Report to/Rapport au:

Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee/

Comité de la santé, des loisirs et des services sociaux

 

and Council/et au Conseil

 

09 April 2001/le 09 avril 2001

 

Submitted by/Soumis par :  Dick Stewart

General Manager/Directeur general

People Services Department/Services aux citoyens

 

Contact/Personne-ressource :  Joyce Potter, Director of Housing/Direction du logement

748-4357, ext. 4162, joyce.potter@city.ottawa.on.ca

 

                                                            Ref. No./No de dossier: ACS 2001-PEO-HOU-0004

 

SUBJECT :  SOCIAL HOUSING :  JOINT LOCAL TRANSFER PLAN

 

OBJET : LOGEMENT SOCIAL : PLAN COMMUN DE TRANSFERT LOCAL

 

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

 

That the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee recommend Council approve :

 

1.                  The attached Joint Local Transfer Plan (Annex 1), to be submitted to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in accordance with the requirements of Bill 128, the Social Housing Reform Act (2000).

2.                  The appointment of the Director of Housing as the ‘Administrator’, as defined in Section 15 of Bill 128, with responsibility to fund and administer housing programs as outlined in the Joint Local Transfer Plan, and in accordance with legislation and Council approved budgets.

 

 

RECOMMANDATION(S) DU RAPPORT

 

Que le Comité de la santé, des loisirs et des services sociaux recommande au Conseil municipal d’approuver :

 

1.         le Plan commun de transfert local, ci-joint en annexe 1, qui doit être soumis au ministre des Affaires municipales et du Logement conformément aux exigences de la Loi 128, Loi de 2000 sur la réforme du logement social;

2.                  la nomination, telle qu’elle est définie à l’article 15 de la Loi 128, du directeur du Logement comme « administrateur » à qui il incombe de financer et d’administrer les programmes de logement tels qu’ils sont expliqués dans le Plan commun de transfert local et conformément à l’ensemble de lois et aux budgets approuvés par le Conseil municipal.

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Effective January 1, 1998, the municipality began funding social housing as a result of provincial devolution.  Over the past three years, the Province has been preparing for the full transfer of administration of social housing and in December of 2000, enacted legislation to bring into effect complete social housing devolution.  Section 14 of Bill 128, the Social Housing Reform Act, requires municipal Service Managers to prepare and submit to the Minister a plan for carrying out duties related to social housing, within five months of the legislation coming into force (May 14th, 2001).  The Joint Local Transfer Plan is the subject of this report.

 

DISCUSSION/ANALYSIS

 

There are three types of Social Housing affected by the Social Housing legislation:

·        Public Housing, involving 8600 units owned and operated by the Ottawa Housing Corporation (formerly the Ottawa-Carleton Housing Authority).

·        Non-Profit and Cooperative Housing, exclusive of federal co-ops, comprising 10,800 units owned and operated by City Living, former municipal non-profit housing corporations, private non-profits and co-operatives.

·        Rent Supplements for 2400 units in private or non-profit rental facilities.

 

Social Housing is found throughout the City of Ottawa.  A breakdown of units by ward is attached as Annex 2.

 

The transfer of Social Housing is occurring in two stages:  Stage One was effective January 1, 2001 and involved the transfer of public housing from the Province.  To enable this, the Province created the Ottawa Housing Corporation as a local housing corporation, with the City of Ottawa as the sole shareholder.  Stage Two involves the transfer of administration for non-profit and co-operative housing, and is mandated to occur prior to June, 2002.  The Joint Local Transfer Plan is intended to primarily address issues related to Stage Two.

 

The Plan, attached as Annex 1, was developed by the Housing Branch through consultations with the Area Transition Team of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  In addition, the Housing Branch formed an internal multi-disciplinary transfer team to provide expertise in key areas such as legal, IT, audit, finance, human resources and communications.  While the internal team assisted in development of the Plan, they will play a much more significant role in Plan implementation over the next year.

 

Key elements of the Joint Local Transfer Plan are the following:

 

·        The City of Ottawa becomes the Service Manager for administration of social housing, with the complete transfer scheduled to occur by April, 2002.

·        A review is being done to assess the future status of City Living and Ottawa Housing Corporation, as the two local housing corporations, and will be finalized in June, 2001.

·        The service delivery model being developed will provide a client-centred focus while ensuring accountability to the taxpayer.

·        The Registry will be maintained as the vehicle for coordinated access, with a review to be done to assure Service Manager accountability for this function.

·        Responsibility for social housing administration will rest with the Housing Branch of the People Services Department, with the Director of Housing named as the ‘Administrator’ for purposes of funding and administering programs in accordance with the Act and Council-approved budgets.

·        A Memorandum of Understanding will be negotiated to address the issue of the transfer of staff from the Province to the City.

·        Once the Province develops regulations regarding eligibility rules, occupancy standards and priority access, municipal standards will be developed with broad input from the community.

·        Ongoing consultation with social housing providers and tenants is critical throughout this change and a transitional social housing advisory group will be developed as a key vehicle for this consultation during the process leading up to Stage Two transfer.

 

During the period of Plan implementation, there will be an ongoing need for the Service Manager to administrate those functions devolved through the transfer.  To facilitate this administration in a practical manner, staff are recommending the appointment of an ‘Administrator’ in accordance with S.15 of the Act.  This will enable staff to fulfill the day-to-day obligations of the Service Manager within the legislative requirements of the Act and in accordance with Council’s approved budget for social housing.   The Administrator’s roles, as outlined in page 12 of the Joint Local Transfer Plan, would include monitoring and reporting on compliance, undertaking operational reviews and approving annual housing provider budgets, as required, all within the annual portfolio budget approved by Council.  Establishing this practical role will be particularly significant with the formal transfer of program administration in April of next year, given the number of providers and programs the Service Manager will be responsible for administrating.

 

CONSULTATION

 

In 1998, the former Regional Council created a Social Housing Working Group to provide advice and guidance on Social Housing devolution.  The Working Group comprised representatives of non-profit and co-operative housing, public housing, the Registry, tenants, regional Councillors and staff, and met throughout 1998, 1999 and 2000.  Since the creation of the new City, staff have consulted with the Social Housing Providers Network on the Joint Local Transfer Plan and other aspects of social housing. 

 

A formal consultation with all housing providers was held on April 3, 2001.  Providers were presented with information germane to the overall transfer process as well as an overview of the Plan.  Staff also met with representatives of the Social Housing Providers Network to review a working draft of the Plan.  Through these sessions, stakeholders expressed support for the Plan but did restate areas of concern related to the implementation of coordinated access, municipal standards and income testing.  Providers expressed apprehension about pending regulations and Service Manager intentions in these areas.  Through the Plan, staff have identified review processes in the implementation period which will enable consultation on these important matters.  In addition, staff have identified in the Plan the means to maintain ongoing consultations with stakeholders through this transition period.

 

The draft Plan was also reviewed with the Area Transition Team of the Ministry and the internal transfer team for the City.  Based on these discussions and the feedback provided by stakeholders, the draft Plan has been revised to reflect comments received.

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

 

Since 1998, municipalities have been funding social housing as a result of devolution.  As administrative responsibility passes to Service Managers through the transfer process, this funding flow will change. Currently, service realignment costs are paid to the Province to cover program administration and subsidy payments made to providers for non-profit housing programs.  Once transferred, realignment billings will cease and the Service Manager will make subsidy payments directly to housing providers as currently happens with Ottawa Housing Corporation.  In addition to revenues from the tax base, funding for some of these transferred programs will include a federal funding component, to be flowed through the Province. 

 

Through the annual City budget process, the Housing Branch will establish an annual operating envelope for executing the responsibilities of the Service Manager with regards to social housing.  Over the course of 2001 and 2002, the costs associated with implementing the Transfer Plan and assuming the social housing responsibility will be addressed through this budget envelope.  Available funding from the Province to defray transition costs has been identified in the Plan and is factored into the social housing funding envelope.

 

The financial requirements for social housing in 2001 were contained in the operating budget for the People Services Department approved by Health Recreation and Social Services Committee on April 5th, 2001.

 

ATTACHMENTS

 

Annex 1 - Social Housing Joint Local Transfer Plan

Annex 2 - Distribution of Social Housing Stock by Ward


 

DISPOSITION

 

Secretariat staff will send a copy of the Joint Local Transfer Plan, along with the Council Resolution approving it to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, with a copy to the MMAH Area Transition Director.


Social Housing

Joint Local Transfer Plan

 

April 9th, 2001

 

 

City of Ottawa

Housing Branch

People Services Department

 

ANNEX 1
 

1.0  Introduction

Social housing has been a significant part of the community landscape in Ontario for over 50 years.  This housing has taken many forms and has been developed under many programs, each with varying senior government funding arrangements.  However, significant changes in social housing delivery have taken place in the last few years which are bringing responsibility for social housing to the municipal level.

 

The Local Services Restructuring Act effectively made social housing a municipal responsibility in 1998.  While municipalities had begun paying the cost for social housing in their new capacities as Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, the administrative responsibility still rested with the Provincial and Federal governments.  In 1999, the Canada/Ontario Social Housing Agreement was signed which paved the way for Federal administration responsibilities to be passed to the Province, along with supporting funding.  The Province, in turn, is devolving the administrative responsibility for housing programs to local municipalities through the Social Housing Reform Act, which was proclaimed in December of 2000.

 

Under this legislation, municipalities like Ottawa will now have administrative responsibility for housing programs that they had been funding since 1998 in their role as Service Managers.  Recognizing that the process of taking on this new business at the local level would be a challenging enterprise, the legislation included a staged approach to the transfer of this business from the Province to local Service Managers.  Stage One  involved the transfer of public housing, effective January 1st, 2001.  Locally, this transfer saw program administration for Ottawa Housing Corporation become a City responsibility earlier this year.  Stage Two involves the transfer of administration for the substantive balance of social housing (i.e., co-ops and non-profits), and will occur for Ottawa by April of 2002.

 

As a fundamental piece to this approach, Service Managers are required to develop a Joint Local Transfer Plan (JLTP) to map out their preparations for taking on the social housing business.  Under the legislation, the Plan must be approved by the local Council within 5 months of proclamation, and the formal transfer of social housing administration must be completed within 18 months of proclamation.  Given the December 2000 proclamation date and the on-going municipal amalgamation, these timelines are stringent.

 

To address the JLTP requirements of the legislation, the Housing Branch at the City of Ottawa has worked cooperatively with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Area Transition Team to develop this Plan.  As part of this process, an internal multi-disciplinary team was struck to address key Plan issues from various functional areas within the Corporation including audit, legal, finance, IT, human resources and communications.  The development of the Plan was supported by this team which will have an even more significant role in the Plan’s implementation over the next year. 

 

The Plan is designed to demonstrate the Service Manager’s ability to assume administrative responsibility for social housing, in accordance with mandatory Ministry requirements.  As such, it addresses governance issues, details the proposed service delivery model, and reviews the organizational changes required by the transfer of responsibilities.  It also outlines the business processes involved in the administration, reviews the financial planning requirements of the transfer and details how consultations with stakeholders will take place, both during Plan development and through Plan implementation.  In addition, the Plan details a work program for implementation, ultimately leading to the formal transfer of social housing administration in April of 2002.  Various appendices with related housing information are provided for reference purposes.

 

Given the context in which this legislation is being rolled out, it is not surprising that a number of issues require further resolution.  In certain cases, regulations to accompany the legislation have yet to be completed by the Provincial government.  Likewise, while certain transfer manuals have been issued, guidelines to define specific program requirements (i.e., reporting, monitoring, roles of the Social Housing Services Corporation (SHSC), etc.) are not yet available.  Nevertheless, legislative requirements have required the transfer of public housing effective January 1st, 2001 as a Stage One transfer.  Also effective January 1st, the City of Ottawa is in the process of establishing itself as a new organization.  As a result, the information contained in the Plan has been targeted to address mandatory requirements.  Where issues are unresolved or require additional deliberation, they are identified within the Plan for further consideration, as part of the Plan implementation phase.

 

2.0  Governance and Accountability

With changes in the legislative framework regarding social housing, the responsibility for administration will now rest with municipalities.  Federal and provincial roles are confined to monitoring, mortgage administration and funding (federal only).  In practical terms, this means that municipalities like Ottawa will now be the primary administrators and funders of most social housing programs in their respective service areas.  In Ottawa, there are over 23,000 units of social housing and an additional 1,400 units under commercial rent supplement programs.  Responsibility for administration of many of the various programs under which these units fall will ultimately reside with the City (see detailed summary and project list in Appendix 1). 

 

Under the Social Housing Reform Act, the City of Ottawa is designated as the local Service Manager for the delivery of social housing.  For clarification sake, the service area in the legislation is contiguous with municipal boundaries for the City, such that Ottawa will only be responsible for Service Manager duties within its geographic boundaries.   With the Service Manager designation comes a number of legislative requirements to ensure accountability.  The legislation also places requirements on housing providers who are currently funded under a number of different housing programs.  Under the new legislative framework, accountability can be characterized as follows:

 

Housing Providers – Providers will continue to have responsibility for delivering housing services to clients in accordance with program requirements.  Under legislation, they will now be accountable directly to the Service Manager for meeting these obligations.  In return, the Service Manager will provide subsidies directly to providers.  Ultimately, most providers will operate within some form of agreement with the Service Manager, outlining the responsibilities of each party.  For those providers who have 100% federally funded portfolios or for those projects which fall within the MNP pre-1986 program, a slightly different relationship will exist with the Service Manager since existing operating agreements and obligations will be maintained.

 

Service Manager – The City of Ottawa will become wholly responsible for administering most social housing in Ottawa.  As the Service Manager, the City is required to administer housing programs, disburse subsidy payments to housing providers and ensure that providers are in compliance with program requirements.  Given the variations in program structure and funding, this will not be an insignificant task.  As the primary administrator, the Service Manager is accountable to both the Provincial and Federal governments for ensuring program compliance and funding through regular reporting mechanisms.  The Service Manager also has the ability, under legislation, to effect the creation of new housing programs within the scope of their jurisdiction.

 

Shareholder – Under the Stage One transfer, Local Housing Authorities were reconstituted as Local Housing Corporations through the Business Corporations Act.  This meant that as of January 1st, 2001, the former Ottawa-Carleton Housing Authority became Ottawa Housing Corporation, a new independent legal entity but with a similar role and function with regards to their tenants.  Under this legal structure, the City of Ottawa is the sole shareholder of the new Corporation and in this capacity, has the responsibility of ownership under the Business Corporations Act. 

 

The City of Ottawa also has a similar relationship with City Living, the former municipal City of Ottawa Non-Profit Housing Corporation.  Under its incorporation documents, the former City of Ottawa was the sole shareholder of City Living.  With the recent municipal amalgamation, the new City of Ottawa has, in effect, assumed this shareholder responsibility for City Living.  Other municipal non-profit housing corporations in former local municipalities were also affected by the municipal amalgamation.  However, they were not incorporated with share capital and as such, no shareholder role exists with the City of Ottawa.  Earlier this year, City Council endorsed the change in status for these former municipal non-profits to private non-profit housing corporations.

 

Provincial Government – While the responsibility for administration of social housing is being transferred to municipal Service Managers, the Province retains a modest role.  It is primarily responsible for ensuring the terms of the Federal/Provincial agreement are met, that Provincial standards are established and maintained, and that federal funds are flowed through to Service Managers.  In addition, the Province is retaining the mortgage renewal function as well as mediating high risk projects in difficulty, where the threat of mortgage default exists.  Under legislation, the Service Manager is accountable to the Province for meeting requirements in each of these areas.

 

Federal Government – Like the Provincial government, the Federal government has significantly scaled back its involvement in social housing administration over the past few years.  However, the federal government has maintained its commitment to provide funding for social housing for the duration of existing agreements.  The Province transferred its funding responsibility to municipalities in 1998.  Through CMHC the federal government provides mortgage insurance, direct lending and funding which is to be flowed through the Province to Service Managers.  Administration of most of those programs that are funded exclusively though the federal government will ultimately be transferred though the Province to Service Managers.  Under legislation, the Service Manager is accountable to the Province for meeting the Federal requirements in each of these areas.  It is worth noting that exceptions to this transfer currently include federal coops, an Urban Native project and dedicated supportive housing.

 

3.0  Service Delivery Model

As noted in the previous section, the legislated roles and responsibilities in social housing delivery are changing through the transfer process.  To best respond to these changes, Service Managers need to develop service delivery models that ensure client service is maintained or enhanced.  At the same time, Service Managers need to design a system that is efficient to administer while reflecting the changing roles of the various players.

 

In reflecting on the design of the service delivery model, it is important to consider the broader functions of the Housing Branch and how the requirements of the Service Manager will fit within the Branch.  This broader framework is captured in the vision and mission statement that the Housing Branch has developed.

 

The vision of the Housing Branch is:

“Enhanced quality of life through community partnerships that provide cost-effective, affordable, and supportive housing and end homelessness.”

 

The mission statement for the Branch is:

“The Housing Branch sustains and enhances social housing, promotes options for increasing the supply of affordable housing, ensures the delivery of emergency and supportive housing services, and manages the development and implementation of a community action plan to prevent and end homelessness. “

 

These statements establish a framework in which social housing administration will be provided by the Branch.  Based on the information available to date as well as existing legislative requirements, staff have developed a Service Delivery Model which reflects the new relationships amongst the various players in the social housing domain.  In developing the model, certain principles were deemed important.  These include the need to:

·               be client-centered, responsive to the needs of social housing residents and citizens

·               have direct linkages to encourage effective communication

·               ensure sufficient autonomy at the provider level to carry out primary service functions

·               establish clear lines of responsibility and reporting

·               retain built-in accountability to ensure service for funding

·               provide equitable treatment for providers

 

This service delivery model is illustrated in Figure 1 and defined in detail below.  At the core of the model is the Service Manager as the primary administrator of housing programs.  While the Service Manager is in effect the City of Ottawa, the actual duties of the Service Manager will be the responsibility of the Housing Branch in the People Services department.  This distinction is described in more detail in the section on Organizational Change.

 

The fundamental service relationship of the Service Manager is with housing providers, be they local housing corporations, non-profits or co-ops.  They, in turn, provide direct service to their respective tenants, residents and applicants on a day-to-day basis.   These front line, property management operations are the responsibility of the Provider, under the terms and conditions of agreements with the Service Manager or relevant legislation.

 

The Service Manager will support housing providers in fulfilling this role by providing funding, program expertise, training and policy guidance.  In exchange, Service Managers will require providers to adhere to program requirements, report on how they are delivering services and account regularly for funding provided to them. 

 

It is worth noting that specific responsibilities vary by program, by provider type and by business process.  For the most part, the Service Manager has a direct accountability relationship with most providers through agreements or legislative requirements.  However, 100% federally funded providers and pre-1986 Municipal Non-Profits (MNPs)  do not have this same requirement as their operating agreements are in place with CMHC.  In these instances, the Service Manager is responsible for meeting the terms of the operating agreement but can only change provisions by mutual consent of the provider. 

 

Alternatively, Ottawa Housing and City Living, whose shares are solely owned by the City of Ottawa, have a more distinct link to the Service Manager through its shareholder status.  In traditional and legal terms, the fundamental role of the shareholder (i.e. City Council) is one of ownership.  The obligations and rights of shareholders are defined within the provisions of the Business Corporations Act.  It should be noted that a study is currently underway to determine the appropriate role of Ottawa Housing and City Living, given their legal relationship to the City and the similarities in the functions they perform as housing providers.  Pending the results of this study, there may be a need to refine the


 


service delivery model since certain of the go-forward options being examined would establish different relationships among service delivery agents.

 

While program variations exist, common approaches to administration between providers and the Service Manager are being proposed and program streamlining will be encouraged for those providers who fall outside the scope of direct operating agreement accountability (i.e. 100% federally funded programs or pre-1986 MNPs).  General business processes and the roles of the players in them are described in more detail in Section 5.0 of this Plan. 

 

Within the service delivery model, opportunities also exist for shared services among providers.  A notable example is The Registry, the legal entity established to manage the coordinated tenant access system that has been used over the past 4 years in the City.  Currently, 44 providers utilize the services of the Registry on a fee-for-service basis to fill vacancies for their rent-geared-to-income units.  Under this system, the Registry maintains a common waiting list, organized by chronology and by priority need.  This enables a unified system whereby duplication of applicants can be avoided.  Where member providers have vacancies, they access the next eligible applicants on the list.  Providers currently maintain their own waiting lists for market rent units in their portfolios.

 

The system operated by The Registry has been widely referenced as a success in delivering coordinated access services to date.  Under legislation, Service Managers are now obliged to implement a coordinated access system among service providers.  With this in mind, it is proposed under the service delivery model that the Registry continue to be utilized to provide common waiting list services to all providers.  A review of the role and function that the Registry fulfils, as well as its accountability relationship with the Service Manager should be considered within the new legislative framework.  It is the intent of the Service Manager therefore, to undertake a consultative review of the Registry, its roles and interface with providers to ensure that it can meet the legislative requirements for providing coordinated access management.  This review is scheduled for late summer of this year.

 

Another primary element in the service delivery model is the relationship with the Province.  To meet accountability requirements, the Service Manager must regularly report to the Province through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  These reports are intended to address matters such as service standards and portfolio stability.  Under the terms of the Federal/Provincial agreement, the Province is also obliged to determine that Federal funding has been disbursed by the Service Manager appropriately and that Federal operating requirements have been complied with. 

 

Apart from reporting requirements, two other key functions rest with the Province; mortgage renewals and risk management.  All mortgage renewals will be handled by the Province through the Mortgage Renewal Centre.  The Service Manager will monitor this process with providers at the time of renewal to determine impact on subsidy flow.  The lender, rate and terms of mortgage renewal will be determined by the Centre through their lender assignment process.  In terms of risk management, Service Managers will be expected to handle projects that are deemed to be in difficulty.  Where the severity of the difficulty imposes a risk with respect to the mortgage, the Risk Management Centre at the Province will be notified and remedial steps will be taken to address the risk in consultation with the Centre.

 

Under legislation, an additional service body will be involved in the service delivery model.  The Social Housing Services Corporation (SHSC) will be initially established as a distinct legal entity by the Province to oversee a number of provincial-scale service functions on behalf of providers and Service Managers.  These services will include best practices, bulk purchasing, group insurance and capital reserve pooling.  Participation in the programs of the SHSC will be mandatory for providers in Provincial or Federal/Provincial funded programs, excluding pre-1986 MNPs.  In the longer term, the operation of the SHSC will be assumed by representatives from Service Managers and providers.

 

As part of the service delivery model, the Service Manager will continue to network with a number of local housing-based organizations and advocate agencies to enable coordination and communication of program responsibilities.  In this manner, there will be opportunities to coordinate broader responses to social housing issues and encourage a positive housing dialogue with the community.

 

 

There are language requirements that have also been addressed within the service delivery model.  Through the Social Housing Reform Act, services must be delivered in either official language and where required under the French Language Services Act, French language services must be provided.  The requirements under the Social Housing Reform Act apply to:

 

·        Service Managers  - required to provide services in English and French (as necessary) under S.10(5), and meet requirements of language service in existing federal agreements under S.10(6).

·        Local Housing Corporations (i.e. Ottawa Housing) – required to provide services in English and French (as necessary) under S.33

·        All Other Housing Providers - required to provide services in English or French under S.97

 

Both the City and Ottawa Housing currently deliver service in accordance with these requirements and will continue to do so.  Providers will be required to continue meeting these standards.

 

The service delivery model proposed has been designed with the intent of enabling a more efficient means to administer local housing programs.  The aspects of this model which may enable more efficiency includes:

·               Refined business processes which are integrated and coordinated locally

·               Focused Service Manager housing mandate which creates additional housing service opportunities

·               Increased opportunity to share services among providers (i.e., The Registry)

·               A coordinated rent supplement program

·               Possible savings through bulk purchasing programs of the Social Housing Services Corporation

·               Program reforms which offer additional opportunities to yield streamlined services (i.e. IT and reporting)

 

The true test of these efficiencies will be in their implementation.  As the primary focus of the model is clearly maintaining or enhancing client service, securing efficiencies or cost savings are considered an added benefit.

 

It is important to note that despite the current design of the model, there are certain unresolved pieces in the transition process that may precipitate modifications or refinements to the model.  These include:

·               results of the Ottawa Housing/City Living options study

·               regulations which have yet to be tabled

·               confirmation of which federal programs may not be transferred

·               confirmation of where supportive housing  responsibility will lie

 

Pending confirmation of these issues, the service delivery model can be finalized.

 

4.0  Organizational Change

To ensure that the proposed service delivery model can be achieved, there is a fundamental requirement to make organizational changes to accommodate this service approach.  With the recent amalgamation of local municipalities into the new City of Ottawa, there have been a number of opportunities to create a responsive organizational structure to address housing issues, including Service Manager functions.  Within the People Services Department at the City, a Housing Branch has been established, as shown in Figure 2. 

 

Under the leadership of the Director of Housing, the Branch will provide services in three main areas, namely Residential Services, Service System Management for Homelessness, and Housing Policy and Programs.  It is under this last division that the core functions of the Service Manager will be delivered.  Collectively, the structure of the Branch offers the ability to deal with housing issues in an integrated fashion across a range of areas, from homelessness to social housing.  The policy functions of the Branch also enable a broader context for integrating housing issues within the Corporation.  To assist in fulfilling this function, the Branch also has the ability to access Centres of Expertise within the Corporation to provide assistance in such areas as audit, legal, finance, human resources, IT and communications.



 

 


The Housing Policy and Programs division is led by the Manager, who is responsible to the Director of Housing.  Under the manager of this division, responsibilities are divided among three areas.  The primary interface with housing providers will be handled through the Program Administration group under the supervision of a Senior Program Administrator. 

 

To support the program administrators, a second multi-disciplinary group will be developed which provides administration assistance in a number of key areas such as monitoring, technical assessment, training, financial review and IT support.  Under the supervision of the Senior Program Support Coordinator, this group would also have direct interface with housing providers in terms of training supports, IT and monitoring. 

 

The third group within the division also plays a support role in policy development but is primarily charged with encouraging the development of additional affordable housing.  Under the supervision of a Senior Housing Development Coordinator, this group will administer the rent supplement program, will provide operational policy support, undertake pertinent policy research and analysis and will actively foster the development of more affordable housing. 

 

From a Service Manager perspective, the proposed organizational structure contains all key elements to assume program administration responsibilities.  The Director of Housing will play a key role in acting as the designated Administrator on behalf of the Service Manager.  In this manner, the on-going activities of the Service Manager will operate under the direction of the designated Administrator who is in turn, responsible to City Council in its role as Service Manager.  This organizational structure will enable the Service Manager to operate at a functional level while remaining accountable to Council.  The respective roles in program administration and delivery can be defined as follows:

 

Roles of Council (as Service Manager):

·        Approve Joint Local Transfer Plan

·        Approve annual social housing budget

·        Approve framework for Service Agreements with housing providers

·        Nominate members for the province-wide Social Housing Service Corporation

·        Approve local standards related to eligibility, occupancy and financial testing

 

Roles of Administrator (as Service Manager):

·        Monitor and report on defined federal and provincial standards

·        Ensure compliance with service level standards

·        Monitor compliance with eligibility, benefit levels, financial testing and rent calculation requirements

·        Approve financial controllership process for Ottawa Housing

·        Approve Ottawa Housing and other provider budgets requiring annual approval

·        Monitor mortgage financing and renewals

·        Review capital plans and expenditures, where required

·        Provide technical advice and support

·        Undertake operational reviews, where required,  and manage projects in difficulty

·        Participate in activities to establish the Social Housing Services Corporation

 

As the City continues to move through municipal amalgamation, the Housing Branch is continuing to move forward with staffing.  However, given the current transfer status of social housing and municipal transition impacts, staffing in the Housing Policy and Programs division has progressed at a slower rate than expected.  At present, only the Manager position has been filled on a permanent basis.  The process of filling the three senior positions in the division has also been initiated.  Detailed descriptions for the balance of staff positions within the Housing Policy and Programs Division (as shown in Figure 2), are currently being completed.  It is expected that by January 1st of 2002, all positions in the division would be staffed.

 

As a result of the social housing transfer, staff at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be substantially affected by the change in responsibility for housing program administration.  Accordingly, the Ministry is obliged to make ‘reasonable efforts’ to accommodate the transfer of Ministry staff to local Service Managers.  To this end, the Minister has requested that new positions created within Service Managers’ organizations be offered to Ministry staff whose functions are transferring to the Service Manager. 

 

As a component of the transfer planning process, the Ministry has requested that Service Managers demonstrate similar ‘reasonable efforts’ by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard.  As a Plan requirement, an MOU must be executed outlining Service Manager intentions as well as identifying job specifications, salary ranges and work locations.   Where this cannot be completed by 14 May 2001, Service Managers must submit a Letter of Intent with their Plan, undertaking to provide the MOU and associated material by 25 June 2001.

 

With the assistance of human resource staff here at the City, negotiations continue with the Ministry towards completion of an MOU in a timely fashion.  However, as of this date, an MOU has not been executed.  As such, staff are including with this Plan a Letter of Intent which is attached as Appendix 2.  This Letter outlines the City’s intent to provide all required staffing information and a formally executed MOU by 25 June 2001.  Where it is possible to complete the requisite documentation prior to 14 May 2001, it will be submitted to the Ministry.  It should be noted that for those positions which have been staffed to date or are in the process of being staffed, the City has extended eligibility to Ministry staff.

 

Training

To properly prepare for taking on the social housing business, the Service Manager will need to ensure that staff are appropriately equipped to take on program administration.  This is especially important in light of the breadth of programs that will be administered and program reform that is being completed as part of the Stage Two transfer.  To this end, training modules will be available to Service Managers from the Ministry in a number of key areas:

·               Financial administration*

·               Funding and administration of federal programs*

·               Reporting requirements*

·               Risk management

·               RGI standards

·               Income Testing/Coordinated Access & Waiting List Management

·               Mortgage Renewal (optional)

* Denotes 2nd installment offered

 

The first installment of these modules will be made available starting in September of 2001.  A second installment will be provided for noted modules (appropriately tailored) three months prior to the formal Stage Two transfer.  Under the current City schedule for final transfer, this second round of training would occur early in 2002.

 

Training will also be available for providers, as they take on their new role in the service delivery model.  During the transfer period, the Ministry will offer the following training modules to housing providers at least twice:

·               Financial administration

·               RGI standards & Income Testing

 

In addition, the Service Manager will offer training at least twice on Coordinated Access & Waiting List Management.  This will coincide with completion of the review of the Registry and its role within the service delivery model.  A detailed training template outlining expected Service Manager requirements is provided in Appendix 3.

 

5.0  Business Practices and Processes

Service Managers must identify the business practices and processes which will be used to implement their responsibilities in social housing administration.  Some relate to the Stage One Transfer (the creation of Ottawa Housing Corporation and the transfer of administration of Ottawa Housing to the City) while others must be in place for Stage Two (the transfer of administration of non-profit and co-operative programs to the City). Due to the transfer of Ottawa Housing 1 January 2001, many of the business processes relating to administration of Ottawa Housing had to be developed prior to preparation of this Plan and are in place.

 

5.1  Ownership (Ottawa Housing Corporation)

The JLTP must identify whether any changes to the ownership of Ottawa Housing are contemplated.  The City currently has a consultant reviewing options relating to the relationships between the City (both as Service Manager and as sole shareholder), Ottawa Housing and City Living.  It is anticipated that this study will be completed in June 2001, the results of which will be reported to the Boards of the two corporations and to Council.  Pending results, the current service delivery model may need to be adjusted and appropriate business processes modifications made.

 

 

5.2  Operating Framework

 

Operating Agreements

Public Housing (Ottawa Housing Corporation):  There is no operating agreement per se for public housing as Local Housing Authorities (LHC) were direct agents of the Province.  With the transfer of the provincial stock into an LHC, the City will develop a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the provisions for funding and accountability.  This will be undertaken when all the regulations pertaining to the administration of the LHC are available, although interim arrangements are in place.

 

Provincially Administered Programs:  Currently there are a variety of non-profit and co-operative programs administered by the Province, each with its own operating agreement. The Province has committed to replacing these agreements for certain programs with a reformed uniform framework prior to transfer.  Under the Social Housing Reform Act, these agreements will be terminated at the time of transfer of administration to the City.  The Act sets out the parameters of an operating framework for these programs.  The City will develop Service Agreements to define the rights and responsibilities of each party, municipal standards or requirements and the mechanisms by which the City will communicate future modifications or program policy. It is understood that the Ministry or sector organizations may develop a template for this document that could be examined and modified for local use.

 

A significant program exception to this is the pre-1986 MNPs.  These projects, while Provincially administered, are governed by a tripartite operating agreement which has been executed by the sponsor, the Province and the federal government through CMHC.  It has been determined that due to the structure of this arrangement, the existing operating agreements for these project will remain in place.  This effectively means that pre-1986 MNP’s will be administered in a similar fashion to those federal programs which the Service Manager will be responsible for maintaining (see below).

 

Federal Housing Programs:  Federal programs have their own operating agreements which will be transferred as is to the City.  Under the provisions of the Canada/Ontario Social Housing Agreement, these agreements cannot be terminated or amended without the consent of the individual housing providers.  The City will continue to administer these agreements unless, by mutual agreement, it is agreed to modify or replace the agreement with the reform framework.

 

Rent Supplement Programs:  There are different forms of agreement for the various rent supplement programs.  These will continue as is for the present although in future, they will be examined to determine where harmonization is feasible.

 

Funding Framework

 

The Service Manager will be required to administer programs under a variety of funding arrangements, not all requiring the same processes and/or approvals.  As indicated in the organization plan, there will be financial and administrative officers within the Housing Branch who will be ensuring processes are completed and monitoring done.  The Housing Branch is working with the Financial Services Unit (FSU) of the People Services Department to ensure that appropriate systems and procedures are in place to fulfill all mandatory responsibilities.  The City of Ottawa’s financial systems will be utilized.  It should be noted that Ottawa is working with other cities and regions through the Ontario Regions Social Housing Group to establish a consortium which will develop, in cooperation with the Province, a business IT system for the non-profit program administration.  That process will take some time and until it is completed, interim systems will be required. 

 

Key components of the funding framework will be:

·        Approval of operating budgets: For some programs, approval of annual operating budgets will be required. This will be done by Housing Branch staff.  For Ottawa Housing, the Province approved a preliminary budget for 2001; modifications to this budget have recently been approved by Ottawa Housing’s Board of Directors.  A process is being developed jointly with Ottawa Housing for review and approval of future years budgets, including capital budgets.

·        Mortgage and rent subsidy system: A system will be developed to track mortgage and RGI subsidies where applicable. 

·        The City of Ottawa’s accounts payable system will be used to disburse subsidies.  It is intended that monthly subsidy transfers to providers will be handled electronically wherever possible.  This process is already established for Ottawa Housing.

·        The City has a Social Housing Database in a Microsoft Access system. Further expansion of this database may be considered, depending on the outcome of the work of the consortium and pending further information on the nature of the data to be transferred by the Province.

·        Annual financial returns from all providers will be analyzed by the Housing Policy and Programs unit to ensure compliance.  Standards will be developed to assess performance; any deviations will be assessed and action plans developed with the provider to ensure remedy. Criteria will be determined to identify a PID (Project in Difficulty) and rigorous procedures will be in place to correct breaches.  For Ottawa Housing, quarterly reports will be required for both the public housing program and the rent supplement program.

·        Housing Policy and Programs staff will handle all requests for special financial assistance, advice, guidance or technical support.  Guidelines will be established for approvals within financial limits and approval of the Director of Housing will be required for matters with significant financial implications.

 

New Funding Model and Benchmarking

 

The Province is in the process of establishing benchmarks in order to implement the new funding model and determine subsidies for each provider.  It is the Ministry’s intention to implement this new model at the point of transfer, scheduled for April 2002.  Should this process not be completed by point of transfer, transitional subsidy levels will need to be established.  The details and the reporting requirements will be spelled out in regulations.  The City of Ottawa is actively working with other Service Managers to prepare for this new model, including development of systems and software to determine mortgage subsidy and RGI subsidy.

 

The feasibility and effectiveness of applying the new funding model to public housing and federal programs will be assessed after the transfer is complete and experience with the new model has been evaluated.

 

Funding and Administration of Federal Programs

 

The federal government flows funding to the Province to cover the federal share of subsidies for cost shared programs (Federal/Service Manager) and federal unilateral programs.  The Province will transfer this funding (with some exceptions) to the Service Manager on a quarterly basis; the Service Manager will then dispense the funding to the appropriate groups as required by agreement. At the time of transfer, all project information and agreements will be transferred to the City.

 

The City of Ottawa will administer the existing agreements, dispensing subsidies as required and monitoring and reporting as required.  It should be noted that the requirements vary significantly between programs with some involving minimal monitoring and no subsidy flow, while others are more administratively onerous.

 

To the greatest extent possible, financial and IT systems developed for other programs, as described earlier, will be utilized for federal programs.  Analysis will be done on a program-by-program basis to determine the system requirements.

 

Rent Supplement Program

 

The administration of Rent Supplement (RS) programs is currently split between Ottawa Housing and the Ministry.  Generally, commercial RS is administered by Ottawa Housing and non-profit RS is administered by the Province, but this function will be assumed by the Service Manager with the transfer of administration of the non-profit programs.  Most agreements are for a 3 - 5 year term with options for renewal.  Some RS agreements are cost shared with the federal government; others are unilateral municipal funding.  The new Homelessness RS program is being financed and administered by the Province for the first 5 years using surplus federal money.

 

The City has designated staff within the Housing Policy and Programs division to be responsible for RS administration. Procedures and systems are being developed to:

·        assess and approve new applications and renewals

·        flow subsidies in accordance with existing agreements (to Ottawa Housing during Stage One)

·        obtain monthly or quarterly reports and monitor performance (from Ottawa Housing)

·        provide reports as required to the Province (pending regulations)

 

In preparation for the Stage Two transfer of provincially administered RS to the City, the opportunity exists to consider the amalgamation of the administration of the various RS programs.  An in-house review will be undertaken in the fall of 2001 to examine the options for program consolidation, leading to the design of an integrated system for implementation at the time of the Stage Two transfer.

 

 

5.3  Program Administration

 

Mortgage Financing and Mortgage Renewals

 

The Province will continue to manage mortgage renewals through the Ontario Competitive Financing Renewal Process (OCFRP).  As of January 2001, the Province is also responsible for federal projects which may be funded by CMHC direct lending or through OCFRP.  The Province will notify the Service Manager of upcoming renewals and the terms and conditions of new mortgages.  Under the reform system, housing providers are responsible for mortgage payments but their debt repayments are fixed and  the Service Manager must adjust the mortgage subsidy payment to the provider if the mortgage payments change.  Therefore, a system must be set up to track mortgage changes which would trigger adjustments in mortgage subsidy payments. 

 

The City does not yet have detailed information on all existing mortgages.  Comprehensive information was provided in Data Release V but this will require further updating.  It is intended that each project will be formally transferred by regulation and by transfer order.  Details on how the Province will transmit mortgage information are not yet available, although these are expected at least one quarter prior to the transfer date.  As indicated above, database expansion and linkages to financial systems will depend on the form of data transferred by the Province and the outcome of the work of the IT consortium.  System design cannot be completed until further information on the reform model and regulations are available.

 

Reporting and Monitoring

 

Reporting requirements to the Province will be set out in regulations.  In anticipation of the details, communication has already gone to Ottawa Housing to notify them of the type of information to be tracked and reported to the Service Manager. It is understood that the City will have to provide to the Province an annual audited report detailing how federal funds were allocated and an annual performance report (unaudited) relating to provincial standards.

 

Given the size of the portfolio to be administered in the City of Ottawa, it is intended to pursue automated systems for financial tracking and information reporting.  However, some smaller programs may be better handled by a separate spreadsheet system rather than trying to adapt main systems to incorporate all programs.  These decisions will have to be made at the detailed design level.  The City has a Social Housing Database system in Microsoft Access that has been updated regularly and used to assess the project information provided by the Province in its data releases.  However, no expansion of this database has been undertaken, given that the Province had earlier indicated that it would be developing and transferring to the Service Managers a new IT system.  In December 2000, the Province announced it would not proceed with system development.  As a result, Service Managers must now try to establish a consortium to undertake this work.  

 

As soon as regulations specifying Provincial reporting requirements are available, the City will proceed to develop protocols for information reporting by the providers, beginning with Ottawa Housing as a priority.

 

Risk Management

 

The primary elements of risk management relate to mortgage default, mortgage rate increases and unfunded capital requirements.

 

Default risk management is nominally divided between the Province and the Service Manager.  All social housing mortgages are insured by CMHC under the National Housing Act and guaranteed by the Province. In the case of default, the Province holds the contingent liability – i.e. it must reimburse CMHC for what CMHC has had to reimburse the lender.  However, the Social Housing Reform Act enables the Province to charge any default costs back to the Service Manager.  Therefore, it is essential that the Housing Branch perform regular operational and financial reviews of all social housing to ensure that defaults are minimized.  It should be noted that there have been no defaults amongst social housing providers in Ottawa in the past 10 years.  Under the Act, the City has the power to perform annual financial and operational reviews, determine breaches in accordance with regulations (yet to be developed), work with the provider to address problems and notify the Provincial Risk Management Centre of potential defaults. (See PID section further on for more information).

 

For Ottawa Housing, there are no mortgages.  Financing is by way of CMHC held debentures which the Province will pay for by reducing in-kind the federal subsidies transferred to the City.  Ottawa Housing therefore, has no responsibility to directly pay debentures. 

 

Mortgage rate risk will rest solely with the City for all social housing which is reformed under the provisions of the Act (i.e., the formerly provincially administered programs). Mortgage renewals will be the responsibility of the Province.  Therefore, it will be in the interests of the City to monitor mortgage trends and liaise with the Province to ensure that the best rates are being obtained or that alternatives are being considered if rates escalate.  For example, CMHC, a number of years ago, returned to direct lending with federal programs because CMHC was able to obtain better rates on borrowing than current mortgage rates.  Therefore, the Housing Policy and Programs division will:

·        Monitor mortgage rate trends (in conjunction with the People Services FSU)

·        Establish a mechanism to liaise with the OCFRP (Ontario Competitive Financing Renewal Process) to obtain the best financing arrangements for local projects

·        Establish a system to monitor upcoming mortgage renewals in order to liaise with the Province and to forecast impacts on the City’s annual subsidy requirements

 

Unfunded capital requirements refer to capital works that are necessary but are not funded by existing capital replacement programs.  Non-profit and co-operative housing generally have replacement reserves that are contributed annually as a component of the provider’s operating budget.  Recent studies have indicated that these reserves may be seriously underfunded.  Ottawa Housing does not have replacement reserves but has been provided with a capital budget annually, usually around $5 million that has been cost-shared almost 50/50 between the City and the federal government.  At the present time, the federal block funding is only guaranteed for 5 years.  In order to manage this area of potential risk, the Housing Policy and Programs division will:

·        Develop a plan for a Social Housing Risk Reserve (perhaps as part of the existing Housing Reserve Fund).  Under the Canada/Ontario Social Housing Agreement, the federal government provided $58,000,000 to Ontario as a contingency against future risks. The Province has committed to transfer some of this one-time funding to Service Managers.  Ottawa will receive $3.5 million and it is proposed that this would become the core funding for the Social Housing Risk Reserve.

·        Require Ottawa Housing to establish a long-term capital replacement plan (Ottawa Housing currently works on a 5 year capital plan) and establish an annual capital budget review and approval process, including procedures for dealing with unscheduled capital works.

·        Assess results of provincially commissioned consultant studies of public housing capital needs and alternatives for funding same.

·        Review MMAH studies on replacement reserves when available and determine whether further local analysis is required to assess adequacy of reserves and potential solutions.

·        Determine relationship with the Social Housing Services Corporation (yet to be established) which will be responsible for pooling and investment of replacement reserves.

 

Monitoring/PID (Project in Difficulty) Procedures

 

The Housing Policy and Programs division will establish processes and procedures to monitor performance of providers and compliance with program and legislative requirements.  Different programs will require some differentiation of processes and/or procedures.  Forms will be developed or provided by MMAH to obtain information from the providers for reporting purposes.  These forms will also be used for monitoring purposes to obtain early warning of potential mortgage default and of non-compliance with the Act or federal operating agreements.  To this end, the Housing Policy and Programs division will:

·        Develop Annual Information Returns (AIR) and other required reports as specified by regulation.

·        Establish a schedule for receiving AIR’s or conducting annual reviews with providers (process depends on the terms of the project’s operating agreement)

·        Establish benchmarks to flag potential PIDs.  Initially, the current provincial definition will be used whereby a PID is a project experiencing one or more of the following problems:

o       Mortgage and tax arrears

o       Evidence of a board being unaccountable for decisions

o       Financial mismanagement/fraud

o       Major technical/capital repair problems

o       Conflict of interest

o       Continued late submission of documents

o       Significant accumulated debt

o       Unauthorized sale/transfer/amalgamation

·        Develop procedures for dealing with PIDs.

 

In preparation for the eventual transfer, the Housing Policy and Programs division will continue to monitor the status of current identified PIDs with local MMAH staff and strive to ensure that the Ministry has arranged for appropriate remedies prior to transfer.  Where issues are not resolved by date of transfer, the transfer of that project will not occur until remedies have been achieved.

 

 

5.4  Program Delivery

 

Coordinated Access and Waiting List Management

 

Under the Act, Service Managers are responsible for establishing and maintaining Common Waiting List Systems to coordinate application and assessment processes for rent-geared-to-income units in all formerly provincially administered housing, with the exception of special needs housing.  The Service Manager may designate another party to carry out this function.  At a minimum, the System must include:

·        information about social housing

·        a common application form

·        an assessment of eligibility

·        a common waiting list

 

At the present time, this function is performed by the Ottawa-Carleton Social Housing Registry on a purchase-of-service basis with the participating providers. The Registry is directed by a board which is comprised of providers and housing advocacy organizations.  This system has been working very well and will be continued.  However, some modifications will be required in order to meet the Service Manager accountability requirements as set out in the Act.  It is intended that the Housing Branch will undertake a consultative review with providers and housing sector stakeholders to assess the best way in which to meet those requirements.  The second component of the review will also assess the feasibility of including other social housing providers (e.g. federal programs) in the common system.  This component of the review will be undertaken once the transfer is complete.

 

In order to improve information dissemination and access to social housing, options will be considered to use municipal client service centers and community agencies to dispense information and application forms.

 

Affecting the operation of coordinated access systems are certain standards, some of which will now be the responsibility of the Service Manager.  For example, the Province will stipulate only one priority for access to social housing, that being for victims for family violence.  At present, there are a number of other priority areas (e.g. newcomers, youth, homeless) and there are differences in the priorization for different sectors.  It will now be the Service Manager’s responsibility to determine if priorities in addition to those stipulated by the Province should apply locally.  It is intended that the Housing Branch will undertake a project to examine standards in a number of areas including the following:

·        Priorities for access

·        Minimum rent levels

·        Calculation of income

·        Occupancy standards

This study will commence when the regulations affecting these areas are available.  It will include consideration of best practices and will involve consultation with providers, the Registry and other social housing stakeholders.

 

RGI Standards and Income Testing

 

Under the Act, Service Managers are responsible for financial testing, which, by Ministry definition, includes eligibility determination, the treatment of income and assets and rent calculation, all functions which are currently handled by housing providers.  Service managers can set up processes to undertake these functions or can enter into agreements with housing providers or other organizations to carry out these functions.  The Province is in the process of developing new RGI standards which will harmonize RGI policies and rules for public housing, non-profit and co-operative housing (provincially administered) and some new programs.  These standards will not apply to federal programs or pre-1986 MNPs.  The study referenced in the above section will include analysis of options for this area of responsibility, including the potential for harmonization of systems with federal agreements.  Notwithstanding options which may emerge from this approach, the Service Manager will maintain its accountability role with the Province in this matter.  If feasible, this study will be completed prior to the Stage Two transfer.

 

6.0  Financial Plan

Service managers are required to submit a financial plan and a Council approved budget for the administrative costs to implement the JLTP.  There are several sources of transition funds for which Service Managers are eligible; these funds are purpose specific and time limited.  Ongoing administration will have to be funded by the Service Manager.  Some of the administrative costs for administering social housing have been billed to Service Managers for the past three years; these billings will cease effective 1 January 2001 for public housing and at the time of transfer for Stage Two.

 

6.1  Transition Funds

 

Start-up Funds

 

A total of $5.6 million was established Province-wide for Service Managers to undertake the Joint Local Transfer Plan preparation and to prepare for set-up to take on administration of social housing in the two stages identified by the Province.  Application was made by the Region in November 2000 for $683,000 to cover estimated transition costs as follows:

 

Professional staff & consulting fees (including OHC/City Living Study, IT assessments, project management and JLTP development)

$325,000

Office Set-up (including fit-up, refurbished furniture and moving expenses)

$245,000

Office Equipment and Supplies (including computers, printers, fax machines, and some new telephones)

$64,140

Operational Expenses (including training, translation, printing, courier and travel expenses)

$49,000

Total estimated budget

$683,140

 

 

However, only $207,200 was approved by the Ministry, 75% of which has just been received with the balance to be forwarded following acceptance by MMAH of a final reconciliation report.  Staff are currently reviewing ways to address this shortfall within the approved 2001 budget envelope, given that no additional Ministry funding for these costs is expected.

 

Title Normalization Funds

 

The Province had committed to providing over $30 million to fund title normalization for the LHCs which were created 1 January 2001.  The guidelines and proposed allocations among Service Managers have not yet been made available; however, a two-year time frame has been identified within which this process must be completed.  At this time, the commitment of these funds is uncertain, although titles will still require review and adjustment (if necessary) prior to transfer.

 

 

Funds for LHC Property Management System

 

The Province made a commitment to fund the replacement of antiquated property management/financial systems for LHCs.  Ottawa Housing is proceeding to convert to YARDI, a fully integrated property management software system, at a cost of approximately $350,000.  It is not known to what extent the Province will fund this amount, although $8 million Province-wide has been set aside for replacement purposes.

 

One-time Federal Funds

 

In the Canada/Ontario Social Housing Agreement, the federal government transferred $58 million to Ontario in reserves for risks associated with potential future increases in costs related to social housing such as building reviews and capital repairs.  Ottawa is being allocated $3,507,000, although guidelines for use and the actual funds have not yet been provided.

 

Statutory Entitlement Funds

 

The Province is providing $1.5 million to cover obligations for existing LHC employees (sick leave credits, vacation credits, eligible severance entitlements, etc.).  Funds are to be held ‘on account’ to be disbursed when employees depart, or disbursed through existing HR policies or terms of employment.  Having just received this funding, the Service Manager is working with Ottawa Housing to establish an appropriate process for managing the distribution of these funds.

 

Restructuring Funds

 

On 27 March 2001, the Province announced a new restructuring fund to cover transition costs.  Ottawa is being allocated $345,700.  Criteria for the use of these funds will be forthcoming. 

 

6.2  Ongoing Funds for Program Administration and subsidies

 

For 2001, the estimated budget for social housing in Ottawa is broken down as follows:

 

Budget Element

City

Component

Federal

Component

Total Estimated Budget

Public Housing

(Ottawa Housing Corp.)

$11,041,674

$11,590,080

$22,631,754

Rent Supplement – LHC

$5,431,737

$4,567,414

$9,999,151

Rent Supplement - NP

$1,487,388

$490,705

$1,978,093

Non-Profit Housing + OCHAP

$41,072,365

$13,512.599

$54,584,964

Total

$59,033,164

$30,160,798

$89,193,962

Note:  All figures used in this table are estimates only and subject to further adjustment

 

The estimates have been provided by MMAH and will be modified as further adjustments are received.

 

For 2001, the federal component for public housing and rent supplement (LHC) will flow through the City; the federal component for rent supplement (NP) and non-profit housing will continue to be disbursed directly by MMAH to the providers until Stage Two transfer.  Therefore, the gross and net budgets for Ottawa for 2001 are:

·               Gross                  $75,190,658

·               Federal Share     $16,157,494

·               Net City              $59,033,164

 

The net City requirements have been included in the City’s budget which has been approved by Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee.  Included in the budget is an amount of $817,250 for administration costs for 2001.  To date, administration costs have been handled as follows:

 

Ottawa Housing Corporation Administration - Historically, public housing – as Provincial entities - have obtained a number of services from the MMAH head office, the Ontario Housing Corporation and the Ministry’s local regional office.  In the past three years, Service Managers have been billed for these services.  In the approval of the Ottawa Housing 2001 budget, Ontario Housing Corporation added into its budget $1.85 million to cover the services previously applied centrally as well as the MMAH cost of administering the public housing program.  Ottawa Housing has since revised its budget to exclude the amounts that relate to program administration which are now a Service Manager responsibility and which are included in the City’s budget. 

 

Non-Profit Administration - In 2000, MMAH began billing Service Managers for 50 % of the cost of administering the non-profit and co-operative housing programs.  For Ottawa, this amounts to $316,396 annually and Ottawa will continue to be billed for this amount until Stage Two transfer.  This amount is included in the above budget. 

 

Federal Administration - Under the provision of the Canada/Ontario Social Housing Agreement financial transfers are to include funds for the cost of administration of the programs.  These funds have not been separated out in the quarterly transfers of federal funding to the Service Manager.  The City will assess the appropriateness of the amount of federal funding that is retained for administration costs under this provision.

 

Communications Plan

 

As in any change environment, communication is a key element of the transfer process as the City takes on the business of social housing administration.  Despite changes in local municipal government, consultation with stakeholders has been maintained since it was clear that responsibility for social housing would be devolved.  Throughout the plan development, City staff ensured that key stakeholders were consulted on the proposed Plan through an Open House meeting and key focus group sessions.  All current housing providers were invited to an information sharing session on April 3rd, where sector representatives, Ministry staff and City staff presented on issues related to the transfer plan.  Detailed discussions were also undertaken with the Steering Committee of the Social Housing Providers Network, a cross-section of housing providers and advocate agencies from across the City.  These discussions were most useful in exchanging information on the transfer process and getting feedback on the proposed Plan.

 

Staff are most interested in continuing this meaningful dialogue through the Plan implementation phase leading up to the transfer of responsibility.  As such, a communication strategy has been developed as part of the Plan to detail how this will be achieved.  Communication with housing providers and stakeholders will be undertaken by:

·               Establishing a housing stakeholder advisory group, composed of a cross-section of providers and housing stakeholders, to provide regular input through the transition phase leading up to the formal Stage Two transfer.

·               Regularly reporting on implementation progress to all providers through open house meetings and communiqués.

·               Holding provider training sessions prior to and after the transfer.

·               Working with sector organizations to coordinate information sessions, address provider concerns and schedule training.

 

Post-transfer, there will be a continued need to have clear and open dialogue with providers and stakeholders involved in the social housing service area.  Under the communication plan currently being developed by the Housing Branch, opportunities to establish these links will be determined in conjunction with other housing services of the Branch. 

 

8.0  Work Program for Plan Implementation

It is the intention of the Service Manager to complete the formal transfer of housing by April of 2002.  To move forward with Plan implementation by this date, a proposed work program has been created in Gantt chart format (see Figure 3).  Given the outstanding information required and the range of decisions still to be made prior to the formal transfer date, the work program is general in nature.  Accordingly, it identifies the required steps and their proposed timing that will lead to the successful transfer of social housing.

 

The work program in Figure 3 is organized by the sections identified in this Plan.  Action items noted within each section have been grouped under broad tasks with expected timing reflected.  In general terms, the service delivery model and organizational change elements are in-progress and are expected to reach substantial completion by early summer of this year.  Much of the operating framework and program administration elements will be addressed over the summer, once the Ministry has issued a number of outstanding, process-related regulations.  The program delivery and financial planning elements are scheduled to be addressed in the fall of this year.  Training components are noted towards the end of this year and into 2002, with regard for the availability of this resource from the Ministry.  Communication elements are identified throughout the process, noting key milestone opportunities for open house and information sessions.

 

While proposed time frames have been suggested in the work program, they are reliant on the timely flow of information that will enable the Service Manager to make informed business decisions about service delivery requirements.  As a result, flexibility has been provided within the schedule to accommodate minor timing adjustments.  Under this current schedule, the Service Manager proposes to effect the Stage Two transfer of social housing by April of 2002.  As such, notice to the Ministry of the formal transfer date will be required to be given by the Service Manager at least 90 days prior (in this case, in January 2002).


 

 

 



Distribution of Social Housing by Program &

Administrative Responsibility- April 2001

 

Social Housing To Be Under City of Ottawa Administration

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Programs

Units

 

1986 Federal/Provincial Program

2772

 

Homes Now

2463

 

Jobs Ontario Homes

562

 

1978 Non-Profit Housing Program

1931

 

Public Housing Programs

8589

 

P10,000 Program

511

 

P3,000 Program

114

 

P3,600 program

317

 

Community Sponsored (1973) Program

598

 

Limited Dividend Program *

910

 

Post 1985 Urban Native Program

162

 

Total Units                                                           

18929

 

 

 

 

Rent Supplement Programs (Estimate)

 

 

 

 

 

Private Landlord Programs (Prov, Commercial, F/P): Active Units

1425

 

Non-Profit Programs (Prov, Comm, F/P, OCHAP, CSHP)**

 1036

 

 

 

 

Total Rent Supplement (not including federal coop programs)

2461

 

 

 

Social Housing Not Under City of Ottawa Administration

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Administration:

 

 

·        Federal Cooperative Housing Programs

2305

 

·        Urban Native Programs (Inuit Non-Profit)

63

 

Total Federal Administration

2368

 

 

 

 

City Living (MNP) Administration:

 

 

·        City Equity & Rooming House Programs

229

 

·        Limited Dividend Program*

895

 

Total City Living Administration

1124

 

 

 

 

Provincial (MCSS, MOH) Administration:

 

 

·        Dedicated Supportive Housing (previous prov admin)

299

 

·        Dedicated Supportive Housing (now fed admin - negotiating transfer)

522

 

Total Dedicated Supportive Housing

821

* Total of 1805 LD units - mortgage cleared on 895 units (no City admin responsibility)

** NP Rent Supplement represents additional administrative responsibility but not additional units

 


 City of Ottawa:  Social Housing Distribution, April 2001

 

Provincial Administration:

Municipal, Private Non-Profit & Co-operative Housing

 

Sponsor Type

Project Owner

Project Name

Admin

Devel Program

Units

coop

Better Living Residential Coop

Better Living Coop

prov

fedpro

50

coop

Cardinus Coop

Cardinus Coop

prov

fedpro

78

coop

Carpenter Housing Cooperative

Carpenter Coop

prov

p10000

84

coop

Cartier Square Housing Coop

Cartier Square

prov

p10000

67

coop

Conservation Cooperative Homes

Conservation Coop

prov

p10000

84

coop

Co-operative d'Habitation Cote Est Inc.

Coop Cote Est

prov

jobhome

84

coop

Co-operative d'habitation Desloges

Desloges Coop

prov

homenow

129

coop

Co-operative D'Habitation Voisins

Coop D'Habitation Voisin

prov

fedpro

76

coop

Dalhousie Coop

Cambridge #2

prov

fedpro

16

coop

Dalhousie Coop

Lebreton Cluster

prov

fedpro

17

coop

Dobbin Housing Coop

Dobbin Coop

prov

homenow

47

coop

Eagleson Housing Coop

Eagleson Coop

prov

fedpro

45

coop

Glenn Haddrell Coop

Glen Haddrell Coop

prov

homenow

85

coop

Hazeldean Housing Coop

Hazeldean Coop

prov

fedpro

78

coop

Kanata Cooperative Homes Inc.

Kanata Coop Homes

prov

jobhome

86

coop

Lao Village Housing Coop

Lao Village Coop

prov

p10000

84

coop

Mario De Giovanni Coop

Mario De Giovanni Coop

prov

homenow

123

coop

Shefford Heritage Coop

The Shefford

prov

homenow

37

coop

St. George's Housing Coop Inc.

St. George's Coop

prov

fedpro

69

coop

Tannenhof Coop

Tannenhof Coop

prov

fedpro

74

coop

Yule Manor Coop

Yule Manor Coop

prov

fedpro

96

mnp

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Blohm Court

prov

fedpro

78

mnp

City Living

Cameron Court

prov

fedpro

78

mnp

City Living

Esson Place

prov

fedpro

70

mnp

City Living

Fairlea Court

prov

fedpro

104

mnp

City Living

Karsh Court

prov

fedpro

80

mnp

City Living

Lavigne Court

prov

fedpro

66

mnp

City Living

Lebreton #4

prov

fedpro

16

mnp

City Living

May Nickson Place

prov

fedpro

74

mnp

City Living

Options II (Gilmour #4)

prov

fedpro

56

mnp

City Living

Orchard Grove

prov

fedpro

26

mnp

City Living

Revell Court

prov

fedpro

54

mnp

City Living

St. Peter's Court

prov

fedpro

81

mnp

City Living

Strathcona #1

prov

fedpro

64

mnp

City Living

Strathcona #2

prov

fedpro

41

mnp

City Living

Strathcona #3 + #4

prov

fedpro

156

mnp

City Living

Strathcona #7

prov

fedpro

69

mnp

City Living

Strathcona - Reno #1

prov

fedpro

36

mnp

City Living

Strathcona - Reno #2

prov

fedpro

6

mnp

City Living

Strathcona-Nancy Smith

prov

fedpro

23

mnp

City Living

Strathcona-Sentier

prov

fedpro

49

mnp

City Living

Winthrop Court

prov

fedpro

72

mnp

City Living

Allard Place

prov

homenow

50

mnp

City Living

Brian Bourns Place

prov

homenow

28

mnp

City Living

Bronson Terrace

prov

homenow

30

mnp

City Living

Hasenack Place

prov

homenow

43

mnp

City Living

Hintonburg Place

prov

homenow

84

mnp

City Living

Hunt Club Park

prov

homenow

70

mnp

City Living

Lexington #1

prov

homenow

76

mnp

City Living

Mayview

prov

homenow

54

mnp

City Living

McCartin Place

prov

homenow

58

mnp

City Living

Rockingham

prov

homenow

35

mnp

City Living

Scotthill

prov

homenow

115

mnp

City Living

St. Laurent Place

prov

homenow

112

mnp

City Living

Strathcona-Wiggins

prov

homenow

46

mnp

City Living

Thorncliffe Court

prov

homenow

61

mnp

City Living

Vachon Place

prov

homenow

50

mnp

City Living

Cumberland Street

prov

homenow-l

84

mnp

City Living

Lady Stanley Place

prov

jobhome

62

mnp

City Living

Marion Dewer Place

prov

jobhome

104

mnp

City Living

Bathgate Court

prov

nphp-m**

70

mnp

City Living

Beasuejour #4

prov

nphp-m**

5

mnp

City Living

Beausejour #3

prov

nphp-m**

8

mnp

City Living

Bruyere & Belanger Manor

prov

nphp-m**

74

mnp

City Living

Cahill Place

prov

nphp-m**

99

mnp

City Living

Cairine Court

prov

nphp-m**

65

mnp

City Living

Christie Place

prov

nphp-m**

62

mnp

City Living

Dubeau Court

prov

nphp-m**

27

mnp

City Living

Eva Taylor Place (Carling Poulin)

prov

nphp-m**
*

8

58

mnp

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Hayley Court

prov

nphp-m**

*

14

mnp

City Living<