Connecting Communities Tenants’ School: Rural and Remote Communities

Project Name

Connecting Communities Tenants’ School, Phase 2: Focus on Rural and Remote Communities

Project Partners

Lead Agencies: Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA); Brantford Housing and Community Legal Clinic; Niagara North Community Legal Clinic and Niagara Region Community Services; Port Cares; Grey Bruce Community Legal Services; Rural Legal Services; Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic
Legal Partner: Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario

Project Summary

The FMTA is undertaking a second phase of the Connecting Communities Tenants’ School (the Tenants’ School) – we’ll be working with 6 rural communities as project partners to deliver a Tenants’ School in each local area. We completed a successful first phase of the Connecting Communities Tenants School, through which we provided in-depth training for settlement workers on housing law and resources.

Legal Topics for Training

The content for each local Tenants’ School will include basic building blocks of housing law as well as areas of housing law that respond to priorities set by each local community. The foundational building blocks of the Tenants’ School curriculum include the following:

  • Finding Housing: Legal Rights and Strategies
  • Repairs
  • Evictions
  • Rent calculations in the private market
  • Calculating RGI in Social Housing
  • Advocating for and with your client

Target Audience

The second phase of the Communities Tenants’ School will target the communities of Brantford, Niagara, Port Colborne, Grey–Bruce County, Sharbot Lake and Thunder Bay.

Key Activities

Although this project is the result of a widespread demand for a number of local Tenants’ Schools for front line workers in rural areas, it has become apparent that there may be a range of delivery strategies used in hosting the individual Tenants’ Schools in the 6 rural communities. Specific formats for each community will be decided through a local collaborative process.

Need for Training

This project has emerged in response to the successes of the original Tenants’ School pilot that was funded in 2010, the Connecting Communities Tenants School funded in 2012 and to the subsequent groundswell of interest in this model of legal information training for front line workers. Rural and remote communities are almost always underresourced with a limited number of workers who are required to be knowledgeable about a wide range of issues, including legal information. A key benefit of this second phase project is that these communities will not need to start from the ground up in offering critically needed training, but will be able to create opportunities for training built upon a successful mode that can be adapted and adjusted to meet local needs.

Innovative Approach

The second phase of the Tenants’ School is innovative in its approach of working with rural service providers and identifying region-specific and population-specific community partners.