NRH 2016 Annual Report

Message from our Chair

Henry D'AngelaAs Chair of the Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) Board of Directors, I am extremely pleased to present this year’s Annual Report, which highlights NRH’s programs, partners and progress in 2016. In recent years, like municipalities across Canada, NRH has struggled with a very tight rental market, an expanding waiting list, increasingly complicated tenant needs and aging infrastructure. Despite these challenges, we have remained focused on our mission to "expand opportunities that make affordable housing an integral part of building healthy and sustainable communities in Niagara".

More than ever, 2016 was a year of reflection and transition in our organization. Niagara Region’s Alternative Service Delivery Review (ASDR) continued its consideration of best practices to determine if there are better, more efficient ways to deliver affordable housing and make the best possible use of our assets. The Region began to examine NRH’s Board structure to ensure that we are well-positioned to adapt to the rapidly changing housing sector. In 2016 we also saw the update of the Ontario Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy and passing of the Promoting Affordable Housing Act, which further committed the province to the modernization of affordable and social housing.

Shortly after 2016, NRH welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer, Dan Troke, who, as a native of Nova Scotia, brings the fresh insight of an Eastern Canada perspective on housing. The Board is confident that Dan is the right person for the job, and that our organization will be stronger and more effective under his leadership. Together with Dan and NRH Staff, the Board is committed to continuous improvement and embracing new ideas and innovations. As you will see through the pages of this report, NRH’s programs, partnerships and progress are a source of great pride, as they contribute to a vital service in our community – stable homes from which individuals, families and neighbourhoods can flourish. With this in mind, I extend the Board’s sincere appreciation to all those who help NRH to improve the lives of people across Niagara. We look forward to continuing to work toward a better Niagara together.

Henry D’Angela | Chair

Thank you to our Board

Karen Blackley
Stakeholder, Thorold
James Hyatt
Stakeholder, St. Catharines
Andrew Petrowski
Regional Councillor, St. Catharines
Henry D’Angela
Regional Councillor, Thorold
Kelly Kendrick
Stakeholder, Fort Erie
Walter Sendzik
Regional Councillor, St. Catharines
Ken Goka
Stakeholder, Welland
Patrick O’Neill
Stakeholder, Niagara-On-the-Lake
Selina Volpatti
Regional Councillor, Niagara Falls
Paul Grenier
Regional Councillor, Welland
John Osczypko
Public-at-Large, St. Catharines

Special thanks to former Directors: Linda Allen, Barbara Carroll, Shirley Cordiner & Tim Rigby

NRH Programs

NRH has been administering affordable housing for Niagara Region since 2002. We provide, support and advocate for safe and suitable affordable housing in Niagara
		through a combination of programs and services

In 2016, NRH assisted more than 8,200 households across Niagara to find and maintain the stability of a suitable, safe and affordable home. From high-rises, townhouses, semis and detached homes, we serve every age, education, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and mental and physical disability. Our programs include:

  • Housing Access –
    Managed more than 4,500 households on the Centralized Waiting List in 2016
  • Public Housing –
    Owned and operated by NRH and includes 2,751 units in nine of Niagara’s 12 municipalities. 2,660 of these units are Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) and 91 are affordable (80% of market) or Market Rent.
  • Community Programs –
    Provided eviction prevention, supports and referrals to more than 720 tenants and coordinated enrichment activities in NRH Public Housing communities
  • Co-op/Non-Profit –
    NRH provided legislative oversight to 66 Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing Corporations who offer more than 3,900 units of Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) and market rents across Niagara.
  • Niagara Renovates Program –
    In 2016, this program assisted 48 low and modest income households with funds for repairs and accessibility modifications to help seniors and the disabled remain in their own homes
  • Welcome Home Niagara Homeownership Program –
    In 2016, this program helped 23 renter households with downpayments to purchase affordable homes
  • Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance Program –
    NRH partnered with private landlords to subsidize rents in 1,007 units in private buildings
  • Housing First –
    NRH partnered with Community Services and support agencies to help 32 people move quickly from homelessness to their own home in 2016
  • New Developments –
    606 units (incl. Fitch Street East) of affordable housing have been developed in Niagara since 2006

2016 Expenses

2016 Revenues

NRH Partners

Today, more than ever, collaboration is essential to responsive service delivery. Meeting human needs is a complex undertaking, so NRH relies on a wide range of partners to serve our increasingly diverse customers. Simply put – we know we can do more together.

Our partners help us support vulnerable tenants, build better communities and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. The following is just a snapshot of the many partners who help us improve lives through affordable housing. We thank each of our partners for their continued support and commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of Niagara.

Our Partners

  • Bethany Community Church
  • Brain Injury Community Re-entry
  • Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
  • Central Community Church
  • Community Care St. Catharines & Thorold
  • Community Support Services Niagara
  • Faith Welland Church
  • Grace Anglican Church
  • Harbour Fellowship Church
  • Life Together Church
  • Literacy Link Niagara
  • March of Dimes Canada
  • Nancy Siciliana Seniors Computer Lab
  • Niagara Dental Hygiene Inc.
  • Niagara Region Seniors Programs
  • Niagara Region Public Health
  • Niagara Resource Services for Youth (The RAFT)
  • Renewed Computer Technology
  • Scott Street Mennonite Church
  • Southminster United Church
  • Town of Lincoln
  • Start Me Up Niagara
  • The Well Church
  • West Niagara Second Stage Housing

NRH Progress

527 Calton Street

NRH is committed to service excellence and the maximization of our resources. We will continue to investigate opportunities to increase the supply of housing for the applicants on our waiting list. We will also remain dedicated to enhancing the lives of tenant/members in our communities by encouraging healthier individuals who can contribute to more resilient, vibrant communities. We recognize that the challenges of aging infrastructure, changing demographics and a shifting economy will continue to affect our service delivery. As a result, we look forward to the recommendations of the Alternative Service Delivery Review (ASDR) Committee to assist NRH in the years ahead.

In 2016, we implemented new projects to help Niagarans with suitable, affordable housing, including:

  • The Social Housing Electrical Efficiency Program (SHEEP) – NRH assisted four housing providers to renovate 76 units with $268,843 of electrical efficiency retrofits
  • Social Housing Development – The Investment in Affordable Housing – Extension (IAH-E) helped fund the development of 40 new units for seniors and mental health consumers in Gateway Residences, Stamford Kiwanis in Niagara Falls and Thorold Municipal Non-Profit
  • Public Housing Development – IAH-E funds, combined with Social Infrastructure Funding (SIF) and NRH Reserves enabled NRH to begin work on an 85 unit development on Carlton Street in St. Catharines, where tenants will pay "affordable rent" ( 80% of Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Average Market Rent)
  • Social Enterprise – The RAFT has hired Manchester teens to cater their After School Programs using the kitchen at Rykert. The teens have completed Public Health’s Safe Food Handlers course and tell us they are saving money for post-secondary school, cell phones, clothes and activities with friends.
  • The Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot (SDV-PHB) – NRH has begun a twoyear pilot to help survivors of domestic violence find housing by offering them a Rent-Geared-to-Income Benefit. To date, 25 households have received assistance through the SDV-PHB.
  • NRH’s first full Tenant Satisfaction Survey - assessed tenant satisfaction with Public Housing owned by NRH and identified areas for improvement in concert with the ASDR. Overall, more than 80% of tenants are satisfied with their experience at NRH.
  • Seniors Computer Lab Project – pilot program in partnership with the Town of Lincoln, Renewed Computer Technologies, Literacy Link and the Reverse Mentorship Program to help seniors use technology, maintain vital services, stay informed, and reduce social isolation

NRH Vision & Mission

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