“The less we have in our neighborhoods, I think the better all of our neighborhoods will be,” says Coun. Gary Harvey
Payday loans could be cashed anywhere in Barrie, not just downtown.
City councilors gave their initial approval to a motion Monday evening that staff study the feasibility of authorizing payday lending establishments under the General Business Licensing By-law to restrict their number and concentration throughout Barrie and to report to the advisers.
Further, that municipal staff review the minimum distance separation provisions for payday loans, body piercings, pawn shops and tattoo parlors in the city center and report back as part of the review of the zoning by-law.
“These establishments offer loans at exorbitant interest rates, and often this disproportionately harms vulnerable people… in neighborhoods where there may be more poverty,” Coun said. Keenan Aylwin. “This is something we should consider not only to help vulnerable people, but also in terms of economic development. These establishments do not add much to a neighborhood or to our downtown area. I think it’s time we put restrictions in place here.
He noted that the province granted municipalities the power to restrict payday lending establishments in 2018. Some municipalities have limited them to one per neighborhood, for example, or have limited the number of licenses issued.
“I think it’s just not a problem with Dunlop (street), downtown,” Coun said. Gary Harvey. “It’s certainly a broader issue. These particular types of storefronts, along with option-to-buy rentals, specifically target middle to low income people.
“The less we have in our neighborhoods, I think the better all of our neighborhoods will be,” he said. “The last thing we want to see is a bunch of them bundled into one of our departments. I don’t know if any of our departments have at least one, if not two of these establishments.
Com. Sergio Morales’ original motion was for city staff to report on the restriction of payday lending facilities along Dunlop Street when the updated zoning by-law is presented to Barrie councilors for review.
Morales said the goal of the motion was to restrict payday lending facing Dunlop Street, east and west. There is only one payday loan facility on Dunlop Street West, although there is one on Clapperton Street, just above Five Points.
But there are already zoning regulations for a minimum separation distance of 100 meters for downtown payday lending establishments.
Councilors learned Monday that was all the zoning bylaw could do to restrict the use of payday loans.
Mayor Jeff Lehman asked if a certain type of establishment can be restricted to a single street.
“No,” said Michelle Banfield, director of development services for Barrie. “There is a separation distance and restricting that particular use on a street is something, in a professional planning opinion, that would be difficult to submit to council.”
“Zoning is not a particularly useful tool. It’s a pretty blunt instrument, ”said Coun. Claire Riepma. “I think it’s hard to justify.
Final approval of this motion will be considered by City Council on September 20.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, a branch of the federal government, defines a payday loan as a short-term loan with high fees that make it a very expensive way to borrow money. You can borrow up to $ 1,500, but you must repay the loan from your next paycheck, according to the agency. You have up to 62 days to pay it off in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta and British Columbia.
Payday loans are meant to cover a shortfall until your next payday or for a short period, depending on the agency. These loans should be avoided for everyday expenses such as rent, groceries, or utility bills.
Private companies offer payday loans in stores and online.