Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby LjP » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:18 pm

2 relatively minor changes which could drastically reduce landlords' motivation to discriminate against potential tenants who are on any form of assistance:

1. When a tenant on OW/ODSP stops paying their rent, their shelter allowance should no longer be paid pending resolution of the issues. The money should be held in trust and paid out as per the orders of the LTB.
This would reduce tenant's motivation to stop paying rent (no winfall), and it would ensure that landlords have at least some faint hope of recovering judgements.

2. Currently, pay-direct arrangements (where OW/ODSP pay landlords directly) can be made BUT can be stopped with a single phone call to the worker. There is no requirement that the landlord be notified, by either the tenant or worker. If the same form which is used to establish the pay-direct arrangement were modified to include a consent for notice, when pay-direct arrangements are changed, a notice would be mailed directly to the same address to which cheques normally are sent. This would increase the likelihood that landlords would be willing to accept tenants on assistance.

Feedback on these ideas is welcome.

If you're a landlord, would you be more likely to consider tenants on assistance if they were implemented?

If you're a tenant on assistance, would you object to their implementation? Why or why not?
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby Svartr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:26 pm

LjP wrote:1. When a tenant on OW/ODSP stops paying their rent, their shelter allowance should no longer be paid pending resolution of the issues. The money should be held in trust and paid out as per the orders of the LTB.
This would reduce tenant's motivation to stop paying rent (no winfall), and it would ensure that landlords have at least some faint hope of recovering judgements.


Agreed. Being on ODSP, I don't have an issue with this. Shelter Allowance should be used for Shelter.

2. Currently, pay-direct arrangements (where OW/ODSP pay landlords directly) can be made BUT can be stopped with a single phone call to the worker. There is no requirement that the landlord be notified, by either the tenant or worker. If the same form which is used to establish the pay-direct arrangement were modified to include a consent for notice, when pay-direct arrangements are changed, a notice would be mailed directly to the same address to which cheques normally are sent. This would increase the likelihood that landlords would be willing to accept tenants on assistance.


I don't have an issue with rent being paid directly to the landlord. But I'm a little confused on why landlords would be more willing to accept tenants on assistance if they receive notification that direct payment has been stopped by the tenant. What would landlords do with the notification?
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby LjP » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:04 pm

The way it is now, tenant makes the call, landlord doesn't know a damned thing until the cheque doesn't show up (and the tenant runs out of lies/excuses).

If there is a notice requirement, at least the landlord knows that there is an issue right away .... the way it is now, tenant can 'neglect' to mention that they're moving or no longer intending to pay rent, and landlord doesn't have a clue until the cheque doesn't come and/or in some cases, the tenant runs out of stories about why there is no rent.

When I was doing the rooming house thing, I had one tenant on direct pay - he stopped the cheques without a word to us .... by the time we knew he was moving, he was already gone, and we were out not only the $450 he owed (because he had used up his last month's rent LONG before), we lost another month's rent which was totally unnecessary - had we known, we could have filled it.
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby LjP » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:06 pm

I've had many potential tenants tell me that they were low risk tenants (all evidence to the contrary) strictly on the basis of their willingness to set up a direct-pay arrangement.... but the way things are now really does little/nothing to reduce risk to landlords.
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby Svartr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:13 pm

We actually told our landlord BEFORE contacting our worker that we were going to stop direct payments during our move (and I'm glad - there was so much ledger balancing caused from the transfer, that it would have been a nightmare if they had continued getting full rent). Our landlord just basically stressed to pay rent before the first.

LjP wrote:I've had many potential tenants tell me that they were low risk tenants (all evidence to the contrary) strictly on the basis of their willingness to set up a direct-pay arrangement.... but the way things are now really does little/nothing to reduce risk to landlords.


Well, I always thought it was a good point to bring up to prospective landlords. But I also thought that, considering we were asked to provide rental receipts every 4-6 months, that there were consequences if we didn't pay our rent. Honestly, I fully expected to be evicted with zero help from anyone if I chose not to pay my rent. This is before I learned, based on your experiences and others like it, how messed up it is for small landlords.

It's sad how one thing that COULD be viewed positively (direct payment for rent, what could go wrong?) is so messed up.
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby LjP » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:29 pm

I find it really frustrating.... changing these 2 relatively small things could make, I think, a big difference ... but can't seem to get anyone to listen.
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby Svartr » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:51 pm

But why not?
It's so freaking common-sense...

I mean, it only benefits those who are intending to take advantage of both OW/ODSP and their landlord.
Why should someone who clearly has no sense of personal accountability, be able to get away with it?

It's not fair to anyone.
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Re: Low/no Cost Suggestions to reduce discrimination

Postby LjP » Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:00 pm

It seems like common sense to me.

Going to draft another letter to send to all 3 parties (leader, plus housing minister/critics, and whoever else - maybe minister/critics for social services, also) ... track responses (and lack thereof) .... was going to do on blog, but maybe will set up a forum just for it here. Hmm...
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