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How can I apply for subsidized housing?

To apply for subsidized housing, you need to contact a co-ordinated access centre in your area.  These centres give information on the non-profit, co-op and public housing opportunities in your area.

There are waiting lists for subsidized housing in most areas so you will probably have to join a waiting list first. Read How long do I have to wait for subsidized housing? for more information.

Although each area has its own policies, some rules are the same across Ontario:

  • You will be asked to fill out an application form. Everyone in your household 16 and over must sign the form.
  • There are waiting lists for subsidized housing across Ontario. In some areas, the waiting list is more than 10 years. In other places the wait is shorter.
  • People who have been on the waiting list longer will be offered housing first. This is called first come, first served. However, if you are a victim of any kind of family abuse (wife abuse, elder abuse, child abuse) you will be given priority. In some areas, other groups are given priority. Ask a staff person at your co-ordinated access centre for details.
  • You can choose to apply for one building or many. The more buildings you apply for, the sooner you will be offered an apartment.

Be sure that the buildings you choose are ones where you really want to live. If you are offered one of your choices but decide you don't want it, you can refuse it. But if you refuse three times, you will be taken off all the waiting lists, and you will not be offered another apartment.

If you move, make sure to tell the co-ordinated access centre so that they can send you information and offers.

You can contact a community agency or housing help centre for more information about subsidized housing. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.

For More Information

  • Looking for Subsidized Housing - Information about subsidized housing in Ontario, including how to apply and eligibility guidelines.
  • Waiting Lists for Subsidized Housing - Lists the average waiting times for communities across Ontario.
  • Find Housing Help in Ontario - This website lists housing help centres across Ontario. These centres can help you find affordable housing and access financial and social supports. From the Housing Help Association of Ontario.
  • Co-op Housing: An Affordable Alternative - This fact sheet has information about co-op housing. It focuses on Toronto, but a lot of the information applies to co-op housing all over Ontario. Available in many languages.
  • Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association (ONPHA) - An association of private and municipal non-profit housing providers in Ontario. The ONPHA website explains what non-profit housing is, describes ONPHA services and has links to related organizations.
Last Updated: December 22, 2011
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