Community housing updates

The Province is making changes to subsidized housing for applicants, tenants and co-op members in order to simplify the process and move people into housing faster. Learn more about the changes here, including what you need to do to continue to be eligible.

If you are waiting for a unit

If you are on the wait list for subsidized housing or you already live in subsidized housing and are waiting to move into a different unit, the changes below will impact you. If you have questions about these changes, please call 519-575-4400.

Changes to housing offers

Currently, applicants on the wait list could receive up to three offers of housing. However, starting July 1st, 2020, when you receive a housing offer, you will be given the first unit that comes available from the list of units you chose when you applied. You can no longer turn down the first two offers of housing. This change will help people move into housing more quickly. 

Please make sure the properties you have chosen are where you would like to live. To add or remove properties from your application, please complete the building selection form

Refusing an offer will result in a loss of subsidy for people already living in subsidized housing. If you are an applicant, you would lose your place on the wait list.  

Update your information yearly in order to stay on the wait list

Once a year, applicants will be required to complete and submit the Applicant Information Update to ensure they are still eligible for subsidized housing. This form requests information about who you live with, your status in Canada, your income, and your building selection.
Risk to safety as reason to decline a unit

If you have ever been evicted for committing an illegal act (N6: Notice to End your Tenancy for Illegal Acts), a landlord or co-operative can decline to offer you a unit if they believe your living there could affect the safety of others. This was upheld and enforced by the Labour and Tenant Board prior to being added to the Housing Services Act. 

If you are a tenant or co-op member

Please read the changes below if you already live in subsidized housing, as they may impact your eligibility for subsidy. If you have questions about these changes, please reach out to your landlord or co-operative.

Tax returns will be used to calculate rent 

If your rent is calculated based on your income, the amount you pay will continue to be 30 percent of your income but it will be calculated differently. Your rent will be calculated using your net income found on Line 236 of your 2019 Notice of Assessment (NOA) and/or income tax return.

This means that in order to remain eligible for subsidy, you will need to file your income tax each year. 

If you haven’t filed your taxes in a few years, please do that as soon as possible so that you can file your 2019 taxes by the April 30, 2020 deadline. Please see the list of free tax clinics in Waterloo Region.

If you disagree with your rent calculation, you still have the right to request a review.

Reporting a change in your income 

Decreases in income

If your income decreases during the year, your rent (or housing charge if you are in a co-op) will only be changed once, and only if your income decreases by more than 20 percent. 

The amount of rent you pay may only be changed more than once a year if: 

  • You have a change in who lives with you; or
  • Your source of income changes (e.g. you start a job or begin to receive Ontario Disability (ODSP)) 

Increases in income

Increases to income outside of your annual review no longer need to be reported. If your income increases to an amount where you are paying market rent but decreases again within two years, you can start receiving subsidy again if you provide proof of income. 

Please note that reporting is still required if the people living in your unit changes.

Attending school full time

If you or someone you live with is in school full time, their income and yours will no longer impact the amount of rent (or housing charges if you are in a co-op) charged for your unit. 

No changes if your sole source of income is Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program 

If your sole source of income is Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support (ODSP), the way your rent (or housing charge if you live in a co-op) is calculated will stay the same. 

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