The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program was developed by Sgt. Tim Zehring of the Mesa Police Department in Mesa, Arizona in 1992. It is a crime prevention initiative designed to deter illegal activity on rental property. This successful program spread to over 40 states in the United States and in 1995 was first introduced to New Westminster, Canada. It has since continued to grow in both lower mainland and several communities throughout British Columbia including Victoria.
The Crime Free Multi-housing Program is designed to help residents, owners and managers of rental property keep illegal activity off their property and to provide a safer, more habitable environment for resident. The benefits of this Program include: reduced advertising costs by retaining residents longer, lower vacancy rates resulting in lessening the need to repair and re-paint suites, higher property values and rental revenues resulting from general cosmetic and security updating and effective applicant screening techniques resulting in fewer incidents of "problem tenants" allowing owners/managers more time for other pursuits.
The main focus is not on policing, but rather on incorporating good management practices so as to decrease the number of tenants residing in the greater Victoria area which practice illegal activities within their suites. There is no way to eliminate crime, but the Crime Free Multi-housing Program is taking steps to make people more proactive.
Watch the video below to see why it's important to wait for the gate....
Three Phase Program
The program is introduced in three separate phases. Each phase is designed to educate owners, managers and residents alike while improving security and building a community atmosphere for each individual property.
The Crime Free Multi-Housing Program is implemented in the following manner:
PHASE 1: Owners, property managers, resident managers and selected police personnel, attend a one day seminar presented by Rental Owners and Managers Association of B.C. (ROMA BC) Topics include Crime Prevention Concepts, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, Applicant Screening, To Serve and Protect (what police can and cannot do), Residential Tenancy Office speaker and combating Illegal Activities.
Participants will be awarded the Crime Prevention Management Certificate signifying the completion of the first phase.
PHASE 2: The police will conduct on-site security assessments of each property using the principles and strategies of Crime Prevention through Environmental design (CPTED). And in addition each rental/strata property must meet the minimum security standards set by their local CFMH Coordinator.
PHASE 3: The owners/resident managers will host a "Safety Social" (residents meeting) in order to develop a community atmosphere. A police representative will be in attendance to explain the program and benefits and present crime prevention concepts. The owner/resident managers may display a bulletin board posting local events and public safety information.
Following the completion of all three phases, the participating apartment community will earn the privilege of posting an official sign stating that they have "Joined the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program" and then may use the CFMH logo for marketing purposes. This sign also acts as a visible deterrent to prospective high-risk residents and gives owners, managers and residents alike a sense of accomplishment.
The findings show that those cities and municipalities that have incorporated the three phases of the Crime Free program have experienced a substantial decrease in the type and volume of police calls for service.
If your building is interested in becoming a member of CFMH then please contact our CFMH Coordinator at 250-475-4346.