Subsidized housing allows people to pay rent according to how much money they make. If you aren’t making much money and can't afford your rent right now, subsidized housing may be a good option for you.
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 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 is lead by community groups or non profits that can be private or government run.
- Local housing companies 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 wait ranges from about:
- one to five years for a bachelor;
- seven to ten years for a one-bedroom;
- five to ten years for a two-bedroom;
- ten to twelve years for a three- to four-bedroom;
- and four to six years for a five-bedroom home.
You need to wait for your name to come up on the waiting list and for a vacancy in the size of unit in buildings you have chosen.
Applicants are selected chronologically, first-come, first-served. However there are Special Priority applicants who are housed on a priority basis.
Who qualifies for Special Priority?
The City of Toronto rules give priority to the following categories:
- The first priority is for victims of domestic abuse
- The second priority is for the terminally ill and is reserved for applicants who have less than two years to live. Recognizing this priority is optional for housing providers.
- The third priority is for over-housed tenants in subsidized housing. Tenants who are housed in a unit that is larger than the unit they qualify for under the provincial occupancy standards are required to move to unit size they qualify for.
In addition, individuals who are disadvantaged by a chronological system under the following categories will fill one in seven subsidized housing vacancies:
- separated families
- newcomers who are homeless
- youth who are 16 or 17 years old at the time of applying