Applying for Subsidized Housing
All applicants on the subsidized housing wait list will be sent a letter in 2022 to register for the online portal. The online portal lets applicants update their information and learn more about subsidized housing programs and locations in York Region. Letters are being sent starting with applicants with the oldest application dates.
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. Housing Access can help you with information about applying for subsidized housing and the wait list.
I want to submit a new application for subsidized housing
The easiest and fastest way to apply for subsidized housing in York Region is to apply online.
To submit a new application online, you will need to:
- Create a new account with your email address and a password with at least 10 characters
- Complete all sections of the online application form. Signing your online application is required to successfully complete your registration. For information, please refer to our guide to signing your online application.
- Scan and submit:
- Proof of status in Canada for each member of your household
- The most recent Notice of Assessment and T1 General income tax form for each member of your household over the age of 16
For more information on uploading documents to your application, please refer to our guide to adding documents to your online application. Apply online
Mail in application form
Applicants can download a paper application form and mail it to Housing Access. You will be required to register for the online portal to update your information at least every 12 months.
- Complete all sections of the application
- Provide copies of:
- Proof of status in Canada for each member of your household
- The most recent Notice of Assessment and T1 General income tax form for each member of your household over the age of 16
I have already applied and want to access the online portal
Access my application online for the first time
All applicants currently on the subsidized housing wait list will receive a letter from Housing Access with a registration code to access their applications online. Letters are being sent in phases starting with applicants with the oldest application dates.
If you have received your registration code, you can access your existing application through our online portal.
To create an online portal account and link to your existing application, you need:
- Your registration code
- Your registration code is your client number. It is found on all communications from the Housing Access Unit in the form “p123456”
- If you do not have your registration code/client number, please call Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675
- First Name
- Last Name
- Date of Birth
- An email address
- You must use the email address that is on file with Housing Access to set-up your online account
- If you have never provided your email address, you use a different email address, or you aren’t sure which email address is on file, please contact Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675 to update your information before you register
For more information on how to register, please refer to our guide for existing applicants.
Once you have registered and created a user name and password, you will use the online portal to update your information, keep your building choices up to date and learn more about subsidized housing programs in York Region.
As an existing applicant, it is important that you do not create a new application. Having more than one application may create delays in processing your information.
I already have a user name and password
If you have already registered your account and have a user name and password, you can check the status of your application, change your building selections and update your information.
To access your online application in another service area, click here to access the social housing online application.
Frequently asked questions
What is subsidized housing?
Subsidized housing is for eligible households who do not have enough income and/or assets to pay market rent.
Who is eligible for subsidized housing?
Anyone can apply for subsidized housing in York Region as long as they meet these basic eligibility requirements:
- At least one household member must be 16 years of age or older.
- All household members must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or have refugee claimant status.
- You must not owe any money to a former social housing provider.
- Household members cannot be 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 convicted of an offence under the Housing Services Ace (HSA), the Social Housing Reform Act or the Criminal Code in relation to the receipt of rent-geared-to-income assistance.
- Annual household income from all sources must be less than $80,000.
- Total value of all assets owned by you and all members of your household who are over the age of 16 must be less than $75,000. Bank accounts, investments and real estate are examples of assets. Some assets, including Registered Retirement Savings Plans, Registered Education Savings Plans and Registered Disability Savings Plans are not counted toward the limit, but you must still declare them.
- You must be able to live independently, with or without supports.
What is proof of my status in Canada?
You must provide proof of your legal right to be in Canada for yourself and everyone in your household. 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.
Note: We do not accept your health card or driver's licence as proof of your status in Canada.
What does ‘living independently’ mean?
An individual is considered to be able to live independently if they are able to perform the 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.
I do not have an income. Am I eligible for subsidized housing?
Yes, but once you are housed you must pursue income from one or more of the following sources:
- Ontario Works (OW)
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Spousal or child support
- Employment Insurance
- Guaranteed Annual Income (GAINS), Old Age Security (OAS) and/or Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
- Support or maintenance from a sponsor under the Immigration Act
What are the different types of housing?
Non-Profits are owned and operated by community-based, non-profit organizations. They are either self-managed or managed through a property management company.
Co-operative Non-Profits are similar to other non-profit housing corporations, except each resident becomes a member and has a say in how the co-operative is operated.
Each member is expected to help in the day-to-day operations and the Board of Directors is established from members of the co-operative.
Housing York Inc.
York Region has its own housing company that owns and operates subsidized and market rent units under a variety of programs.
York Region has rent supplement agreements with various private landlords. Rent supplement tenants pay rent-geared-to-income in private rental apartments. York Region will pay the difference between the tenant’s subsidized rent and the market rent for the unit. We do not give out the addresses of these buildings as these agreements are with private landlords and the addresses can change.
Affordable Housing Program
These are buildings that have a different funding model. Rent assistance (subsidy) is available for some units in each of these buildings.
Can I choose where I want to live?
When you apply to the waiting list, you will apply to a municipality or municipalities. As you get closer to the top of the waiting list, Housing Access will contact you so you can pick specific building locations. You can request changes to your building selections at any time.
Do I get to 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.
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
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.
How much rent can I expect to pay?
Generally, subsidized rent is based on 30 per cent of your household’s total gross monthly income. Additional charges may apply depending on the building (e.g. parking).
There are also new buildings that have a different type of funding model where applicants are housed according to income bands where the rent is a pre-calculated base rent.
If you are receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, your rent is
based on a pre-determined rent scale.
What if I need a wheelchair accessible unit?
Some housing providers have wheelchair accessible units. A detailed list of these units can be accessed from the Housing Locations website or at the Housing Access office. Your doctor must complete our Request for Modified Unit form. Once we receive the form, we will assess your eligibility for this type of unit.
What if I want a market rent unit?
If you are interested in getting a market rent unit, please contact the housing provider directly. See all housing providers and locations.
What is Special Priority Status?
Special Priority Status is intended to help victims of abuse permanently separate from their abuser. Special Priority Status:
- Is only given to applicants whose safety is at risk because they live with someone who is abusing them
- Does not apply to applicants who want to separate from someone because a relationship is not working
- Provides approved households a higher placement ahead of others on the centralized wait list for subsidized housing
You may qualify for Special Priority Status 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 another person in your household or are a sponsored immigrant and your sponsor is abusing you or another household member
- You used to live with someone that was abusing you or another person in your household, and stopped living with them three months ago or less
- Plan to live permanently apart from the abuser
- You are a victim of human trafficking currently being trafficked, or you are a survivor of human trafficking and have exited trafficking within the last three months or less
How do I apply for Special Priority Status?
To apply for Special Priority Status as a victim of domestic abuse you must complete the Request for Special Priority form and have a qualified professional complete the 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 the abusive individual or sponsored by the abusive individual.
As a victim of human trafficking:
- Complete the Request for Special Priority - Victims/Survivors of Human Trafficking form
- Have qualified professional complete the Verification of Abuse form
- The professional must provide a letter describing the circumstances that the applicant is being or has been trafficked.
These forms can be accessed at Subsidized Housing Resources or the Housing Access Unit office.
Please note that the Verification of Abuse form, Request for Special Priority form and the letter from the professional describing the applicant’s circumstances must all be original documents. Photocopies or scanned copies are not acceptable.
Does York Region have any other priorities on the waiting list?
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 Happens After You Have Applied?
How do I know if my application has been received?
You will be notified in writing once your application is eligible. If your application is not complete, we will send your entire application back to you without placing you on the waiting list.
What is my Application Date?
Your application date is the date we receive a completed application form from you.
What are my responsibilities after I submit my application?
Applicants for social housing have a number of responsibilities:
- You must notify the Housing Access Unit of any changes to your information in order to maintain your eligibility status
- You must confirm your interest in remaining on the waiting list for housing. This confirmation must be done with the Housing Access Unit once a year
You must notify the Housing Access Unit if:
- Your address changes
- Your telephone number changes
- You want to live in locations other than those you chose on your application
- The number of people in your household changes
- The contact person on your application changes
- Your income changes
- Your immigration status changes
Changing Building Selections?
You can request change to your building selections at any time. You can refer to york.ca for a map indicating where social housing buildings are located.
How do I add or remove someone from my application?
You must complete a Request to Make Changes to Your Application form. The new adult family member must complete and submit the form called Adding a Member to an Application for Subsidized Housing to Housing Access. They will need to provide documents of their legal status in Canada for each family member added to your application and submit copies of their T1 General Income Tax Return and Notice of Assessment for the most recent tax year. Housing Access will determine their eligibility for the waiting list.
How do I apply for seniors housing?
Seniors buildings are for people who are 60 years of age or older. At least one member of your household must be 60 years of age or older in order to add seniors’ buildings to your application.
Note: Housing providers may turn down your household if all members are not over the age of 60.
The application process for seniors is the same as the regular waiting list for subsidized housing. The only difference is that you can add seniors buildings to your housing choices.
Many of these buildings have seniors’ support services on-site.
When will I be offered housing?
Households are considered for housing in order of their application date. The buildings you select are operated by many different housing providers. When a vacancy occurs, the housing provider will choose the next applicant on the waiting list provided by York Region’s Housing Access Unit. Housing Access does not offer units and is not aware of when vacancies occur.
How long will it take for me to be offered a unit?
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, balcony).
|Unit size||Approximate wait time|
|One-bedroom||15 years or more|
|Two-bedroom||13 years or more|
|Three-bedroom||10 years or more|
|Four-bedroom||14 years or more|
|Seniors building (60 years of age or older)||8 years or more|
How will I be contacted with an offer?
The housing provider that is offering you a unit will phone, email or mail you the offer details when your name is at the top of their waiting list. Make sure that the telephone number you have given Housing Access is a number where you can be reached during the day, or, give us the number of a contact person who can pass a message on to you. In addition, make sure you give Housing Access your email address. You need to call the housing provider back right away, or they will offer the unit to the next person on the waiting list.
Offered Housing ... Now What?
If I am housed somewhere that is not my first choice,will I still be on the Waiting List for my other choices?
Once you accept an offer of housing, your file is closed with Housing Access and you will be taken off of all building wait lists. If you want to move, you will have to begin the application process again with a new application date.
What if I still have questions?
To get more information about applying for subsidized housing call 1-877-464-9675.
How many times can I turn down an offer of housing?
All applicants will receive one offer of housing. Based on eligibility rules set by the Province of Ontario, if an applicant turns down an offer, their application will be removed from the wait list.
Keeping your application up to date
Updates to your application can be made online once you register for the online portal. To register for the first time, follow the instructions at the top of the page under “I have already applied and want to access the online portal”.
If you need assistance, please contact Housing Access at 1-877-464-9675.
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. You can report these changes through the online portal.
You must update your information at least every 12 months.
Applications that are not updated will be cancelled and your name will be removed from the waiting list.
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. You can use the online portal to make your building choices.
As your name gets closer to the top of the waiting list, Housing Access will also contact you to review your municipality and building selections.
How do I add a family member to my application?
You can add a family member to your application using the online portal. You will need to scan and upload proof of status in Canada, for each household member that you add to the application. If you are adding a household member over the age of 16, you must also scan and upload their most recent Notice of Assessment and T1 General. Housing Access will determine eligibility.
What if my contact information, income or family changes while I’m on the waiting list?
You must notify Housing Access through the online portal within 30 days if there is a change to your:
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Household members
- Household income
- Immigration Status
You can use the online portal to update your information.
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 Review Form - Applicants, 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.
How to contact Housing Access
Housing Access is located at:
Housing Services, 5th Floor
The Regional Municipality of York
17150 Yonge Street
Newmarket, ON L3Y 8V3
Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
Subsidized Housing Forms
- All forms and applications for subsidized housing
- Guide to signing your online application
- Guide to adding documents to your online application
- Guide for existing applicants
- Housing Help Centre
- Landlord and Tenant Board
- Ontario Human Rights Commission, Policy on Human Rights and Rental Housing
- The Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada
- Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association
- Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
- Housing Services Corporation
- Central Local Health Integration Network
- Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing