The amount of rent you pay with subsidized housing can be based on how much money you're making, so your rent could be lowered. If you aren’t making much money and cannot afford your rent right now, you might think about applying for subsidized housing.
Who can apply for subsidized housing?
- Single people (16 years and older)
- People with disabilities who can live on their own without help, unless arranged with a non-profit organization.
How do I know if I can apply?
Everyone in your house must be:
- a Canadian citizen or
- a permanent resident, or someone applying for permanent resident status or
- a refugee, or someone applying to be a refugee, and
- someone who hasn’t owned a place for 6 or more months (depending on where you live) before your move in date
How can I apply?
First....you can find out where your co-ordinated access centre is. These centres will give you the information you need to start choosing possible places that you might want to live in.
Next... you can get your housing application from your access centre. For Toronto residents, you can complete your application online or print out a copy of the form.
Then... check out the available Housing Listings at your centre which will help you choose which areas and apartments you might be interested in. In Toronto, the Housing Listings book is available on the Housing Connections website.
What kinds of places are available?
If you get into subsidized housing you may get your own room, an apartment that may have 1 or more bedrooms or a townhouse. The places are run in different ways:
- Cooperative housing which is run by the people who live there. Co-ops get money from the government to have lower rent. Some co-ops are for certain people, like seniors, people with disabilities, or artist.
- Non profit housing which is lead by community groups or non profits that can be private or government run.
- Local Housing companies which are run by a local government group that also looks after housing, social welfare and ambulance services.
How long will I have to wait?
The number of seniors, single people and families that were waiting for subsidized housing was continuing to grow as of 2009. Generally if people have been on the waiting list longer they will get an apartment first. Waiting times can differ greatly depending on several factors:
- Number of available apartments
- Number of those on the waiting list
- Family size
- Family or personal situation.
- Senior citizen status
- Single status
Those who may have a high risk family or personal situation will be given a priority status on the waiting list. This includes families that are experiencing domestic violence or abuse. But Service Managers may also give priority to homeless youth, youth in general and those with a long term illness.
As of 2009 some of the estimated wait times were (but may vary in each area):
- For single people – five years or more
- Seniors – three years or more
- Families – refer to a chart based on each area
How many house choices do I get?
You can apply for as many buildings as you want. Remember, you will be given offers for available apartments. You can refuse offers, but after three refusals you will be taken off of the waiting list. If you need some more information on subsidized housing, you can contact a community agency or housing help centre listed at Services Near Me. If you think that you may be interested in subsidized housing start asking questions about the process immediately so that you can get your application submitted quickly as wait times can be long.