Proposed Regulatory Amendments under the Housing Services Act, 2011
O. Reg. 367/11
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Housing Services Act, 2011
Summary of Proposal:
Community housing is housing owned and operated by non-profit housing corporations, housing co-operatives and 47 municipal Service Managers (municipal governments or district social services administration boards). These providers offer subsidized or low-end-of market rents - housing sometimes referred to as social housing and affordable housing.
Both social and affordable housing aspects of the community housing system are intended to meet the housing needs of low-income households with different depths of housing affordability needs.
Social housing was developed through federal or provincial government programs from the 1950s through 1995. Over 250,000 households live in social housing. About 185,000 pay a geared-to-income (RGI) rent (generally, 30% of their income towards rent) and the rest pay a moderate market rent. The rules for RGI assistance are prescribed in provincial regulation.
In general, there are three main issues facing Ontario' s community housing system specifically, the social housing component of this system:
1. Supply: Many housing providers face a level of uncertainty about what the rules will be when their original program obligations end and face financial or other challenges to continue to offer housing to people who need it the most.
2. People: Many individuals have difficulties accessing community housing and those with the greatest need are not always matched to the housing assistance that is best for them.
3. System: Ontario' s community housing system is a maze of complex rules making it difficult for Service Managers and housing providers to address the housing needs of households in their communities
In April 2019, Ontario released the Community Housing Renewal Strategy which outlined the government' s plan to work with partners to stabilize and grow the community housing sector.
In July 2020, as part of the Community Housing Renewal Strategy, enabling legislative amendments were made to the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) which are intended to:
-Create a streamlined framework for Service Managers and housing providers to continue delivering community housing and for new providers' projects to enter the system [service agreements];
-Modernize accountability approaches by broadening the types of housing assistance that can be counted towards required service levels; and
-Require Service Managers to have an access system for forms of housing assistance in their service areas.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is proposing changes to O. Reg. 367/ 11 to address each of these areas. These proposed changes are intended to work together to create the foundation for mutually beneficial service relationships between Service Managers and housing providers, modernize accountability approaches to put people first, and update rules for Service Managers to improve access to housing assistance for people most in need.
MMAH is seeking your feedback on each stream of proposed regulation development as attached in the further information section noted below.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There are no major direct compliance costs (i.e., no new capital or operating costs, or fees) associated with this proposal. There are potentially minimal administrative costs related to internal resources spent by Service Manager to learn about the regulatory change and their associated obligations.
Service Agreements: By streamlining complex rules and requirements, over the long-term the proposed new operating framework is expected to decrease administrative and reporting time for Service Managers and community housing providers.
Service Level Requirements: Over the long-term the development of a proposed new framework for service levels is expected decrease administrative and reporting time for Service Managers by streamlining complex rules and requirements for Service Managers to provide forms of housing assistance that meets the needs of households in communities across the province.
December 20, 2021
Comments Due Date:
February 18, 2022
Manager, Community Housing Renewal Unit
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Manager, Community Housing Equity and Supply Unit
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
14th Flr, 777 Bay St
Toronto, ON M7A 2J3