Crime Free Multi Housing Program

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The Crime Free Multi Housing Program was introduced into British Columbia in 1994 by New Westminster Police Dept.  The Crime Free Multi Housing Program has been adopted by over twenty communities in British Columbia.  With the support of BCCPA through training, materials and administration the Program has been a huge success.  There are now over now 600 buildings working with the program throughout the Province.  The Program is an initiative between your local police agency and the rental community.

The Crime Free Multi Housing Program is a Crime Reduction Program designed specifically to help residential owners, managers, employees, police and other agencies to work together.  The program has successfully improved security and reduced crime, by working to identify the problems and provide solutions.  It takes a pro-active approach at reducing criminal and nuisance-related activities in the community.

One of the most effective ways of fighting crime and ultimately reducing costs for owners is by working together with local agencies. Crime Free Multi Housing offers the opportunity to participate, to share information, and increase awareness of the issues associated within the rental community.


The program consists of three phases:

The Phase One component of the program requires the completion of a training workshop. Resident managers and/or Owners attend a one day seminar presented by the Police in partnership with the BC Crime Prevention Association.

The Phase Two component consists of a Crime Free Coordinator conducting a security review of your property. The rental property or community must meet minimum safety and security standards. A representative from the police detachment or department will conduct a security evaluation of the property and make recommendations.

The Phase Three component is where you, as the owner/manager are asked to host an annual Safety Social/meeting for their residents to involve them in reducing crime on the property and to get involved in the community.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact BCCPA for more details.


Crime Free Multi Housing

The Crime Free Multi Housing program is designed to bolster the relationship between the police and business communities while helping the business communities take control of their livelihoods.

What is  Crime Free Multi Housing?
A “Crime Free Building” is one that has met the minimum standards specified in this program. The aim of the program is to reduce the opportunity and motivation for committing a crime  or damage to the property.  The program enables a community to become strong and act as one to make their home safe and free from tenants who bring crime into the building.  As an owner or manager it is intended to reduce liability, vulnerability and to give support to remove unwanted persons who commit criminal acts, the program will improve the employee workplace and reduce customer fear of criminal activity.

Why Do We Need This Program?
Generally speaking, criminals look for the greatest return with the least risk or effort. By making it more difficult for them to commit a crime against you or on your property, you can greatly reduce the odds of you becoming a victim or damage being caused on your property.  If you have police officers attending your building on a weekly or nightly basis then this program will reduce these calls for service.

How does my building become certified as a Crime Free Building
There are three phases to become fully certified in the Crime Free Multi Housing Program:

The Phase One component of the program requires the completion of a training workshop. Resident managers and/or Owners attend a one day seminar presented by the Police in partnership with the BC Crime Prevention Association.

Topics include:
• Crime Prevention                                   • Preparing and Maintaining the Property
• Applicant Screening                               • Working Together with Police
• Residential Tenancy Act                        • Combating Illegal Activities

The Phase Two component consists of a Crime Free Coordinator conducting a security review of your property. The rental property or community must meet minimum safety and security standards. A representative from the police detachment or department will conduct a security evaluation of the property and make recommendations. The following minimum standards must be met before advancing:

– Applicant screening must be part of the application to rent within the building.

– A good quality deadbolt must be on all suite doors. The bolt must be minimum 1- inch in length and the hole in the frame must be the same size as the bolt, for a tight fit. • Strike Plates on wood-framed doors must be secured with a 3-inch screw into the stud.

– All suite doors must have eye viewers (prefer 180-190 degrees, 65 inches from the floor).

– Sliding doors and windows require secondary locks, in addition to functioning primary locks, in all ground level and easily accessible suites.

– The trees and shrubs must be pruned to allow a clear view of the property. Trees should be limbed to 6-feet off the ground and shrubs should be no higher than 3-feet.

– Adequate lighting in and around the building. Lighting is the most effective crime prevention tool around when used properly.

– The property must be clean and properly maintained. Graffiti must be removed

The Phase Three component is where you as the owner/manager are asked to host an annual Safety Social/meeting for their residents to involve them in reducing crime on the property and to get involved in the community.

A representative from the local police agency will be in attendance to explain the program and offer crime prevention tips to residents’ within the community.

Following the completion of all three phases the management will earn the privilege to post signs stating they have joined the CRIME FREE MULTI-HOUSING PROGRAM and may use the CFMH logo for marketing purposes.

How Will the Crime Free Multi Housing Program Benefit My Building?
The Crime Free Program will help your building look better and operate more efficiently. Tenants will want to stay longer in their homes as they now have pride in where they live. They have taken ownership of the rental community and want to make their home a safe and crime free place to live. As an owner you have the peace of mind knowing that you have tenants who care and want to look after you investment. A true “Crime Free” environment can improve your bottom line by increasing occupancy and longevity within the building. By providing a safe and crime free environment, you reduce the chances of an employee or tenant being injured, and therefore the financial liability associated with such events.

For owners and managers:

– a more stable and satisfied resident base

– increased demand for suites by desirable residents

– lower maintenance and repair costs (both for the owner and the City)

– improved property values

– improved safety for owners, managers and residents

– appreciative neighbours, create a community looking after one another

-more time for routine management as opposed to crisis management

– decrease in civil liability

For residents:

– a safer and more pleasant place to live

– owners and managers who care

– longer term residency

– a “community” environment where neighbours help and care for one another

* an increased sense of personal ownership

For City/Police:

– reduce spending from City budget (graffiti, street maintenance, lighting, bylaws and licensing)

– reduced calls for service and property crime

-release officers time to patrol and detect street disorder/violent/property crime

– co-operation and better relationships with owners, managers and residents for the purposes of crime prevention, detection and enforcement

What are the benefits of being certified as a Crime Free Multi Housing Property ?
There are many benefits for your building when you join the Crime Free Multi Housing Program and become certified.

– Brings Communities together to create a greater awareness of crime and crime reduction techniques.

– The security reviews are designed to identify areas of vulnerability and risk of your building, and strategies to minimize those risks.

– Train apartment owners, managers, residents and police, in simple terms to know what they can do now, fairly and legally, to solve the problem of illegal and nuisance activity on their rental properties.

– Help owners and managers to know how and when to use the civil process as an effective means of preventing, reducing and eliminating crime and nuisance activity

– Facilitate a co-operative effort and positive relationship between apartment owners, managers, residents, police and other agencies in keeping illegal and nuisance activity off rental properties. (City Council is a huge part of the community support).

– Create a safer and more habitable environment in which law-abiding residents may live through a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to crime and nuisance behaviour. Using CPTED make positive changes to encourage ownership of the spaces within the community. Create longstanding tenants that care for the home they live in.

– Reduction of police calls for service in apartment communities in order to free up police resources for other matters.

What is the cost of enrollment?
The costs required to meet minimum program standards will vary from building to building, although they will generally be very low. Consider any expenses made in meeting Crime Free standards as a very conservative investment in the prosperity of your building.  There is a cost for attending the phase one workshop.  Please speak to your local Crime Free Coordinator for more information.