The Home Standards Project

It's no secret amongst rental tenants in Kingston that they pay excessive rent for substandard living conditions. Rent continues to rise, yet homes are falling into disrepair. To address this, we created the free and easy to use home assessment website, the Home Standards Project.

Taking less than 15 minutes to complete, this plain English comprehensive home and property assessment asks a series of questions to help you quickly spot issues, with all questions cross-referenced with Kingston's mandatory housing standards. Unsurprisingly, many previously evaluated homes are found to be full of violations, including drafts, unsealed windows, leaky faucets and more. From January 4 to 11, 2021, a total of 1524 violations were found in 105 dwellings!

Upon completing your assessment, a personalized report summarizing your home’s issues will be automatically generated. You can send this report directly to your landlord or use it to back up maintenance requests with confidence that repairs are soon on their way.

The violation of these minimum standards has cascading implications. Homes at the standard are often more energy-efficient, cutting into the third-largest source of greenhouse gases in Canada, have lower utility costs, and generally lead to an increased quality of life for tenants.

Landlords are legally obligated to maintain up to the minimum standard but are skirting their responsibilities while still collecting enormous rents.

Our site has many other unique tools to offer, including guides for the next steps and relevant articles, facts, and resources to help you with housing disputes.

We believe that every renter deserves to have adequate housing and be aware of their rights, and hope that this project will serve as a valuable tool for those seeking to better their circumstances.

Medium-term, we hope to expand to provide coverage to other cities and municipalities across Canada, including Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa and Sault Ste. Marie.

Funded by Kingston (February 2021)