Proposed Amendments to the Housing Services Act, 2011 Related to Social Housing Waiting Lists
Ontario Regulation 367/11
Bill or Act:
Housing Services Act, 2011
Summary of Proposal:
The Housing Services Act, 2011 establishes the legislative framework for social housing in Ontario. Under this Act, 47 Service Managers (municipalities and district social services administration boards) are required to administer waiting lists for access to rent-geared-to-income assistance in social housing in their service area, in compliance with detailed rules.
The following targeted changes are intended to help Service Managers to streamline processes and manage waiting lists more efficiently and effectively for those most in need.
The ministry is seeking feedback on the following proposed changes to Ontario Regulation 367/11 related to local eligibility rules for refusal of offers of rent-geared-to-income assistance and tenant transfers between housing providers within the same Service Manager area.
These proposed amendments are part of a larger Community Housing Renewal initiative.
Areas for Proposed Amendments:
Refusal of Offers
Currently Service Managers can implement a local eligibility rule providing that a household is ineligible for rent-geared-to-income assistance if the household refuses an offer of housing. The Service Manager must permit a minimum of three refusals per household.
-Proposed changes would restrict the ability of households on the waiting lists to refuse offers of housing assistance. As such, applicants would be required to accept the first offer provided. Service Managers would have the authority to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis to address extenuating circumstances.
-After the proposed change, applicants would continue to have choice over their preferred location and building, as they choose the buildings they wish to live in when they apply.
-Service Managers administer waiting lists in their service area and have discretion over the application process, including the number of buildings applicants may indicate a preference for when they apply for rent-geared-to-income assistance.
Currently, tenants who are receiving rent-geared-to-income assistance may request to move to another building managed by their housing provider. Transfers between Service Manager areas are currently permitted under regulation if the Service Managers involved have an exchange agreement in place.
However, Service Managers are required to place tenants applying for a transfer to another housing provider in the same service area on their centralized waiting list. These current requirements for tenant transfers can limit the mobility of tenants in areas where housing providers do not have multiple properties or units.
-Proposed changes would allow Service Managers and housing providers flexibility to manage tenant transfers between housing providers more effectively as is appropriate for their local context. Tenants would not have to re-apply and be placed on the centralized waiting list for such a transfer and Service Managers would be provided with more flexibility to determine the way in which transfers are handled in their service area.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Analysis of Regulatory Impact is on separate page. See link below.
April 17, 2019
Comments Due Date:
July 1, 2019
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St., 14th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5