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Dec 1st, 2022

Did you know: Tenant Debt Resolution Coordinators are Here to Help

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Did you know? OCH has a team of people who can work with tenants who fall behind on their rent payments. We know many reasons this can happen, and we are here to help.

In November, we sat down with a TDRC named Ivonne and asked her about her work.

For Ivonne, there is no typical day. Each day consists of covering the queue, attending meetings, and follow-up with tenants, Property Managers, Tenancy Support Workers, and third-party agencies like Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

Tenant Debt Resolution Coordinators are also tasked with supporting tenants who fall behind on rent. In extreme cases, this results in eviction – but that’s always the option of last resort.

Ivonne, who has been with OCH for a year and a half, said that the ultimate goal is to preserve tenancies.

“Some challenges we face are finding the right balance between doing our job but showing our human side, being empathetic and treating everyone with dignity and respect,” she said. “We work closely with Tenancy Support Workers to support tenants who need it, third-party agencies, and social workers. We do everything we can to help a tenant stay housed.”

Ivonne said the pandemic has led to an increase in some families having issues paying their rent due to job losses. It’s also led to many people experiencing mental health challenges. And changes in requirements around annual review documents have resulted in residents losing their subsidy and being unable to afford market rent.

“Some people still aren’t aware of the resources available to them,” she said. “It’s part of our job to educate them and provide resources.”

Where can people go if they need help with their rent:

Ivonne said some of her challenges include household income changes that can’t be considered in-year or out of annual, which results in an annual review. That can lead to an increase in rent and difficulty making payments. That and long wait times at the Landlord Tenant Board can result in residents accruing more arrears – ultimately making it more difficult to come to a payment arrangement.

Ivonne said she thrives on the challenges of the job.

“It allows me the opportunity to work closely with the public and make a difference,” she said, adding that her highlights are when she saves a tenancy.