Graffiti financial relief now available for downtown Oshawa businesses


Published April 30, 2024 at 8:07 am

Graffiti vandalism in Portland, Oregon

A one-time $100,000 fund has been established in Oshawa to help commercial and industrial property owners cope with property graffiti and vandalism and to implement “preventative measures.”

The money was set aside in the 2024 budget to support the business community who often must resort to expensive repairs from industrial vandalism and unwanted graffiti.

The program’s purpose is to encourage attraction, retention and growth of businesses and to help offset graffiti and vandalism expenditures incurred with financial support to eligible applicants.

Operations Services, Finance Services and Municipal Law Enforcement Services collaborated on setting the parameters of the program through consultation and review of complaints received from property damage from graffiti or vandalism. The program will be implemented in the downtown area and the Simcoe Street corridor.

A map created by staff shows property complaints from vandalism and forms the basis of the staff recommendation to focus on the two key areas most affected by the problem. Keeping the focus on downtown and Simcoe Street also ensures, Council was told, the greatest number of businesses can access the funding available in the limited fund.

Oshawa’s Business and Economic Development Services department will administer the launch, application intake, review and rebate of the program.

The grant program offers a Reparative Rebate Grant and a Preventative Rebate Grant and a property owner can apply to one or both programs a maximum of once each through the life of the program.

The Reparative Rebate is designed to provide immediate relief to offset damage repair costs from graffiti or vandalism and grants may be provided up to 50 per cent of the costs and insurance deductibles, to a maximum of $2,000 per municipal street address, storefront or commercial/industrial unit. Repair projects must be from damage to the front or side of the building; rear property projects will not be considered.

The Preventative Rebate grant will provide funding for eligible proactive measures to mitigate damage to commercial property due from vandalism. Up to half the costs will be provided to a maximum of $5,000 per address.

Businesses can also tap into City-run Community Improvement Plans for up to $10,000 for “safety and security enhancements” but this program is a competitive application fund which accepts application only twice, in March and September.

Applicants will not be eligible to receive funding under both programs.

Examples of repairs covered under the reparative program include cost not covered by insurance, such as windows and doors, locks, graffiti removal, associated installation fees and other exterior damage to the property. Other graffiti or vandalism-related costs may be approved by the application review team.

Theft and damaged inventory do not qualify as eligible reparative expenses.

Accepted preventative work includes anti-graffiti film, paints and or coatings; shatterproof glass or protective films; lock enhancements; impact protection attachment systems for windows; exterior lighting enhancement; cameras and recording/monitoring equipment; alarm and monitoring systems; installation fees associated with approved preventative updates; and physical security audits of the exterior of the building.

Applications for both programs are retroactive to January 1, accepted year-round, and will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis until the grant is fully exhausted.

IMAGE – impacted properties between 2022 – 2024

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