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Housing Connections Workshop - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Housing Connections Workshop. Content. 1) What do we do? 2) Applying for Housing 3) How to Keep Application Alive 4) Making Housing Choices 5) Special Priorities 6) Adverse Decisions 7) How to Use Online Services 8) Housing Programs 9) Community Partners.

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Content l.jpg

1) What do we do?

2) Applying for Housing

3) How to Keep Application Alive

4) Making Housing Choices

5) Special Priorities

6) Adverse Decisions

7) How to Use Online Services

8) Housing Programs

9) Community Partners

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What do we do?

  • Assess eligibility for and manage the central waiting list for subsidized housing in Toronto

  • Manage the Rent Supplement Program in private-market buildings

  • Manage various housing programs

  • Following City rules and Ontario laws

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Social Housing Reform Act, 2000 Ontario

We apply SHRA rules to:

  • Waiting list administration

  • Eligibility

  • Special priority victims of abuse

  • Review process for adverse decisions – opportunity for applicant to provide further info on their case and a right to an Internal Review of the process

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Applicants on the waiting list

As of December 31, 2010:

Total number of people on the central

waiting list: 142,555

Total Household Applications:


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How long is the wait?

Special Priority 12-18 months

Bachelor 1-5 years

One-bedroom 7-10 years

Two-bedroom 5-10 years

Three-to-four-bedroom 10-12 years

Five-bedroom 4-6 years

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  • Rent is 30 per cent of gross household income; goes up or down depending on income

  • 70,000 social housing units located across the city in various social housing buildings

  • Choose from housing listings

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Applying for Housing

How to fill out an application

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  • Complete an application online at www.housingconnections.ca

  • Download an application form and instructions (English or French) from www.housingconnections.ca

  • Pick up and get help with an application at one of Housing Connections’ Community Partners located across the city

  • Fill out an application at our Resource Centre at 176 Elm Street

  • Call and request an application

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Filling out your application

  • Household information

  • Detail of arrears

  • Alternate contacts

  • Income

  • Housing choices

  • Declaration

  • Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information

    *Must be signed by applicant, and all household members 16 years of

    age or older

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Waiting list eligibility

  • All household members must have legal status in Canada (Canadian citizenship, landed immigrant status, refugee status or claimant) See our website.

  • Must be 16 years of age or older to apply

  • No enforceable deportation, departure or exclusion order against any household members

  • No household member can owe arrears to a social housing provider in Ontario (unless there is an up-to-date repayment schedule in place)

  • No household member or former member has convictions of RGI fraud or misrepresentation

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Everyone must have status in Canada – proof of Canadian status for all household members

If you owe arrears, provide a copy of arrears repayment

agreement signed by housing provider

If any of your children are in the custody of the

Children’s Aid Society, provide a letter from the CAS

If you requested an additional bedroom because of a legal custody

agreement or visiting rights, provide a copy of the agreement

If you requested an additional bedroom for disability,

provide proof of disability

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Incomplete applications

  • The applicants are sent a letter outlining what is missing to complete the application

  • The date of application is the date that the completed application is received with Canadian status documentation for each household member

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What happens after you apply?

  • An acknowledgement letter is mailed to you when we have received your application telling you whether you are eligible

  • Another letter will be mailed with a personal identification number (P.I.N.) so that you can use the website and the automated telephone system to make changes to your application

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How to Keep Your Application Alive

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The applicant’s responsibilities

Inform Housing Connections whenever

there is a change in:

  • name, address, phone number and/or designated contact person

  • income or assets

  • health or special needs

  • household composition

  • housing choices

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Keep your application alive!

  • Update information once a year to keep application on the waiting list

  • If there has been no activity on a file for 12 months, a letter is sent to the last known address asking the applicant to make contact to confirm interest

  • If the mail is returned, or if there is no response, every effort is made to contact the applicant or designated contact person by phone, before the file becomes ‘inactive’

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Full Update Package

  • Sent to all applicants on waiting list to ensure application information is up to date

  • If this package is not completed and returned within 30 days, attempts are made to contact the applicant by letter or phone

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Inactive applications

  • Applications can remain ‘inactive’ for two years

  • If there is no contact by the end of the ‘inactive’ period, the file is automatically cancelled

  • If the applicant has been identified as ‘homeless,’ inactive status could remain for up to five years before being cancelled

  • Once a file is cancelled, the applicant will have to start all over again with a new application at the end of the waiting list

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Occupancy Standards

  • Spouses/partners share a bedroom and can request to share a bachelor unit

  • Two children of the same sex share a bedroom regardless of age (room must be at least 4 sq. metres per person)

  • Children of the opposite sex are given separate bedrooms (unless the applicant submits a request to have the children share a bedroom)

  • Parent can request to share a bedroom with their dependent child

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How to make housing choices

To select or update housing choices,

applicants with a P.I.N. can:

  • Go to www.housingconnections.ca for the interactive Housing Listings that show how many people are waiting for a unit and the application date currently being housed

  • Use the automated telephone system

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Housing Listings online

New! Search by zone, unit size, building type, etc.

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Rent Supplement

  • Tenant pays rent tied to 30 per cent of gross household

  • income; Housing Connections pays the landlord the

  • difference between rental rate and what the tenant pays

  • About 3,000 units

  • located in various

  • private market

  • buildings

  • Choose zones

  • from map of

  • Rent Supplement

  • Housing Zones

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Housing Choice Date

The date you add a housing choice to your

application is the housing choice date for

most buildings.

Toronto Community Housing has many locations. It

uses the first date you added one of their buildings

to your application for any buildings added later.

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Housing Choice Dates

You will get a new Housing Choice Date for each housing choice you add to your list.

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Housing Offers

  • offers are made directly by the housing provider

  • maximum of three refusals of housing offers before being removed from the waiting list

  • applicants should not accept a housing offerwith the expectation of transferring later

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  • Waiting list works on a first-come, first-

  • served basis

  • Exception to this rule is the special priorities

  • designated in provincial law and in city

  • guidelines

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Priorities in Toronto

1) Victims of domestic abuse

2) Terminally Ill

3) Over housed

In addition to these priorities, housing providers

must offer one-of-every-seven vacancies to the

following households:

  • Homeless/newcomers who are homeless

  • Separated families with a child in care of Children’s Aid Society

  • Youth who are 16 years old at the time of applying

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Special Priority Household Category

Applicants who:

  • are living with or have lived with their abuser and intend to live permanently separated from the abuser

  • are at least 16 years of age

  • apply within 12 months of living with their abuser

  • provide proof that they were living with the abuser and demonstrate that they have been subject to abuse

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Special Priority Household Category Application

  • Verification that the applicant is living with or has lived with their abuser

  • A completed and signed Confirmation of Abuse form

  • Referral letter from an eligible professional that outlines one or more incidents of abuse

  • A completed and signed Declaration of Abuse

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Terminally Ill Medical Priority

  • Applicant with a life expectancy of two years or less (must be verified by doctor)

  • Local priority in Toronto – housing providers have the option to not acknowledge this local priority

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Over housed households

If the unit a tenant occupies is larger than what

they are eligible for, they are considered ‘over

housed’. A tenant who is over housed must move

to a smaller unit.

(Those who are considered over housed are

required to list at least five housing choices)

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Adverse Decision:Opportunity to provide more information

  • When an adverse decision is made, the applicant is notified and invited to provide more information within 30 days

  • If new information is submitted, it is reviewed by a supervisor

  • If the adverse decision is upheld, the applicant is told about their right to request an Internal Review

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What is an Internal Review?

  • SHRA requirement

  • review ofprocess - notan appeal

  • panellists are trained community stakeholders

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Scope of Internal Reviews

  • panel reviews the processes and decisions

  • panel doesn’t rule on fairness of policy

  • decision can’t be influenced by new information

  • processes cover the following:

    • general eligibility

    • dates

    • number of bedrooms requested

    • number of offers refused

    • annual rent calculation

    • request for transfer within Rent Supplement

    • loss of subsidy within Rent Supplement

    • eligibility for Special Priority Household Category

    • eligibility for priority for the terminally ill

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Online services

With an application number and personal

identification number (P.I.N.) applicants can make a

password to:

  • view and update application information

  • view and print summary of application and housing choices

  • view ‘Housing Up To’ dates on the first-come, first-served waiting list

  • reply to letters asking for confirmation of interest in being on waiting list or requesting an information update

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Getting started

Log on to www.housingconnections.ca and select

Application Update from left menu or Applicants tab

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Pop-up Blocker Settings

You will need to set your browser to allow pop-ups from www.housingconnections.ca, since many sections in My Application use pop-ups.

To adjust these settings go to your internet browser under Tools and then Pop-up Blocker.

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New Users

Click on New users, orange button if it is your first time using Application Update.

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Registered Users

Click on the Registered Users, green button if you already have an application number and password.

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How to register

Make sure you click on Register and the Register for Web Access

box will display.


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How to register

Enter application and P.I.N. numbers and then click Verify.

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How to register

  • Select a password with 6 - 20 characters and one alpha character,

    confirm password

  • Click on arrow to select a security question

  • Enter security answer (may be up to 80 characters long)

  • Click Submit

Applicants should keep this info private, and store for future reference.

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Applicant Login

If an applicant doesn’t know their number, they may request their application number by clicking click here.

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Applicant Login

  • Enter Application Number

  • Enter Password

  • Click Login

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My Application

Screen options are displayed in left menu, click on desired

menu option.

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Housing Choices

Screen shows a listing of the applicant’s housing choices. Housing

Choices can be added or deleted individually or by zone.

This is a scrollable screen. Drag the scroll bar up or down to view

choices not shown in the screen view.

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Save your changes and logout

  • Make sure you save all your changes

  • Logout!



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Translating web info

New! Use Google Translator on most pages of our website to translate web info in just seconds

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While you wait:

Being on the waiting list for subsidized housing means you may be eligible for other housing options. Some recent programs were designed to help applicants on the waiting list afford their rent while they wait:

  • Short Term Rent Support Program

    • $180-$350 allowance a month to help pay rent where they currently live or in a new location will help up to over 4,000 households while they keep their place on the waiting list

    • when the program ends, the tenant can stay in their unit if they are able to pay the rent without the allowance

  • Canada-Ontario-Toronto Housing Allowance Program

    • allowance of up to $550 a month (now full) helps 1000 households afford their rent and keep their place on the waiting list

    • participants were required to move to a landlord participating in the program

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Other housing programs:

At Home/Chez Soi Research Project

  • research project funded by Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)

  • applicants can be referred to the program from community agencies

  • participants selected through research team and assigned to service agency providing support (COTA, TNSS or Across Boundaries)

  • $600 a month housing allowance is provided to make housing more affordable

  • project ends March 31, 2013

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Community Partners

Community agencies provide services in

a variety of languages and help applicants with their housing search and application process.

Community Partners:

  • have access to the waiting list database;

  • know Housing Connections policies and procedures; and,

  • help clients apply for housing and maintain their applications.

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Community Partners

Agincourt Community Services Association Seaton House

Albion Neighbourhood Services – North Streets to Homes

AWIC Community and Social Services St. Stephen’s Community House

Birkdale Residence Toronto Christian Resource Centre

Bloor Info and Life Skills Centre West Hill Community Services

B’Nai Brith Canada Woodgreen Community Centre

Community Action Resource Centre York Housing Help Centre

Community Centre 55 West Toronto Housing Help Service

COSTI Women’s Residence

East York Housing Help Fred Victor Centre

Etobicoke Housing Help Centre South Catholic Crosscultural Services

Family Residence Shelter Midaynta Community Services

Flemingdon Neighbourhood Services Mid-Toronto Community Services

Native Men’s Residence The Redwood

Neighbourhood Link/Senior Link The Assessment and Referral Centre

Polycultural Immigrant & Community Services South Asian Women’s Centre

Robertson House The Tamil Eelam Society of Canada

Scarborough Housing Help Centre Elizabeth Fry Society of Toronto



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Many ways to keep in touch

  • Visit our website to apply online or to update an application at www.housingconnections.ca

    Email at [email protected]

    Call our automated telephone system 24/7 at

    416-981-6111 or call during regular business hours to speak to an agent

    Fax at 416-981-6112

  • Visit our Resource Centre at 176 Elm Street

  • To request an off-site workshop:

    Email us at [email protected]

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Many ways to keep in touch

Rent Supplement Program

Phone: (416) 981-6160

Fax: (416) 981-6114

Email: [email protected]

Housing Allowance Program

Phone: (416) 981-6128

Fax: (416) 981-6114

Email: [email protected]