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Applying For Subsidized Housing

If you are looking for subsidized housing, Housing Access is a good place to start. Housing Access will help you with information about the centralized wait list.

Housing Access is not a landlord. Housing Access manages a centralized waiting list for approximately 5,000 subsidized rental housing units in York Region operated by non-profit and co-operative housing organizations. These organizations are governed by Boards of Directors who are responsible for overall management of the buildings.

If you are looking for housing but do not require subsidized rent, some housing communities have market rent units available. To be eligible for market rent housing you must meet the requirements of the housing provider. Housing Locations which offer market rent units are listed by selecting Market Rent under Type of Housing. For information about market rent units or apply for a market rent unit, contact the housing provider directly.

If you are looking for a supportive housing unit, please contact your support agency directly as they may have an existing partnership with a housing provider in York Region.


How do I qualify?

You can apply for subsidized housing if:

  • You are at least 16 years old
  • All members of your household are legal residents of Canada or refugee claimants
  • You do not owe money for rent or damages to a subsidized housing provider. If any member of your household does owe money for rent or damages, you must have an approved repayment agreement in place with the housing provider
  • You are able to live independently, with or without support services
  • No household member is under a deportation, departure or exclusion order to leave Canada
  • No household member has been convicted of an offence related to rent geared-to-income assistance
  • No household member has been found by a court of law or the Landlord and Tenant Board to have misrepresented their income for the purpose of rent geared-to-income assistance

You must provide documentation clearly indicating your legal right to be in Canada. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • A copy of your Canadian Birth Certificate, Canadian Passport or Canadian Citizenship Card
  • Landed immigrant papers, permanent resident card (front and back) or
  • Documents supporting your claim for refugee status

How do I apply?

To apply for subsidized housing you must complete an application form.

To get the application form you can:

  • Download an application form, print the form
  • Pick up an application form from Housing Access, 17310 Yonge St, Unit 9, Newmarket, ON L3Y 7R8
  • Call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 to have an application form mailed to you

Mail completed forms to:

York Region Housing Access
17310 Yonge St, Unit 9
Newmarket, ON L3Y 7R8

For general time distances to our housing communities from downtown Toronto, please see the Estimated Time Travel Map.


What unit size am I eligible for?

Housing Access will determine the number of bedrooms each household is eligible for according to occupancy standards for your household size. Generally, occupancy standards follow a smallest/largest unit principle:

  • The smallest unit a subsidized household is eligible to occupy has one bedroom for every two members of the household and an extra bedroom if there is an odd number of household members
  • The largest unit a subsidized household is eligible to occupy has one bedroom for every member of the household with couples sharing
  • A single person is eligible for a bachelor or one bedroom unit; however, a two person family can be eligible for a bachelor unit if the applicant requests it

An additional bedroom can be requested if:

  • Couples cannot share a bedroom because of a disability or medical condition
  • Additional space is needed to store medical equipment related to a disability or significant medical condition
  • The member of the household has joint custody of a child

If you need an additional bedroom due to a medical disability, have your doctor complete a Request for Additional Bedroom form and submit the form to Housing Access for review.

If you need an additional bedroom for a visiting child, you must submit a copy of your custody agreement, court order or statutory declaration, or a letter from Family and Children’s Services. Housing Access will review the information and determine if you are eligible for an additional bedroom.


Applying for seniors housing

The application process for seniors is the same as the regular waiting list for subsidized housing.

Seniors' buildings are for people who are 60 years of age or older.


Modified wheelchair accessible units

How do I apply for a wheelchair accessible unit?

There are a number of subsidized housing units that have been modified to accommodate people with disabilities. These modifications may include wheelchair or scooter accessibility, building architecture including the design and shape of rooms and size of doorways, and physical features such as doors, doorknobs and windows.

Please have your doctor complete a Request for Modified Accessible Unit if you need a wheelchair accessible unit. Then submit the form to Housing Access to be reviewed for eligibility.

How can I access more information on and descriptions of the units that are wheelchair accessible?

Detailed information about these modified accessible units is available in the listings and descriptions of housing providers by clicking the wheelchair icon Wheelchair symbol.


Keeping your application up-to-date

Annual update process

Housing Access has made changes to the Annual Update process. Once you are on the waiting list, it is your responsibility to inform Housing Access of any changes to your address, phone number, household composition, household income or immigration status.

Each year you must confirm your interest in remaining on the waiting list by contacting Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675.

Applications that are not updated will be cancelled and your name will be removed from the waiting list.

Special priority applicants will receive an update package every three months. Housing Access will send the special priority update package to special priority applicants.

How do I add or remove building choices on my application?

If you are a new applicant applying to the waiting list for subsidized housing, you will be required to select the municipality or municipalities where you would like to live. As your name gets closer to the top of the waiting list, Housing Access will be contacting you to select specific building locations.

Applicants who have been on the waiting list and selected specific building locations, can request to make changes to their housing location preferences at any time by contacting Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675.

How do I add a family member to my application?

The family member must complete an Add a Member to an Application for Subsidized Housing form and submit it to Housing Access. You will need to provide legal status in Canada documents for each family member you add to your application. The applicant must also complete a Request to Make Change to your Application form.

What if my contact information, income or family changes while I’m on the waiting list?

Applicants must notify Housing Access if there is a change to your:

  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Members of Household
  • Household income
  • Immigration Status

You are responsible to update your application within 30 days of the change taking place by contacting Housing Access at 1-877-464-967.


Waiting for subsidized housing

How long will I wait for subsidized housing?

The waiting list for subsidized housing works on a first-come, first-served basis. Special priority households are offered housing before the chronological waiting list.

Housing Access cannot provide you with your position on the waiting list and cannot estimate when you will receive an offer of housing. Waiting times vary depending on the location chosen, bedroom size, vacancy turnover and any specific requirements requested (e.g. parking).


Applying for special priority

What is special priority status?

Special Priority is intended to help victims of abuse permanently separate from their abuser. Special Priority is only given to applicants whose safety is at risk because they live with someone who is abusing them. It does not apply to applicants who want to separate from someone because a relationship is not working.

Special Priority does not provide emergency housing. If an applicant receives Special Priority status, they must still wait for a unit to become available. We cannot tell you how long it will take to get housing. The amount of time it takes to house a Special Priority applicant depends on where the applicant hopes to live and the type of unit they need.

An applicant must be approved for the waiting list before they can be considered for Special Priority status. An application may be given Special Priority status if:

  • The applicant currently lives with someone who is abusing them or another person in their household
  • The applicant used to live with someone that was abusing them or another person in their household, and stopped living with them three months ago or less
  • The applicant is a sponsored immigrant, and their sponsor is abusing them or another person in their household

If you want to request Special Priority, you must provide all of the following:

  1. Request for Special Priority form
  2. Verification of Abuse form
  3. A letter from a qualified professional describing the abuse
  4. Copies of at least two documents that prove that you are or were living with the abuser within the past three months (e.g. copy of lease, rental agreement, mortgage documents, utility bills, etc.).

Are there any other priorities I may be eligible for?

There are no other priority categories in York Region. All applicants are listed on the waiting list by the date they applied for subsidized housing.


What if I don’t agree with a decision made by Housing Access?

If you received a Notice of Decision from Housing Access, you can request an appeal called an Internal Review. To request an Internal Review please follow the instructions on your Notice of Decision. You must complete a Request for Internal Review form, provide any supporting documents and return them to Housing Access. You must follow the deadline to appeal as outlined in the Notice of Decision.

If your request for internal review is not received within the time limit, Housing Access’ decision will be final.


Housing offers

What happens when I am offered subsidized housing?

  • The housing provider will contact you directly when you reach the top of the list for one of the buildings you selected.
  • Before you accept the housing offer, you should view the unit to make sure it’s right for you
  • When you are offered housing, you can refuse two offers without losing your spot on the waiting list. But if you turn down a third offer, you will no longer be eligible for subsidized housing and will be removed from the waiting list
  • Once you accept the housing offer and move into the unit, you are off of the centralized waiting list

Frequently asked questions

What is rent-geared-to-income assistance?

Rent-geared-to-income housing is subsidized housing for eligible households who cannot afford to pay market rent.

What is rent-geared-to-income assistance The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Can I apply if I own a home?

Yes, you can but if your home can be used all year then you must sell it within six months (180 days) of accepting subsidized housing.

Can I apply if I own a home The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Am I eligible for social housing if I do not have an income?

Yes, but you may have to pursue income from one of the following sources:

  • Ontario Works
  • Support payments
  • Employment Insurance
  • Canada or Quebec pension, Old Age Security
  • Any pension or support payments required under a sponsorship agreement
Am I eligible for social housing if I do not have an income? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What does it mean to live in co-op housing?

When you live in co-op housing, you:

  • Are a member of the corporation that owns and manages your housing complex
  • Are involved in running the co-op and are expected to contribute volunteer hours toward the success of the community
  • May need to attend an orientation session
  • Must first take part in an interview process run by the membership committee in order to be considered for a membership
What does it mean to live in co-op housing The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What is non-profit housing?

Non-profit housing is owned and operated by community-based, non-profit organizations such as faith groups and service clubs. They are either self-managed or managed through a property management company. Non-profit housing can be a mix of subsidized and market rent (not subsidized) housing.

What is non-profit housing? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How long until I am offered a unit?

The waiting list for subsidized housing works on a first-come, first-served basis. Special priority households are offered housing before the chronological waiting list. How long you wait may depend on:

  • How often tenants are moving out from the buildings you have listed
  • The number of building choices you have listed
  • The unit size(s) you are listed for as some unit sizes have more demand than others
  • The area you are interested in living in

Approximate wait times are:

  • 1 bedroom unit: approximate wait time is 15 years (due to high demand and a limited number of units)
  • 2 bedroom unit: approximate wait time is 13 years
  • 3 bedroom unit: approximate wait time is 10 years
  • 4 bedroom unit: approximate wait time is 14 years
  • Senior’s building (60 yrs. +): approximate wait time is 8 years

 

How long until I am offered a unit? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Can I choose where to live?

If you are a new applicant applying to the waiting list for subsidized housing, you will be required to select the municipality or municipalities where you would like to live.  As you get closer to the top of the waiting list for the municipality or municipalities you have selected, Housing Access will contact you to discuss your housing application and the selection of building locations.

Can I choose where to live? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Can I pick how many bedrooms I want?

The number of bedrooms is determined by the occupancy standards that apply to your household size.  Housing Access will confirm what size of unit you are eligible for.

Can I pick how many bedrooms I want? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Is there any type of accommodation for seniors?

Applicants are eligible for senior’s housing if at least one member of the household is 60 years of age or older.

Is there any type of senior accommodation? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How will I be notified about the status of my application?

York Region will send you a written notice to confirm that your application is complete and that you are eligible. If your application is not complete, or you are not eligible for assistance, it will be explained in the notice.

How will I be notified about the status of my application? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What should I do if information or my situation changes after I submit my application?

You are responsible to contact Housing Access with any changes to your information in order to maintain your eligibility status within 30 days of the change taking place.

Each year you are responsible to confirm your interest in remaining on the waiting list for subsidized housing by contacting Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675.

You must contact Housing Access if there is a change to your:

  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Members of Household
  • Household income
  • Immigration status

 

What should I do if information or my situation changes after I submit my application? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How many times can I turn down an offer?

When you are offered housing, you can refuse two offers without losing your spot on the waiting list. But if you turn down a third offer, you will no longer be eligible for subsidized housing and will be removed from the waiting list.

How many times can I turn down an offer? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How are people chosen for housing?

Application date is the main factor in how people are chosen for housing. As vacancies occur, each housing provider selects applicants from a waiting list provided by York Region. 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.

How are people chosen for housing? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How will I be contacted for an offer?

Housing providers require a daytime telephone number to reach you. If you cannot be reached during the day, it would be helpful to provide a telephone number of a contact who can be reached during the day and deliver the message to you.

How will I be contacted for an offer? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What if I need a special type of unit?

Some housing providers have modified units (e.g. wider doorways, lower counters) or units where support services are provided. If you are interested in obtaining a special needs or modified unit, please contact Housing Access.

What if I need a special type of unit? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What household abuse or violence assistance options are available?

Special Priority Status provides approved households a higher placement ahead of others on the centralized wait list for subsidized housing. If you are currently living with someone who is abusing you or another household member, or you have recently stopped living with someone who was abusing you or another household member, you may qualify for special priority status. Special Priority Status is available to help an applicant permanently separate from someone abusive.

You may qualify for special priority if you are eligible for subsidized housing and you, or a member of your household (16 years old or older):

  • Are currently living with someone abusing you or someone else in your household or are a sponsored immigrant and your sponsor is abusing you or another household member
  • Stopped living with someone who was abusing you or another household member less than 3 months ago; in some circumstances, you may qualify if the separation was longer than 3 months
  • Plan to live permanently apart from the abuser
  • Can demonstrate that you meet the special priority household eligibility criteria.

To apply for special priority you must complete a Request for Special Priority form and have a qualified professional complete a Verification of Abuse form. In addition, the professional must provide a letter describing the indicators of abuse applicable to your situation. You must also provide proof that you are or were living with or sponsored by the abusive individual.

What household abuse or violence assistance options are available? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What if I still have more questions?

To receive more information about applying for subsidized housing, call 1-877-464-9675 and select “housing” from the menu.

What if I still have questions? The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Where Can I Find Market Rent Housing?

Many subsidized housing communities have a mix of subsidized rent and market rent housing. Market rent is where the tenant pays the full rent for the unit. To be eligible for market rent housing you must meet the requirements of the housing provider. For information about rental rates or to apply for a market rent unit, contact the housing provider directly.

To view these locations, select "Market Rent" from the Type of Housing drop down on the Housing Locations page.

 

market rent,units,subsidized housing,non-profit housing,applying The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How to contact Housing Access

Housing Access is located at:

Housing Access
17310 Yonge St, Unit 9
Newmarket, ON L3Y 7R8

Tel: 1-877-464-9675

Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.



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