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RHB’s forum for rental housing associations to share news, events and industry information

Hot Topics: EOLO addresses the new area MPs elected in September, both of whom had strong ties with EOLO in their former roles as City Councillor and provincial cabinet minister, respectively. EOLO also addresses the City of Ottawa’s plans to promote, incent, and if need be require energy retrofits for rental housing providers to switch from heating with natural gas. pg. 45 WRAMA provides a history of recent guideline rent increases for Ontario, how members can access WRAMA’s past meeting records, and information about recent speakers at WRAMA events. pg. 49 HDAA reports on the status of landlord licensing and the Hamilton urban boundary expansion, as well as the appointment of a new Hamilton Councillor to replace the Councillor who was elected as a Liberal MP, and also on the other MPs elected from Hamilton ridings in the September 20 general election. pg. 53 LPMA welcomes a new Administrator, and discusses issues in renting to the Afghan refugees, many of whom worked with the Canadian Armed Forces during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. LPMA also reports on the return of international students to the London rental market, and CMHC’s views on the need for more rental supply at all price points. pg. 57

The Member Associations


Chair’s message Over the last two years, rental housing providers and EOLO have had to deal with the everchanging requirements for keeping tenants safe under COVID-19, and getting ready to comply with the City of Ottawa’s new Rental Housing Property Management By-law, reported on at length in these pages. For the next few years, both EOLO and rental housing providers will have to deal with the City’s new Solid Waste plans, and the City’s steps to help and/or require rental owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to comply with Canada’s climate change commitments. - John Dickie, EOLO Chair

EOLO welcomes two new MPs for Ottawa The renewed federal Liberal minority government presents risks and opportunities to rental housing providers across Canada. See page 35. The key results in Ottawa are shown here. On September 20, KanataCarleton saw the closest election race in the Ottawa area. Former Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon had stepped down, and Ottawa Councillor Jenna Sudds was nominated as the Liberal candidate. Jenna Sudds She faced off against MP, Kanata-Carleton Jennifer McAndrew for the Conservatives, and the other candidates listed in Table 1. On election night, the two leading candidates alternated in the lead, and made the election too close to call. However, the final vote count was as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Kanata-Carleton Candidate Jenna Sudds, elected Jennifer McAndrew Melissa Coenraad Scott Miller Jennifer Purdy

Party

Votes

Vote Share Liberal 26,394 42% Conservative 24,373 39% NDP 8,822 14% PPC 1,858 3% Green 1,709 3%

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/federalelection/2021-results/, October 17, 2021

In our work at the City of Ottawa, EOLO has always had an excellent relationship with Councillor Sudds. EOLO looks forward to helping CFAA build an excellent relationship, on federal issues, with Jenna Sudds, as a Member of Parliament.

In Ottawa Centre, former Liberal MP and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna had stepped down, and former MPP Yasir Naqvi was nominated as the Liberal candidate. He faced off against Angella MacEwan for the NDP, the other candidates listed in the table, and three others. The final vote count is shown in Table 2.

Yasir Naqvi MP, Ottawa Centre

EOLO always had an excellent relationship with Yasir Naqvi when he was the MPP for Ottawa Centre and a Provincial cabinet minister. EOLO looks forward to helping CFAA establish an excellent relationship with Yasir Naqvi on federal issues. Table 2: Ottawa Centre Candidate Yasir Naqvi, elected Angella MacEwan Carol Clemenhagen Angella Keller-Herzog Regina Watteel

Party

Votes

Vote Share Liberal 33,836 45% NDP 24,544 33% Conservative 11,626 16% Green 2,184 3% PPC 1,616 2%

Returning MPs The other six MPs for the Ottawa area were re-elected. They are Pierre Poilievre, for the Conservatives, and David McGuinty, Chandra Arya, Anita Vandenbeld, Marie-France Lalonde, and Mona Fortier, for the Liberals. In all, the Liberals won seven of the eight Ottawa-area seats.

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City of Ottawa moves on energy retrofits On October 19, the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management considered a staff report on advancing greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in Ottawa to do the City’s share of meeting Canada’s commitments on climate change. The Province of Ontario has a Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) system, which currently applies to commercial, industrial, institution and, multiresidential buildings with over 50,000 square feet of gross floor area. For apartment buildings, that means roughly 60 rental units, depending on the average unit size. Reporting is on a portfolio-wide basis. In 2018, the proportion of regulated buildings that complied with the EWRB system was 51 per cent across Ontario and 49 per cent in Ottawa. In the City of Toronto, the compliance rate was 78 per cent. Ottawa City staff say the higher Toronto compliance rate is the result of a City-implemented education and outreach campaign, which staff recommend the City of Ottawa emulate. The cost for a building to comply with the EWRB requirement is estimated at $300 annually. In alignment with the requests of the City of Toronto, Ottawa City staff say the City of Ottawa should ask the Province to: • Expand its EWRB reporting requirements to cover buildings with over 20,000 square feet (or about 25 units), or, alternately, allow municipalities to mandate performance standards for those buildings • Amend the regulation to include energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions disclosure at the address level • Implement a net zero retrofit code • Create grant and/or rebate programs to improve the business case for deep retrofits with longer paybacks for all building types • Demonstrate leadership through deep carbon retrofits in provincially-owned or leased buildings in Ottawa Ottawa City staff also recommend that the City work to have the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and Independent Electricity System Operator: • Implement rate structure changes that favour electrification and fuel switching away from natural gas • Fund electrical service upgrades that are required for GHG reduction purposes through the rate base • Develop utility mechanisms to help support and invest in deep emission retrofits • Continue retrofit cost reduction measures, such as performance-based rebates for improved energy and emission performance • Support the manufacturing and supply chains to increase availability of low embodied carbon materials for the building industry According to Ottawa City staff, the City should also request the Government of Canada to: • Release a model retrofit code that aligns with the targets set in the Paris Agreement • Set standards for low embodied carbon materials, including concrete, steel, and low global warming potential refrigerants • Continue its commitment to carbon pricing via the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act • Create or expand grant programs and tax incentives to improve the business case for deep retrofits with long payback periods

46 | October 2021


• Work with municipalities to ensure rebates and financing for deep emission retrofits include providing a loan backstop for municipal retrofit financing programs for private buildings • Continue the enhancement of deep retrofit financing in collaboration with municipalities through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank • Support the manufacturing and supply chains to increase availability of low embodied carbon materials for the building industry

The Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy The staff report also calls for the approval of the “Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy”. That strategy suggests regulations requiring building retrofits and energy conversions will need to be enacted well before mass adoption takes place on a voluntary basis. The strategy states “[emissions reduction] targets [for 2040] require a retrofit rate per year of almost 5% of buildings. To date, retrofit rates in Ottawa have been less than 1% per year. Furthermore, some of the retrofit measures required to achieve zero emissions do not have [positive] financial returns on investment. Therefore, significant market transformation will be needed to accelerate this shift.” “Market transformation techniques include removing barriers to new technologies, products, practices, and services that reduce emissions,

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to accelerate widespread adoption. As uptake increases, costs per unit decrease, which accelerates adoption.” The staff report also says multi-family residential buildings (MURBs) require more financial and capacity support to achieve the GHG reductions targets, making MURBs a clear priority sector to target with incentives. Specific goals for 2030 include installing 45,000 heat pumps in Ottawa apartments, as well as the building retrofits needed to enable heat pumps to work in Ottawa’s climate. The goal for 2040 is 83,000 heat pumps in apartments. In both cases, the expected split is 72% air source and 28% ground source heat pumps. The Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy also sets out financial projections that energy savings will exceed retrofit and fuel switching costs by 2038. That is not in keeping with current costs and technology, but might be achievable if technology improves, electricity costs are reduced or substantial incentives are made available. See the article at page 38 of the July/August 2021 issue of RHB Magazine for a discussion of the roadblocks. EOLO expects to work with the City on the details of its education and outreach program, and its incentive programs, and to work with FRPO on the provincial issues.

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Serving the GTA & area for over 40 years rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 47


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE September meeting Welcome back! We hope all our members enjoyed the summer and got a taste of life returning (somewhat) to normal. Our September meeting was a great success and we thank those members who attended and our speakers who presented. Our September Expert Panel included some familiar faces.

- James Craig, WRAMA President president@wrama.com

Lisa Nadon is a licensed paralegal with over 20 years’ experience in Landlord and Tenant Board Matters and Small Claims Court. She started Small Matters Paralegal in 1999. She taught paralegal studies at Conestoga College. Lisa also sat on Lisa Nadon, Paralegal, Small the Property Standards Matters Paralegal Committee of Woolwich and is an active member of WRAMA (Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association). She is passionate about educating landlords and real estate professionals about the “ins and outs” of the Landlord and Tenant Board with seminars and webinars. Ho Tek is one of two Partners at Domus Student Housing Inc. and has over 10 years’ experience managing in the student housing asset class. Founded in 2005, Domus is headquartered in Waterloo and specializes in the leasing and management of student assets. In 2012, Domus was selected as a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, in the Young Entrepreneurs category, and the Junior Achievements Ho Tek, Partner, Domus Entrepreneur of the Year Housing Award. Domus helped to pioneer the extremely popular “student investments condos” servicing investors of the Sage Condos, Ivy Towns and Solstice. It now manages a portfolio of over 4,000 rooms and $425 million in student assets across Canada with their furthest reaching site in Kelowna, British Columbia. With his experience in real estate management, Ho is also the President at

James Craig

Silicon North Real Estate Corp, which specializes in developing, owning, and operating in the residential apartment building asset class. James Craig has been involved in organized real estate since 2001 where he started in real estate research, and within one year achieved his real estate license. He has worked in the Waterloo Region markets since that time, and is now the Vice President of CBRE Limited. During his tenure in real estate, he has over seven years of multi-family sales experience and has been directly involved in over $156 million in investment transactions, including the sale of over 700 multiresidential units in the last five years. He is also the President of the Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association (WRAMA). With the combined talents James Craig, Vice President, CBRE of his partners Martin Cote and Joe Benninger and the global platform of CBRE, James is able to offer clients a full range of student and multi-residential real estate services.

Interested in presenting at a WRAMA event? We want to hear from you! Do you have expert industry knowledge that you think is worth sharing with our members? We’re looking to fill spots for our 2021/2022 member meetings and would like to hear from you! As we move forward into our WRAMA events this calendar year, we’re interested in hearing from members with expert knowledge in the areas of property management, home renovations, and more.

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If you have something you believe would be beneficial for our membership, please get in touch with us. We will look at facilitating you and providing you with a platform to present at one of our events. Please send us an email to marketing@wrama.com.

Missed a member event? No problem! Members can always login to their account and access recordings of our past events. To access this info, you’ll need to know your WRAMA account login information. 1. Visit www.wrama.com and click on the “MEMBER LOGIN” button to login to your WRAMA account. 2. Login to your account using your email address that is linked with your WRAMA account and your password. If you require assistance logging in, please send an email to membership@wrama. com. 3. Hover your mouse over the “Members Only” section of the navigation and select “Past Meeting Records”. 4. You will be taken to the landing page where you will see the meeting records that are available to members.

January rent increases As a reminder, the Ontario Government’s freeze on rent increases has been lifted effective January 1, 2022. As such, if you have tenants eligible for a rent increase in January 2022, a notice of such must be delivered on or before October 2, 2021. The following information is taken directly from the LTB website: In most cases, the rent for a residential unit can be increased 12 months after either: • The last rent increase • The date the tenancy begins The landlord must give a tenant written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days before it takes effect. The proper forms for this notice are available from the Landlord and Tenant Board. In most cases, you must provide the tenant with a printed paper copy of the notice to increase the rent, delivered to the address of the rental unit.

Rent increase guideline The guideline is the maximum a landlord can increase most tenants’ rent during a year without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. For most tenants, the rent can’t go up by more than the rent increase guideline for every year. The guideline applies to most private residential rental units covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. This applies to most tenants, such as those living in: • Rented houses, apartments, basement apartments, and condos (see exceptions for newly occupied units) • Care homes • Mobile homes • Land lease communities The guideline does not apply to certain types of units including: • Vacant residential units • Community housing units • Long-term care homes • Commercial properties

50 | October 2021


Social housing is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, but has different rules regarding rent control and rent increase notices.

Exceptions • In some cases, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guideline. • In care homes (such as retirement homes), the rent increase guideline only applies to the rent portion of the bill but does not apply to the cost of services like nursing, food or cleaning. • New buildings, additions to existing buildings, and most new basement apartments that are occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are exempt from rent control.

A landlord could lawfully increase the rent payment 12 months later, on June 1, 2022, up to $1,012.00 per month. Landlords would need to provide written notice at least 90 days before June 1, 2022.

Previous rent increase guidelines The following chart illustrates yearly rent increases, in Ontario, from 1991 to 2022. Year

Guideline (%)

2022

1.2

2021

0

2020

2.2

2019

1.8

2018

1.8

How the Board calculates the guideline

2017

1.5

The annual rent increase guideline is calculated using the Ontario Consumer Price Index, a Statistics Canada tool that measures inflation and economic conditions over a year. Data from June to May is used to determine the guideline for the following year.

2016

2.0

2015

1.6

2014

0.8

A sample calculation of a rent increase The monthly rent is $1,000 when the tenant signs a lease on June 1, 2021. The guideline for 2022 is 1.2%. Therefore: • An increase of 1.2% on $1,000 = $12.00 • $1,000 + $12.00 = $1,012.00

Interested in receiving this type of info? Become a WRAMA member! At WRAMA, we routinely provide landlords and property management professionals with updated information and recommendations. Become a member today!

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Turning Mother Nature’s curve ball into a double eagle It’s been an exciting few months since my last update. First, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new administrator, Tina Potter. Tina joins us with years of experience in customer service, accounting, and administration. Our annual golf tournament on September 13 was a great success. Even though Mother Nature sent us a few curve balls with the weather, everyone enjoyed getting together at Firerock Golf Club and raising money for the London Children’s Museum.

Shane Haskell

We held a highly informative webinar, Ask a Lawyer, in October and we plan to continue the event at least once a year. Our website revamp is progressing well and we’re expecting to launch the new website at the end of November. The education committee is also hard at work planning events for the next year. If you have ideas for topics, contact Tina. She is available by appointment only at the office, by phone or online. Until next time…

- Shane Haskell, President, LPMA

C R O S S C U LT U R A L L E A R N E R C E N T R E S T R U G G L E S T O F I N D H O M E S F O R AFGHAN REFUGEES London landlords faced many unknown factors when 2,400 Syrian refugees came to the city in 2015-2018. There was no way to verify credit history and landlords were concerned about the language and cultural differences. Even so, the experience was so positive that a past LPMA president hopes landlords will be willing to repeat it with 132 Afghan refugees who have arrived in London. They were part of the group that was airlifted out of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August. Lisa Smith said she is optimistic that landlords’ previous experience will encourage them to rent to the Afghan refugees. “Back when the Syrians came over there was concern, but in the end there was no concern. I think that’s why London landlords will be completely open to bringing in refugees. Hopefully, we’ll have the inventory and we’ll be able to help,” Smith said, referring to the lack of affordable housing in the city. Smith recalled a need for education on both sides when the Syrians began renting. For example, there were complaints from tenants about newcomers’ children running in the halls at night.

The Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) — a non-profit refugee resettlement agency — sent a representative to speak at an LPMA members meeting. “The CCLC really educated a lot of the landlords and their staff on how to communicate and deal with some of the cultural differences,” Smith said. “It turned out to be so positive because we had the help from the CCLC.” Smith hadn’t heard of any refugees who hadn’t paid the rent. “You just have to take that leap of faith. That’s what we did back then and it seemed to work.” London lawyer Joe Hoffer said landlords should be aware they can’t refuse an application based on country of origin or religion. For example, they can’t decline an application if they suspect the new tenant would cause trouble for existing tenants based on country of origin.

Joe Hoffer

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“If that’s the basis for refusal, it’s totally offside with the Human Rights Code and would warrant sanctions by the Human Rights Tribunal,” Hoffer said. Deciding to accept tenants without credit history is a matter of assessing risk. If refugees have financial resources — but no banking or credit history — and volunteer to prepay rent, landlords can accept the offer. Hoffer said landlords must document that the offer was voluntary and was at the applicant’s request. Alternatively, landlords can ask an applicant for a guarantor to cover the rent if the tenant defaults on it.

Valerian Marochko

“Where there is no credit history, a landlord can ask for a guarantor,” Hoffer said. “If they can’t provide a guarantor, that doesn’t mean they should be dismissed outright. It just means that you have to assess the risk.” Valerian Marochko, executive director of CCLC, said finding permanent housing for Afghan newcomers is a priority, particularly as a few hundred more are expected in London in the next few years. Without credit history, it’s been challenging to find landlords who will rent to refugees, even though the federal government, which has committed to accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees, provides financial support for one year. The newcomers worked for the Canadian embassy, for non-governmental organizations, and as interpreters for the Canadian Armed Forces, Marochko said. At least one member of every family speaks English. “These are some of the people who were key in helping Canada’s mission in Afghanistan,” he said. CCLC gives refugees an orientation on tenants’ rights and responsibilities. When they move into rental housing, the agency provides a life skills support program and workers who speak their language. The workers explain the lease and provide sheet magnets with tips that outline the landlord-tenant relationship in English and their language. “It’s a complete walk-through of the (lease) agreement and the general landlord and tenant relationship,” Marochko said. He encourages landlords to keep an open mind about cultural differences. For example, a refugee mother was allowing her children to play in the parking lot of their apartment complex. When questioned, she said there were no landmines in parking lots, making them seem safer than grassy areas. Once the newcomers are settled, the agency is willing to send a representative to speak at an LPMA members meeting. “Landlords can also call for support whenever there’s an issue,” Marochko said. The agency can be reached at (519) 432-1133 or cclc@lcclc.org. R E T U R N I N G I N T E R N AT I O N A L S T U D E N T S , N E W I M M I G R A N T S S T I M U L AT E D E M A N D F O R R E N TA L H O U S I N G Many landlords had trouble filling their units for much of last year as travel restrictions for international students prevented them from travelling to Canada.

54 | October 2021


Canada’s foreign enrolment in 2020 fell nearly 17 per cent due to the pandemic, reported Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This represents the first decline in foreign enrolment in Canada in the last 20 years. The situation has been improving. International students began to return in October 2020 when travel restrictions changed. For the first seven months of 2021, more than 188,000 study permits were issued, compared to about 124,000 for the first seven months of 2020, according to IRCC. From March to October 2020, travel restrictions prevented international students from travelling to Canada, even if their study permit application was finalized and approved, Nancy Caron, media relations advisor, wrote in an email. Canada has committed to boosting immigration. In 2021, the country aims to welcome 401,000 permanent residents. In 2022, that number will rise to 411,000 and in 2023 to 421,000. London landlords Michelle and George De Vlugt noticed an upswing in interest from international students after Fanshawe College and Western University announced plans for in-person fall classes. The couple began receiving three to four inquiries a day in June for two of their four available units.

Michelle De Vlugt

“Most of them were international students,” recalled Michelle De Vlugt. “For some reason, June just took off. I had never experienced that before.” Valerian Marochko, executive director of the Cross Cultural Learner Centre, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency, is trying to find housing for 132 Afghan refugees. In a city with high rents, good units with low rent are a “very rare find,” Marochko said. Musawer Muhtaj, a senior analyst, economics, for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), said the return of international students and the arrival of more immigrants in London is leading to greater demand for rental housing. By the end of the second quarter of 2020, 1,100 permanent residents were admitted. In 2021, that number more than doubled to 2,260 during the same time period, according to IRCC data. “Demand is going up in London and the majority are looking into the rental market,” Muhtaj said. The purpose-built rental apartment vacancy rate, from fall 2019 to fall 2020, in the London census metropolitan area (CMA), rose to 3.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent in October 2019, according to CMHC’s

Fall 2020 Rental Market Report. An increase in rental supply was met with muted demand by fewer temporary international migrants, including students, who were studying in their home countries due to the pandemic. The Downtown North neighbourhood, which is closest to Western University, had the highest vacancy rate at 5.9 per cent. However, the overall vacancy rate reveals only part of London’s rental housing situation. Just 2.3 per cent of the area’s rental units have rents that are lower than $625, making them affordable to renters who earn less than $25,000. (Affordability is considered to be 30 per cent of household income.) Rents increased across all bedroom types, with bachelor units increasing the most at 8.5 per cent to $774 a month. Rents are increasing in London partly because there isn’t enough supply for renters of all income levels, Muhtaj said. For example, in households with the highest income, a monthly rent above $1,850 is considered affordable. Only a small number of units is available in this rent range, leading many higher income renters to find accommodation in lower rent ranges. This crowds out low-income earners and forces them to pay more for higher-priced units.

Increasing the supply of affordable housing is crucial, but building only affordable housing isn’t the answer as it could be occupied by renters who can afford to pay more. More supply is needed for every type of renter, Muhtaj said. Looking ahead, current migration trends point towards higher rental demand in 2021. “Any type of migration plays a big role in demand for any type of housing,” Muhtaj noted.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Summer seems to have passed as quickly as always and we look forward to what the last quarter of the year has to bring. We are very pleased that we seem to have avoided another lockdown due to COVID-19 and numbers seem to be on a good trend downward. Things are looking positive in Ontario and in Hamilton; with our high vaccination numbers (although Hamilton is lagging behind the provincial numbers), we hope that we will be in good shape going forward. Hamilton has seen some changes in the last few months, including new members of Parliament elected during the recent federal election and a major update to the Licensing issue. The pandemic has had a lot of negative effects but we are happy to see that things are picking up once again and we are on course to things returning to normal. - Tina Novak, President, HDAA

Hamilton election results The Canadian federal election saw a renewed Liberal minority government; our local results in Hamilton also favoured the Liberals. Hamilton had changes in a few ridings. Three of the five ridings in Hamilton voted in new MPs, as the incumbents did not run for re-election. These included Flamborough-Glanbrook, Hamilton Mountain, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. The new faces joining the Members of Parliament include Liberal Chad Collins for Hamilton East, Conservative Dan Muys for Flamborough-Glanbrook, and Liberal Lisa Hepfner for Hamilton Mountain. Flamborough-Glanbrook remained Conservative, Hamilton East remained Liberal, and Hamilton Mountain changed from NDP to Liberal. The results of the five ridings in Hamilton were as follows: Hamilton Centre

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

PARTY

CANDIDATE

VOTES

%

NDP LIB CON PPC GRN

Matthew Green Margaret Bennett Fabian Grenning Kevin Barber Avra Caroline Weinstein

20,139 11,010 6,317 2,704 1,129

48% 26% 15% 6% 3%

Hamilton East-Stoney Creek

PARTY

CANDIDATE

VOTES

%

LIB CON NDP PPC GRN

Filomena Tassi Bert Laranjo Roberto Henriquez Dean Woods Dave Urquhart

26,029 17,362 11,694 2,527 974

44% 29% 20% 4% 2%

Flamborough-Glanbrook

PARTY

CANDIDATE

VOTES

%

LIB CON NDP PPC GRN

Chad Collins Ned Kuruc Nick Milanovic Mario Ricci Larry Pattison

18,377 13,988 12,653 3,694 1,018

37% 28% 25% 7% 2%

PARTY

CANDIDATE

VOTES

%

CON LIB NDP PPC GRN

Dan Muys Vito Sgro Lorne Newick Bill Panchyshyn Thomas Hatch

24,031 21,350 9,409 3,685 1,403

40% 36% 16% 6% 2%

Hamilton Mountain PARTY

CANDIDATE

VOTES

%

LIB NDP CON PPC GRN

Lisa Hepfner Malcolm Allen Al Miles Chelsey Taylor Dave Urquhart

16,547 15,712 11,838 3,097 974

34% 32% 24% 6% 2%

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New Hamilton councillor With the new MP appointment for Chad Collins, a spot is now vacant on City Council for Ward 5. Hamilton city councillors have voted in favour of appointing an experienced replacement instead of proceeding with a by-election. Councillors voted to go with the appointment process over a by-election after Mayor Fred Eisenberger stated that the timeline between a potential run to the polls in the new year and the close proximity of the next civic election in October 2022 didn’t justify such an effort.

Chad Collins

The suggestion is to appoint a candidate with previous experience, particularly an individual who’s been in office. The appointment will be made at a special council meeting on November 12, with the new member taking the post November 24.

Hamilton boundary expansion There is currently an ongoing debate surrounding the proposed expansion of Hamilton’s urban boundary and whether it should be expanded to provide for more development or frozen. The City of Hamilton distributed a survey to all residents for their thoughts. The overwhelming response to the survey opposed the urban boundary expansion. Approximately 82 per cent of mail survey responses and 97 per cent of email survey responses opposed urban boundary expansion. With these results, the City is considering freezing expansion. The Ontario government does not seem pleased with this potential decision, suggesting such a move would bring a “shortage” of housing and not meet expected market demands for the next three decades. We are interested to see how the debate continues and what the final verdict will be on the urban boundary in Hamilton, as the final decision will have a profound impact on housing in the municipality.

Licensing update In our last update, we were very uncertain as to the direction of the licensing regime and the City’s plans. On August 10, the City’s Planning Committee discussed the licensing regime. Prior to the meeting, a Staff Report was circulated, indicating the recommendation was to delay the licensing matter to Q1 of 2023. One main argument for the delay was that “the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the pressure on the City’s rental market and the housing system in general. For tenants, rents for new units are increasing, vacancy rates are down especially for the most affordable units, and there is potential for high levels of displacement following the ending of the provincial moratorium on evictions. Introducing a rental housing licensing regime at this time could have a further destabilizing effect on the rental housing market.” Staff seemed cognizant of the issues and the current environment not being an ideal one to begin a licensing regime. The report also discussed two new initiatives the City had implemented on rental housing and supply. One is the secondary dwelling initiative, which will provide opportunities for more rental supply through the creation of secondary dwellings. The second is the review and amendment of the property standards by-law, which brings with it an expanded scope and addresses many concerns from tenants and tenant groups.

58 | October 2021


The effects of these two initiatives would need some time to be felt and could well address most of the concerns from tenant groups. Unfortunately, the Planning Committee ignored the staff report and recommendations, instead voting to proceed with a two-year licensing pilot project. The City met again on September 21 to discuss licensing and its implementation. The HDAA retained Joe Hoffer from Cohen Highley to make and present our delegation. However, these delegations were largely ignored and the Planning Committee proceeded with licensing in the City. A recording of the meeting is available for viewing on the City of Hamilton’s Planning Committee website. This is quite unfortunate news and the HDAA is very disappointed with the lack of understanding and knowledge of the effects a licensing regime will have in the City, particularly during the pandemic. We hope that the pilot project will provide to be unsuccessful and the matter will die there. There will be many consequences for landlords and tenants. Housing supply and affordability in the City will suffer, and we worry what the rental housing market will look like in the next few years. We will continue to participate in the roll-out of the pilot project rolls out, and watch carefully how it affects the rental housing market. We will also continue to provide updates on it.

Board of Directors nominations The HDAA is preparing for our Board of Directors change over after the end of October. The Board consists of 10 volunteers who are each elected for a three-year term by the general membership to guide the association. The Board is responsible

for all association initiatives, events, education, and lobbying efforts. This year, five members are up for re-election. The deadline for nominations is October 31. If more than five people wish to run, we will be holding an election to determine the Board positions.

Past events September 29 – Waste Education Webinar The HDAA and the City of Hamilton hosted an information session on waste education in multiresidential properties. The webinar discussed the multi-residential system in the City of Hamilton, common recycling mistakes, and materials that can be provided to help residents. The session was followed by a Q&A period for our members to ask the City about waste concerns. Information was provided on common items that are disposed of improperly, upcoming City projects, and the best ways to communicate with residents about how to properly dispose of items.

Upcoming events October 20 – RTA & LTB Changes Webinar The HDAA is excited to host another free member-only webinar. Mark Melchers from Cohen Highley will be discussing the newest RTA and LTB changes that took effect on September 1, and will answer any questions about all Bill 184 changes.

Hamilton & District Apartment Association Since 1960, the Hamilton & District Apartment Association has grown significantly. Our members manage over 30,000 units throughout Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Guelph, Mississauga, Oakville, St. Catharines and into the Niagara Peninsula. The association is a highly respected organization, sought out regularly by government, industry, media and the public.

Interested? Call us or join online! Ph: 905-616-2058 Web: www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca

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