The payday loan offices could change with barrier-wide restrictions
“The fewer of them there are in our neighborhoods, the better off all of our neighborhoods will be,” says Coun. Gary Harvey
Payday loans could be paid out all over Barrie, not just downtown.
City councils approved a motion Monday night for employees to investigate the feasibility of licensing payday loan facilities under the general business licensing ordinance to limit their number and concentration in Barrie and report to councilors.
City officials are also reviewing downtown payday loan, piercing, pawnshop, and tattoo parlor clearance requirements and reporting back as part of the zoning review.
“These institutions are lending at exorbitant rates, and that often hurts disproportionate people … in neighborhoods that may be more poor,” said Coun. Keenan Aylwin. “It’s something we should be considering not only in terms of helping vulnerable people, but also in terms of economic development. These facilities don’t add much to a neighborhood or our inner city. I think it is time to introduce some restrictions here. “
He noted that in 2018 the province gave municipalities the authority to restrict payday loan facilities. For example, some municipalities have limited them to one per municipality or limited the number of licenses issued.
“I think this is just not a Dunlop (Street) downtown issue,” said Coun. Gary Harvey. “That is definitely a broader topic. These particular types of shop windows, along with rent, are specifically aimed at the middle to lower income brackets.
“The less of it we have in our neighborhoods, the better off all of our neighborhoods will be,” he said. “The last thing we want to see is a bunch of them on one of our stations. I don’t know whether one of our stations doesn’t have at least one of these facilities, if not two of these facilities. “
Count. Sergio Morales’ original request was for city officials to report on the restriction on payday loans along Dunlop Street when the updated Building Code is presented to Barrie councilors for consideration.
Morales said the focus of the application is on restricting payday loans with a view of Dunlop Street to the east and west. There is only one payday loan facility on Dunlop Street West, although there is one on Clapperton Street, just above Five Point.
But there are already zoning regulations for a minimum distance of 100 meters for payday credit facilities in the city center.
City councils heard Monday that this was as much as the Building Code could do to restrict use of payday loans.
Mayor Jeff Lehman asked if a particular type of facility could be confined to a single street.
“No,” said Michelle Banfield, Barries director of development services. “There is a separation distance and the limitation of this particular use to one street is something that would be difficult to bring to the council from a professional planning point of view.”
“Zoning isn’t a particularly useful tool. It’s a pretty blunt instrument, ”said Coun. Klara Riepma. “I think it’s hard to justify.”
Final approval of this application will be considered by the city council on September 20th.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, a branch of 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 will have to repay the loan from your next paycheck, the agency says. You have up to 62 days to repay in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Payday loans are designed to cover a cash shortage until the next payment or for a short period of time, the agency says. These loans should be avoided for running costs such as rent, groceries, or utility bills.
Private companies offer payday loans in stores and online.