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City to write off $500K in rents from social housing units

City to write off $500K in rents from social housing units

Since Greater Sudbury took over running the city's social housing last year, they also have to deal with problem tenants who don't pay their rent.

Next week, city council will be asked to write off $502,240 in uncollectable rents from the Greater Sudbury Housing Corp., which the city took direct control of in 2018. Under provincial rules, uncollectable rents have to be written off at the end of each year.

With 1,848 housing units, the city is the single biggest landlord in Greater Sudbury. Accounts that are older than six months, with no payments made and no payment agreement in place, are earmarked for write-offs, says a staff report headed to city council June 20.

The number and amounts of unpaid rents has surged in recent years, the report said, in part because some residents have lost subsidies and are paying market rents.

Another cause is “the significant delays to obtain orders for evictions from the Landlord and Tenant Board.”

“Staff are attempting to mitigate tenant arrears through pilot projects with social services and the service manager,” the report says. “The social service pilot endeavours to protect tenancies and avoid evictions for non-payment of rent and loss of subsidy.

“Staff continue to monitor the success of the pilot projects and review best practices with other housing providers in order to reduce rent arrears and former tenant write offs.”

While the amount is large, the report said the housing budget already includes money set aside for unpaid rents, so writing off the $500,000 won't cause budget issues.

The largest single write offs are $85,961 for 35 units at Rumball Terrace, $84,121 for 22 units in Ryan Heights and $74,313 for 25 units in the Donovan area. The majority of the units – 125 of 183 – are rented to families, with the rest to single adults.

Read the full report here.


Darren MacDonald

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