiencesoflow incomesingleadultslivinginunlicensedroominghousesinScarborough,NorthYork,York,East YorkandEtobicoke.Theexperiencesofthisgroupoftenantshavebeenlargelyabsentfromother studiesofTorontosroominghousesector.
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Inthecourseofanalyzingtheinterviews,anumberofthemesemerged.Thesehavebeen groupedintothreecategorieswhichprovidetheframeworkforthefollowingdiscussion: Lifecircumstancesofroominghousetenants Experiencesandperceptionsoftenantslivinginunlicensedroominghousesand, Goodpracticesinroominghousemanagement.

3.1LifeCircumstancesofRoomingHouseTenants
ThedemographicdatapresentedinSection2ofthisreportprovidesasnapshotofresidents interviewedforthisstudyofunlicensedroominghouses.Thefollowingisintendedtotakethis portraitfurtherbylookingatlifecircumstancesthatwerementionedbysurveyparticipants. Considerationisgivento: Housinghistoryandlifestage Poverty Healthandwellness Gender,sexualorientationandhousing Culturalandimmigrationissuesand, Familyoforigin.

Profile Name: Simon Age:26 Location:NorthYork Pastimes:Helpingwith paintingandrepairworkneeded atroominghouses,goingtothe library,watchingahockey gamewithhisnephew,playing cardsandTrivialPursuitwith hisroommates. Fiveyeargoal:Employed, maybesharingahousewithhis nephewandhisgirlfriend.

3.1.1HousingHistoryandLifeStage
Onehalfofstudyparticipants(54%)reportedbeinghomeless atsomepointinthepastthreeyears,mostbetweenthree monthsandoneyear.Thisincludedlivingonthestreet, couchsurfingorlivinginashelter.Thisissignificantlyhigher thaninthestudybyHwangetal.(2003a&b). Forthosetransitioningfrombeinghomelessorhavinglivedin ashelter,therewasareportedincreaseinoverallhealthand selfcare,andthesenseofhavingturnedoveranewleaf. Thiswassometimesrelatedtoanimprovementintheirability tomanageamentalhealthchallengeoraddiction.

IwasinashelterbeforemovinghereandIhadtodecidewhethertomoveto Torontoornot.Therearecertainareasdowntownwhereyoudontwanttogoout atnight.Idonthaveanyofthat,livinginthisneighbourhood(NorthYork).People aregettingshot,stabbeddowntown.Iamtoooldforthatnow.

Iwaslivingonthestreetanddoingdrugsnotthebestchoiceformyself.Ifound thisplaceonmyownfromtheOCAPlisting.IwasstillondrugsthenbutIwason thewaytoquitting.IrealizedthatwithhousingIcouldhavethingsthatweremy own:aTV,acomputer.Livingonthestreetyoudonthaveanything.Allyour moneygoesintodrugs.Mybodyisgoingthroughchanges[tenantisina methadoneprogramnow].Itfeelsgoodtositandlookatmyself,mylife.Thanksto thegovernmenthelpingmeout,Ihavearoofovermyhead.Choosingtoget housingwasaturningpoint. Giventhatroominghouselivingisoftenseentobetransitionalhousing,itisinterestingtonote almosthalfofthestudyrespondentshadbeenintheircurrentresidencefortwoormoreyears, withmorethanaquarterofstudyparticipantsreportinglivingatthesameresidenceformore thanthreeyears.Thisfindingmorecloselyresemblesthefindingsamongtenantsinboarding homesthantheotherstudiesonroominghouses.

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Interviewswithtenantssuggestedrelationshipsbetweenhousingchoicesandlifestage.The youngestparticipantinthestudy,aged21,statedhepreferredlivingwitholderpeoplewhowere morelikelytohaveahealthyinfluenceonhislifestylechoices.Olderparticipantsreferenced teachingyoungerpeoplecomingintoroominghousestheropeswhichincludedsetting expectationsrelatedtocleaningupafteryourselfandtreatingotherswithrespect. Imoneoftheyoungeronesinroominghouses(age21).Ibelievethatsbecause youngeronestendtogointodormsorplaceslikedorms.Likethehousesin HighPark.Whereeveryoneisinschoolorpretendingtobeinschool.Idontwant thatkindofhousingbecauseittendstobemoreofapartyplace.Witholder people,Itendtobemoreresponsibleformyself. Someolderparticipantsindicatedtheirhousingneedsweredifferentduetochangedrolesintheir familiessuchasnolongercaringforchildren,orthedeathofparentstheyhadcaredfor.Others describedalackofcontactwithfamily,orfamilieswholivedfarway.Oneparticipantfeltthatas heaged,hisdesireandabilitytotolerateadowntownlifestylewasdecreasing. Onewomanwithaoneyearoldbabydescribedthebenefitsoflivingwithotherpeople,interms ofdaytodaysupportwiththetasksofcaringforayoungster.Sheindicated,however,thatit wasverydifficulteconomicallyasshewasnotabletoaffordababysitterandwasforcedtotake herbabywithhertoworkeveryday(shewasaliveoutnanny). Over50percentoftenantssurveyedinourresearchonunlicensedroominghousesreported beingeithersatisfiedorverysatisfiedwiththeircurrenthousing.Afurther24percentwere somewhatsatisfied.Ofoursample,46percentoftenantsstatedtheyhadnoplantomoveinthe foreseeablefuture.

Table10:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyLengthofResidency
Study Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses TCRC(2007) Privateboardinghouses Habitatfundedroominghouses (SHSInc.2004a) N= 295 <year 13years 66%incurrentlocation <3years 3+years 13%

75

32%

26

61%

38%

Habitatfundedboarding houses(SHSInc.2004a) SHS(2004a) Licensed&unlicensedrooming houses EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses

838

26%

27%

32%

101

62%(63)

25%(25)

8%(13)

41

49%(20)

22%(9)

30%(12)

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Table11:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHistoryofHomelessness
Study N= Experiencedhomelessnessinprevious3years? yes Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses 295 36%(105) no 64%(227)

TCRC(2007) Privateboardinghouses EYET(2008)Unlicensedrooming houses

75

50%(approximately)

50%(approximately)

41

53.7%(22)

26.3%(19)

3.1.2Poverty
Aspreviouslynoted,themajorityofparticipantsinthisandearlierstudieswerereceivingeither OWorODSP.Incomesrangedfrom$0$2,200/month,withanaveragemonthlyincomeamong participantsof$840/month.Thirteenparticipantshadincomesof$650orless.Thisrangeof incomespointstovaryingfinancialcircumstanceswithinthisgroupoftenants,dependingonthe ratioofrenttoincome,andremainingavailablemoneyforfood,transportationandotherbasic needs. Whileroominghouselivingisoftenanecessityasaresultofseverefinanciallimitations,many roominghousetenantswereabletoidentifyotherfactorsthatmadethisformofhousingeither appropriateorpreferableforthem. Imuchprefertoliveinhouses,toapartmentbuildings.AndalthoughthatswhatI wasstartingtoresignmyselfto,andifitdoesntworkwhereIamnow,iswhatI willhavetodomaybeIwillhavetospendthreequartersofmymoneyona place,youknow.Itsanoptionopentome. Forahundreddollarsmore,Icouldgetacrappylittlebachelorapartment:ifI reallywanteditandvaluedmyprivacythatmuch.Ilikethesocialaspectofliving inaroominghouse. Iwouldratherpaylessnowandenjoythesocialpartoflivinginaroominghouse, andsaveupandmaybebuysomethingdowntheroad.

3.1.3HealthandWellness
Hwangetal.(2003)comparedthehealthofmenandwomenlivinginroominghousestothatof thegeneralpopulation.Theirfindingswerethatchronichealthproblemsweremoreprevalent amongmaleroomersthanamongmeninthegeneralCanadianpopulation.Nosignificant difference,however,wasnotedforwomen.Inthissamestudy,about60percentofrooming housetenantsreportedchronichealthproblemswitharthritisorrheumatism,backproblems,high bloodpressureandmigrainesamongthemostfrequentlymentionedconditions. Inanalyzingtheresultsofthisstudyofhousingandhealth,theresearchersfoundastrong correlationbetweenhowphysicallyattractivearoominghouseisandthehealthoftheresidents. Thosewiththepooresthealthstatustendedtoresideinroominghousesintheworstcondition. Nosignificantcorrelation,however,wasidentifiedbetweenthehealthstatusoftenantsand organizationalcharacteristicsofthedwelling,suchnonprofitstatusofthehousingprovider, landlordlivingonsite,ormealsprovidedonsite(Hwangetal.2003a&b).

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Oursurveyoftenantsinunlicensedroominghousesaskedtenantstoratetheirhealth.Indoing so,57percentdescribedtheirhealthasgood,verygoodorexcellent.Theremaybehousingand personalfactorsinfluencingpositiveassessmentofoneshealthincludingresidinginsmaller roominghouses,livinginquieterneighbourhoodsandhavinghighereducationlevels. Ourstudyaskedparticipantsiftheyfelttheirhealthhadimproved,orwaslikelytoimprove,asa resultofmovingintotheircurrentroominghouse.Almosthalfindicatedtheyhadeither experiencedorexpectedimprovements.Thismaybeassociatedwiththenumberofparticipants inourstudycomingfromthesheltersystem(24percent)orthestreet(7percent)whocanbe seenasmovingupthehousingladderasopposedtodown.Movingupontheladderisgenerally consideredtoresultinglobalimprovementsinqualityoflife. Livingheremakesmemoreintherealmofsocietythatisupperechelon,compared tolivingonthestreet.Ithasgivenmebackmyselfrespectandselfesteem,because youhaveresponsibilitytopayrent.Onthestreetyouhavetotoleratealot.Itisnot likethatwhereIlive. Livingherewasachangeforme.BeforeIwasedgyandrude.Nowmyattitudehas changed.IamnotdoinganymoredrugsandIamputtingmyselfinabetter situation[notsurroundedbypoliceanddrugaddicts].Ihavefriendswhoarenoton drugsandwhoarethinkingforthemselves. Table12:ComparisonofStudyParticipantsbyHealthStatus
Study Hwangetal.(2003a&b) Licensedroominghouses N= 295 SelfReportedIndicatorsofHealthStatus 60%reportedhavingchronichealthcondition 33%reportmentalhealthproblems TCRC(2007) Privateboardinghouses Selfassessmentofhealth: EYET(2008)Unlicensed roominghouses 42 75 65%oftenantshadbeenhospitalizedinpastyear

Excellent VeryGood 12%(5) 19%(8)

Good 26%(11)

Fair 29%(12)

Poor 14%(6)

Almosthalfofparticipantscompletingthedemographicsurvey(n=20)indicatedtheirhealthhad improvedsincemovingintotheircurrenthousing. Anecdotalevidencefromthelonginterviewssuggeststhatsatisfyinghousingcanimpactphysical and/oremotionalhealthinavarietyofways.Sometimestenantshadaprevioushistorylivingin lesssatisfyinghousingsituationswhichtheycomparedtotheircurrent,improvedsituation.The roleofstressandanxietywasreferencedasafactorinfluencingsatisfactionwithoneslifeand housing. Peoplebeingdisrespectfulinaroominghousecanaffectyourhealth. WhenIwaslivingwithmysonanddaughterinlaw,mybloodpressurewasgoingup.Iwent tothedoctoranditwasveryhigh.Hegavememedicationforbloodpressureandnowits ok.Iamtakingthatmedicationonly,andlivinghere.Itsbetternow. Havingeasilyaccessiblehealthcareservicesthroughcommunityserviceorganizationswasa recurringthemeamongparticipantsinexplainingimprovedoverallhealth.Somesurvey participantsalsomadelinksbetweenhealthandbasicsanitationinthehomeandtheimportance ofproperventilation.
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Itssoimportanttotakeyourgarbageoutofyour roomonadailybasis.Andrecyclinghelps.The landlordregularlycomesoveranddoesadeep cleaningofthekitchen,andstairwellsand bathrooms.Imsureithelpsusstayhealthytokeep itclean. Theworstthingislivinginaroomwithnoproper ventilationorairflow.Itslike,thesameairallthe time.Ilivedinabasementlikethatjustbefore movinghere.Itwasawful.Ididntrealizehow importantitwastohavegoodlightandairuntilI movedtothesecondfloor.NowIhaveaplantinmy window!

Profile Name:Randy Age:59 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Randyisacancer survivorandenjoyswatching moviesandtendingtohouse plants.Herideshisbike almosteveryday,allyear long. Fiveyeargoal:Randywants tostayhealthyandbehappy. Heneverwantstoliveina basementagain.

3.1.4Gender,SexualOrientationandHousing
Duringthelonginterview,weaskedourfemaleparticipants whatitwasliketobeawomanlivinginaroominghouse.In thisstudy,nospecificdifficultieswereidentified.

Therearenotroublesforwomenhere.Womenandmen,theylivehappytogether. Thegentlemenareverynice. Ihearsomeroominghousesarenotsafeforwomen,butIfeelsafehere. Wedidnotaskparticipantsaboutsexualorientationhowever,oneparticipantspoke enthusiasticallyaboutlivinginagaypositiveroominghouse,whichendedwhenthelandlordput thepropertyupforsale. Hisadvertisementinthenewspapersaid,Roominagaypositivehouseforrent. Thereisabigoldrainbowflag,rightonthelawn.He(ourlandlord)isveryaccepted intheneighbourhood.Everybodyloveshim.

3.1.5FamilyofOrigin
Theimportanceofsocialandpersonalconnectionswithothersisauniversallyrecognizedfactor associatedwithgoodhealth,wellness,adaptationandsuccess.Whenindividualshavenofamily, orfamiliesareunabletosupportoneanother,orfamilymemberslivefarapart,otherformsof socialconnectionbecomemoreimportant.Thisissuewasreferencedbyanumberofparticipants. Livingmorecloselywithothersinsmallroominghousesmayprovidesingleadultswithalifestyle thathassomeofthebenefitsoflivinginafamilygroup. IspentmyChristmashere[attheroominghouse].TheyhadagreatChristmas party,andEaster.Alltheholidays,basically,ifyoudonthaveafamily,andthat isfine.Theysortofbecomepartofyourfamily. Igoandvisitmybiologicalfamily,sometimesduringthelongweekendorstatutory holidays.Ilovemygrandchildren,Ihavefive.Mywifeliveswithmyson,andshe helpstakingcareofthechildren.Icamehere[tothisroominghouse]becauseI wantedtobeearningalittle.Becausemysonhassomanychildren,itishardto askformoney. Forotherswithoutaconnectiontotheirbiologicalfamily,tiestodropincentreswereimportant:

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Itmakesabigdifferencetohaveadropincentrewhenyouarentclosewithyour family.Youcomeinhere,youcanalwaysseesomeoneyouknow.Therearealot ofpeopleherewhoinvitemeover,evensometimeswhenIdonthavemoney, peoplewillbelike,comeoverandwatchthehockeygame.

Imthelastpersoninmyfamily.Iveneverbeenmarried,Ihavenokids.Mymom, mydad,arepassedaway.Ihadtwobrothersandasister,allpassedaway.Inever reallygottoknowanyofthem.SothatiswhyIliketocomehere[adropin]at leastI'vegotalotofassociatesandacquaintances.Imrespected. Forothersstill,strongreligiousconvictionswereasourceofstrength.

3.1.6CulturalandImmigrantExperiences
Roominghousesmayofferaspecifickindofsupporttothosewhoareintheprocessofsettlingin Canada.ForoneparticulargroupofFilipinoimmigrantstransitioningtoCanadianlifethrough sponsorshipandcaregiving/nannyemployment,roominghouselifeofferedanopportunitytolive togetherwithothersfromtheirhomecountry.Inthisinstance,theirlandlordwasalsofromthe Philippines.Anecdotalevidencesuggeststhattheculturalaffinitybetweenthelandlordandthe tenantsassistedthemtofeelsafeandsecureinanewenvironmentwhilesimultaneously becomingaccustomedtoanewcountry. Inthisclusteroftenants(n=5),mostspokeaboutthecomfortoflivingwithotherswhoenjoy similarinterests:karaoke,dancing,biblestudyorcooking.Residentsalsosharedsimilartastesin foodandmusic,andallofthemattendedasmallchurchonthepremisesweekly,whichwas operatedbythelandlord. WehaveaFilipinoAssociation.Weraisefundstohelpsomestudentsinthe Philippineswhowanttostudybutdonthavefunds.Sometimeswehireabusand gototheCasinoandanymoneywemake,weputintothefund. WeareallFilipinohere.Ifeelcomfortable.Weallknoweachother. Iworkasafulltimeliveincaregiverduringtheweek,butIcomehereonthe weekends.Iwantedtohavemoreprivacyandbeclosewithmyfriends. Atfirst,Iwasaliveincaregiverwithadifferentfamily.ButIhadaboardinghouse ontheweekendthentoo.Notthatyoucandoanythingyouwant,butstillyoufeel free!Afterfivedaysworking!NowIliveherefulltime,andworkout. Duringthecourseofthisstudy,theresearchersalsoheardaboutrecentimmigrantsfrom mainlandChinalivinginroominghousesinScarboroughandworkinginMarkham.Thesensethat someroominghousesarehometosingleadultswhoshareasimilarculturalorethnicbackground andwhoareinaparticularlifestagealsocamethroughaninterviewwithayoungwomanliving inEtobicoke.Shedescribedthethreestoreyroominghousewheresheandherboyfriendshared aroomasfullofPolishorRussianspeakingmenintheirsixties.Whileshefelttheyviewedher withsomesuspicion,thebiggerissueaboutsharingspacewasnotspeakingthesamelanguage.

3.2ExperiencesandPerceptionsofTenantsinUnlicensedRoomingHouses
Amainfocusoftheresearchonunlicensedroomingwastobetterunderstandtenantsviewsof theirroominghouseasaplacetoliveandasabasethatsupportsotherdimensionsoftheirlives. Thefollowingthemeswereexploredwiththeinterviewees: Theroominghouseashome Theimportanceoflocation Thevalueofneighbourhoods Connectionstocommunity
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Connectednessandfriendshipand Safetyandsecurity.

3.2.1AtHomeinaRoomingHouse
Manyparticipantsspokewithfondnessabouttheordinarinessoflivinginahomeinaresidential area,thatsimplyfeltnormalorlikeanyotherhome.Whenparticipantsweresatisfiedwiththeir situations,theyoftenmadestatementsthatreflectedhousepride.Asinotherstudies,pleasing aestheticqualitieswereoftencitedasbeingimportanttotenantsoverallsatisfactionlevel. Ilikethatmyhouseisunique,IlikethatitisanoldpartofScarborough,asoldas downtownTOitself.Veryfewpeopleevenknowthat. Itsanormalbungalow.Withabackyard.Itwaskeptclean.Andhehadagarage toputbicyclesin,andworkonyourcar,orwhateveryouwantedtodo.Youwould neverknowitwasaroominghouse.Thecurtainswerealwaysup.Except sometimesforthetraffic,andthenumbersofpeople.Sevenpeopleandfriends. Itsgotgreenallarounditandagarage.Ithinkyouwouldbeimpressed.Iwas impressed,whichiswhyIpickedthisone. Itssetuplikeanormalhouse.Weeachgetabedroom,withaclosetandthat. SharedkitchenandbathroomandasharedlivingroomwithaTV. Youwouldnotknowitwasaroominghouse.Ithasalongerdrivewaythanother nearbyhousesanditlooksricherthanotherhousesonthestreetbecauseitis bigger(3storeys).Withanoldhouseyouassumeithasbigrooms.Youassumea richfamilylivesthere. Ihaveanicelittlespot.Iputpicturesuponthewallandhaveacarpet.Ihavea duvetonthebedandacoffeecup.Thesheltergavemethesethings.Its comfortable.

3.2.2Location
Manyparticipants(n=17)statedthatlivingclosetoessentialserviceslikesupermarkets,theTTC, workopportunities,foodbanksanddropincentreswasanimportantfactorintheirhousing choice.Onequarterofparticipantsidentifiedproximitytofamilymembersasaconsiderationin choosingtheirhousing. Someparticipantsdependedonbicyclesastheirprimarytransportationandthevalueofhaving safebicyclerouteswassometimesmentioned.Almostallparticipantsnotedtheimportanceof beingonabusroute,especiallyfrequentand24hourservices.Eightyeightpercentof participantsinthesurveyindicatedtheyusetheTTConaweeklybasisataminimum. Severaltenantstalkedaboutwantingandneedingtoliveoutsideofthedowntowncore,stating thatitwastooeasytobeinthewrongplaceatthewrongtimedowntown. Thereislessopportunitytogetintotroubleouthere[Scarborough].Thereisjust toomuchgoingondowntown.Itsmorelaidbackhere,itsmoresocialits morerelaxed.Itsnotsowoundup. Somevaluedthechancetoliveinneighbourhoodscharacterizedbyadiversemixofpeopleand lowerdensityhousing. Thisisacommunityofhouses,notprojectsorgovernmenthousing.Yousee families,parentswithkids,churches,libraries.Youassociatewithpeoplefrom diversebackgrounds.

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3.2.3Neighbourhoods
Manyparticipantsexpressedsatisfactionandpositivefeelingsabouttheareaofthecitytheylived in(n=19).Satisfactionaboutlocationwaslinkedtovalues,identityandqualitiesof neighbourhoodthatgavetenantsasenseofbelongingorpride.Severalparticipantsspokeabout optingforaroominghouseinabetterneighbourhood,insteadofanapartmentinalessdesirable area. Itwascommonforparticipantstorefertospecificculturalorethnicelementsoftheir neighbourhoodaswellaspublicgreenspaces.Additionally,participantswhoattendeddropin centresorfoodprogramsintheirowncommunitiesfeltluckythattheydidnothavetotravelfar fortheseopportunities. Itsanoldneighbourhood,alotofoldtimeresidentsinmyarea,whichmakesthe areagood.Nocondos,nobigbuildings,itsalreadybeendevelopedmanyyears agoandalotofpeoplehavelivedheretheirwholelives. Oneneighbouristotallygreat.TheycomefromIndia,theirlittlekidtalkswithus, andlike,theyhavecherriesintheirbackyardandgrapesinthesummertime theygiveuspearsandallthat Itsanoldschoolneighbourhood.Moralsandvaluesandeverything.Whichmakea bigdifference.LotsofPortugueseandItalianpeoplewhokeeptheirplacesnice. WhenIhadthebighouseIwasrenting,itwasinabadneighbourhoodandIdidnt makeuseoftheareamuch.Hereatthisplace,Icangoforawalkinthepark.I wentfromabadneighbourhoodintoareallygoodone,justintoasmallerplace.I lostinspacebutgainedinthevalueoftheplace.

3.2.4ConnectionstoOpportunitiesintheCommunity
Contrarytothenotionthatmanyroominghousetenantsliveisolatedlives,manyparticipantsin thisstudywereinvolvedwithcommunityorganizationsortraining,eitherasactiveparticipantsor asvolunteers.
rd ImstartingacourseonMarch3 soIamstartingtogetintoaroutineofgetting upandgettingouteverymorning.BecausethisisMondaytoFridayschool,for threemonths.Itsabuildingmaintenancecourse.Theywillputmeinjob placement,andgivemeatwobedroomapartment,asalary,benefitsandchance foradvancement. Iworkatacommunityoutreach.Iworkwiththehomeless,becauseIwas homeless.Iworkatthefoodbank.IgetpaidwithallthefoodIcouldneed.Igeta buspassfromwelfareandeverybodyishappy. Ihavehadthesameworkerfor7years.Sheishelpingtofindsomevolunteerwork formeIhaveneverdoneanythinglikethatbefore.MaybeIwillbeservingfoodin ashelter.MyworkerhelpedmegetintoschoolandIhavedonesomecourses already(computerandcookingcourses).

Thirtyfourpercentofparticipantsindicatedthattheiruseofcommunityandhealthserviceshas goneupsincemovingintotheircurrentresidence,while44percentindicatedtheyfelttheiruseof communityandhealthserviceswasthesame.Onlyfivepercentofindividualsindicatedtheyfelt theirusehadreduced. Thesenumbersmaybeskewedduetorecruitmentofsurveyparticipantsfromwithindropin centres,henceweinterviewedindividualswhoalreadyhadsomeconnectiontocommunity


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programs.Connectionstocommunityservicesandprogramsmaynotbeasprevalentamong participantsidentifiedoutsideofdropincentresandamongthosetenantswhoareinthe workforceonafullorparttimebasis.

3.2.5ConnectednessandFriendship
Formanyroominghousetenants,theconnectionstheydevelopwithothertenants,especially whenthetenancyisoveralongerperiod,constituteanimportantsourceofpersonalsupport: ThepeopleIlivedwithwereroommates.Youarecloserthantenants.Youknew eachother.Yousaweachotherallthetimeandthekitchenisthesocialarea. Therewasabigkitchentable.So,cards,whateverwasgoingon. IamhappyherebecauseIamwithmyfriends.Wearealltogether,andsharing. Livingin[forfivedays/weekasananny]andnotevergoingout,itsalot! Connectionsmadewithpeoplethroughcommunityorganizationswerealsovalued. Thepeoplehere[atthisdropin]arebeautiful.Theyhelpmeoutquiteabit.You askforsomething,iftheygotit,theygiveit.TodayIwalkedin,andtheyknowme here.Imrespectedhere,whichisgood.ImolderthantheDirector! Thisdropinisasupportiveenvironmentforme.Ihaveagoodconnectionwithone ofthestaff.ButIwouldturntomyroommatefirstifIneededhelp.Irespecthim andherespectsme.

3.2.6SafetyandSecurity
Tenantdescriptionsoffeelingsafeorunsafetypicallyrevolvedaroundthebehavioursofother tenantsandthepresenceofdoorsthatcouldbelocked.Overall,surveyrespondentsspoke positivelyabouttheirfeelingsofsafetyintheirhomeandneighbourhood,echoingthesentiments notedinthestudybyHwangetal.(2003). Severalsurveyparticipantsmentionedtheimportanceofproperlyscreeningapplicantsbefore lettingthemmovein.Screeningreferredtocheckingreferencesandfindingouthowoftenan individualhadmoved.Forexistingtenants,screeningapplicantswasawaytoassessforpotential threatstosafetyandsecurityinthehome. Ifeelathomeheresafe.Youcanwakeupandfeelyouhaveapurposeanda plan.Thehouseisameanswherebyyoucanaccomplishsomethingbecauseyou aresafe. Smallerroominghousesholdlesspeopleandtherearelessproblems. WhenIfirstgotherethelockswerenttoogoodbuttheygotadeadboltforme, andputitrightonforme.Itmademefeelverysecure. Iattributetheleveloftrustinourhousetothecomfortablesurroundings.Itisa verycalmandcomfortableenvironment. Forsome,asenseofsafetyandsecuritycomesfromlivingwithothers.Alandlordwhowas interviewedduringthisstudyremarkedthatshehadofferedoneofherlongtermroominghouse tenantsabachelorapartmentinanothernearbypropertythatsheowned.Thelandlordthought thatbecauseofthetenantsageandcircumstancesasapensionerinhisseventieswithsome mobilityproblems,thatthisbachelorapartmentatthesamerentlevelwouldmeethisneeds better.Tothelandlordssurprise,thetenantturneddowntheoffer,preferringtostayinthe

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roominghouse.Thetenantnotedthathefeltmoresecureinthehouse,becauseifsomething happenedtohim,helpwouldbecloseathand.

3.3GoodPracticesintheRoomingHouseSector
Surveyparticipantstalkedaboutwhattheylikedanddislikedabouttheirhousingandsharedtheir thoughtsonwhatmakesonesituationbetterthananother.Itbecameevidentthatanumberof situationsspecifictoroominghousesimpacttenantsonadaytodaybasis.Theseincluded,but arenotlimitedto: Legalandsafetyissuesarisingfrompoorlyscreenedortransienttenants Issuesaroundprivacyandsecurityofbelongings Problemswithdrugs,prostitutionandtheftinthehome Garbageremovalandhouseholdchoremanagement Supporttodealwithinterpersonalissuesarisingfromtenantrelationshipsand disagreementsand, Supportfortenantstobesuccessfulingrouplivingandmaintainstablehousing. Imquitehappynowthatthepeoplewhoweretherebefore,thecrackheads,who didNOTcareaboutthehouse,orhowmuchnoisewouldbemade,aregone.

ImetMissM(landlady)atatimewhenIwasinjailandstruggledwithmental healthproblems.ShehelpedmegetODSP,shedidthepaperworkandworkedwith COTAandthesocialworkerthroughtheCourtsmentalhealthdiversionprogram. MissMpaysthephonebillforme.Shetakesmeshoppingforgrocerieseverytwo weekswithanothertenant.Sheholdsontomygrocerymoneyforme.IfIneeded help,Iwouldturntoher. Manyparticipantsdescribedmultipleroominghouseexperiencesandtalkedaboutavarietyof landlordtenantrelationships.Regardlessoflevelofsatisfaction,mostcouldspeaktopractices thatincreasedlevelofsatisfactionwiththeirhousing.Tenantstoldusthatlandlordsneeded: Aknowledgeofgoodbusinesspractices(includingtheabilitytoscreentenants) Theabilitytobeacaringlandlord,and Tobeavailabletoaddressissues(includingdifficultiesbetweentenants)andbetimely withrepairsandcleaning. Alandlordneedstoactlikealandlord.Theyshouldtakeacourse,theCityshould saythatifyouaregoingtohavearoominghouse,firstithastobelegal,butyou havetoknowhowtodealwiththepeoplethatyouarerentingroomsto,todeal withtheissues.Theycouldsay,thisiswhatwearegoingtodo.Wehave professionalswhoaregoingtoshowyouhowyoutodealwiththesituation.Howto bealandlord. Generallyspeaking,thetenantssurveyedaspartofthisstudyofunlicensedroominghouseslive insmallerhouses: 95percentofparticipantsdescribedtheirroominghouseashavingtenorfewerroomers 51percentlivedinahousewith5orfewertenantsand, 29percentlivedinahousewith10orfewertenantsbutsharedkitchenandbathrooms with4orfewertenants.

Whenroominghouseshadmorethanfivetenants,thehomewasusuallydescribedasbeing dividedintotwoorthreefloorswithtenantssocializingandsharingfacilitiesprimarilywiththose

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livingonthesamefloor.Becauseofthis,themidsizedhomesmayfeellikeasmallerhomefrom thetenantsperspective.Smallernumbersoftenantsinahouseandfewerindividualssharing amenitiesarefactorsassociatedwithgreateroverallsatisfaction. Ilikethesmallerroominghousesbest.Whentherearetoomanypeoplethereare moreproblemsandsometimesthingsgetstolen. Someparticipantsdescribedtheavailabilityofparticularsupportsfromthelandlord,suchashelp withbudgetingoraccessingservices.Anumberofparticipantsnotedhowimportantitwasfor peoplewithmentalhealthandaddictionproblemstohaveassistanceandsupportwiththeir housing.Tenantswhoweresatisfiedoftendescribedlandlordswhowereprovidingbothemotional andpracticalsupportinassistingthemaccessservicesorasourceofincome.Onlyafewtenants inthisstudyhadalandlordwholivedonsite.Satisfactionwiththehousingdidnotappearto relatetowhetherthelandlordlivedonoroffsite. AtthelastplaceIliveditwasntPayDirect.Iwouldcallthelandlordandsuggest shecameandgottherentonthedayIhadmoney.Insteadofaskingwhyetc,she wouldjustcomeandgetit.Thatwasagoodthing. Difficultywithothertenantswasthemostoftencitedreasonforleavingapriorlivingsituation (n=7).Thismayunderlinetheimportanceofhavingalandlordorhousingworkeravailableto assistwithdaytodayinterpersonalissues,aswellashavingworkingknowledgeofcommunity services. Thereisanotherroominghouseonthestreet.Itworks.Itcanwork.Sherunsa tightship,keepsitclean.Ifyouarejustdrawingeverythingoutofitjustgetting themoneyasifitwereabusiness,itsliketheLeafs<laughter>.Youneedto putsomethingbackin.Themoneyispayingthemortgageforsure,withjusta couplehundredamonthtomaintainitcouldwork. Thebottomlineisthedollar.Iunderstandthat.Butifyoudontcare,youaregoing togetalowclassofpeopleherethatdontcareaboutyourbuildingandeventually youaregoingtogetshutdown. Mylandlordisareallyniceguy.HecamebyandgaveusallChristmaspresents, whichisveryrareinmyexperience,togetaChristmaspresentfromyourlandlord. AndhelikesmebecauseIamclean.Hepopsineveryonceinawhilebecauseheis tryingtorenovatethestoreunderme,torentout.WhenImovedin,Ididnthave lastmonthsrentandherequireditbutweworkedoutadealwhereIgavehimso muchamonth,whateverIcould,untillastmonthwasmadeup.

3.4Summary
Thisdiscussionofthesurveyresultsservestounderscoretheextenttowhichrooming housetenantsinunlicenseddwellingsareverydiverseintermsoflifestage,healthstatus, connectionstofamilyandsupportnetworks,andinvolvementinthelabourforceand voluntarysector. Roominghousetenantsvaluetheaestheticqualitiesoftheiraccommodation,thelocation oftheirhousingwithinneighbourhoods,andbeingpartofacommunity.Manyinvestinthe socialnetworksthatspringfromtheroominghouseitself,whileothersusetheir accommodationasabasefromwhichtopursueothergoalsandinterests.

4.ConcludingRemarks
PreviousresearchsuchastheProfileofRoomingHouseTenants(SocialDataResearch2006)and theCityofTorontoRoomingHouseIssuesandFutureOptionsReport(SHSInc.2004)providea contextforunderstandingwholivesinroominghouses.Weknowfromsuchstudiesthatthe
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majorityoftenantsinthishousingsectoraresingle,maleandgenerallymiddleaged.Weknow thattheaveragemonthlyincomesofroominghousetenantsfallwellbelowthepovertyline,and thatduetoacomplexinteractionofsocioeconomicconditions,theseindividualsaremorelikely toexperiencecompromisedhealththanotherpopulations(Hwangetal.2003b). Althoughourdemographicsurveyresultssuggestsimilarstatisticalresults,amorein depthexaminationofthispopulationthroughinvestigativeinterviewspaintsapictureof tremendousdiversity.Hwangetal.(2003a)cautionagainstovergeneralizingabout roominghouseresidents,aconclusionthatisreinforcedbytheresultsofthisstudy.As notedbyHwangetal.(2003a): roominghouseresidentsareasdiverseasthegeneralpopulationof Toronto.Theyincludepeoplewithsteadyemployment,university graduates,teetotalers,churchgoers,peopleinstablerelationships.They alsoincludepeopleonsocialassistance,formerlyhomeless,peoplewith lowlevelsofeducation,peoplewithsubstanceabuseproblems,people sufferingfrommentalillness,andsociallyisolatedindividuals. ThisstudyfoundevidenceofroominghousesinNorthYork,Scarborough,York,EastYork,and Etobicokewithcharacteristicswhichareassociatedwithtenantsatisfaction(SocialDataResearch 2006).Thesefactorsincludehousingfiveorfewertenantsandbeinglocatedinaresidential neighbourhood.Tenantslivinginsmallerhomesdescribethemasbeingalmostindistinguishable fromothersinglefamilyhomesontheirstreets.Manyaredescribedasnothavingbeenconverted ontheinterior,asidefromtheadditionoflocksonbedroomdoors. Thesefactorsmaybeassociatedwithawidevarietyofotherareasofsatisfaction,suchas availabilityofservices(duetobeinginaresidentialneighbourhood),feelingsofsafety(ina residentialneighbourhoodandinasmallergrouplivingsituation)andsatisfactionwiththe appearanceoftheirhome(lesswearandtearwhennumbersoftenantsaresmallorwhenina neighbourhoodwherehomesarewellmaintained).Thesefactorsmakethisgroupoftenantsan especiallyinterestinggrouptostudy,whenidentifyinggoodpracticesintheroominghouse sector. Therelationshipbetweenhealthandhousingemergesasathemeinourstudy.Resultsofthe tenantinterviewssuggestthatsatisfying,safe,smallergrouplivingofferslowincomesingle adultsanumberofpotentialbenefits.Theseincludedconnectionswithothers,assistancewithday todaylivingtasks,safetyandsecurity,andpotentialincreasedawarenessofandaccessto communityservices.Allofthesefactorsmayplayaroleindetermininganindividualshealth overthecourseofalifetime. Thevalueandroleofcommunitybasedservicesprovidingavarietyofsupportswasemphasized bythesurveyrespondents,manyofwhomwerealreadybenefitingfromsuchservices.Thismay pointtotheimportanceofensuringroominghousetenantsareawareofallavailablecommunity resources.Thisincludesdropincentresthatofferasinglepointofaccessforhealth,food,legal andspiritualsupports.Landlordsmaybeabletoprovideavaluablelinktosuchservicesby providinginformationtotenantsinneed. Inconclusion,roominghousetenantslivingoutsideofthedowntowncorepresentaviewofthe roominghouseasaviablehousingchoiceforlowincomeadultslivingwithoutchildrenora partner.Thisformofsharedaccommodationincludesstabletenanciesthatspanmanyyears. Tenantsowndescriptionsofwhattheyvalueabouttheirhomes,roommates,andlandlords providealensforidentifyinggoodpracticesintheroominghousesector.

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References
Campsie,P.(1994a)ABriefHistoryofRoomingHousesinToronto19721994.InRooming HousesintheCityofToronto:ThreeRecentStudies.RupertCommunityResidential ServicesofTorontoInc.Toronto,1996. CityofTorontoRoomingHouseReview(1992).ReportoftheRoomingHouseReview.Toronto: CityofToronto. EnergyPathwaysInc.(1995)AffordabilityandChoiceToday(ACT)DemonstrationProject. InnovativeRoomingHouses.Preparedfor:FCM,CHBA,CHRA,CMHC.Ottawa. Danso,R.andM.Grant(2000).AccesstoHousingasanAdaptiveStrategyforImmigrant Groups:AfricansinCalgary.CanadianEthnicStudies32(3):1943 Dion,K.(2001).ImmigrantsperceptionsofhousingDiscriminationinToronto:TheHousingNew CanadiansProject.JournalofSocialIssues57(3):523539 Distasio,J.,Dudley,M.,Maunder,M.(2002).OutoftheLongDarkHallway:Voicesfrom WinnipegsRoomingHouses.InstituteofUrbanStudies. Hwangetal.(2003a).RoomingHouseResidents:ChallengingtheStereotypes.CentreforUrban andCommunityStudies.ResearchBulletin#16. Hwangetal.(2003b).TheRelationshipBetweenHousingConditionsandHealthStatusof RoomingHouseResidentsinToronto.CanadianJournalofPublicHealth94(6):436440. Krahan,H.etal.(2005).TheRetentionofNewcomersinSecondandThirdTierCanadian Cities.InternationalMigrationReview39(4):872894. McDonald,J.(2004).TorontoandVancouverBound:TheLocationofChoiceofNewCanadian Immigrants.CanadianJournalofUrbanResearch13(1):85101. Miraftab,F.(2000).Shelteringrefugees:Thehousingexperienceofrefugeesinmetropolitan Vancouver,Canada.CanadianJournalofUrbanResearch9(1):4263. SocialDataResearchLtd.(2006).ProfileofRoominghouseTenants.SocioeconomicSeries06 019.Ottawa:CMHC. SocialHousingStrategistsInc(SHS)(2004a).CityofTorontoRoomingHouseIssuesandFuture Options.BackgroundReportOne.DescriptionoftheRoomingHouseSector.Preparedfor CityofTorontoShelter,HousingandSupportDivision.(InassociationwithRichardDrdla Associates.) StarrGroupInc.(2002)InitiativestoMaintainRoomingHouse/SingleRoomoccupancyStockand StabilizeTenancies. StarrGroupInc.andRichardDrdlaAssociates(2000).RegulatoryFactorsintheRetentionand ExpansionofRoomHouseStock,Ottawa:CMHC. Tremblay,J.,DenisonP.,andNazarP.(2007).SubmissiontoTheWellesleyInstituteUrban HealthResearchProgram,EnablingGrantFinalReport.TorontoChristianResourceCentre (TCRC).

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AppendixA:DemographicandLifeStageQuestionnaire
RoomingHouseWorkingGroup(Toronto) 6 2008Surveyof RoomingHouseResidents Introduction (Housingworkers:youcanusethisasyourscriptinexplainingthestudy)
Thankyoufortakingtimetospeakwithme.IamhelpingEastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources(EYET)tosurveytenantswholivein roominghousesinNorthYork,Scarborough,Etobicoke,andEastYork.TheresearchwillhelpEYETandtheCityofTorontounderstand wholivesinroominghousesandhowsatisfiedtenantstheyarewiththeirhousing.TheresultsofthisresearchwillhelpshapeTorontosplan foraffordablehousingforthenext10years. Yourexperiencesandsuggestionswillbeveryhelpful.Everythingyoutellus isconfidential.Youranswerswillbegroupedwithotherstogiveus atotalpicture.Yourparticipationinthisstudyisvoluntary.Youmayskipanyquestionyoudonotwishtoanswerandyoumaychoosetoendthe interviewatanytime. Thesurveytakesabout15minutestocomplete.Youwillreceive$15inTimHortonscouponsforyourparticipationattheendofthissurveyin recognitionofyourtimeandcontributiontothestudy. Longerinterviewswithasmallgroupofparticipantswilltakeplacein thenearfuture.Ifyouwouldliketobeinvolved,pleaseletthepersonwhois interviewingyoutodayknow.Giveusawaytoreachyou.Ifchosenforafollowupinterview,youwillreceiveanadditional$25. Beforewebegin,doyouhaveanyquestionsaboutthestudyoraboutthisinterview? Doyouliveinaroominghousenow? Yes No Wheredoyoulive? ScarboroughNorthYorkEastYorkEtobicokeYork (NotetoHousingWorker: pleasedonotinterviewtenantsliving intheoldCityofTorontoforthisstudy) Haveyoualreadyparticipatedinasurveyorinterviewforthisoranotherstudyinthepast2to3weeks?Yes No Ifyes, givedetails:_____________ Doyouagreetoparticipateinthis survey?Yes No Pleasesignyourinitials oramadeupnameinthespacebelowtoshowthatyouhaveagreedtoparticipate.Wearenotaskingyoutosignyour namesoyouridentitycanbekeptconfidential.Iwillalsosignmyname toindicatethatyouhaveagreedtoparticipate. _____________ Date _________________ SurveyParticipant __________________________________ Interviewer+AgencyName(pleaseprint)

Questionsorconcernsaboutthisstudy? Contact:JanetFairfield,HousingHelp/LandlordLiaison, EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourceCentre Tel.4166863390ext.349. outreach@housingworkers.ca IMPORTANT! DearInterviewer:Pleasebeginbyfillinginthefollowingtoallowtheresearcherstocodeinterviewswhilemaintainingtenant confidentiality. ______(firsttwolettersofthetenantslastname) ______(firsttwonumbersofhisorherstreetaddress) _______(firsttwolettersofthenameofhisorherstreetname) (first2lettersoflastname,first2numbersofstreetaddress,plusfirst2lettersofstreetname.E.g.JimSmithat246MainStreetwould beSM24MA.Ifhelivedat7MainitwouldbeSM07MA

Thefirstquestionsinthissurveyareaboutyou. 1. Howoldareyou?

o Under20 o 2030 o 3150


6

SurveyofroominghousetenantsadaptedfromSocialDataResearchLtd(2006).OriginallyusedinaCMHC fundedstudyof240roominghousetenantsinOttawa,MontrealandVancouver.
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o 5165 o 6680 o Over80


2. Gender

o Male
3. Whatisyourmaritalstatus?

o Female

o Transgender o Married/CommonLaw o Widowed

o Single o Separated/divorced o LongTermRelationship


4. Doyouhaveanychildren?

o YesIfyes,number?____ o No
5. Wherewereyouborn?

o Canada(ifCanada,skipto#8) o Other(name)___________________________________
6. Ifother, whatyeardidyoucometoCanada?________________ 7. WhatisyourcurrentstatusinCanada?

o Citizen o Visitor/Studentvisa
8. HowlonghaveyoulivedinToronto?(indicate#ofyearsormonths) ____Years______Months_____WholeLife

o RefugeeClaimant o Permanentresident/Landedimmigrant

9. Howwouldyoudescribeyourculturalbackground?(Interviewer:donotreadcategories)

o FirstNations/Aboriginal o British/Anglo o Francophone o Other(Pleaserecord)_____________________________________


10. Whatisyourhighestlevelofeducation?

o Someorcompletedelementary o Somehighschool o Completedhighschool o Someorcompletedtradeschoolor


equivalent

o Someuniversity o Completedcollege(CEGEP)
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o CompletedUniversityDegree o Other(pleasedescribe,e.g.ESL)
11. Doyouhavealearningdisabilitythatmakesitchallengingtoread,writeorlearnnewthings?

o Yes oNo oDontknowornoanswer


12. Whatbestdescribeshowyouspendyourtime?(Checkallthatapply)

o Iworkfull time o Iworkpart time o Igotoschool(ifyes,Full______orPartTime______) oIvolunteerinmycommunityonaregularbasis o Duetomydisability,Iamlimitedinmyabilitytoleavemyhome o Iparticipateinaworkortrainingprogram(whileonOWorODSP) o Iattendasocialorfoodprograminthecommunitymostdays o Iamaprimarysupportorcaregivertoafamilymemberorfriend o Isocializewithfriends,familyorneighboursoutsideofmyhome o Ispendmostofmytimeathome o Other(Pleasedescribe)____________________________________
13. Wheredoesyourincomecomefrom? (checkallthatapply)

o Employmentinsurance o Oldagepension o Canadapensionplan o WorkersCompensation o Studentbursary/loan o Disabilitypension(ODSP) o Disability(CPP)


14. Total Monthly income_________________(net)fromallsources (Ifparticipantanswersthisquestion,skipto#16)

o Socialassistance(OW) o Veteransallowance o Employment/selfemployment o Disability(CPP) o Disability(PrivatePension) o Other(creativeeconomy,barter etc)__________

15. Interviewer:Ifparticipantdoesntknowactualincomeaskannualincomerangesbelow:

o Under$8,000peryear o $12,001$15,000/year o Morethan$20,000/year

o $8,000$12,000/year o $15,001$20,000/year o Dontknow/refused


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Thenextsetofquestionsisaboutyourcurrenthousing. 16. Howmuchisyourrent? ___________perweekor__________permonth 17. Whatdoesyourrent include?(checkallthatapply)

o Telephone o Cable(ifIchoosetopayforit) o TV(includedwithroom) o Heat o Hydro o Water o PreparedMeals(ifyes,howmanyaday_______) o Hotplateinmyroom o HousekeepingServices o Useofasharedkitchen(ifyes,howmany doyousharewith_____) o Useofasharedbathroom(Ifyes,howmanydoyousharewith______) o Useofacommonroom(Ifyes,howmanydoyousharewith_____) o Afridgeinmyroom o Amicrowaveinmyroom o Bedroomfurnitureinmyroom(dresserandbedat minimum) o Closetorstorage o Aworkerwhohelpsme(budget,paybills,fillinginforms) o Organizedsocialactivities(cards,movienights,outingsetc) o Other______________________
18. Arethereservicesinyourhousethatareavailableatan EXTRACOST?(checkallthatapply)

o Chequecashing o Meals o Housekeeping o Heatandhydro o Phone o Cable o Other_____________


19. Howmanypeopleliveinyourroominghouse?

o Lessthan5 o 510 o 1125


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o 2650 o 50+
20. Isyourroominghouse:

o Partofacommunityprogramornonprofitorganization(eg.Habitatservices) o Privatelyowned, withthelandlordlivingonsite o Privatelyowned, no landlordonsite o Privatelyownedwitha managerorcustodianonsite o Privatelyowned, nomanagerorcustodianonsite o Other:___________________________________
21. Howlonghaveyoulivedinyourcurrentlocation?

o Lessthanonemonth o Lessthan3months o 36months o 612months o 12years o Morethan2years(Numberofyears=_____)


Thenextsetofquestionsisaboutwhereelseyouhavelivedandreasonswhyyoumoved. 22. Wheredidyoulive justbefore youmovedtoyourcurrenthome?

o Anotherroominghouse o Anapartment o Acondo o Ahouse o Ashelter o Sharedhouse/apt o Thestreet o Couchsurfer o Ahalfwayhouse o Agrouphome o Prison/jail o Afosterhome o Livedwithfamily o hospital o Other(pleasedescribe)____________________________________
23. Whydidyoumovefromyourlastplace?(Checkallthatapply)

o Tooexpensive o Problemswithothertenants o Nonpaymentofrent o Preferredadifferenttypeofaccommodation o Evicted(probewhy,ifnonpaymentofrent,checkabove o Timetomoveout(studentoryoungpersonleavinghome)


24. Howmanytimeshaveyoumovedinthepast3years:

o Roommateleft o Problemswithlandlord o Wasonstreet/hadhousinghelp o Preferredadifferentlocation o Dischargedfromaprogramorinstitution o Other:____________

o None
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o 15 o 610 o Morethan10 o Notapplicable


25. Haveyoubeenhomelessinthelastthree(3)years? (eg.livingonthestreet,inshelters,couchsurfingorother)

o o o o o o

Yes

o No

26. Ifyes,howlongwereyouhomeless? Lessthantwoweeks Lessthanthreemonths Lessthanayear Lessthantwoyears 3yearsorlonger

27. Whydidyouchooseyourpresentunit?(Checkallthatapply)

o Affordability o Nofirst/lastmonthdepositneeded o Closetofriends,family o Itwaseasytofind o Thisismyneighbourhood o BetteraccommodationthanwhatIhadbefore o ClosetoservicesIneeded o Wasreferredbyahousinghelpagencyofotheragency o Itwasavailable o Other(pleasedescribe)_______
28. Howdidyoufindyourcurrentplace?(Checkonlyone)

o Throughfriends/family o Advertisementinpaper o Advertisementinbuilding(walkedby) o Throughahousingagency o Signinfrontofbuilding o Signontelephonepole,bulletinboardorelsewhere o Other(pleasedescribe)______________


29. Doyouhaveanyplanstomoveinthenextfewmonths?

o Yes(goto#29)

o No(Ifno,skipto#30) o Dontknow/noanswer
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30. If yes,whyareyouplanningtomove?(Checkallthatapply)

o Currentplacetooexpensive o Problemswithothertenants o Problemswithlandlord o Iamunhappywiththeupkeep,cleanlinessorservices o Prefer/movingtoadifferenttypeofaccommodation o Prefer/movingtoadifferentlocation o Notclosetoemployment/schoollocation o Other(pleasedescribe)___________________________________


Idliketoturnnowtoafewquestionsaboutyourhealthandservicesthatyoumayuse. 31. Wouldyousayyourhealthis:

o Excellent o VeryGood o Good o Fair o Poor


32. Doyouthinkyourhealthhasimproved,or islikelytoimproveasaresultofmovingtoyourpresentlocation? (eg.dueto betterphysicalsurroundings,closenesstomedicalservices,betteraccessibility)

o Yes o No o Maybe o Dontknow/noanswer


33. Iamgoingtoreadoffalistofservices.Pleasetellmewhichservicesyouuseandhowoftenyouusethem(e.g.everyday, everyweek,everymonth,onceayear,lessthanonceayear) (Ifatypeofserviceisnotapplicableorneverused,movetonextcategory) Typeofservice Yes,uses service FrequencyofUse Daily Weekly Monthly Yearly Lessthanonceayear

FamilyDoctor WalkinClinic Dentist SocialWorker HomeCareNursing/ Occ.Therapist/PhysioTherapist Churches/PlacesofWorship FoodBank Hotmealprogram HousingWorker MentalHealthCounselor

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LifeSkillsWorker CommunityHealthCentre RecreationCentre AddictionsCounselor Library DropinCentres EmergencyRoom Ambulance TTC ProbationorParole 34. Sincemovingintoyourcurrenthousing,wouldyousayyouruseofcommunityservices(fromlistabove)has

o Goneup o Gonedown o Stayedthesame o Dontknow


Theselastfewquestionsareabouthowsatisfiedyouarewithyourcurrenthousing. 35. Whichofthefollowingrulesexistinyourbuilding?Aretheyenforced?Doyouagreewiththem? Pleasecircleyesornoandmakecommentsifappropriate. RULES Exists? Enforced? Doyouagreewithrule?Comment Nosmoking Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Noalcohol Curfew NoVisitors Noovernightvisitors Novisitorsaftercertain hours Nodrugs Noviolence Nopets Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/ no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no Yes/no

36. Nowwewantto talkabouthowsatisfiedyouarewithwhereyoulive. Category Not Satisfied Somewhat dissatisfied Neither satisfiednor dissatisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied

Howtheoutsideofthebuildinglooks Howtheinsideofthebuildinglooks(is itingoodrepair?Doesitlooktidy?) Levelofcleanliness(garbage,pests, miceorotherrodents,vermin,bedbugs, cockroaches) AffordabilityofRent Feelingsafewhenathomefeelingyour belongingsaresafe Yourneighbourhood(Isitclosetothe thingsyouneed?Doyoufeelsafe?)

37. Whatdoyoulikebest aboutyourpresentaccommodation? (Checkallthatapply)


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o Affordability o LocationClosetoservices/school/employment
needed

o Closetofriends,family o Likethelandlord o Cleanliness o Privacy o Safety,security o Iamnothappywithanyofthesethings

o Facilities(kitchen,loungeetc) o Friendshipswithothertenants o Ilikethistypeofaccommodation

o Other(Pleasedescribe)_____________________________________
38. Overall,howsatisfiedareyouwithyourhousingsituation?

o NotSatisfied o SomewhatDissatisfied o NeitherSatisfiedNorDissatisfied o Satisfied o VerySatisfied


39. Whydoyoufeelthisway?____________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ 40. Doyouseeyourpresenthousingasalongtermoratemporarysituation?

o Longterm(overtwoyears)

o Temporary o DontKnow/NoAnswer

41. Inwhattypeofhousingdoyouseeyourselflivingin5years? (Probefortypeofaccommodation[apartment,house,etc.] ownedorrented,sharewithothers,etc)

o Bachelorapartment o Oneortwobedroomapartment o Sharingwithfriends o Ownahome o Continuetolivehere o Movetoanotherroominghouse o LiveinasubsidizedorRGIunit o Other_________________


42. DotheResearchershavepermissiontocontactyouforpossibleparticipationinalongerinterview?

o Yes o No
Ifyes,whatisthebestwaytoreachyou?______________________ (eg.Directlybyphone,throughahousingworker,other.Providedetailsandyournamesothatwecanconnect.) Thankyouforyourparticipationinthissurveyandyourtimetoday. TimHortonsCouponsReceived: __________________________ Initialsofsurveyparticipant
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AppendixB: InterviewQuestionsforRoomingHouseTenants

EYET ROOMINGHOUSERESEARCH LONGINTERVIEW INTRODUCTION


Mynameis_________________andIamworkingforEastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResource. WeareconductingastudyoftenantswholiveinroominghousesinScarborough,NorthYork, EtobicokeandEastYork.Weareinterestedinknowingaboutyourexperiencesinyourcurrent roominghouseandneighbourhood.Thisinterviewisafollowuptoashortsurveyyourecently completedthroughahousingworker(oradropincentre). Thisisavoluntarystudy,andyoucanchoosetoendtheinterviewatanytimeorskipquestions youdonotwanttoanswer.Thereisa$25honorariumavailableforyouattheendofthe interview. TheresultsofthestudywillgototheCityofTorontotohelpshapetheplanforaffordable housingforthenext10years. Yournameoridentitywillnotbeusedinthisstudyandeverythingyoutellusiscompletely confidential. Beforewebegin,doyouhaveanyquestionsaboutthestudyoraboutthisinterview? Doyouagreetoparticipate:Yes No

Wouldyoupleaseuseyourinitialsorpseudonymtoshowthatyouhaveagreedtoparticipate? Wearenotaskingyoutosignyournamesoyouridentitycanbekeptconfidentialand anonymous.Iwillalsosignmynametoindicatethatyouhaveagreedtoparticipate. ___________________________________ Date Interviewee _________________________ Researcher

Enterparticipantidentifier: ______(firsttwolettersoflastname) ______(firsttwonumbersofstreetaddress) _______(firsttwolettersofstreetname) Questionsorconcernsaboutthisstudy? Contact:JanetFairfield,HousingHelp/LandlordLiaison,EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResource CentreTel.4166863390ext.349.outreach@housingworkers.ca 1.Sowheredoyoulive? howdopeoplelocatethemselves?(Inneighbourhoods?Proximitytoimportantplaces/services orpeople?) 2.Whatisitlikeinyourneighbourhood? isitbusinessorresidential? determineparticipantsfeltsenseofsafetyinneighbourhoodandhowitimpactstheir decisions/actions/responsetocommunity proximitytoservices?Food?HealthCare? determineemotionalresponsetohousinglocationistherepride?Shame?Ambivalence?
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dopeoplehavehistoryintheirneighbourhood? 3.Canyoudescribeyourbuildingforme? ifIwasstandingonthestreet,whatwouldIsee? ifIwalkedintothebuilding,whatwouldIsee? ifIwalkedintoyourroom,whatwouldIsee? howaboutthekitchen.Whatisitlike? canyoudescribethebathrooms? determineparticipantsfeltsenseofhousing determineiftheyseethephysicalenvironmentassafeorunsafe determinehowtheyfeelabouttheappearanceofthebuilding 4.Canyoudescribeyourneighboursintheroominghouse?(Theothertenants,aswellas neighboursnextdoor) dotheyfeelconnectedorseparatefromothertenants? determineissuesthatarerelatedtoeachperspective 5.Whatledtoyoulivinghere? determineeventsjustpriortomovingintoroominghouse determinelevelofsecurity/insecurityandsituationprecipitatingmovetoroominghouse determineifthemovewasanimprovementordeteriorationofpriorcircumstances determinefactorsimpactingdecisionmaking(barriersinchoiceorprofactors) ifparticipantwaspreviouslyhomeless,askWhatwasthatlike? ifparticipantwaspreviouslyhousedmorepermanentlyaskabouthowtheyfeltaboutmoving toaroominghouseinstead. 6.Canyoutellmeaboutyourrent,andwhatisincludedornotincluded? howdoyoufeelabouttherentyoupay? arethereextraservices?Whichareused?Whicharenotused? aretherethingsthatarentincluded,thattheywishwere? 7.(Ifapplicable)Iseeyouhaveadisability(orhealthchallenge)thatcanmakesome thingschallenging.Canyoutellmeabitaboutthat? determinedisability,andthelevelofimpactonactivitiesofdailyliving 8.Whatisitliketohaveyourspecificdisability,andlivewhereyoudo? aretherespecificchallenges? aretherespecificbenefits? promptforaccessibilityissues. areyouclosetomedicalservicesneededordesired? 9.Doyouhaveaworkerorsomeonefromanorganizationwhohelpsyouwithdayto daythingslikebudgeting,payingbills,groceryshoppingorhelpingwithhousing? ifno,whowouldtheyturntoiftheyneededhelp? ifyes,howhasithelpedthem?Howoften? doesthelandlordormanagerorothertenantsplayaroleindaytodaysupport? 10.EveryRoomingHouseismanageddifferently,withdifferentkindsoflandlordsor managersanddifferentrules.Canyoutellmeaboutsomeoftherulesandexpectations inyours? promptforspecificbehaviours/rules/expectationsthatsupportfeltsenseofsafety,community participationandsocialconnectedness. promptforroleoflandlordormanager.Howdoesparticipantseetheirrole?Feelaboutit? Whichrulesdoyoumostappreciate?Howdotheseruleshelpyoutoenjoylivinghere? Doyouknowthelandlordormanager?Howisyourrelationshipwiththem?
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11.Canyouwalkmethroughatypicaldayforyou? determinewherebasicneedsarebeingmetfood,socialactivity,supportsystems(formaland informal)andwhichareimpactedbyhousing. howmuchtimedoyouspendatyourhome? wheredoyouliketogointhecommunity? whatdoyouenjoydoingduringtheday? doyouhavespecificinterestsorhobbiesyouenjoy? ifparticipantbeginstomentionfamily/friends/workersinprogramsetcfollowthat 12.Idliketoknowmoreabouttheimportantpeopleinyourlife. askaboutspecificpeopledeterminewhotheyare,andtheroletheyplay whodoyouspendthemosttimewith? aretherepeoplethatdependonyouforcompany?Help? aretherepeopleyouturntoforcompany?Help? 13.Doeslivingwhereyoulivechangehowyouconnectwithfamilyorfriends? - aretherefeltstigmasassociatedwithroominghouseliving - dofriendsorfamilyliveinthearea? - areyouabletohavevisitors?Dovisitorsfeelcomfortable? 14.Iseefromyoursurveythatyoufeelthatthishousinghaspositivelyaffectedyour life.Canyoutellmeaboutthethingsyoureallylikeaboutlivinghere? promptforthemesofenvironment/socialconnection/communityparticipation/supportservices promptforchangesinpersonalviewofSELF. promptforchangesinfoodandpersonalsenseofsafety 15.Specifically,howhasyourlifechangedforthebettersincemovinghere? 16.Overall,wouldyousayyoufeelathomehere? 17.Wheredoyouseeyourselffiveyearsfromnow?Ifadifferentplace,ask: whatwillitdependon? howwillyougetthere? 18.Aretherethingsthatcouldchange,thatyoufeelwouldimproveonlivinghereeven further? - Promptforparticipantsopinionregardingnecessarychanges - Promptforparticipantsideasaboutmanagingaroominghouse 19.Isthereanythingaboutlivinginaroominghousesituationyouthinkweshould knowabout,thatwehaventaskedabout? Thankyousomuchforparticipating.Yourthoughtsandopinionsarereallyvalued. ****Provide$25.00Honorarium****Haveparticipantinitialpaymentformthathe/she receivedit.

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AppendixC:ProfilesofTenantsInterviewed
(inadditiontowhatisincludedinthebodyofthereport)
Profile Name:Tatia Age:74 Location:NorthYork Pastimes: Tataenjoyscookingforher roommates,andspendingtimewithfriendsat theroominghouse.Shegoestochurchand studiesthebible.Onweekends,shevisitsher sonwholivesnearby.Shegoesdancingwith friendsfromthe FilipinoAssociation. Fiveyeargoal:Toliveeverydaytothefullest, andtokeepherbloodpressuredown. Profile Profile Name:Trevor Age:29 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Whentheweatherturnsnice,Trevorlikesto walkthroughthecitysparks.Heenjoysusingthe internet,andheworksparttimedoingsurveysfor marketingfirms. Fiveyeargoal:Tomovetoaonebedroomapartmentin aniceareaofthecity. Name:Scott Age:23 Location:Scarborough Pastimes: Scottworksfulltimeasa telemarketer.Helovesdoinghome repairs,andhelpshislandladywitha numberofherhouses. Fiveyeargoal:Scottlikeslivingin roominghousesbecausetheyaremore socialthanlivingalone,andheisableto saveabitofmoneyeachmonth.He dreamsofowninghisownhomeoneday. Profile Name:Seth Age:40 Location:Scarborough Pastimes: Sethattendsanumberofday programswhereheoffersencouragementand supporttothosewhoarehomeless.Heenjoys watchingmovies,andspendingtimewithfriends. Fiveyeargoal:Tostaydrugfree,tohavedental workdoneandtobehappy.

Profile Name:Ed Age:27 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Learningnewthingsonthe computer,musicsharing. Fiveyeargoal:Edwantstobeworkingata steadyjobasaflooringinstallerandtostayin hisneighbourhood.

Profile Name:Neilson Age:44 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Writingandreading,especiallynon fiction,usingtheinternetandFacebookatthe library,listeningtomusic,watchingnewsshows andEllenonTV.

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Profile Name:Carlo Age:59 Location:NorthYork Pastimes:Carlogoestothelibraryevery daytoreadthenewspapersandvisitwith peopleheknowsthere.Hehasayoung adultsonwholivesnearbywhohesees weekly. Fiveyeargoal:Tostayawayfromdrugs, tofindbetterhousing,andtohelphis parentsastheyage.

Profile Name:Edwina Age:62 Location:Scarborough Pastimes: Edwinaworksalmostfulltimehours, sellingproductswithinhercommunity.Sheenjoys goodhealth.Whensheisntworking,sheplayscards withfriends.Sheisagrandmotheroffive. Fiveyeargoal:Edwinawouldliketoliveinaone bedroomapartmentwhensheisabletoreceiveOAS.

Profile Profile Name:Stephen Age:52 Location:Etobicoke Pastimes:Stephenlovesfootballandhockeyand worksparttimeasaharmreductionoutreach worker.Heusedtobehomelessbutbecamehoused whenwewentintoAAsevenyearsago. Fiveyeargoal:Tobecomeasocialserviceworker andworkwiththehomeless. Name:Vince Age:35 Location:Scarborough Pastimes:Vincelikeslisteningtomusic, walkinganhouraday,readingandusinga computeratthelibrary,goingoutforcoffee. Fiveyeargoal:Tobefinishedschooland haveacareerasacookoramason.

Profile Name:Angeline Age:34 Location:NorthYork Pastimes:Angelineisanewmotherto youngEthan,ageone.Sheworksfulltime asaliveoutnannytoafamilyofsix.Sheis abletotakehersontoworkwithher,butis findingitchallenging.Whennotworking, sheenjoysvisitingwithherroommates,and playingwithEthan. Fiveyeargoal:Tobeabletohaveherown place,forherandherson.

Profile Name:Marc Age:28 Location:Scarborough Pastimes: Videogamesandcomputer,Facebook, learningnewsoftware(PowerPointandExcel). Friendandroommate:Dave Fiveyeargoals:Livingina1or2bedroom apartment,savingmoney,havingbetterfriends, beinginarelationship,andfeelingbetteraboutlife.

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ORIOLE RESEARCH& DESIGNINC.


URBANANDSOCIALPOLICY, PROJECTMANAGEMENT ANDCONSULTING
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TableofContents 1.0Introduction .....................................................................................................................104 1.1Purpose......................................................................................................................104 1.2Scope ........................................................................................................................105 1.3MethodologyandLimitations..........................................................................................105 1.4StructureoftheReport .................................................................................................105 2.0TheBusinessCaseforRoomingHouses:ThreeScenarios ...................................................105 2.1Scenario1 ..................................................................................................................105 2.1.1TheScarboroughProperty........................................................................................106 2.1.2ConversionCosts....................................................................................................106 2.1.3IncomeandOperatingExpenses...............................................................................106 2.1.4DiscussionPoints....................................................................................................107 2.2Scenario2 ..................................................................................................................108 2.2.1TheEtobicokeProperty............................................................................................108 2.2.2PurchaseandRenovationCosts.................................................................................108 2.2.3IncomeandOperatingExpenses...............................................................................108 2.2.4DiscussionPoints....................................................................................................109 2.3Scenario3 ..................................................................................................................110 2.3.1TheNorthYorkProperty..........................................................................................110 2.3.2PurchaseandRenovationCosts.................................................................................111 2.3.3IncomeandExpenses..............................................................................................111 2.3.4DiscussionPoints....................................................................................................113 2.4EconomicViabilityintheRoomingHouseSector................................................................113 3.0SystemCostsofUnlicensedRoomingHouses....................................................................114 4.0TheCostofHomelessness.................................................................................................115 4.1TheCostofProvidingSupporttoVulnerableTenants.........................................................115 4.2ShelterandInstitutionalCosts.......................................................................................116 4.3CostsofEmergencyServices.........................................................................................116 4.4CostofHousingforSingles ............................................................................................117 4.5Summary...................................................................................................................117 5.0SummaryandRecommendations.......................................................................................118 References ...............................................................................................................................119 ListofTables Table1:Scenario1ConversionCosts ......................................................................................106 Table2:Scenario1OperatingCosts........................................................................................107 Table3:Scenario1NetIncomeandReturnonInvestment .........................................................107 Table4:Scenario1QuickRatios............................................................................................107 Table5:Scenario2PurchaseandRenovationCosts...................................................................108 Table6:Scenario2OperatingExpenses.................................................................................109 Table7:Scenario2NetIncomeandReturnonInvestment .........................................................109 Table8:Scenario2QuickRatios............................................................................................109 Table9:Scenario2QuickRatios(14beds)..............................................................................110 Table10:Scenario3PurchaseandRenovationCosts .................................................................111 Table11:Scenario3Revenue................................................................................................111 Table12:Scenario3MonthlyMortgageCosts ...........................................................................111 Table13:Scenario3OperatingCosts......................................................................................112 Table14:Scenario3NetIncomeandReturnonInvestment .......................................................112 Table15:Scenario3QuickRatios...........................................................................................112 Table16:CostsAssociatedwithEmergencyServices.................................................................116

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1.Introduction
InFebruary2008,EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResourcescontractedOrioleResearchand DesignInc.toundertakeresearchontheroominghousesectorinToronto.Thegoalofthe researchisto: raiseawarenessofthepositivecontributionroominghousesmakeaspartofthecitys housingcontinuumandtoworktowardsincreasingthesupplyoflegal,safeandaffordable 7 housingforsinglepeoplewithlowincomes. Theprojectisdividedintofivecomponents.Theyare: (1)Documentgoodpracticesintheroominghousesector,highlightinginitiativesto: a)Assisttenantstomaintaintheirtenanciesinroominghousesandpersonalcare boardinghomesand b)Supportlandlordstoinvestinsafeaffordableandstablehousingforsinglepeople withlowincomes. (2)Compileaprofileofroominghousetenantsandtheirneedsthroughinterviewsanda reviewofrecentliteratureontheroominghousesector. (3)Prepareabusinesscasethatdocumentsthecostsofcreatingroominghousesfromthe existingsuburbanhousingstockcomparedwiththecostsofprovidingtemporaryshelter andemergencyservicesandthecostsofinvestigationsintoillegalunits. (4)FormulaterecommendationstotheCityofTorontosAffordableHousingFramework. (5)Presentthefindingsoftheresearchatacommunitymeetingofstakeholdershostedby theRoomingHouseWorkingGroup. ThisreportforComponent3oftheprojectpresentsthreebusinesscasestoillustratethe opportunitiesandcostsassociatedwithowningandoperatingroominghousesinsuburban locations.Theprocessassociatedwithinvestigatingillegalroominghousesisalsooutlinedto provideacontextforfavouringmorewidespreadlicensingofroominghouses.Thecostsof providinghousingandsupportstoindividualswhoarehomelessoratriskofhomelessnessare presentedalongsidethecostofinstitutionalandemergencyresponsestohomelessness.

1.1Purpose
Thepurposeofthisreportistolookatthecostsofestablishingandoperatingqualityrooming housesoutsideoftheformerCityofToronto.Thepremiseisthatroominghousesneedtobe explicitlyidentifiedandintegratedintotheCitys10yearAffordableHousingFramework.Further, theAffordableHousingFrameworkneedstorecognizeroominghousesasaviablechoicefor manylowincomesinglesprimarilyduetoaffordabilityissuesandtoalesserextentthebenefitsof havingroommates. Whilethisreportfocusesontheeconomicsofroominghousesaspartofacontinuumofhousing options,thereisrecognitionthatthisformofhousingisnotsuitableforalllowincomesingles.For example,individualsactivelyusingsubstances,orindividualswithcomplexmentalhealthand addictionsissueswouldnottypicallybewellhousedinaroominghouse(Patterson2008).In otherwords,thisexaminationofroominghousesdoesnotprecludetheongoingneedforavariety

ExcerptedfromRoomingHouseWorkingGroupResearchProposalHousingforSinglePeople withLowIncomes,November15,2007.
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offormsofsupportivehousing,aswellasboardinghomes,selfcontainedunitsandother residentialformsofaccommodationwhereintensivesupportsareprovidedonsitetotenants.

1.2Scope
Inpreparingthreebusinesscases,actualpropertiesinScarborough,EtobicokeandNorthYork wereidentifiedandusedasthebasisforthisdiscussion.Eachpropertyillustratesdifferent approachestodevelopingroominghouseunits.Attemptsweremadetorealisticallyprojectcosts andrevenueswhichwouldbeassociatedwitheachsiteandtonotevariableswhichwouldaffect theeconomicviabilityofeachproperty.Conversionorrenovationcostsareassumedtoinclude workthatisrequiredsothateachpropertywouldmeetallrelevantmunicipalstandards.

1.3MethodologyandLimitations
Thebusinesscaseswereconstructedbyselectingthreesitesaccordingtoasetofcriteria proposedbymembersoftheadvisorycommitteeforthisproject.Withinformationcomingfrom theexperienceofarealestatebroker,aboardinghomeoperatorandCitystafffamiliarwiththe roominghousesector,theexpectedcosts,revenuesandexpectedinvestmentreturnsforthe propertieswereidentifiedandtabulated.Theresultsandimplicationsofthethreebusinesscases werereviewedanddebatedbytheadvisorycommitteeforthisproject. AreviewofrecentliteraturefromCanadiancitieswasundertakentoidentifyapproachesto quantifyinghomelessnessinsocialandmonetaryterms.Keyfindingsofrecentstudiesare presented.

1.4StructureoftheReport
Sectiontwopresentsthethreebusinesscasesforroominghousesandadiscussionoftheresults. Sectionthreehighlightstheprocessfollowedbymunicipalofficialsinrespondingtocomplaints aboutunlicensedroominghousesandsectionfourlooksatthecostsofvariousresponsesto homelessness.SectionfivesummarizestheresultsofthisstudyandmakesacasefortheCityto activelyworkwithroominghouseownerswiththegoaloflegitimizingroominghousesasaviable housingoptionforlowincomesingleadults.

2.TheBusinessCaseforRoomingHouses:ThreeScenarios
Thefollowingthreescenariosfordevelopingandoperatingroominghousesillustrateopportunities thatcouldexistoutsideoftheformerCityofTorontowhereroominghousesarecurrently, generally,illegal.Thesepropertiesshowroominghouseaccommodationonthreedifferenttypes ofsites: Scenario1:singledetachedhome Scenario2:multiplexdwellingthatformerlyoperatedasalodginghome Scenario3:commercial/retailsitethatcouldberenovatedandusedforhousing

2.1Scenario1
IninterviewingtenantslivinginunlicensedroominghousesoutsideoftheformerCityofToronto (SeeComponent2ofthisstudy),weheardthatroomersvaluemanyaspectsofthe neighbourhoodswheretheylive,includingneighbourhoodswithsinglefamilyhomes,well maintainedproperties,andneighbourswhohavelivedintheareaforgenerations.Weheardthat manywhoaresatisfiedwiththeirroominghouselikeadwellingthatblendswellwithits surroundingsandhasnotbeensignificantlyalteredontheinsideapartfromlocksonbedroom doors.

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Asaresultoftenantviewsonwheretheylive,thefollowingroominghousescenariowaschosen toexploreanopportunityforestablishingsmallscaleaccommodationforsinglesina neighbourhoodwellawayfromdowntownToronto.

2.1.1TheScarboroughProperty
Thepropertyisathreebedroom11/2storeyhouse onanarterialroadinScarborough. Thispropertyrepresentsacommonformofpostwar housingthroughoutTorontossuburbs. Tobeconvertedtoa5bedroominghouse,withtwo ofthebedroomsinthelowerlevelorbasement. Thelandlordisassumedtoliveoffsite.

Theassumptionisthatthepropertyhasbeenownedforaperiodoftimeandtheownerhasno mortgagebutwilltakeoutsomeequitybeforeconvertingthehousetoaroominghouse.This approachmaybequitecommonamongsmalllandlordsandmeansthemortgageamountbased ontheequitytakenoutcanbefairlylow.

2.1.2ConversionCosts
Thefollowingtablesummarizesthecostsofconversionofthisthreebedroomhouseintoafive bedroomroominghouse.Itassumesthattheownerismortgagefreeatthetimeofconversion. Table1:Scenario1ConversionCosts
Conversioncosts HouseValue
8 EquityTakeout(25%housevalue)

Capitalcosts $300,000.00 $75,000.00

CashRequired

1stMortgage(@6.5%interestrate)withmonthly principalandinterestpaymentsof $502.37or $6,028.41annually LegalandMortgageBrokerFees Improvements+Fees TotalInitialInvestment TotalCashRequired(estimate)

$75,000.00 $2,625.00 $50,000.00 $352,625.00 $52,625.00 $2,625.00 $50,000.00

2.1.3IncomeandOperatingExpenses
Theincomeforthepropertyisprojectedat$2,500amonthor$30,000ayear,withfiverooms rentingat$500amonth.

The$75,000newfirstmortgagewouldprovidesufficientfundsforcapitalimprovements,a cushionforcostoverrunsandprovidetheinvestorwithseedcapitalforfurtherinvestments.
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Operatingcostsarecalculatedtobeapproximately$1,240permonthor$14,850peryear,taking intoconsiderationutilities,taxes,insurance,maintenance,andanallowanceforvacancyandbad debt.Noamountisbudgetedforanonsiteorliveinmanager. Table2:Scenario1OperatingCosts Table3:Scenario1NetIncomeand ReturnonInvestment


Yearly $6,720.00 LessTotalExpenses Taxes Repairs&Maintenance VacancyandBadDebtAnnualAllowance @5%ofIncome Insurance $2,010.00 $3,000.00 LessMortgagePayments $1,500.00 $1,620.00 NetCashFlow AddPrincipalRepayments ReturnonInvestment(ROI) $6,028.41 $9,121.59 $1,254.60 $10,376.19 NetOperatingIncome $14,850.00 $15,150.00 GrossAnnualIncome(5rooms @$500/month) $30,000.00

OperatingCosts Utilities

Table4:Scenario1QuickRatios
Ratio CapitalizationRate(CAP rate) Definition NetOperatingIncomedivided bypropertyvalue.Therateat whichthepropertyconverts valueintoanincomestream. Amount 5.05% Comments Alowvalueindicateslow incomeandhighvalue. Lenderstendtosettheirown capitalizationratesfor roominghousesquitehigh (8%to10%)toreflecttheir perceivedriskoflendingto thishousingtype.

CashReturn

NetCashFlowasapercentof TotalCashRequired ReturnOnInvestmentdivided byTotalCashRequired NetOperatingIncomedivided bymortgagepayments.

17.33%

InvestmentReturn

19.72%

Investorsgenerallyexpect returnsgreaterthan15%. Anindicatorofavailable fundstoservicemortgage debt.Lenderslookforratios greaterthan1.20

DebtServiceCoverage

2.51

2.1.4DiscussionPoints
Rentssetat$500amontharenotaffordableforsingleadultsonOW.Arentsubsidywouldbe neededtomaketheseroomsaffordableforthisclientgroup. Thisproperty,withthesmallfirstmortgagewouldstillbeviableiftherentsdroppedto$400a month.TheCAPratewouldbe3.21percent,thecashreturnwouldbe6.84percent,the investmentreturnwouldbe9.23percent(alittlelowerthansomeinvestorswouldexpect) andtheDebtServiceRatiowouldbe1.60,wellabovemostlenderscriteria.

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2.2Scenario2
Thispropertywasoriginallyafourplexthatwasconvertedtoalodginghouse(retirementhome) severalyearsago.Inthespringof2008itwaslistedforsale.Theassumptionisthattheproperty wouldbevacantattimeofpurchaseandissetupinsuchaswaythatitcouldveryeasilyoperate asaroominghouse.

2.2.1 TheEtobicokeProperty
Thebuildingisatwostoreymultiplexlocatedonan arterialroadinSouthEtobicoke. Alreadyalicensedlodginghouseandincludesa basementkitchenanddiningroomforcommunalmeals. Tobeconvertedtoa9bedroominghouse,with1 tenantperexistingbedroom.

2.2.2PurchaseandRenovationCosts
Thepurchasepriceisassumedtobe$50,000lessthantheaskingpriceonMLS.Asthisproperty formerlyoperatedasalodginghome,littlerenovationisassumedtoberequiredinthisscenario.

Table5:Scenario2PurchaseandRenovationCosts
CapitalCosts PurchasePrice Downpayment@35% 1stMortgage LandTransferTaxProvinceandCity MortgageBrokerandLegalFees Improvements+CarryingCosts TotalInitialInvestment TotalCashRequired(estimate) Total $700,000.00 $245,000.00 $455,000.00 $21,200.00 $10,325.00 $10,000.00 $730,800.00 $286,525 $21,200.00 $10,325.00 $10,000.00 $245,000.00 CashRequired

2.2.3IncomeandOperatingExpenses
Thegrossannualincomeforthispropertyisassumedtobe$54,000,assuming9roomsare rentedoutat$500permonth.Thisscenarioassumestheownerwillliveonsiteandmanagethe roominghouse.Utilities,taxes,repairsandmaintenance,vacancyandbaddebtallowances,and insurancearetheidentifiedoperatingexpenses.

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Table6:Scenario2OperatingExpenses

Table7:Scenario2NetIncomeandReturn onInvestment
GrossAnnualIncome(9rooms@ $500/month) LessTotalExpenses $54,000.00 $24,408.00 $29,592.00 $36,572.38 ($6,980.38) $7,611.25 $630.88

OperatingCosts Utilities Taxes Repairs&Maintenance VacancyandBadDebtAllowance Insurance TotalOperatingCosts

Yearly $11,016.00 $3,618.00

NetOperatingIncome $4,158.00 LessMortgagePayments $2,700.00 CashFlow $2,916.00 AddPrincipalRepayments $24,408.00 ReturnonInvestment(ROI)

Note:()inthetablesindicatealoss.

Table8:Scenario2QuickRatios
Ratio CapitalizationRate(CAP rate) Definition NetOperatingIncomedividedby Propertyvalue.Therateatwhich thepropertyconvertsvalueinto anincomestream. Amount Comments 4.23% Alowvalueindicateslowincomeand highvalue.Lenderstendtosettheirown capitalizationratesforroominghouses quitehigh(8%to10%)toreflecttheir perceivedriskoflendingtothishousing type.

CashReturn

NetCashFlowasapercentof TotalCashRequired Returnoninvestmentdividedby TotalCashRequired NetOperatingIncomedividedby mortgagepayments.

2.22%

InvestmentReturn

0.22%

Investorsgenerallyexpectreturns greaterthan15%. Anindicatorofavailablefundstoservice mortgagedebt.Lenderslookforratios greaterthan1.20

DebtServiceCoverage

0.81

2.2.4DiscussionPoints
AsthisisalreadyalicensedlodginghouseinSouthEtobicokeincludingabasementcommercial kitchenanddiningroom,thepropertymaycommandahigherpricethanallowedforinthis scenario. Thismodelmeansthattheownerispurchasingabuildingthatisalreadylicensedforuseasa rooming/lodginghouse.Inthiscase,theaskingpriceisapproximately$75,000perbed(at9 beds).Todothis,thepropertyrequiresfullfundingthroughequityandmortgagefinancing. Alessexpensiveoptionwouldbetopurchaseabuildingthatisnotalreadylicensed,and acquireitforless:for$50,000perbedforexample.ThenRRAPfundingwhichhasnodebt servicerequirementscouldbeusedtopayfor$200,000to$300,000inrepairsrequiredto createlegaloccupancy. Itmaybedifficulttoconvincealendertoprovideafirstmortgageupto65percentofthe purchasepricewhentheNetOperatingIncomeisonly$30,000.Alargesecondmortgage wouldbeexpensivefortheoperator/ownerandwouldfurtherimpactonthenegativefinancial picture.
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Theprojectlosesmoneyat9bedshowever,ifthe9bedsareincreasedto14beds(whichare shownintheexistingplans),thentheprojectisfinanciallyviable.Thiswouldmeansomerooms aresingleoccupantandothersaredouble.Thepurchasepriceshiftsto$50,000perbedat14 units.Table9presentstheQuickRatiosforthisscenarioat14beds. Table9:Scenario2QuickRatios(14beds)


Ratio CapitalizationRate(CAP rate) Definition NetOperatingIncomedivided byPropertyvalue.Therateat whichthepropertyconverts valueintoanincomestream. Amount 6.58% Comments Alowvalueindicateslow incomeandhighvalue. Lenderstendtosettheirown capitalizationratesfor roominghousesquitehigh (8%to10%)toreflecttheir perceivedriskoflendingto thishousingtype.

CashReturn

NetCashFlowasapercentof TotalCashRequired Returnoninvestmentdivided byTotalCashRequired NetOperatingIncomedivided bymortgagepayments.

3.3%

InvestmentReturn

5.96%

Investorsgenerallyexpect returnsgreaterthan15%. Anindicatorofavailable fundstoservicemortgage debt.Lenderslookforratios greaterthan1.20

DebtServiceCoverage

1.26

Accesstocapitalgrants,operatingsubsidy,oraforgivableloansuchasRRAPcouldhelpmake thisroominghouseeconomicallyviablefortheprivatesectorlandlord/operator. Rentssetat$500amontharenotaffordableforsingleadultsonOW.Arentsubsidywouldbe neededtomakethisaccommodationaffordableforthisclientgroup. Doubleoccupancyinroomsisnotarecommendedpractice,duetoovercrowding,alackof privacy,andincreasedpotentialforconflictbetweentenants.Furtheritcanleadtoincreased vacancyloss.Adequatefundingneedstobeavailabletomakeroominghousesviablewithout doublinguptenantsinrooms.

2.3Scenario3
Thisscenariolooksatthedevelopmentandoperatingcostsofrenovatinganexistingcommercial propertyintoroominghouseunits.Thisputsaffordablehousingclosetotransit,services,and storesandisanopportunitytoupgradeanagingandperhapsunderutilizedbuilding.

2.3.1TheNorthY0rkProperty

LocatedinNorthYorkonanarterialroad. Totalareaof7,000squarefeet. Toberenovatedtocontain22beds(21forincome), eachwithitsownwashroom. Kitchen,diningandloungeareainlowerlevel.

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Theassumptionisthatthisconversionwouldtakeuptosixmonthsandwouldinvolveacomplete renovationofthebuilding.Allrenovationswouldbetocodeandtheroominghousewouldmeet allmunicipalstandardsuponcompletion.Thepropertywouldhavealiveinmanagerwholives rentfreeandearns$12,000annually.

2.3.2PurchaseandRenovationCosts
Inthisscenario,anolderdetachedbuildinginacommercialstripisrenovatedintoroominghouse units.Therearenoprovisionsforretaininganycommercialorretailspace.Theactualpurchase priceis$808,000.Thefollowingtablesillustratethedevelopmentofthisroominghousewithand withoutforgivableRRAPloans.

Table10:Scenario3PurchaseandRenovationCosts
Capitalcosts TotalDevelopmentCosts includingprofessionalfees andcapitalimprovements MortgageBroker'sFee Downpaymentof35% 1stMortgage TotalInitialInvestment WithRRAP WithoutRRAP

$1,219,799.00 $7,928.69 $426,929.65 $792,869.35 $1,227,727.69

$1,571,799.00 $10,216.69 $550,129.65 $1,021,669.35 $1,582,015.69

2.3.3IncomeandExpenses
Theestimatedrentalrevenueforthisis$126,000peryear,with21roomsrentingoutfor$500 permonth.Operatingcostsincludemaintenanceandrepairs,insurance,utilities,taxes,vacancy andbaddebtallowance,andamanagementfee.

Table11:Scenario3Revenue
RentRevenue Rent/bed/month No.ofrentablerooms AnnualRevenue Amount $500.00 21 $126,000.00

Table12:Scenario3MonthlyMortgageCosts
InterestRate FirstMortgage 6.500% WithRRAP $5,310.83 WithoutRRAP $6,843.38

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Table13:Scenario3OperatingCosts
OperatingCosts Utilities Taxes(estimated) Repairs&Maintenance ManagementandProfessionalFees VacancyandBadDebtAllowance Insurance TotalOperatingCosts Yearly $32,208.00 $12,000.00 $9,984.00 $13,320.00 $6,300.00 $6,600.00 $80,412.00

Table14:Scenario3NetIncomeandReturnonInvestment
WithRRAP GrossAnnualIncome LessTotalExpenses NetOperatingIncome LessMortgagePayments CashFlow AddPrincipalRepayments ReturnonInvestment(ROI) $126,000.00 $80,412.00 $45,588.00 $63,729.96 ($18,141.93) $13,263.14 ($4,878.79) WithoutRRAP $126,000.00 $80,412.00 $45,588.00 $82,120.61 ($36,532.61) $17,090.52 ($19,442.09)

Table15:Scenario3QuickRatios
Ratio Capitalization Rate(cap RATE) Definition NetOperatingIncome dividedbyProperty value.Therateatwhich thepropertyconverts valueintoanincome stream. NetCashFlowasa percentofTotalCash Required Returnoninvestment dividedbyTotalCash Required NetOperatingIncome dividedbymortgage payments. With RRAP 3.74% Without RRAP 2.90% Comments Alowvalueindicateslowincome andhighvalue.Lenderstendto settheirowncapitalizationrates forroominghousesquitehigh(8% to10%)toreflecttheirperceived riskoflendingtothishousingtype.

CashReturn

4.25%

6.64%

Investment Return

1.14%

3.53%

Investorsgenerallyexpectreturns greaterthan15%.

DebtService Coverage

0.72

0.56

Anindicatorofavailablefundsto servicemortgagedebt.Lenders lookforratiosgreaterthan1.20

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2.3.4DiscussionPoints
EvenwiththeRRAPforgivableloan,thereisnotareasonablereturnoninvestmentgiventhe operatingassumptionsandacquisitionandrenovationcosts.WithouttheRRAPloanthe projectedlossesareveryhigh.WithoutcapitalassistancesuchasanRRAPloanorsignificant rentsupplementassistance,thismodeldoesnotappeartobeviable. Alternateapproachesthatcouldmakethismodelmoreeconomicallyviableinclude:shared bathrooms(adeparturefromtheinitialplan),lessfinishedcommunalspace,higherrent,and additionalincomeforlaundryandparking. Rentssetat$500amontharenotaffordableforsingleadultsonOW.Arentsubsidywouldbe neededtomakethisaffordableforthisclientgroup.Feedbackfromthehousinghelpsector suggeststhatrentsat$500amonthwherethetenantissharinghisorherbathroomwould seemtoohigh.Makingroomforasmallfridgeandhotplateineachroommakesthe accommodationmoreattractive.

2.4EconomicViabilityintheRoomingHouseSector
Operatingrevenuesinroominghousesaredrivenbythehousingallowancesprovidedunder OntarioWorksandOntarioDisabilitySupportPlan.Rentsthataremuchhigherthantheserates areunaffordableforlowincomesingles,althoughstudiesshowthatmanytenantsdousesomeof theirlivingallowancetoaffordahigherrentthantheOW/ODSPhousingallowancescover (Pomeroy2007b,SocialDataResearchLtd.2006).Thismeanstenantshavelessmoneyforother necessitiessuchasphoneservice,foodandpersonalorhealthneeds. Sincethelowrentlevelsrestricthowmuchrevenueroominghouseoperatorscanobtainfroma property,itstandstoreasonthatlandlordswilltrytominimizeoperatingexpensesorforgo upgradestothedwellings(PomeroyandDunning1998).Theyalsomaydoubleortriple occupancytoincreaserevenue.Thesepracticescanleadtoproblemsrelatedtohealthandsafety inthissectorthatarethebasisforcommunityandpoliticalconcernaboutroominghouses. Havingroominghousesmeetcurrentcoderequirementscomesataprice. Thethreebusinesscasespresentedinthisreportwerecalculatedassumingaroomrentalat$500 amonth.Twoscenarios,whenpurchasedandrenovatedtocomplywithmunicipalstandards, failedtoshowanattractivereturnoninvestmentwhenprojectedrevenueswerecomparedto costs.ThisresultissimilartotheTorontocasestudiesofroominghouseoperationsreportedby SHSInc.(2004a). Whileoperationally,landlordsmaynotexperienceanattractivereturnoninvestment,some landlordsinterviewedforthisstudynotedthattheirpropertieshadappreciatedinvalueoverthe yearsandasaresultwerevaluabletothemasassets.Somelandlordsinterviewedforthisstudy havepropertiesthataremortgagefreeorwereinherited.Othersstillaremotivatedbya convictionthattheywanttohelphomelessindividualsturntheirlivesaround.Aconsiderationfor someownersthough,isthatroominghousescanbedifficulttosellasviablebusinesses,asnew ownersmayhavedifficultyobtainingmortgagefinancing(SHS2004a). Whenconsideringtheoperationalissuesinroominghouses,bothpropertymanagementand tenantrelationsworkneedtobeproperlyresourced.Frontlinestaffneedtobeavailableto collectrent,managerentarrears,dealwithtenantconflict,docleaninganddailymaintenance, paybills,arrangeforrepairs,monitorcompliancewithregulations,andrespondtoneighbourhood issues.Whilesmallerroominghousesmaybethepreferenceoftenants,theneedfor managementstaffmaymaketheoptimalsizeofroominghousesupwardsof15units.

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Theresultsofthebusinesscasespointtothedisparitybetweenwhatlowincomesingleswhoare inminimumwagejobsoronfixedincomescanactuallyaffordandwhatitcoststoprofitably operatearoominghouseifthepropertywaspurchased,renovatedaccordingtocurrentmunicipal standardsandoperatedwithonetenantperroom.Interestingly,themaximummarketrentfora singleoccupancyroompermittedbyCMHCunderRRAPis$537inToronto,whichisalmost$200 morethanthehousingallowancesreceivedthroughOntarioWorks.Thebusinesscases demonstratetheneedforrentsupplementstobeavailablefortenantsinroominghouses.Rent supplementswouldlikelybeawelcomefinancialincentiveforroominghouseowners,giventhe apparentdifficultyinrealizingahealthyreturnoninvestmentfornewlyacquiredroominghouses thatareupgradedtocomplywithmunicipalstandards. Avarietyofotherfactorswhichaffecttheeconomicviabilityofroominghouseshavebeen identifiedinrecentstudies.Theyinclude:difficultyobtainingfinancingforpurchase,conversion, renovationandoperationsdifficultyobtainingmortgageinsurancehighcostofinsurance premiumsforfire,publicliability,andpropertydamagerapidincreasesinoperatingcosts insufficientfinancialsupportfromgovernmentforindividualswithmentalillnesstoprovidethe carethattheyneedincreaseinandcomplexityofgovernmentregulations,especiallyrelatedto thefirecode,andinsufficientoperatingrevenuetoaffordtohirequalifiedstaff(SHS2004a, SocialDataResearch2006). Someoftheabovefactorsalsopresentbarrierstoencouragingnewsupply.Otherbarriers include:restrictivezoningthatprohibitsroominghousesinmanyareasofthecity,reluctanceon thepartofinvestorstobecomeinvolvedinthesectorduetothecomplexregulatory environment,gentrification,ratepayeroppositiontoroominghouses,andtheabsenceofa fundingprogram(SHS2004a,PomeroyandDunning1998,SocialDataResearch2006,Starr GroupInc.2000). Thediscussionofgoodpracticesintheroominghousesector(Component1reportofthisstudy) identifiesanumberofinitiativesthathelptosupportandstrengthentheroominghousesector.It alsoidentifiessuccesses,suchastheParkdalePilotProject,theParkdaleConflictMediation Process,theRupertHotelPilotProjectandtheHabitatModelwhichprovideinspirationand possibledirectionsformoreproactiveapproachesbytheCityinseekingimprovementsinthe housingopportunitiesforlowincomesingles.EarlierstudiesdiscussoptionsfortheCityin respondingtothechallengesofcurrentzoningandlicensingpracticesandprovideadditional evidenceofworthwhilesupportsfortheroominghousesector(SHS2004aandb,StarrGroup 2001Pattersonetal.2008,Pomeroy2008).

3. SystemCostsofUnlicensedRoomingHouses
Thethreebusinesscasesassumethatthepropertiescomplywithallrelevantstandardsand regulationsandwouldbeabletobelicensed.ThissectionconsiderstheCitysroleinenforcing standards. Currently,roominghousesareonlypermittedtooperatelegallyintheformerCitiesofToronto, EtobicokeandYorkbutwithrestrictions.Duetoexistingzoning,roominghousesarenotableto belegalizedorlicensedintheformermunicipalitiesofEastYork,NorthYorkorScarborough.This lackofconsistencyacrosstheamalgamatedcityintermsofwhatispermittedandwhat contravenesbylawspresentsasignificantbarriertoprotectingandimprovingtheroominghouse stock. Inpartsofthecitywhereroominghousesarenotlicensed,allinvestigationsarebasedon complaints.Investigatingcomplaintsisalengthyandcomplexprocess(Chapman2004).Data wasnotavailableduringthisstudytodocumentthecostsofinvestigations,butanoutlineofthe processpointstothepressuresonCityresources,especiallythoseofMunicipalLicensingand Standards(MLS).

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Inbrief,theresponsibilitytoinvestigatecomplaintsaboutillegalroominghousesrestswithMLS. Investigationrequiresanexternalinspectionandtheownerspermissionorasearchwarrantto conductaninternalinspection.Forviolationsofmunicipalstandards,noticesorordersmaybe issuedtothepropertyownerandtheownermayappealanyoftheorders.Whenissuesarenot resolved,theCitycaninitiateaprosecution,whichmeansthecaseisheardbyanOntarioCourt JusticeofthePeace.Ownerswhoarefoundguiltyofcontraveningzoningorpropertystandards bylawsmaybefinedandmaybeprohibitedfromrepeatingtheoffencebyaprobationorcourt order.ThiscanleadtosubsequentproceedingsincludingapplicationforanInjunctionOrderto forcecompliance. InvestigatingandprosecutingillegalroominghousesiscostlytotheCity.Thestatusquowherein roominghousesareillegalinsomeareasofthecitycreatesasituationthatisunsustainableover thelongterm.Ononehand,thereispressureandamandateatthemunicipalleveltoensure thatthemostvulnerablemembersofthecommunity,includinglowincomesingles,canaccess housingthatissafeandaffordable.Ontheotherhand,municipalofficialsarepressuredto respondtoandinvestigatecomplaintsaboutroominghousesthatareoperatingillegallyor withoutalicense.TheoutcomeofinvestigationsandprosecutionscanbethatlandlordsorCity officialsclosedownroominghouses,forcingtenantsfromtheirhomes.Thisreactiveresponse worksagainsteffortstoimproveandprotecttheroominghousestock. ProactiveeffortsbytheCitytomovetowardsmoreequitablezoningprovisionsforrooming housesacrosstheCity,morewidespreadlicensing,upgradestopropertiesandincreased compliancewithstandardswillhaveanimpactonthemonitoring,investigationandprosecution activitiesofMLS.Furtheranalysisofproactiveversusreactiveapproachestolicensingand enforcementisneededtofullyassessthepossibleimpactsonmunicipaloperations.

4.TheCostofHomelessness
Overthepastdecadetherehasbeenincreasinginterestonthepartofgovernmentsandother stakeholdersinidentifyingthecostsofhomelessnessandresponsestohomelessness.Canadian studiesinthisdomainhaveadaptedmethodologiesusedintheUnitedKingdom,UnitedStates andelsewhereandhaveappliedthemtohomelessnessresearchinCanadiancities.Thisreport looksathowroominghousescontributetoaframeworkofsupportsthataddresshomelessness. Thediscussiondrawsonrecentstudiesandincludes:providingsupporttotenants,shelterand institutionalcosts,emergencyservicesandthecostofhousing.Thecostofhomelessnesscanbe assessedbylookingatthesecomponentsoftheframework.

4.1 TheCostofProvidingSupporttoVulnerableTenants
Supportservicescanbedescribedintermsofthreelevelsofintensity.Thelevelofsupport dependsontheneedsofthetenantandthereisacknowledgementthatneedsmaybecomemore orlessintenseovertime.Thecostsprovidedbelowreflectthecostoftheservices,notthe housing.Lowerlevelsofsupportincludecommunityworkerswhovisitclientsandsupportworkers whoareavailableoncallforemergencies.Thislowlevelofsupportcancostaround$7adayper client.Thisreflectsthecostofthesupportservice,notthehousing(Pomeroy2005,2007a Foulds2008). Mediumlevelsofsupportincludeinhousestaffduringtheday,emergencyhelpafterhours, counsellingandsupportfordailyliving.Thecostoftheseservicesrangefrom$15to$42per clientperday.Highlevelsofsupport,suchasroundtheclockassistancewithhelpfromAssertive CommunityTreatment(ACT)teamsareintherangeof$110perday.(Pomeroy2007aFoulds 2008). Anassessmentofservicesandsupportsprovidedto90clientsoftheCanadianMentalHealth Association(Ottawabranch)lookedattheglobalcostsofsupportingindividualswithsevere mentalillnesswhohadahistoryofhomelessnessanddifficultyinmanagingthetasksofdaily
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living.Thestudyfoundthattheaverageannualtotalcostsofamediumlevelofsupportand housingtobe$68perdayforthisclientgroup.

4.2ShelterandInstitutionalCosts
Operatingcostsforsheltersareintherangeof$49to$75perdaydependingonmanyvariables relatedtotheclientgroupservedandservicesoffered.In2008,theaverageshelterperdiemin Torontoacrossthesystemwas$50.23.Sheltersareconsideredtemporaryaccommodation, althoughmanyindividualsstayinashelterforanextendedperiodifotheroptionsarenot available. Whensomeoneisremandedincustody,thecostsofaccommodation,incarceration,treatment, lifeskillsactivities,andsecurityareestimatedat$155aday.Eberleetal.(2001)inasmall comparativestudyofhomelessindividualsinVancouverfoundthatthemajorcostcategoryfor manyoftheindividualsinthesamplewascriminaljustice,amountingto$11,000peryear.By comparison,themajorcostcategoryforhousedindividualsinthesamestudywassocial assistanceat$9,000peryear. Thecostofanindividualininstitutionalpsychiatriccareisapproximately$450perdaywithacute andtertiarycarehospitalbedsatevenhighercostsperday($686to$855perday),excluding medicalcostsbilledtoOHIP.Emergencyoutpatientcostsinhospitalsareestimatedat$425per day.

4.3CostsofEmergencyServices
Clearlyemergencyservicesexisttorespondtoawiderangeofsituations.Whileampleevidence existstoillustratethatpolice,fire,ambulanceandhospitalsdorespondtosituationsinvolving homelesspeople,somearguethatmanycircumstanceswhichleadtointerventionsbyemergency serviceswouldnotariseiftheindividualsinvolvedwerehoused.Pomeroy(2007a)providedthe followingascostestimatesofemergencyservices,includingstreetoutreachservices: Table16:CostsAssociatedwithEmergencyServices
Service Ambulance EstimatedCost $240$700percalloutdependingiftransportis required $377perdayperofficer $425perday $455/day $900/day $3.75perpersonservedperday

CommunityPolicing/streetarrests Hospitaloutpatient/emergency Hospitalinpatientpsychiatriccare Hospitalacute Streetoutreachservices


Source:Pomeroy2007a

Inpresentingthecostsofemergencyservices,theassumptionisthatbyrespondingtotheneeds ofhomelesspeoplethroughtheprovisionofhousingandsupports,thedeploymentofemergency servicestorespondtothehomelesscommunitycouldbereduced,thuscreatingadditional capacityintheseservicestorespondtoothertypesofemergenciesandneeds. Previousstudieshavedocumentedhowtheuseofhealthandotherserviceschangeswhenan individualgoesfrombeinghomelesstobeingstablyhoused.Whilesomehomelessindividuals activelyavoidinteractionwithanyemergencyorhealthservices,othersbycontrastcanbeheavy usersoftheseservices.Whenhoused,thetrendistypicallyforcontinueduseofservices,butin


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thecaseofhealthservices,thefrequencyanddurationofhospitalstaysisreduced.Similarly, interactionwiththepoliceisreduced(Eberleetal.2001Blouinetal.2004RaineandMarcellin 2007). ResearchinOttawaexaminedthecostsofservicesprovidedtoanindividualwithsevereand persistentmentalhealthproblemsbeforeandafterbeingadmittedtoanewpilotprogram.The purposeofthepilotprogramwastotailorsupportstomeettheindividualsspecificneeds.Prior toentryintheprogram,dailysupportswerecalculatedat$459perday.Followingaperiodof hospitalization($523perday),theindividualmovedtopermanentaccommodationwithsupports ($461perday).Thesignificantdifferencesbeforeandduringthepilotprogramwere: Nouseofemergencyservicesduringthe7monthsinthepilotprogram(ambulance,police, fire,legal) AsignificantreductioninthenumberofMDconsultations,ERassessmentsandhospitalstays (2days,downfrom20daysinthefirsttimeperiod), Allocatedresourcesprovidedsupportiveinhomesupportduringthepilotprograminsteadof crisisresponses,leadingtotheindividualachievinggreatersuccessinadaptingtolivingin thecommunity. TheOttawastudyillustratesthehighcostsofsupportingindividualswithseverementalillnessin a24houradayhomebasedmodelincomparisonwiththeevenhighercostsofemergencyand institutionalresponsestohomelessness.Thisisarguablyaworstcasescenariointermsof tenantneedsandserviceresponsesandisnotconsideredtobetypicalamongindividualswholive inroominghouses. InToronto,interviewswereconducted,postoccupancy,withparticipantsintheStreetstoHomes program(RaineandMarcellin2007).SimilartothestudyinOttawa,participantsareusing ambulancesandemergencyroomslessoften.Theirstaysinhospitalsareshorter.Useofother emergencyservicesalsodecreasesdramaticallyonceinhousing,includinga75percentdecrease inthenumberofindividualsusingpolicedetox(drunktank).

4.4CostofHousingforSingles
Newlyconstructedhousingforsingles(SRO,bacheloror1bedroom)thatissubsidizedand 9 withoutsupportrangesincostfrom$13to$22perdayforsingles. Thisalsoincludesthecostof rentsupplementsforsingles.InaTorontostudy,theprojectedcostofanewlyconstructed shareddwellingwithlowsupportwas$19perdayand$77perdayforsharedaccommodation withahighlevelofsupport(Pomeroy2005). Ifroominghousescanbeshowntoproduceamodestreturntotheinvestor/owner,thisformof sharedaccommodationcanbedevelopedandoperatedwithrelativelylittlecosttothepublic.

4.5Summary
Thisdiscussionhighlightssomeofthetypicalcostsincurredbycommunitiesinrespondingto homelessness.Theliteraturesuggeststhatensuringtheavailabilityofstableandaffordablelong termhousingwithappropriatesupportsisakeyelementinaddressinghomelessness. Thereisgrowingacceptancethatanumberofdifferentmodelsofhousingandsupportscan effectivelystabilizevulnerabletenancies.Acriticalissueishoweasilyanindividualwhois

PomeroyderivedthesecostsfromprojectsthatwererecentlyconstructedundertheAffordable HousingStrategy.Thecostsincludeupfrontcapitalcosts,convertedtoanannualizedanddaily numberthrougha35yearamortizationofthegrantandrelatedcapitalexpenditures.(Pomeroy 2007:18)


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disadvantagedbypoverty,socialorfamilystatus,orhealthchallengescanaccesssupportsthat addressshortterm,ongoingorchangingneeds. Formanysingleadults,qualityroominghouseaccommodationisaviableandaffordablelong termhousingoption.Tenantsinthisformofsharedaccommodationcanbesupportedthrough appropriatelinkageswithsupportserviceagencies.Fromtheperspectiveofallocatingresources, investmentinsupportedandaffordablelongtermhousingforsinglescanalleviatecostand serviceusagepressuresinmoreexpensivesectorssuchasthecorrectionsandjudicialsystems, thehealthcaresystem,policingandotheremergencyservices.

5.SummaryandRecommendations
Byfocussingonthehousingneedsoflowincomesingleadults,theCityisaddressingthe affordabilitycrisisthatmakesthisgroupoftenantsextremelyvulnerabletohomelessness.There arefewoptionsforaffordablehousingforlowincomesingles.Therentchargedforstudio, bachelorandonebedroomunitsintheprivatesectorareunaffordableforthosewhodependon socialassistance,unlessarentsupplementisavailable. ThecurrentsituationinTorontoisthatmanyroominghouseschargemorethan$400foraroom, whichisarentlevelthatishigherthantheshelterallowanceprovidedbyOntarioWorks.Further, asthebusinesscasesinthisreportshow,itisdifficulttomakealicensedroominghouseviablein todaysmarketwithaperunitrentmuchlowerthan$500. Thisreporthasillustratedthegapbetweenwhatlowincometenantscanaffordtopayforaroom andthecostsofoperatingaroominghousethatcomplieswithmunicipalregulations.Theresults ofthisstudypointtotheneedforrentsupplementprogramstobeavailabletotenantsin roominghousesandfortheCitytoshowleadershipinproactivelysupportingandstrengthening thissector.Astartingpointistorecognizeroominghousesasanecessaryandviableformof accommodationalongacontinuumofhousingoptionsthatareneededinthecity.Fromthis, thereareopportunitiestoworkwithroominghouselandlordsandotherstakeholderstowards morewidespreadlicensing,andensuringroominghousesconformtoreasonablecommunity standards.Thedesiredoutcomesofstrategicsupportfortheroominghousesectorwouldbe protection,enhancementandexpansionofthishousingstocktobenefitlowincomesinglesand improvetheirqualityoflife. FiverecommendationstotheCityemergefromthebusinesscaseanalysisofroominghouses: Supporttheroominghousesectorbyincludingsharedaccommodationinthehousingthatis eligibleforrentsupplements. EnsurezoningprovisionsacrosstheCitypermittheoperationofroominghousesinresidential andmixeduseneighbourhoods. ImplementaprocesstoworktowardslicensingroominghousesacrossTorontothatmeet acceptedcommunitystandardsandlinkthelicensingprocesstofinancial,educational,and supportserviceinitiativeswhichbenefitroominghouseownersandtheirtenants. Fundinitiativesthatlinkhousingandsupportsforindividualswhoarenotalreadyreceiving services,andindoingso,expandopportunitiestolinktenantsinprivateroominghousesto supportservices. MaintainorincreaseCitysupportforinitiativesthat(1)assistlowincomeindividualsinfinding affordableaccommodation,and(2)provideappropriatelevelsofsupporttohelpmaintain tenancies.

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Allrightsreserved. EastYorkEastTorontoFamilyResources 947QueenSt.E Toronto,ONM4M1J9 416.686.3390 info@housingworkers.ca www.housingworkers.ca www.landlordconnect.ca June2008


EastYorkEastTorontogratefullyacknowledgestheCityofTorontoforfundingthisresearchproject.

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