Thursday, March 5, 2009

It Sure Helps to Know How Things Work!

I'm not sure about you but I know that March is out to get me! Warm one
day; cold the next! My poor nose has been running it's very own marathon.
My computer says 'freezing rain' for Friday. Whaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So here is something you can do on your computer to make the time pass
faster. Go on a South African Safari. There are 2 drives and a walking safari each day. Check their schedule. Then convert the times to Eastern Canadian. It is seven hours later in South Africa if you are in Ontario. There is a Drive at about 10:30 p.m. our time. Turn on the sound and click the little arrow in the corner of the viewing screen - that makes the screen bigger. Sit up and watch for elephants, leopards and other animals as the guide drives you through the Sabi Game Reserve. It's live - a new and different show every day!
Here is the URL:

While you are waiting, here is a bit of 2100 news.
We got Mr. YoungerNoMore's problem with the dates straightened out. Shaun
and Florence from Housing came here to explain it. This applies to everyone
here but it is perhaps more confusing to the seniors among us as they used
to be on a different system. That system changed when the Social Housing
Reform Act (Bill 128)
came into effect in 2000.

Under the old system, the seniors had rent reviews once a year and their
rent for that year was determined on or about the anniversary of their
move-in (renewal date). Under the new system, rents for all tenants living in a subsidized unit are reviewed whenever your income changes. If you are on a pension and you
get a cost of living raise, it is the tenant’s responsibility to inform Ottawa Community Housing of that change. If you work and your employer gives you a raise, it is your responsibility to report that also. Rent's here, as you know, are based solely on your income.

If you get a raise - either cost of living from your pension plan or a
raise in salary, that and that alone determines your rent. Most of us will
only see one raise in rent per year but if you work and are a really good
worker and you get promoted with a raise twice in a single year, your rent
will go up twice. If your raise is less than $10.00, it is unlikely that
your rent will change before your renewal date. If it is more than $10.00,
Ottawa Community Housing will use a percentage of your income to raise rent
within 31 days. Most everyone on pension or social assistance pays less
than Market Value for the apartments here so we still have a really good
deal. And rent is one of the most important expenses we have and it is,
after all, a true cost of living expense.

Now if you do not report it until your renewal date, you risk being hit
with a larger amount so that Ottawa Community Housing can get you caught
up. So if the anniversary of your arrival is, for example, July 1. And if,
for example, you get a cost of living raise on your pension in February 1,
you have a month in which to notify Housing who will recalculate your rent
if the amount of the raise is over $10.00. Then you will receive a notice
from Housing letting you know what your new rental amount is. If you do not
tell them until the renewal date, you will still get a notice of rent
change and it will go back to when the change occurred. That can be a huge
bother to say nothing about the mess it can leave your finances in.

Here is a very common misconception:
Ottawa Community Housing knows when the Government raises the Old Age Pension, the O.D.S.P. pension and the Ontario Works Benefits. It does not! Furthermore, not everyone on Pension plans gets the same thing. The amount of CPP depends on what a person
contributed to that fund when they were working. O.D.S.P. pensions depend on what is wrong with you and whether you get extra for supplements etc. Some people get private pensions they paid into at the company they worked for; others don't. Some saw combat duty; others didn't. And on and on it goes.

Speaking of our war vets - show a little respect to them. We live in a free
country because of them. It may not be perfect but I assure you it is a
good deal better than any of the Unfree countries I have lived in or

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