Amendments to O. Reg. 367/11 under the Housing Services Act, 2011
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Housing Services Act, 2011
Summary of Decision:
O. Reg. 367/11 (General) under the Housing Services Act, 2011 was amended by Ontario Regulation 437/17 to implement the proposal.
Ontario Regulation 437/17 comes in force on January 1, 2018.
July 14, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
The Special Priority Policy (SPP), set out in Ontario Regulation 367/11 of the Housing Services Act, 2011(HSA), provides priority access to rent-geared-to-income (RGI) social housing for survivors of domestic violence who have been abused by someone they are living with (or have lived with), or by someone sponsoring them as an immigrant, and from whom they intend to separate permanently.
The member of the household applying for the SPP category must provide a record to verify that the member has been abused. The regulation sets out a list of records of abusive behaviour (e.g., a record of police intervention indicating that the member was abused etc.) that may be used to verify that the member has been abused. A record of abuse must be prepared by one of the individuals identified in regulation, referred to as verifiers of abuse (e.g., physicians, lawyers, counsellors, etc.).
The request to be included in the SPP category must be made in writing by someone who is 16 years or older and include written consent enabling the Service Manager to access information or documents to verify that a member of the household has been abused.
The ministry has heard from a wide-range of stakeholders that the current SPP is difficult to access for some households (e.g. survivors of human trafficking, those without identification), could be more culturally inclusive, and could better reflect the culture and cycle of abuse.
Under the Long-Term Affordable Strategy Update (LTAHS Update) the province committed to making policy enhancements to SPP set out in O.Reg. 367/11 of the HSA.
The ministry is proposing a suite of proposed enhancements to the SPP to meet commitments under the LTAHS Update.
O. Reg. 367/11 (General)
-Expand SPP rules to include survivors of human trafficking;
-Allow SPP households to place their application on hold (and maintain their place on the centralized waitlist), if they reconcile with their abuser;
o Would not apply to SPP households who accessed the policy as a survivor of human trafficking.
-Update the records of abuse, including adding a record of forcible confinement;
-Update the verifiers of abuse to include mid-wives and Indigenous Elders;
-Require that Service Managers determine household's eligibility for SPP and RGI prior to addressing rent arrears or amounts owing;
-Provide Service Managers with the flexibility to contact a safe alternative contact as identified by the SPP applicant;
-Make it easier for SPP households without certain information and documents to apply for SPP and RGI;
-Update the definition of spouse to recognize individuals who are legally married; and,
-Update the definition of abuse to clarify that for the purposes of the definition, children who are unrelated to their abuser have access to SPP.
Ministry of Housing
777 Bay St
January 1, 2018