Applying for Subsidized Housing
York Region administers and funds subsidized housing in all nine cities and towns, providing individuals, families and seniors with low- to moderate-incomes subsidies to help them pay rent.
People who receive subsidies pay rent based on their income, which is typically calculated at 30 per cent of a household’s total gross (before tax) income. People receiving social assistance often pay a fixed rate.
Housing Access manages a centralized wait list for approximately 5,000 subsidized rental housing units in York Region operated by Housing York Inc. and non-profit and co-operative housing organizations.
This page provides information on how to apply for subsidized housing in York Region. If you have already applied, please visit york.ca/MyHousingApplication to access your existing application, update your information and learn about the online housing offer process.
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 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.
To request a paper application, please call Access York at 1-877-464-9675.
I have already applied and want to access the online portal
If you have received a letter to register for the online portal, please visit york.ca/MyHousingApplication for registration instructions, or check out the video below.
Housing locations in York Region
See the list of subsidized housing buildings located throughout York Region.
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 community 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 Act (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. Applicants are responsible for arranging their own support services, as they are not provided by community housing providers.
What are the different types of 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.
Co-operative housing (co-ops) are collectively owned and managed by the people who live in them. Residents living in co-ops are called members. A board of directors is elected among the members of a co-op.
If you are interested in living in co-operative housing, you must attend an information session. Most co-operatives also require you to attend an interview with their membership committee before offering you housing.
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.
Housing York Inc. is York Region’s housing corporation. It owns and operates 2,600 subsidized and market rent housing units across York Region.
York Region has rent supplement agreements with various private landlords. Rent supplement tenants pay rent geared-to-income in private rental apartments. The Region pays the landlord the difference between the tenant’s subsidized rent and the market rental cost of the unit.
Portable Housing Benefit
York Region offers portable housing benefits for eligible households who are currently renting a private market unit to help pay their rent. These benefits are different from subsidized housing because they are not tied to a specific community housing or rent supplement unit, and the rent you pay is calculated differently than a subsidized unit.
Can I choose where I want to live?
When you apply to the wait list, you can select building locations where you would like to live. You can make changes online to your building selections at any time.
York Region is launching a new online offer process, where available subsidized units and housing benefits will be posted online. Please visit york.ca/MyHousingApplication for more information.
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 % of your household’s total gross monthly income. Additional charges may apply depending on the building (e.g., parking).
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.
Do any housing providers have market rent units?
Some housing providers have market rent units as well as subsidized units. If you are interested in getting a market rent unit, please contact the housing provider directly. A list of housing providers and locations is available on the Housing Locations page.
What is Special Priority Status?
Special Priority Status is intended to help victims of abuse and human trafficking 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 applicants a higher placement ahead of others on the wait list
You may qualify for Special Priority Status if you are eligible for subsidized housing and you, or a member of your household:
- 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
- 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
- Is 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 or survivor of human trafficking, you must submit a Request for Special Priority package. This includes a request for Special Priority form that you must complete and a section that must be completed by a professional who is familiar with your situation. The same professional must also provide a letter that describes the circumstances of the abuse or trafficking. If you are applying as a survivor of domestic violence, you must provide proof that you are or were living with the abusive individual or sponsored by the abusive individual. Request for Special Priority form.
Does York Region have any other priorities on the wait 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.
Can I turn down an offer of housing?
Wait list applicants receive one offer of housing, in accordance with provincial rules. If you turn down the offer of housing, you will no longer be eligible for subsidized housing and you will be removed from the wait list.
Housing Access Notice of Decision
Housing Access communicates eligibility decisions to applicants through a Notice of Decision. If you disagree with a decision made by Housing Access, you can request an appeal called a Decision Review for one of the following decisions:
- Your eligibility for the subsidized housing wait list
- The size and type of unit you are eligible for
- Your eligibility for Special Priority Status on the wait list
- You refused an offer of subsidized housing and your application has been cancelled
- You want to reactivate and backdate your canceled application
To request a Decision 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 by the due date outlined in the Notice of Decision.
If your request for review is not received by the due date, 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
- Frequently asked questions
- 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