Recognizing the importance of affordable housing to the social and economic wellbeing of individuals and communities at large, the City of Toronto (the City) has committed to protecting and increasing Toronto’s supply of affordable rental housing units.
The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan articulates this commitment through measurable targets to be achieved through the execution of a number of housing initiatives delivered in partnership with the private sector and non-profit housing providers.
Private and non-profit organizations operating affordable rental housing projects are valued partners to the City, as they play an integral role in the development of vibrant mixed-income neighbourhoods in Toronto, and the overall economic health of the City.
Through the City’s Official Plan and the Municipal Housing Facility By-law, the City currently defines affordable rental housing units as housing where the total monthly shelter cost (gross monthly rent, including heat, hydro and hot water, excluding parking and internet/cable charges) is at or below Toronto’s average market rent (AMR) by unit type, as reported each year by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
Affordable rental housing forms the basis for various types of units and projects and has been and is being developed under a variety of programs initiated by the provincial and federal orders of government and through the City of Toronto. Projects may include a mix of AMR rates and includes the layering on of a range of housing income benefits for eligible and qualifying applicants to achieve deeper levels of affordability or supports to ensure tenants are and can remain successfully housed independently, often delivered in partnership with a support agency.
In addition, some projects have specific mandates that support identified priority groups.
To be eligible for affordable rental housing, a household must meet all of the following criteria upon occupancy:
-At least one member of the household is 16 years old or older and is able to live
-Every member of the household is either:
-A Canadian citizen
-A permanent resident of Canada or has applied for permanent resident status, or
-A refugee claimant or Convention refugee
-Have a household income that is not more than four times the annualized rent (monthlyoccupancy cost x 4 x 12 at initial occupancy)
In addition, the household must not:
-Have arrears with a social housing provider; unless the household has entered into arepayment plan with that provider and the repayment plan is in good standing
-Own a home suitable for year-round occupation
-Have an enforceable removal order against them
The key aim of the City’s affordable rental housing program is to ensure that affordable units are allocated for the benefit of eligible low and medium income households
Housing providers must determine the eligibility of each applicant selected through the random draw process or approved alternative referral pathway, before a lease is entered into, and eligibility must also be reviewed for tenants under the following conditions:
-The household is requesting a transfer to another affordable rental housing unit (where transfers are permitted).
-The household is applying for rent with a different level of affordability (e.g. 60% AMR, 80% AMR, 100% AMR), an option which must be approved through the housing provider’s Access Plan.
The income of applicants, will be verified, at initial occupancy to ensure that their household income is below the initial income limit, which is four times the annualized rent (monthly occupancy cost x 12 x 4). To do this, each household must complete and sign an Eligibility and Household Income Review Form.
Total household income is determined by the total of each household member’s net income, and verified on Line 23600 of their Notice of Assessment on the most recent taxation year.
The housing provider must refuse to offer a unit to an applicant if the applicant’s household income is greater than the initial income limit.
The income of a household member who is enrolled in full-time studies at a recognized educational institution, is exempt from the total income calculation, provided that proof of enrollment is provided.
A housing provider may exempt the obligation for a household member to provide a Notice of Assessment for the initial income review for:
1) Newcomers who have been in Canada less than one year;
2) Homeless households; and
3) Youth aged 16 to 17 who have not filed an income tax return for the most recent year.
If an exemption is applicable, the household should provide the documentation as required.
It is recommended that the Eligibility and Household Income Review Form and any additional information required by the landlord be requested to streamline the process.
Pinnacle International will manage and assign a random number to each applicant. The City of Toronto will provide oversight for the selection process. We ask that only one expression of interest per household. Duplicate or incomplete applications will not be processed.
After all forms are collected and the random draw takes place, successful applicants will be contacted to proceed with the approval process. Applicants will have 5 days to respond with the completed application and supporting documents. If you do not respond in those 5 days, you will lose your opportunity and the next person in line will be given status.
Approved applicants will be notified with the unit they have been awarded. Approved applicants will be requested to submit a last month’s rent deposit within two days of approval and complete signing of the residential tenant agreement.
Order of preference for units will be within the City of Toronto’s occupancy standards and not the most desirable to the applicant.
Please do not give notice to your current landlord until a signed lease by all parties is completed and the deposit has been paid.
If the applicant refuses the unit offered to them or fails to complete the application process in the required timeline, the application will default on their application.