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10.1 Housing Assistance


Ontario Works Effective Date: July 1, 2022
Topic:Homelessness Prevention Replaces: NEW
Subject: Housing Assistance Policy No. H.10.1




The vision of the Homelessness Prevention Program is to provide the necessary resources to establish a coordinated housing and homelessness system so the people at risk of or experiencing homelessness have the housing and support services that they need to retain and/or obtain stable housing and achieve better outcomes.
The goals of the Homelessness Prevention Program are to:
  1. Prevent homelessness: people at risk of homelessness remain housed and have connections to support services
  2. Address homelessness: people who are homeless and chronically homeless obtain and retain housing and support services
  3. Reduce chronic homelessness: reduction in chronic homelessness

Provincial Priority Populations within these outcomes are chronic homelessness, youth homelessness, indigenous homelessness and homelessness following transition from a provincial institution.

Housing Assistance

Eligibility for HPP Housing Assistance will be based on the most recent Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) for the appropriate family size published by Statistics Canada plus 25%. In order to qualify for these benefits, all individuals applying must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other possible financial resources including disposition of assets where reasonable.

Eligibility for HPP Housing Assistance will be limited to one issuance within a 12-month period.

Under exceptional circumstances, clients may be able to exceed the above policy with the approval of the Director of Integrated Social Services.

The types of assistance available under the HPP Housing Assistance are:

  1. Short-term/emergency financial assistance
  2. Long-term housing assistance
  3. Non-financial assistance


In order to qualify for HPP Housing Assistance, individuals need to complete the Housing Assistance application as well as the action plan.

Applicants must have all utility accounts in their name to receive support for arrears or set up costs. Applicants must not be related (related defined as parent, child, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle) to their landlord to be considered.

1. Short-term / emergency financial assistance:

  • This could include assistance with rent arrears (e.g. rent banks), utilities arrears, time limited rental assistance (e.g. rapid rehousing; emergency housing assistance), and emergency repairs to housing units.
  • Financial assistance to set up a housing unit. This includes: first/last months’ rent, moving costs, costs for start-up items such as furniture, household products and housewares.

2. Long-term housing assistance:

  • Housing allowances or rent supplements intended to be ongoing (e.g., lasting for year or more) not provided as part of supportive housing, transitional housing or Residential Services Homes.
  • If eligible, the DSB may also provide long term housing assistance under the Direct Shelter Subsidy (DSS) program. The DSS policy can he found here

3. Non-financial assistance:

  • Activities could include housing help, eviction supports, legal supports to avert eviction, budgeting assistance, shelter diversion, hoarding assistance, landlord-tenant assistance.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Families and/or individuals who have met with unexpected and/or uncontrollable personal or financial hardship.
  2. All individuals applying must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other possible financial resources including disposition of assets where reasonable.
  3. Applicants must illustrate that the financial crisis is temporary and can beaddressed through this short-term assistance. Applicants must also complete a preventative plan of action.
  4. Employable applicants should be able to demonstrate they are actively conducting a job search.
  5. Retention of Permanent Accommodations:
            a) Applicants would be facing eviction or disconnection of services. However, they must not be subject to  foreseeable eviction proceedings for reasons other than rent arrears.
            b) Families and/or individuals who are living in unaffordable accommodations must complete a realistic plan of   action which focuses on reducing their housing expenditure to 30% - 50% of their income.
            c) Applicants who rent accommodations must also apply for Social Housing.
            d) Applicants should be able to illustrate that over the course of the arrears they have attempted to make payments.

       6. The applicant must be willing to complete an application form which requires the disclosure of their financial situation.

       7. Eligibility for HPP Housing Assistance is limited to once every 12 months. The Director of Integrated Social Services  may make an exception in extraordinary circumstances.

      8. If the applicant is “low-income” please obtain a copy of the client’s most recent net taxable family income. Confirm   their net taxable family income meets the HPP Housing Assistance financial threshold, and that their financial   situation has not changed since the assessment. Where the applicant has experienced a significant income change  as compared to their most recent net taxable family income, their current income will be taken into account to assess  eligibility. For first time applicants where the previous year’s income tax has not been filed, we will use current income  to  determine eligibility.

      9. Eligibility for HPP Housing Assistance will be based on the most recent Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO) for the  appropriate family size published by Statistics Canada plus 25%. In order to qualify for these benefits, all  individualsapplying must demonstrate that they have exhausted all other possible financial resources including                      disposition of assets where reasonable.

Statistics Canada

After Tax Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO), 2020

HPP Housing Assistance 

LICO + 25%

Family Size Income Income        
1 person $16,515 $20,643
2 persons $20,101 $25,126
3 persons $25,029 $31,286
4 persons $31,266 $39,082
5 persons $35,558 $44,447
6 persons $39,435 $49,293
7 + persons $43,312 $54,140

Families in receipt of OW and/or ODSP will automatically qualify under the assumption that there is no additional income. Should the Household have additional income, then the HPP Housing Assistance financial eligibility chart will be used to determine the net family income.

Application Process: 

  1. Case Managers (CM) will assess the applicant’s need and urgency of assistance by reviewing the eligibility criterion with the applicant.
  2. Case Manager will consult with the HPP Housing Assistance Log to determine if the applicant has accessed funds in the past 12 months.
  3. If client not eligible, but exceptional circumstances apply, explain circumstances on application, and complete full application and recommend for approval.
  4. If the applicant is an Ontario Works or ODSP recipient (SAR- social assistance recipient), they are not required to sign the application. If the applicant is ‘low income’ (Non-SAR), they are required to sign the application.
  5. Case Manager should validate the information received by the applicant where feasible.

The following documentation must be attached:

  • proof of arrears (i.e. letter from landlord, utility company, etc)
  • income verification (i.e. copy of recent NOA/CCTB, pay stub, cheque etc.)
  • rent or mortgage receipt
  • verification of identification (photo id required)
  • any other supporting documentation

     6. Where the client is applying to retain their permanent accommodations they must:

  • complete the Action Plan and attach it to the application form
  • apply for Community Housing

     7. Case Manager to provide the applicant with a copy of the Action Plan.

     8. Complete the “Request for payment” form. Check the appropriate boxes to access the different fund components   breaking down the amount to be paid out where appropriate.

     9. Please scan the request into the electronic filing system in the Non-Shareable Programs Folder (NSP) and follow the  Workflow Job Aide. 

     10. Once approved the Supervisor will move the approved document into the appropriate ‘Approved Benefit’ caseload in  the electronic filing system. The CM will contact the landlord, utility, etc. and notify them that the arrears will be paid to  them directly and to discontinue the eviction, disconnection process.

     11. If application is NOT approved, Supervisor will move the denied request into the appropriate ‘For Review’ folder in  the client’s electronic filing system and a note will be input in the social assistance computer system where appropriate.

     12. If approved, appropriate IPA/CM will issue payment via the social assistance management system for OW and   ODSP clients. Payment for non-social assistance clients will be issued via a manual cheque by Espanola IPA and  coded  to the appropriate fund. In ALL cases where there is an existing file in the Social Assistance Management                    System all notes and payments will be issued from the database.

     13. Once payment is issued, IPA/CM will move the document to the AA folder in the electronic filing system. The AA will  update the HPP Housing Assistance log and file into the NSP folder in the electronic filing system according to year and  type of benefit.

     14. If approved, confirmation of the approved amount will be provided to the client and noted.

     15. If denied, the client will be notified with the reason for the denial, the denial will be noted, and the client will be  provided with the opportunity to request an Internal Review.

     16. Case Managers should make arrangements for a follow-up call / visit to encourage the applicant to follow their action   plan.

Request for Internal Review

If an applicant or recipient disagrees with a decision, he/she must request an internal review within 30 calendar days from the day the decision is received or deemed to be received. The request must be made in writing.

Written requests for internal reviews may be submitted by letter/note signed by the applicant or recipient.

The letter/note should include:

  • a statement indicating that the applicant or recipient wishes to have the decision reviewed;
  • the reason he/she disagrees with the decision; and
  • the name, case identification and signature of the applicant or recipient requesting the review.

A review will be conducted by a staff other than the original decision maker and an assessment will be undertaken based on our local policy whether the applicant or recipient’s request is approved or denied.