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Rapid Re-housing program

Attention Landlords in the City of Kingston and County of Frontenac.

Are you:

  • Looking to fill your rental portfolio?
  • Looking to become a contributor in your community?
  • Looking for tenants who can afford to pay their rent?

Participate in the Kingston/Frontenac Housing First/Rapid Re-housing program.

About the program

This program partners landlords with Housing Support Workers assisting people in securing permanent housing A subsidy is available which allows the tenant's rent to be calculated based on tenant income to make it truly affordable for the tenant.

In addition to knowing that the rent is affordable to the tenant and the balance of rent is paid to the landlord, there are several other benefits to landlords participating in the rent supplement program.

Program advantages

Eliminate advertising costs

Access to a pool of ready-to-rent tenants

Prospective tenants have access to subsidies.

Eligible prospective tenants receive a subsidy to help them cover their rent.

Help with payments.

Prospective tenants are pre-screened and assisted in accessing a stable source of income.

Possibility of accessing funding which has been set aside under this program to help get them through those rough spots.

Program participants are attached to needed services.

We work with them on an ongoing basis to make sure they have the support they need to succeed.

Housing support workers conduct regular home visits to ensure that new tenants are stabilized in their new environments and that they are getting the support they need.

Neutral party to mediate problems.

It can be reassuring to know that there is someone to call. We care as much about our relationship with our landlords as we do our new tenants. We need everyone to make our program work. The job of the Housing Liaison Worker is to be a neutral party, ensuring that everyone is treated fairly and that problems are resolved quickly and impartially.

Satisfaction from helping others.

Everyone should have safe and affordable place to live. Some people make mistakes, but everyone deserves a second chance. By helping house our prospective tenants, you are playing an integral role not only in helping individuals take charge of their lives, but also in making your community a better place to live. Together we can make a difference in our community!


About the Housing First approach

The City of Kingston & County of Frontenac's 10-Year Housing & Homelessness Plan aims to end chronic homelessness by 2023. The plan proposes a new approach to housing and services called Housing First that delivers a framework to offer more intensive supports. The housing-first approach provides access to permanent housing with supports that help individuals obtain and retain housing. This approach has been shown to enhance social inclusion, community integration and self-sufficiency among individuals and families who are homeless.

What does the City want to achieve by having a Housing and Homelessness Plan?

The City, through the plan, has developed objectives and targets related to housing and homelessness, as well as specific actions to achieve those objectives. This will help form the City's priorities over the next years. One priority is to provide an integrated system of housing and supports that ends chronic homelessness.

Why does the City have a 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan?

In 2011, the new Housing Services Act came into effect, requiring all Service Managers in Ontario to develop a ten-year plan by December 31, 2013. The City of Kingston is the service manager for Kingston and the County of Frontenac.

How did the City develop the Plan?

The City hired a consulting firm who had international experience in homelessness. Throughout 2012 and 2013, the City, with the assistance of consultants and community service providers, developed the priorities and strategies to address homelessness. At the same time the Municipal Housing Strategy, approved by Council in 2011, was updated.

How does the Plan propose to end homelessness in the City of Kingston and County of Frontenac?

The Plan envisions that the evidence-informed changes it is making to the homeless services system (e.g., coordinated services and planning amongst service providers, increased housing with individualized supports to stabilize people in housing, sharing of data, and data-informed program and system improvements) by the year 2023, will result in:

  • 80% of chronically homeless stably housed
  • 50% reduction in use of shelter beds
  • 7 day average length of stay in shelters
  • No one homeless for more than 30 days

What does "housing first" mean?

Housing First is both an approach and a housing program designed to end homelessness. It is a recovery-oriented approach to homelessness that involves moving people who experience homelessness into independent and permanent housing as quickly as possible, with no pre-conditions, and then providing them with the right intensity of housing case management supports to help them stabilize and maintain their housing; preventing them from returning to homelessness.

How will services be different for persons who are homeless?

Individuals and families will be able to go to one of several access locations where the process to address their needs begins immediately. They will no longer have to "figure it out" on their own. Those who are chronically homeless will be able to get the intensive housing supports they need to obtain and maintain housing. Their cycle of repeated episodes of homelessness will end.

How will these changes be implemented and when will these changes start?

The changes to end chronic homelessness begin in January 2015. Over the last 4 months, the City with its community partners have been working hard to ensure the transition is smooth and the staff delivering the services have the training they need to be successful.

How will these changes be communicated to individuals who use the services?

The City will prepare key messages that each agency will include in their informational material, be it brochures, websites or public engagements.

What are the responsibilities of the agencies in implementing the Plan?

The agencies are critical in the implementation as they are the providers of the programs and services. Agency responsibilities are detailed in service agreements with the City. In addition, the City in collaboration with the service providers, have developed Program Operating Policies which set the standard for services across the system.

What support is the City offering to help agencies make the changes?

The City has provided additional funding to support the transition and ensure agencies can have staff in place and ready to provide high quality services. The City has and will continue to organize and fund training events for agencies at the leadership and staff levels. Working groups have been organized by the City in each of the Program areas and together agencies and City staff have further developed the service delivery policies.

Why is the number and providers of emergency shelter beds changing?

As the housing first system changes are implemented there will be less need for emergency shelter because the most chronic users of emergency shelter with the greatest barriers to housing will move into housing and be provided individualized housing supports.  There is a phased approach to reducing shelter beds in the community which will continue as the system matures.  The new system will shift investment from managing clients' needs while in shelters and while homeless to moving them into housing and providing supports.

How will the changes to shelter beds affect people who need to use an emergency shelter?

The new system will reduce the number of people who enter homelessness through increased investment in homelessness prevention and diversion to "natural" alternatives to shelter such as staying with friends and family members. Chronic shelter users and those with the highest needs will be moved into permanent housing with intensive supports, thereby reducing the need for emergency shelter beds.  However, there will always be people who will need to use emergency shelters. More resources will be directed to providing shelter users with increased assistance in exiting emergency shelters which will reduce their stays, and reduce the need for as many shelter beds in Kingston.