For Immediate Release. RentSmart is here, Ontario.

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MEDIA R E L E A S E                         September 19, 2017

A HOMELESSNESS SOLUTION…RentSmart Ontario

St. Catharines, ON – A consortium of five agencies providing housing services in Niagara is launching RentSmart Ontario, an interactive education and support program designed to increase housing stability through successful tenancies for both tenant and landlord across the province.   RentSmart Ontario is part of a national initiative led by Ready to Rent BC and includes similar programs in BC, Alberta and Manitoba.  Thanks to a two-year, $325,400 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, awarded earlier this year, RentSmart Ontario will be providing education and support to tenants and landlords with the goal of successful tenancies.

“The introduction of the RentSmart Ontario program will assist those who are economically vulnerable to have better access to housing education and support. By improving the accessibility of these important community services to citizens across Niagara and all of Ontario, we will be helping to ensure that citizens facing barriers to housing have greater financial stability for years to come.” – Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines

“Access to affordable housing is a barrier that is faced by too many Canadians. Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, the Government of Canada is partnering with community organizations to reduce homelessness. Supporting programs like RentSmart Ontario, provides organizations with the tools to support those at risk of becoming homeless in the Niagara region and all of Ontario. Providing community members who are vulnerable with the education and knowledge to make the right housing choices will help prevent the cycle of homeless.” – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

About RentSmart Ontario

RentSmart curriculum is interactive education focused on developing reliable tenants, preventing eviction and damages and ending the homelessness cycle.  RentSmart is for anyone who wants to understand their role as tenants, may face barriers to housing, and want to reduce those barriers.   RentSmart builds knowledge, confidence and life skills. Upon completion of the RentSmart course, participants earn the RentSmart Certificate of Completion. The certificate can be a verifiable 3rd party reference and lets landlords know that graduates have taken the time to learn how to be a good tenant.

“Renting is not an innate skill.  RentSmart is a proven educational approach that builds successful tenancies for both tenant and landlord.  This is key to housing stability, prevention of homelessness and strong communities.”  Kristi Rivait, Co-Executive Director, Ready to Rent BC

For landlords wanting to be part of solving housing issues in their community, RentSmart Landlord delivers professional development courses to tenant management, support workers, property managers, and landlords.. This course builds knowledge, skills, and capacity in housing tenants who may be experiencing life transitions, best practices in being a landlord, systems for successful tenancies, and how to access the network of community supports to address issues if they arise.

RentSmart Ontario will build support networks in all regions of the province with community housing and homeless service organizations by training frontline housing workers as Community Educators. RentSmart prepares Community Educators with a certification course including best practices in housing stability and homelessness prevention, adult education and transformative training principles.  RentSmart offers a four-day training ‘RentSmart Educator’ that prepares Community Educators to deliver the RentSmart curriculum to the clients they serve.

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca

To learn more about RentSmart or become a Community Educator and ensure all Ontarians have the skills and knowledge to secure housing stability contact:

Sherry Madden, Provincial Community Engagement Coordinator, RentSmart Ontario

Office:  289-362-4784 ext. 26 Email:  sherry@rentsmartontario.ca

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada Homelessness Partnering Strategy

 

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