Transcript: Landlords | Mar 24, 2014

(music plays)

Colourful letters flash by. Then, against a red background, dialog boxes read "Why Poverty?" and "Ask why!" A logo reads "TVO."

Jim Kennedy drives a car in a rainy day across a city. He is in his late fifties, clean-shaven with short white hair. He wears glasses, white shirt, striped blue and pale orange tie and blue jacket.

Jim says I'M JIM KENNEDY AND I'M THE
SUPERVISOR OF HOUSING PROGRAMS,
SPECIFICALLY OVERSEEING THE
AT HOME CHEZ SOI PROJECT
IN THE TORONTO SITE.

[siren wailing]
A black slate reads "In 2008, the Mental Health Commission of Canada launched a 100 Million dollar study-the largest experiment of its kind in the world. The driving question: How to end chronic homelessness in Canada?"

He continues MY POSITION IS TO TRY
TO FIND HOUSING
FOR UP TO 300 CLIENTS
AT THE SAME TIME.

The slate continues "For over 4 years, across 5 cities, the ‘At Home/Chez Soi’ study tracks what happens when you provide no-strings-attached housing to 1200 homeless people with mental illness."

He continues SO I GO OUT TO SEE THE
LANDLORDS ALL THE TIME
TO GET TO KNOW THEM SO
THAT THEY SEE,
YOU KNOW, HERE
COMES JIM.
WHAT PROBLEMS DO
YOU HAVE?
LANDLORDS LIKE THAT
BECAUSE THE FACT IS,
IN MOST OTHER PROGRAMS
AND SO FORTH,
THERE IS NO
COMMUNICATION AT ALL.
THIS IS A NEW LANDLORD;
HE'S NEVER BEEN INVOLVED
IN SOCIAL HOUSING
PROGRAMS BEFORE.
HE SAID, WELL,
HE'LL TRY ONE.

Jim walks into a house.

A woman says GOOD MORNING.

Jim says HI, THANKS.

Jim and a man in his fifties shake hands.

Jim says HOW ARE YOU?

The man in his fifties says LOOKING NICE
AND BRIGHT.

Jim says OH, YEAH.
[laughing]

Jim says DAY NUMBER TWO, WE HAD A
PROBLEM WITH THE CLIENT.

They sit in an office.

The man in his fifties is clean-shaven and has receding white hair. He wears glasses and striped white and blue tie.

The man in his fifties says HE'S ONE OF THESE PEOPLE
THAT COME AND GO.
FOR WHATEVER REASON,
HE FELT THAT HE NEVER
HAD TO LOCK HIS
APARTMENT.
PROBLEMS WILL OCCUR
WHEN THEY WILL BRING
PEOPLE IN BECAUSE
THEY'VE HAD NOTHING,
THEY FEEL THEY
HAVE TO SHARE IT
OR THEY WANT TO SHARE
IT WITH OTHER PEOPLE.
THEY BRING IN THEIR
DRINKING BUDDIES,
THEN THEY START
THROWING BEER BOTTLES
AGAINST THE WALL,
NEIGHBOURS GET UPSET
AND THAT'S WHEN
I GET UPSET.
BECAUSE AS A RESULT OF
THAT, I LOSE GOOD TENANTS.

Jim says AND THE PROBLEM WAS
SO SEVERE, THAT
HE WANTED HIM OUT
IMMEDIATELY.
I CONTACTED ONE OF
THE SUPPORT AGENCIES
AND WITHIN 24 HOURS WE HAD
THE PERSON OFF THE PROPERTY.

The man in his fifties says SO THAT TURNED
ME AROUND.
I HAD PEOPLE FROM SOCIAL
AGENCIES BEFORE
AND SOME OF THEM WERE,
QUITE FRANKLY, NIGHTMARES.

Jim says YEAH.

The man in his fifties says ONE THING THAT IS SACROSANCT
WITH LANDLORDS IS IF RENT
ISN'T PAID, YOU GET RID OF
THEM AND YOU CUT YOUR LOSSES.
AND SO THAT'S EXACTLY
WHAT I WOULD DO
BECAUSE I CAN'T
AFFORD TO HAVE PEOPLE
NOT PAY THEIR RENT.
BUT ANYWAY, YOU CAME, YOU
EXPLAINED ME THE PROGRAM,
YOU SAID WASN'T LIKE THE
OTHERS AND FOR THE MOST PART,
I'D SAY, YES, IT
WORKED OUT THAT WAY.

Jim walks out of the building and crosses a person on his way.

Jim says HELLO.

Then, Jim says WE'VE HAD SOME CHALLENGES
WITHIN HIS PROPERTIES,
BUT HE IS APPRECIATIVE
OF THE FACT THAT WE
TAKE ACTION ON IT AS SOON
AS WE'RE NOTIFIED ABOUT IT.
AND FROM THAT, WE ENDED UP
GETTING SEVEN CLIENTS
WITHIN THE BUILDING.

Jim goes back to the car and leaves.

Jim says IT'S ALWAYS A
HANDS-ON APPROACH.
MOST OF MY LANDLORDS MEET
THE CLIENTS AND THEY
DO CHOOSE THEM BECAUSE
THEY FIND THEY ARE
A LOT DIFFERENT
THAN WHAT THEY
PERCEIVED THE CLIENTS
WERE GOING TO BE.
SO WE'RE HEADING OVER TO A
PLACE ON SHERBOURNE STREET.
THIS IS A
SUPPORTIVE HOUSING.
KEN KENNEDY OWNS THIS.
HE AND HIS WIFE
HOUSE PEOPLE
THAT NOBODY
WANTS TO HOUSE.

Jim and Ken Kennedy chat in a house. Ken is in his early fifties, clean-shaven and bald. He wears a beige shirt.

Ken says BECAUSE THEY ARE CALLED
THE HARDEST TO HOUSE
AND THERE ARE FEW OF US
WHO HAVE THE PATIENCE AND
TOLERANCE TO TOLERATE THEM,
OKAY, TO CARE FOR THEM:
THREE MEALS A DAY, A SNACK,
CLOTHING MANY TIMES,
ROOM SERVICE, I WOULD TAKE
THEM TO THE HOSPITAL,
I WOULD TAKE THEM TO
ANY APPOINTMENT.
I DO EVERYTHING
FOR THEM.

Jim says SO HOW ARE THE TENANTS
THAT WE HAVE HERE NOW?
HOW ARE THE SIX
WE HAVE?

Ken says VERY GOOD.
I DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM
WITH ANY ONE OF THEM.
EXCEPT, WELL, I'D SAY
EXCEPT THE ONE IN 304.
I DON'T WANT TO
CALL HIS NAME.
Laughing, he continues WALLPAPERED THE WALLS; HE
PAPER THE ROOF; HE PAPER
EVERYTHING, THE DOOR,
EVERYTHING, HE PAPER IT.
I SAID, WHY DO
YOU LIKE THAT?
HE SAID, I LIKE
WALLPAPER.
HE'S QUITE
METICULOUS.

Jim says THAT'S GREAT.

Ken says IT SEEMS MUCH.

Jim says REALLY?
MAYBE I'LL HIRE HIM TO
DO WALLPAPERING FOR ME.

Ken says IF HE'S HAPPY AND
HE'S NOT CAUSING
A DISTURBANCE TO MY
PEOPLE, HE STAYS.

Nigel sits in a living room. He is in his late thirties, with a beard and curly black hair. He wears a dark jacket.

Jim says HI THERE.

They shake hands.

Nigel says HOW ARE YOU?

Jim says I'M JIM.

Nigel says I'M NIGEL.

Jim says NICE TO MEET YOU.
HI, JOE, JIM
KENNEDY.
HOW ARE YOU?

Joe stands in a room. He stretches his arm to shake Jim’s hand. He is shirtless.

Joe says ALL RIGHT.

Jim says I'M IN THE BUILDING.
I'M CHECKING TO SEE ABOUT
ALL THE RENOVATIONS.

Joe says OKAY.

Ken says WE JUST SERVE.
WE'RE JUST SERVING THEM;
IT'S JUST A SERVICE.

Jim walks out and says SEE YOU LATER.

Back in the car, Jim says OUT OF THE 246 PEOPLE THAT
WE HAVE HOUSED RIGHT NOW,
THERE'S PROBABLY MAYBE
185, 190 OF THE PEOPLE
THAT I HAVE NO IDEA
WHO THEY ARE,
BECAUSE THERE'S NO PROBLEMS
WITH THEIR TENANCIES
THERE'S NO PROBLEMS WITH THEM
WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.
THEY'RE DOING
VERY WELL.
THIS IS HELPING THESE CLIENTS
DEVELOP A DECENT TENANCY,
WHICH THEY CAN GO FORWARD
AND DO THINGS ON THEIR OWN.

The end credits roll.

Written and Directed by Manfred Becker.

Producer, Lea Marin.

‘Landlords’. From the web documentary Here, at Home. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in association with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and TVO.

Logos: ONF NFB, TVO.

Athome.nfb.ca

Copyright 2012, National Film Board of Canada.

www.tvo.org/whypoverty

Watch: Landlords