Report to Committee: TABOR APARTMENTS – RE-HOUSE 24 FAMILIES AND CEASE THE PER DIEM

With Councillor Mathieu Fleury, I am bringing a report to Community and Protective Services Committee on February 18 to end the daily apartment rentals and re-house the 24 families in permanent housing.

Please see the full report here and read the summary below.

 

REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS

That the Community and Protective Services Committee recommend City Council

approve that:

1. The City launch a proper procurement process to house the 24 families

living at the Tabor Apartments (120-140 St. Denis); and

2. That the City cease the hotel per diem relationship and use of Tabor

Apartments (120-140 St. Denis) no later than July 1st, 2021.

BACKGROUND

The City of Ottawa currently has a service agreement with the Ottawa Inn, at 215

Montreal Road, for temporary lodging for families experiencing homelessness

In 2015, the City’s relationship with that owner expanded into use of nearby residential

properties in Vanier for emergency shelter use. After community concerns were brought

forward regarding the use of the residential properties, the City’s Auditor General

initiated an investigation which was tabled at the Audit committee in July 2019 in the

Report Review of Emergency Shelter Program – Use of a Specific Hotel. The City has

stopped emergency shelter uses in Vanier residential area except for the Tabor Apts.

Presently, Housing Services continues to use 120, 130, 140 St. Denis (also known as

Tabor Apts) as residential properties for emergency shelter use.

Three major concerns remain: lack of lease and rights for tenants in these residential

properties, lack of competitive City bidding process, and questions about respecting

residential zoning for hotel use.

The City pays around $110/night per unit, which amounts to close to $3 300/month for

each units – much higher than the monthly market rent of these units which is estimated

to be around $1500 per month. The average length of stay for households is close to 4

months with some families exceeding one year.

One landlord is benefitting from City business and taxpayer money without a

transparent procurement process ensuring the greatest use of taxpayer dollars. The per

diem costs of the Tabor Apartments could be better utilized to provide permanent

housing for families.

If all 23 units are fully utilized 365 nights per year at $109.00 per night, the yearly cost

for the Tabor Apartments is $ 915,055.00.

Further, these tenants are not equipped with rights afforded by a lease which does not

provide them the tools to effectively and efficiently mitigate issues with their unit (pest,

maintenance, etc.) or landlord behaviour before the Landlord Tenant Board or

Residential Tenancies Act.

As a result, the Community and Protective Services Committee, at its meeting of

November 19, 2020, received the following Notice of Motion to be considered at a

subsequent meeting:

WHEREAS the issues identified with Tabor Apartments at 120-140 St Denis are

alarming and are putting children and their parents at risk of poor mental and physical

health outcomes;

WHEREAS tenants do not enjoy the benefits of protections through the Landlord Tenant

Act as other tenants would with leases;

WHEREAS the per diem costs of the 24 units at the Tabor Apartments could be better

utilized to provide permanent housing for families;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City launch a proper procurement process to

house the 24 families living at the Tabor Apartments (120-140 St. Denis);

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City cease the hotel per diem relationship and

use of Tabor Apartments (120-140 St. Denis) no later than July 1st, 2021.

DISCUSSION

The Community and Protective Services Committee will task the Community and Social

Services Department to launch a proper procurement process to house the 24 families

living at Tabor Apartments and cease the per diem relationship and use of Tabor

Apartments no later than July 1st, 2021.

Phone: 613-580-2484
Address: 110 Laurier Ave W, Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1