Q: Who can apply?
A: You can apply if:
· You are at least 16 years old.
· All members of the household are legal residents of Canada or refugee claimants.
· No member of the household is currently under a deportation, departure or exclusion order to leave Canada.
· No member of the household owes money to any social housing provider.
· No member of the household has been convicted of an offence in relation to rent-geared-to-income assistance or found by a court of law or the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal to have misrepresented their income for the purpose of rent-geared-to-income assistance.
You will be required to provide documentation clearly indicating your legal right to be in Canada. This may include, but is not limited to, a copy of your birth certificate, landed papers, or documents supporting your claim for refugee status.
When it is closer to the time when you will be offered housing you must:
· Be able to live independently, with or with support services (which you must arrange).
An individual is considered to be able to live independently if he or she is able to perform the normal essential activities of day-to-day living; or can do so with the aid of support services and demonstrates that those support services will be provided when they are required.
Q: I own my own home. Can I still apply?
A:If you own a residential property that can be used all year, you are required to have divested your interest in any residential property within 180 days after being housed in a rent-geared-to-income unit.
Q:I do not have an income. Am I eligible for social housing?
A:You may be required to pursue income from one or more of the following sources:
· Ontario Works
· Support payments
· Employment Insurance
· Any pension or support payments required under a sponsorship agreement
· Federal or provincial pensions (OAS, GIS, GAINS)
Failure to pursue a specific type of income within the required time frame will result in a decision of ineligibility.
Q:What should I do if information or my situation changes after I submit my application?
A:If there is a change in any of the information that you provide, you are required to notify the processor of this application with 30 days of the change. You will be notified if additional documents or information is required.
Q:Can I choose where I want to live?
A:Yes. When you apply for housing, you will be asked where you want to live. You can choose one or many locations. Your name will be added to the waiting list for each location where you are eligible.
Q:Do I get to pick what size unit I want?
A:You can indicate what type of unit you want to live in. However, your choice must fall within a range of unit sizes that is determined by the occupancy standards that apply to your household size.
Q:How much rent can I expect to pay?
A:Rent-geared-to-income is based on 30% of your gross monthly income, or if you are receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, a social assistance rent scale. Additional charges may apply depending on the project.
Q:What if I need a special type of unit?
A:Some housing providers have wheelchair accessible unit or units where support services are provided. If you are interested in obtaining a special needs or modified unit, please contact the housing provider directly.
Q:When will I be notified regarding the status of my application?
A:Within 10 days after your application is received, it will be reviewed to ensure that it is complete. You will receive written notice informing you whether your application is complete or not.
If it has been determined that your application is not complete, you will be informed why it is not complete and what additional information is required to complete the application. You will also be given a time period in which to submit the required information or documentation.
Q:How long will it take for me to get a unit?
A:The length of time before a unit comes available will vary depending on the locations you choose. It may take some time because of the small number of vacancies.
Q:What happens while I am waiting for housing?
A:It's important that you keep your file up to date. You must notify the Application Centre within 30 days if any of the information you provide in this application changes, for example:
· You change your address or phone number.
· You want to live in locations other than those you chose on your application.
· The number of people in your household changes.
· Your income changes.
· The contact person on your application changes.
We will send you a letter or contact you at least once a year. Your name may be removed from the waiting list if we cannot contact you.
Q:When do I provide verification of my income, assets and household composition?
A:You will be required to provide the required information upon request by the Application Centre at least every 24 months to assess your eligibility for rent-geared-to-income assistance. You will also be required to provide verification of income for your household prior to being offered a unit.
Q:How are people chosen for housing?
A:The system for selecting households is based primarily on date of application. Special priority may be given to your application if you are living with someone who threatens your safety or the safety of other household members.
Q:What is a housing Co-operative?
A:Co-operative housing is managed by its residents who are referred to as members. Applicants wishing to live in a co-operative may be asked to complete an additional application by the Co-op and may be asked to attend an information meeting at each co-op for which you are interested in becoming a member. Co-op members are expected to participate in their community by becoming a member of the Board of Directors, committees or participate in the maintenance of the property.
Q: Are appliances and parking included in my rent?
A: In some housing projects appliances and services are included. In other accomodations tenants must supply appliances and pay for some or all of the services - this varies by properties.
Q: What is Market Housing?
A: Many housing providers have units that are available at the market rate (similar to what you would pay a landlord in the private sector). If you are interested in applying for a market rent unit, you should contact the housing provider directly.
Q: What are my obligations as an applicant for RGI assistance?
A: You must notify the Social Housing Application Centre:
If your address changes
If your phone number changes
If any other information or document on your application changes
As an applicant for RGI assistance, you are required to keep your file updated in order to be on the centralized waiting list and maintain your eligibility status. It is your responsibility to notify the Social Housing Application Centre of any changes in information or documents you previously submitted to the housing provider.
Q: Are there any special circumstances that would enable me to obtain housing sooner?
A: There is one category on the waiting list called "Special Priority", which is assigned to victims of abuse.
Q: How do I get assigned Special Priority?
A: You are required to complete a standard Request for Special Priority Household Category with supporting information and documentation for verification purposes. This request may be attached to your housing application form for RGI assistance or submitted separately.