Council approves Perth Meadows 2021 rent freeze budget

·2 min read

NORTH PERTH – Council approved a revised 2021 Perth Meadows operating budget which removed plans for the annual rent increase on May 17.

In March, Lois McLaughlin, chair of the Perth Adult Life Care Residents (PALCR) committee, presented the annual budget for the operations of the Perth Meadows campus. At the meeting, Coun. Matt Richardson raised concerns that all residential rentals in Ontario could not have any increases in 2021.

In response to concerns raised by council, the PALCR committee revised the budget.

The Government of Ontario has passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels for most tenants in the province.

With the rent freeze ending on Dec. 31, landlords can give proper 90 days’ notice beforehand for a rent increase that takes effect in 2022.

It was determined the six rental units in the main Perth Meadows building would be excluded from any rate increase but the committee was less clear whether increases could still be applied to the life lease units.

The committee considered council’s suggestion to request a legal opinion, but it was felt the fees would cost nearly as would be earned through a two per cent rate increase.

As well, there were concerns raised about the fairness of applying a rate increase to only life lease occupants and the committee felt it should be mindful of council’s concerns and the provincial intent to provide some financial relief to Perth Meadows’ residents, so the revised did not include any increases.

Committee members did decide to ask council to consider moving forward with a two per cent fee increase on Jan. 1, 2022.

“Typically the fees are increased June 1 of each year,” said McLaughlin. “We felt that this would provide more than adequate notice for the residents if we were to increase the fees as of Jan. 1.”

It was suggested the fee schedule be amended by council so that annual increases would be implemented on Jan. 1 of each year instead of June 1 going forward.

Perth Meadows operations and capital projects are funded by the occupants and residents. The rates are set to be self-funding with no profit allotment. The committee remains watchful to ensure that occupancy fees and rental rates ensure cost recovery.

“I’m glad the committee has re-evaluated its position on this,” said Richardson. “I guess it would be prudent to say that… giving the standard 90-day notice come September I would think that would provide a little bit of relief for the 2021 period during COVID.”

Council approved the amended budget for the operation of the Perth Meadows development totalling $614,043.00, with no monthly life lease and rental rate increases for 2021.

Although council supported the planned two per cent rental increase slated for Jan. 1, it will have to approve amending the Rates and Fees Bylaw at the next council meeting on June 7.

Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner

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