September 16, 2020 (ONTARIO) –
Today, FRPO is releasing a timely report with the help of leading rental market analytics firm, Urbanation. The report finds that strong demand factors of (pre-pandemic) job growth, immigration, and high home ownership prices have combined with lagging rental construction activity that will help create a shortage of 200,000 units in Ontario’s rental market over the next decade. While COVID-19 has taken a toll on the economy, pre-pandemic demand pressure will return once the economy rebounds and borders re-open, which renders this supply gap unavoidable.
“This report should be a wake-up call to those who influence the development approvals process,” said FRPO President & CEO Tony Irwin. “We need to do everything we can—now more than ever before—to close the supply gap and give Ontarians more homes and more choice in rental housing.”
One solution FRPO proposes to the Government of Ontario and municipalities across the province is a dedicated process to approve the construction of rental buildings on available land where these structures already exist, known to those in the sector as infill development. These projects are the most viable in that they can be built without purchasing land, one of the largest costs in rental construction, and can also be accommodated in more affordable market areas, a key issue in addressing new housing supply.
The report also outlines the results of an exercise undertaken by Urbanation, where approximately 950 rental sites in the GTHA were identified as opportunities for infill development to double and in some cases triple the number of rental units on a site. The data estimates that just over 176,000 units could be built on an existing rental-zoned property. Additionally, 35% of these sites are within 800 metres of a current or future rapid transit station, consistent with the Ford government’s push to establish major transit station areas and create transit-oriented communities.
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The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is the province’s leading advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO represents over 2,200 rental housing providers who supply and manage homes for over 350,000 tenant households across Ontario.
Chloe Hill, Communications Manager
Phone: 416-385-1100 x30
FRPO’s 2020 Annual Charity Golf Tournament may have looked a little different this year in response to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. However, one important tradition stayed the same. We are pleased to announce that FRPO held a virtual session and presented Interval House with a $50,000 donation. We would also like to recognize Yardi Canada Ltd, Wyse Meter Solutions Inc and Rogers Communications who each generously donated $10,000. Over the last eleven years, this event has provided over half a million dollars to Interval House.
A message from our President & CEO Tony Irwin “Thank you to everyone who tuned into this special presentation. Interval House is a designated essential service helping some of the most vulnerable women and children in the city. This has been a particularly difficult year and they have been faced with many new and unexpected expenses in order to fulfil the requirements of PPE Provisions, sanitization measures etc. Now more than ever it is important we show our support and we are honoured to do our part and help. We truly value our relationship with Interval House and all the work that they do. We look forward to seeing you all at the 2021 Tournament!”
ABOUT INTERVAL HOUSE: Interval House is the first centre for abused women and children in Canada. They are leaders in the campaign for women’s empowerment, providing innovative, specialized services that help women survivors of intimate partner violence and their children transform their lives and break the cycle of abuse.
To find out how you can help or make a contribution to Interval House please use this link:
In the midst of a global pandemic that’s been so challenging for rental property providers and residents alike, it’s been difficult to focus on anything else for those of us in the rental housing space.
The sheer scale and scope of the impact of COVID-19 on the rental housing sector has made it easy to forget that the pandemic will pass. But it will. And the problems and issues that faced rental property owners and those seeking quality rental housing prior to COVID-19 will remain, further exacerbated by recent events.
Rental housing is in hot demand not just in Ontario; it’s a trend that’s growing worldwide. In the post-pandemic world, when many people may be struggling to get back on their feet financially and some may have even sold homes to stay afloat, it’s likely that demand for such housing will probably increase.
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp in fact says, it’s going to urgently promote measures to accelerate the supply of rental housing across the country due to the alarming number of coronavirus-related mortgage deferrals across the country.
According to an upcoming study we commissioned at FRPO with Urbanation, the rental housing supply gap in Ontario has quickly grown to a level today that is more than twice as high as originally calculated. Factors such as outsized economic momentum in the province, reduced homeownership rates and much stronger than anticipated increases in population growth have pushed the demand for rental housing well above 40,000 units per year as the decade came to a close.
Net migration to Ontario has been a particularly large contributor to the upward adjustment, having reached over 200,000 persons in each of the past two years- doubling the annual average recorded during the preceding five-year period.
The FRPO-Urbanation report made projections based on a multitude of data from Statistics Canada, the CMHC and other sources. Under the study’s projection for rental demand and supply, the Ontario market will require approximately 42,000 units to be built annually until 2031, but will be delivering approximately 24,000 units per year, resulting in a shortfall of approximately 18,000 units per year.
That’s despite the growing demand for what’s known as purpose-built rental housing- housing designed and built expressly as long-term rental accommodations.
A PWC Canada report earlier this year found that demographic and economic trends are favoring purpose-built rental housing. And Local Logic, a Montreal-based company that tracks shifting lifestyle demands of renters, sees more families renting rather than owning, which is also resulting in a demand for more diverse rental properties.
In addition to the aforementioned net migration factor, the fact that many Baby Boomers are looking to downsize and choosing to rent, and millennials are finding the option of renting an attractive and potentially more affordable alternative to buying a home, are also contributing to the trend.
So what to do about the lack of inventory?
High demand and scant supply are making it more attractive for developers to consider building and investing in purpose-built rental housing. The Ontario government’s removal of rent controls on new units as of Nov. 15, 2018, for example, is also helping to fuel more investment in rental housing.
But difficulties in getting financing can still be an issue for those seeking to develop purpose-built rental housing. Lenders often feel more comfortable financing condo complexes since they require developers to pre-sell most of the units in the planned project. There’s more certainty and peace of mind for lenders since the developer leverages the commitment to purchase pre-built units and the deposits from interested buyers.
With purpose-built rental housing, on the other hand, developers complete construction before renting out the units. That means securing financing for purpose-built rental housing can be more difficult, and that’s why condo construction in Ontario is predominant in the residential construction sector in the province’s larger communities.
From January 2018 to June 2019, for example, Statistics Canada found there were 48,934 condominium starts in Ontario compared to 12,412 rental starts.
Will that change in the post-pandemic world? It’s hard to say, but one thing is certain: Ontario is trying mightily to close that gap.
Since taking office in June 2018, the Ford government has made significant progress on improving the viability of building more rental housing across Ontario. Most significantly, it passed Bill 108, which was designed to incentivize the creation of more affordable rental housing in Ontario. It’s also amended the development approval process so shovels can get in the ground more quickly, something that is desperately needed if we hope to address our housing crisis.
This type of leadership will hopefully mean those looking to rent will soon have more choice and more options in the province of Ontario, where stakeholders have recognized the need and seem intent on filling it.
Rental Property Providers Taking Great Strides to Ensure Residents are Safe- A Message from our President & CEO Tony Irwin
The COVID-19 lockdown has presented rental property providers with an unprecedented set of challenges.
As we head into the third month of social distancing and the virtual halt of big sectors of our economy, most residents at rental housing properties are sheltering in place 24/7. This has required rental property managers to go to great lengths to ensure the health and safety of their residents, much of which has resulted in increased costs.
Common areas like elevators and lobbies must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
Front-line cleaning staff must be supported with protective equipment, and many properties have hired more staff to ensure their buildings remain clean and safe every hour of every day.
There’s an endless stream of packages and deliveries arriving at most buildings, including groceries and vital supplies, that require further sanitation efforts and near constant outreach to residents. Many of our members are personally delivering supplies to the doorsteps of vulnerable residents and checking in on them regularly. One has even made the news in northern Ontario for distributing food essentials to residents.
Property owners and managers are also keeping all residents well-apprised of all the latest COVID-19 developments, via email and by posting notices in public spaces. That includes provincial guidance on social distancing and goals to slowly reopen some businesses.
It’s a challenging time for all of us, but there is now a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The Ford government says much of Ontario’s economy is reopening in the days to come, including construction sites, retailers outside of malls, marinas, golf courses and kennels.
It’s heartening to know that during this historic time, rental property providers and residents came together to weather the coronavirus storm and will continue to do so.
The first of the month is just around the corner. May 1 is going to be another challenging time for rental property owners and residents alike as we settle into the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario declared a state of emergency about six weeks ago, prompting thousands of businesses to shut down, some of them permanently. More than 400,000 Ontario residents lost their jobs in March alone; that number is likely to have climbed higher in April.
A survey conducted by FRPO shows that small rental property owners were hit disproportionally hard by April 2020 rent defaults spurred by COVID-19 job losses. But many residents whose incomes were lost or reduced due to the pandemic were able to pay their April rent because of savings, or because they were paid for work performed prior to the shutdowns. As May approaches, that may not be the case, meaning May 1 could certainly be even more difficult for rental property owners and residents, who may still be waiting on government assistance cheques if they qualify for them. And it’s again expected that small rental property owners will be hit hardest by their residents’ loss of income.
Our plea to all residents is to pay your rent if you can. If not, reach out to your rental property managers and discuss a fair arrangement for both of you. As one small Toronto rental property owner told Toronto Life magazine: “If tenants need extra time, just ask.”
In the meantime, rental property managers across the province are going to great lengths to ensure their residents have safe, secure and sanitary housing. Some small rental property owners have even dipped into their own savings or run up their lines of credit to ensure their residents can stay put.
Rental housing providers are deferring payments and rent increases, waiving late fees, and providing interest-free support to residents who cannot pay their rent on time.
Other bigger rental property owners are putting together protective packages for site teams across the province. They’re donating to Habitat for Humanity. Some are holding contests and awarding $100 in groceries to the winners, and publicly thanking generous residents who are making face masks for cleaning staff and neighbours at their buildings.
It’s been said repeatedly but it’s worth saying again: We are all in this together. With Ontario announcing some measures this week to slowly and carefully reopen the province, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully May 1 may mark the beginning of the end of the total shutdown of the province’s economy, and we’re inching towards normalcy. In the meantime, let’s continue to watch out for each other and to keep the lines of communication between rental property owners and residents open.
April 17, 2020 (TORONTO) –
We are still collecting data, and the numbers below are preliminary, but we have heard from Ontario’s rental housing providers that:
Only 76% of residents made their full rent payment at the beginning of April
About 7% have not paid their full rent, but have made some payment
About 15% of residents have not made any payment for April, to date
They are projecting a shortfall in rent of 16% for the month of April by the time the month finishes
The biggest burden is falling on smaller rental providers (those with 1-9 units), who are projecting a 21% shortfall in rent for the month of April
Rental housing providers have already started hearing from residents who will be unable to pay rent for the month of May. Our members expect residents to have increasing difficulty covering their rent as the COVID-19 crisis continues over the next few months.
However, our members are doing their best to work with residents on alternate payment arrangements. Some are offering standard terms such as spreading the April rent payment over a number of weeks or months, while others are working with residents on a case-by-case basis to find an arrangement that’s fair and consistent with their ability to pay.
Our message to residents is that if you cannot pay your rent, reach out to your property manager by phone or email to explain the situation and we will work with you to find a solution. But if you can pay, please pay your rent so we can help those who cannot.
We are also continuing to speak with governments to share what we’ve learned so far, and advance solutions such as direct rent subsidies aimed at helping residents cover rent through these challenging times.
About the data
FRPO surveyed members to understand the realities on the ground during the COVID-19 crisis. So far, we have received responses from 114 rental housing providers covering 217,848 rental units in the Province of Ontario. Respondents were well balanced between small, medium and large rental housing providers.
FRPO will continue to update these figures as final rent payment numbers come in from those residents who will be paying their April rent spread out over the month.
The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is the province’s leading advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO represents over 2,200 rental housing providers who supply and manage homes for over 350,000 resident households across Ontario.
Tony Irwin, President and CEO Phone: 416-385-1100 x20 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The past few weeks have been unprecedented for all of us here at FRPO. Both rental property owners and residents have been affected by the global coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing shutdown.
I would like to start off by thanking the front line staff and operations teams who are working tirelessly to ensure their residents are being kept healthy and safe by following rigorous cleaning and sanitizing regiments in order to limit the spread of the virus.
Property owners and managers across Ontario have made arrangements with residents to ensure they have secure housing as most Canadians continue to stay home. They are keeping their residents informed as soon as new information becomes available during this ever-changing situation. Reminding and sharing best practices like social distancing in elevators, frequent hand washing etc. There’s also virtual contests going on in many buildings encouraging residents to stay social and engaged from their rental units! They have also done an outstanding job at keeping their front line staff protected by providing them with the tools they need to maintain a healthy work environment.
Yesterday, a member shared with me that a resident manager and assistant manager at a building in Guelph went door to door checking in on elderly and vulnerable residents to see if they needed any grocery items. These two team members then took a shopping trip and delivered the items to their residents in a safe manner. Thank you, these are the kind of efforts in our communities that will help us get through this together!
I have also heard stories of residents, showing amazing support and appreciation for our front-line health-care workers, cheering them on from their balconies a nightly ritual at properties across the Province.
All in all, it’s been uplifting and gratifying to see how rental housing providers and residents are coming together to ensure they get through the crisis as partners. We expect this type of teamwork to continue in the weeks to come.
In conclusion, I would like to wish you all a Happy Passover and Easter! Although these holidays will be like no other in recent memory, let us remember the message of hope. Please continue to stay healthy and safe.
March 27, 2020 (ONTARIO) –
Our members sincerely care about our residents. We value you and your families. At this time of emergency, especially, we want you to be safe and secure in your homes. We know that many residents have had their incomes disrupted by the COVID-19 emergency. For some, it may be challenging to pay rent on April 1, 2020.
To take some of the stress out of the situation, we have the following advice on what to do if you cannot pay your rent due to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Reach out to your property manager by phone or online (to respect physical distancing).
- Explain the situation.
- Offer to pay what you can, if possible.
- Ask about government programs you might qualify for, and for the remainder, discuss a plan for how you could repay over time.
Remember, it is important to please pay your rent if you can. To keep buildings operating, clean, and safe, we need to pay our mortgages, operating costs and employees too.
We understand the situation is unpredictable. Some financial help is already on the way, and all levels of government have already taken steps to help maintain incomes or reduce costs:
- The Government of Canada has introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which provides $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to individuals who have lost their income as a result of COVID-19. The federal government is also providing a 75% wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses so they can keep people employed.
- The Government of Ontario has set aside $148 million for assistance through Municipal Service Managers, which will use the Canada-Ontario Housing Agreement to direct more resources to tenants. The Province has also committed additional financial relief for low-income seniors, families with children and individuals with student loans.
- Some municipalities have offered grace periods for municipal payments such as property taxes, water and other utilities, and our members commit to take that into account in making arrangements and calculating arrears.
We are hopeful that these measures will help benefit our residents, but they may take time to reach those in need. We understand. We urge you to keep the lines of communication open with your property manager.
The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is the province’s leading advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO represents over 2,200 rental housing providers who supply and manage homes for over 350,000 resident households across Ontario.
Tony Irwin, President and CEO
Phone: 416-385-1100 x20
(Toronto, March 23) This afternoon the Greater Toronto Apartment Association, the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, and senior representatives from eight of the City’s largest rental housing companies had a very informative and productive meeting with Mayor Tory, Deputy Mayor Bailão, Councillor Crawford and Councillor Thompson, to discuss the rental industry’s response to COVID-19.
While we are working with all governments on a national and provincial solution(s), we know that some of our residents are experiencing financial difficulty. If you are, please contact your property manager or landlord and advise them of your current conditions. Landlords will review each situation on a case-by-case basis and work with each resident on a plan.
Our members are committed to the health and well being of our residents. We will continue working with all stakeholders on a comprehensive program that will help our residents through this crisis.
FRPO President & CEO
GTAA President & CEO
(Toronto, March 18) – FRPO has been actively involved in discussions with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as the Government tackles the many challenges associated with the COVID-19, including the continuity of residential tenancies. Our President and CEO Tony Irwin sent a letter to Minister Clark outlining a proposal to mitigate potential non-payment of rent due to an inability to obtain employment income or EI supports.
We’re now heading into the second week of social distancing, and it could stretch on for weeks or months. Millions of people are working from home. Landlords and rental property managers are working long hours as their tenants stay close to home, ensuring common areas are routinely sanitized and disinfected so that everyone residents, maintenance staff, delivery people alike remains safe from COVID-19.
This is definitely a stressful time for the sector. There is fear if tenants are requested to leave work, they’ll be unable to make rent. Thankfully, both the Ontario and federal governments are putting measures in place that will help assist tenants pay their rent. Ottawa has announced an emergency care benefit for self employed people, and a deferral of income tax owing until August 2020. It’s also expanded the eligibility for employment insurance. Landlords should do their best to ensure their tenants know about these initiatives.
Indeed, a key requirement for landlords during these uncertain and unsettling times is communication. Landlords value their relationships with their tenants, and it’s critically important right now to make efforts to keep all lines of communication open.
Providing regular updates as important information is released is recommended, to keep residents in the loop of all the steps being taken to reduce transmission of the virus. This might mean letting your residents know, what extra efforts on-site cleaning staff are taking to ensure the property is following the Ontario Public Health’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfection plus any other additional measures being taken by all levels of governments to assist during this time.
It would also be helpful to try to keep residents abreast of any updated maintenance policies, and the need to review maintenance and repair requests in occupied units in order to reduce risk to tenants, staff and repair contractors. It is recommended that urgent repairs should take top priority, but others may need to be deferred for the time being in order to reduce any chance of exposure.
Landlords may also want to advise their residents that they’ll be working with them to ensure their housing is secure. These are difficult times, and this could just be the beginning. It has always been important for landlord-tenant relationships to be based on trust and mutual respect. But never more so than right now.
We’re in the midst of a global pandemic, an urgent situation that’s requiring all of us to dramatically alter the way we live and work. The Ontario government has declared a state of emergency, and recreation centres, libraries, private schools, daycares, churches, bars and restaurants have been closed down. The federal government has announced Canada is closing its border to most foreign travellers.
It’s all aimed at doing whatever it takes to protect our citizens.
Landlords have a major role to play as well in these widespread efforts to contain COVID-19.
Rental property owners have a legal duty of care to tenants. With many people now working from home, it’s more critical than ever that landlords take the utmost care to maintain safe, clean rental units and residential properties.
That means more frequent cleaning of areas where lots of people converge, including lobbies and laundry rooms, with disinfectant products. Placing alcohol-based hand sanitizers in common areas is also a smart idea.
Rental property owners should also keep tenants well-apprised and informed of the latest coronavirus developments. Notices should be posted at building entrances, on tenant notification boards and in common areas providing the latest updates on the situation, including guidance from local public health authorities. If property owners have a list containing the email addresses of all their tenants, they should be sending regular updates via email as well.
If there is a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19 in any rental property, local public health authorities should be immediately notified, and any medical directions they provide should be followed diligently. But due to privacy laws, landlords should not identify by name anyone in the building who’s been infected to other tenants. Landlord BC, in fact, says only general information should be shared, such as “there is a confirmed case on the second floor” to protect the privacy of the affected individual. It’s the role of public health authorities to reach out to any other tenants in the building who may have come into contact with the infected person.
And of course, landlords and tenants alike should follow these instructions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid shaking hands and instead use another form of greeting/acknowledgment
- Stay home if you’re sick
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth with tissues or your arm
- Dispose of any used tissues immediately, and wash your hands
- Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoid travelling abroad
- Avoid visiting hospitals or long-term care facilities if you’re unwell
- If you’re in Toronto or Ottawa, and you’ve travelled outside of Canada, including the United States, self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days after arriving back in the city
The staff and Board of Directors at FRPO are deeply committed to the health & safety of our members and those we serve in the rental housing industry. We share in the increasing global concern about COVID-19.
Therefore we have decided to postpone the following events until further notice.
– Future of Submetering Webinar
– Spring Social
– Spring Hope Food Drive
RTA Seminars – We are currently looking at alternative formats to deliver these important educational sessions and will provide an update in the coming days.
As this situation continues to evolve, please be assured that we will be constantly reassessing and adapting our processes to adhere to the latest updates and health guidelines.
Please note: the FRPO office has been closed until further notice, all staff are working remotely and are available via phone and e-mail.
Thank you to the over 1,200 guests that attended this event held on Thursday, December 5th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The MAC Awards celebrate innovation, commitment to quality and everything that goes into promoting the brand of rental housing. Each year our members continue to raise the bar and this year was no exception.
We are pleased to announce this year’s winners and offer our sincere congratulations.
Lifetime Achievement Recipient
A. Britton Smith, Homestead Land Holdings Limited
Best Property Management Website
Rhapsody Property Management Services in Partnership with Riocan Living
Advertising Excellence for a Single Campaign
Hollyburn Properties Limited – #MyHollyburn
Advertising Excellence – Social Media
Hollyburn Properties Limited
Best Lobby Renovation
Starlight Investments – 1475 Bloor Street, Mississauga
Best Curb Appeal
DMS Property Management – 145 Wellington St West, Aurora
Best Suite Renovation under $20,000
QuadReal Property Group – 6550 Glen Erin Drive, Mississauga
Best Suite Renovation over $20,000
Minto Apartments – 61 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
Rental Development of the Year
Tricon Capital Group and OP Trust – The Selby: 25 Selby Street, Toronto
Rhapsody Property Management Services – 25 Montgomery Avenue, Toronto
Outstanding Community Service
Greenrock Real Estate Advisors
Sifton Properties Limited
Leasing Professional of the Year
Laura Bkhet – MetCap Living
Property Manager of the Year
Gemma Melchior – Melchior Management 777 Corporation
Resident Manager of the Year
Laura McNabb- Skyline Living
Customer Service Award of Excellence
Oxford Properties Group
Company Culture Award of Excellence
Greenrock Real Estate Advisors
Marvin Sadowski Memorial Award for Certified Rental Building Member of the Year
Melchior Management 777 Corporation
Check out this RHB “Out and About” Segment featuring our 2019 Gala!