The Certified Rental Building™️ Program (CRBP) is now a national brand, known as the Canadian Certified Rental Building™️ Program.
Launched in 2008 by the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO), the Certified Rental Building Program is North America’s first quality assurance program designed to specifically promote and acknowledge quality for rental housing consumers and professionalism for multi-residential property managers.
In 2015, with support of LandlordBC, the CRB program expanded to British Columbia.
Now in 2022, building upon initial successes and with the added impetus of an increasing number of multi-res industry companies adopting ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) as a strategic business imperative, the CRBP has expanded its cross-Canada certification scope.
“Expansion has already begun with Ontario and BC property managers/owners whose current members are the first to receive the CRB-approved designation of their properties in Alberta. Over the next 18 months, it is expected that CRB will help build a national network of professional multi-residential property managers whose focus will go far beyond financial measures to incorporate factors measuring the sustainability and ethical impacts of their investment,” said Ted Whitehead, CCRBP Director of Certification.
“The benefits of this expansion are two-fold. This new program will cultivate a national community of CRB-approved apartment buildings to provide Canadian renters with peace of mind and a clear ‘quality assurance’ alternative when selecting their rental apartment home. The national program also provides apartment owners/property managers with a unique ‘grass-roots’ ESG perspective that multi‑res organizations can easily communicate with their staff and residents”, Whitehead added.
At the heart of the Canadian Certified Rental Building Program are 54 standards of practice and associated requirements to which all organizations and buildings must adhere. These and several hundred individual requirements translate the concepts of environmental, social and governance into concrete measures that focus on environmental and social responsibility and enhanced corporate accountability. “All CRB organizations and their associated buildings must not only meet but must be able to demonstrate compliance with these concrete requirements through an independent third-party audit process,” added Whitehead.
In the competitive real estate marketplace, internationally recognized ESG benchmark programs like GRESB are taking on increased relevance and importance. Not only can CRB certification help enhance an organization’s GRESB benchmarking score, but now, in line with its national expansion, the CRBP has moved from a recognized and approved green building certification program to officially becoming a GRSB Real Estate partner.
“With many of the REITs, institutional, and investor-driven members leading the multi-res industry’s transformation to an ESG discipline, it became imperative to undertake expansion of CRBP across the Canadian landscape to support their needs,” says Tony Irwin, FRPO’s President & CEO. “As all levels of government gain greater awareness of the ESG mantra across all industries, there is little doubt that they will soon be asking – or perhaps, demanding – what our industry is doing collectively on this front. Ours is the foremost ESG-focused accreditation program supporting the multi-residential industry.”
Adopting a strong multi-res ESG framework across the industry is necessary for the industry’s long-term regulatory survival. The multi‑res industry provides apartment homes to one in three Canadians, or approximately 4.4 million people. When you take in these numbers and couple them with Canada’s strong public commitment to environmental stewardship (e.g., climate change, Net Zero, clean energy) and mending the social issues of the day (e.g., diversity, equality, housing shortages, income disparities), “there’s little doubt that there will be increased pressure on the multi-res industry to demonstrate what it is proactively doing to address these challenges on all fronts,” added Whitehead.
“To date, nearly 13 per cent of multi-res industry companies in Canada have adopted a formal ESG way of doing business and that number needs to dramatically increase if we are going to be able to proactively state our case on these fronts,” said Whitehead. “The good news is that most professional property management organizations practice ESG-related activities every day, they just don’t think of them that way. We believe the Canadian Certified Rental Building™️ program provides a visible grass-roots pathway for professional property managers/owners to move forward with confidence and success on the ESG front.”