Northumberland County celebrates first class of RentSmart graduates

Cobourg, ON – November 25, 2019 – Five local landlords and eight residents are being celebrated as the first in Northumberland to achieve RentSmart certification through a new program offered by Northumberland County and The Help Centre of Northumberland. This program is designed to equip both tenants and landlords with the tools necessary to maintain successful tenancies.

“RentSmart encourages action toward increasing housing stability and combatting homelessness in Northumberland,” states Acting County Warden Bob Sanderson. “Tenants want to be able to rent safe, suitable and affordable homes, and landlords want tenants who will care of their residence and pay their rent on time. This program provides invaluable education and support that encourages both tenants and landlords to work towards one common goal: successful tenancies.”

RentSmart is a program offered at locations across the county at no cost to participants, facilitated by Northumberland County Community and Social Services and The Help Centre of Northumberland. Licensed trainers provide two specialized curriculums: one aimed at residents looking for rental properties or interested in becoming more informed tenants, and one targeted towards landlords. Each curriculum encourages participants to increase their knowledge and confidence, with topics ranging from the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, to essential skills such as budgeting, effective communication and tips for living with roommates, housemates and neighbours.

“We launched RentSmart in June 2019 as part of ongoing initiatives to improve housing stability in Northumberland and end the cycle of homelessness,” states County Director of Community and Social Services Lisa Horne. “The response from both tenants and landlords, as well as community partners, has been fantastic. This program clearly responds to an interest in our community for tools that support individual residents in contributing to improved housing stability across Northumberland. As a result of the program’s successful first year, we plan to extend the timelines over the next 12 months and offer further sessions, to expand the impact within our community. We are excited to have new trainers licensed this month to increase the capacity across the county.”

“This program is an excellent way to bring residents together to discuss best practices when it comes to renting a home,” states The Help Centre Northumberland Landlord Liaison Worker and RentSmart Facilitator Miri Henshall. “RentSmart provides a valuable avenue for tenants and landlords to share ideas, experiences and questions in a comfortable environment that promotes learning.”

For more information about the program and future sessions, visit Northumberland.ca/RentSmart.