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Housing Services Act. Overview. January 1, 2012. Housing Service Act (HSA) comes into force HSA Regulations come into force Social Housing Reform Act is repealed. Housing Services Act. Housing Services Act. HSA - Regulations. Housing Services Act. Purpose of the HSA is to provide for:

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january 1 2012
January 1, 2012
  • Housing Service Act (HSA) comes into force
  • HSA Regulations come into force
  • Social Housing Reform Act is repealed
housing services act3
Housing Services Act
  • Purpose of the HSA is to provide for:
    • community based planning and delivery of housing and homelessness services
    • flexibility for service managers and housing providers in social housing administration
housing and homelessness plans
Housing and Homelessness Plans
  • Service manager must have 10 year housing and homelessness plan
  • Reviewed at least every 5 years
  • Plan will assess need, set priorities, and establish objectives, targets and performance measures
  • Development of initial plan and any amendments to it must include public consultation
housing and homelessness plans1
Housing and Homelessness Plans
  • Plan must incorporate matters of provincial interest
  • Active engagement of non-profit and co-operative housing providers in local strategies
    • Consultations
    • Social Housing Advisory Group
  • Plan must be approved and in place no later than January 1, 2014
application of hsa
Application of HSA
  • Designated housing providers under section 68 of the HSA include all providers for all programs transferred to service manager under SHRA
  • Part VII providers are subsidized under the HSA funding model and are required to operate in accordance with Part VII of the HSA
  • HSA is silent on the end dates for the service manager’s duty to pay subsidy and for the provider’s obligation to comply with Part VII of the HSA
  • Section 162 of the HSA requires housing providers have consent for the following transactions:
    • Service manager consent to mortgage a housing project or its land
    • Minister’s consent to transfer a housing project or its land
  • Similar restrictions were to have been registered on title under SHRA – deemed to have been changed under HSA
  • Will be reviewed at next Operational Review
duty of housing providers
Duty of Housing Providers
  • Section 69 of the Housing Services Act sets out general duties of housing providers:
    • General management of housing projects
    • Collection of rent and administration of leases
    • Provision of information to service manager as required
    • Preparation and implementation of plans related to governance and operation of provider
  • Section 75 of the HSA, allows the service manager to set local standards for housing provider operations
housing services act4

Housing Services Act

Housing Provider Plans

housing provider plans
Housing Provider Plans
  • Housing providers must have plans for:
    • training of staff and volunteers
    • board succession strategies
    • education of members about governance of housing co-ops
  • Applies to all housing providers
  • What are the key considerations in the development and implementation of the housing provider plans?
  • What resources are available to providers in the development and implementation of the housing provider plans?
  • What supports will housing providers need from the Region of Durham in the development and implementation of the housing provider plans?
housing services act5

Housing Services Act

Housing Provider Standards

housing provider standards
Housing Provider Standards
  • Service managers may set housing provider standards: (O. Reg. 367/11, s. 100)
    • Conflict of interest
    • Minimum number of Board meetings
    • Remuneration of directors
    • Property management
    • Leases
    • Multi-year financial plans
  • Applies to Part VII providers only
conflict of interest
Conflict of Interest
  • Directive 2002-03 Conflict of Interest
  • Prohibits conflict of interest for directors, officers, agents and employees of provider:
    • business or personal interests conflict with provider
    • gain, benefit, privilege due to decision of provider
  • Notice to Board of all potential conflicts
  • Records of conflicts including minutes
  • Resolution of conflicts and involvement of Housing Services
minimum number of board meetings
Minimum Number of Board Meetings
  • Four per year under SHRA
  • No provincial standard under HSA
remuneration of board members
Remuneration of Board Members
  • Under SHRA, remuneration prohibited except for reasonable expenses
  • Under SHRA, paid employment prohibited except if:
    • Resident and employed part-time or temporarily
    • Non-resident and non-supervisor / non-management and:
      • not more than one fifth of directors are employed
      • if less than 5 directors, only one is employed
  • No provincial standard under HSA
property management
Property Management
  • Projects must be well managed, in satisfactory state of repair and fit for occupancy
  • Only provincial standard under HSA – same as SHRA
  • Under SHRA, open and competitive hiring and procurement practices
  • Exceptions to open and competitive procurement practices if service manager agrees that such a process is not reasonable
property management cont d
Property Management (cont’d)
  • Under SHRA, property management contracts:
    • Maximum 3 years
    • Renewable
    • Able to be terminated in 60 days or 30 days for breach of contract
    • Set out goods and services to be provided by PM service and amount to be paid provider
    • Non- assignable
  • Provider must be given notice if control of property management corporation changes
leases and housing agreements
Leases and Housing Agreements
  • Directive 2006-01 – Leases and Housing Agreements
    • Lease signed by all household members over age 18 or whose income is used to calculate RGI
  • Directive 2009-02 – Lease and Housing Agreement Provision Regarding Arrears
    • Provision in lease for sharing of arrears information with:
      • the Region of Durham
      • access centres under SHRA
      • SHSC
      • a credit information company
leases and housing agreements1
Leases and Housing Agreements
  • SHRA standards required that the lease not exceed one year:
    • Set out market rate for unit
    • Set out RGI for one month / subject to change
    • Set out all other allowable charges for the unit
    • Restrict occupancy of unit
    • Require household notice if occupants change
  • Provider cannot refuse vacant possession if household agrees to payment schedule for unpaid charges at lease signing (e.g. last months rent)
leases and housing agreements2
Leases and Housing Agreements
  • Provincial standards for leases under the HSA:
    • must have a lease before providing RGI
    • notice of market rent prior to receiving RGI
    • cannot refuse to enter into a lease if household agrees to a payment schedule for unpaid charges at lease signing
multi year financial plans
Multi-year Financial Plans
  • No provincial standards under SHRA or HSA
  • Encouraged as a best practice
housing services act6

Housing Services Act

RGI, Waiting Lists, Regional Reviews and Special Needs Housing

housing services act7
Housing Services Act

Comes into force January 1, 2012

Replaces the Social Housing Reform Act

Part V – Rent-geared-to-Income Assistance and Special Needs Housing

Part X – Miscellaneous

Review of Certain Decisions – sections 155 - 159

Dealing with Information – sections 144 - 147

housing services act regulations
Housing Services Act - Regulations
  • Ontario Regulation 367/11 – General
    • Part VI – Rent-geared-to-Income Assistance and Special Needs Housing
    • Part XI – Miscellaneous
  • Ontario Regulation 298/01 – Determination of Geared-to-Income Rent Under Section 50 of the Act
    • Transition regulation
housing providers
Housing Providers

RGI, Special Needs Housing and Review provisions apply to:


Part VII housing providers

Rent supplement including OCHAP and CSHP

Wider application - prohibition re: obtaining assistance, assistance improperly received, ERO, FSW

Dealing with Information provisions apply to all transferred housing programs

service agreements
Service Agreements
  • Similar to SHRA, HSA gives service manager responsibility for RGI and wait list administration
  • Under Service Agreements with providers, the Region of Durham delegates authority under HSA for:
    • Determination of RGI eligibility
    • RGI calculations
  • Directives, memos, policy direction
  • New service manager rules required under HSA
  • RGI training
rgi eligibility provincial rules
RGI Eligibility – Provincial Rules

At least one member of the household is over the age of 16 and able to live independently

All members of the household must be a:

Canadian citizen

Permanent resident or applicant for permanent residence

Refugee claimant

No enforceable removal order

rgi eligibility provincial rules1
RGI Eligibility – Provincial Rules
  • No arrears owing for rent, damage by current member of the household, or misrepresentation with respect to a previous social housing tenancy unless:
    • Repayment agreement
    • Reasonable efforts to obtain a repayment agreement
    • Extenuating circumstances
  • Special priority applicants are responsible for only half the arrears on a joint tenancy with the abuser
rgi eligibility provincial rules2
RGI Eligibility – Provincial Rules

Divestment of property remains a provincial rule

Property suitable for year round occupancy must be divested within 180 days of move-in

May extend time frame

12 month rule remains a provincial rule

RGI households that pay equivalent to market rent for 12 consecutive months are no longer eligible for RGI

rgi eligibility provincial rules3
RGI Eligibility – Provincial Rules
  • Service manager may require pursuit of income:
    • Ontario Works
    • Employment Insurance
    • Support payments
    • Sponsorship income
  • Pursuit of CPP is no longer required
  • Guidelines to be developed
rgi eligibility local rules
RGI Eligibility – Local Rules

Income limits

New exclusion for income from the service manager toward the household's savings goals (asset building)

Memo 03-01 Income Limits

Modified to reflect changes in HILs

rgi eligibility local rules1
RGI Eligibility – Local Rules
  • Asset limits
    • Clarifies that only one vehicle per member is excluded
    • New exclusions for all RESP funds and the value of asset building accounts
  • Directive 2002-17 Asset Limits
  • Ensure ALL RESPs are excluded under asset limits
rgi eligibility local rules2
RGI Eligibility – Local Rules

No provincial ineligibility for convictions for fraud or misrepresentation, but service manager can set a local rule

Conviction must have occurred no more than two years before determination of RGI ineligibility, and be for an offence under:

the SHRA or HSA

Criminal Code in relation to receiving RGI

DASH to exclude LTB decisions

rgi eligibility local rules3
RGI Eligibility – Local Rules
  • Service manager can have a local rule regarding absence from unit
  • Maximum absence cannot be less than:
    • 60 consecutive days; and/or
    • 90 days in a year
  • Exceptions for absences due to medical reasons
  • Directive 2002-16 Absence from Unit
rgi eligibility local rules4
RGI Eligibility – Local Rules
  • No provincial ineligibility regarding number of offers
  • Service manager can make a local rule
    • Minimum 3 offers
    • Circumstances where an offer is not counted
  • DASH to continue with current practice of three offers pending review
notification of changes
Notification of Changes

Household must report changes within 30 days (or longer per service manager)

increased from 10 days (or longer)

letters do not refer to 10 day time limit

Directive 2002-04 (revised) Notification of Changes by Households Receiving RGI Assistance

failure to provide information
Failure to Provide Information

Household must provide all information requested to determine RGI eligibility or RGI payable

No minimum provincial requirement

Provider to determine reasonable time frame for requested information

Allow for extenuating circumstances

occupancy standards
Occupancy Standards

Service manager must have a local rule for occupancy standards

Local occupancy standards under HSA must make exceptions for:

medical/disability reasons

full time students living away from the household

Directive 2003-02

occupancy standards overhoused
Occupancy Standards - Overhoused

Moving overhoused households is no longer a provincial requirement, but service manager may have a local rule

Local rule must ensure that overhoused households are not ineligible for RGI if:

overhoused for less than a year

following service manager process to transfer

Directive 2006-03 Overhoused Households to be amended

Review internal transfer lists

review of rgi eligibility
Review of RGI Eligibility
  • RGI eligibility reviewed every 12 months
  • Similar to SHRA, information is not required if:
    • service manager believes household is unable to provide
    • living in alternative housing and unable to provide
    • special priority could be at risk of abuse if provided
  • Review annual review forms and letters to ensure they reference HSA and not SHRA
rgi waiting list
RGI Waiting List

DASH continues to manage RGI waiting list

Region of Durham / DASH to develop system and rules per HSA:

System must include a centralized waiting list of new RGI applicants and RGI transfer requests

DASH determines priority on the waiting list

Applicants on waiting list under SHRA must be maintained

rgi waiting list options
RGI Waiting List - Options
  • Option 1
    • Select highest priority household
    • Current system
  • Option 2
    • Select highest priority household that expressed interest in a vacancy
    • Vacancy information must be made available to all households eligible for unit
rgi wait list priorities
RGI Wait List - Priorities
  • Provincial Priority
    • Special Priority for victims of violence
    • Chronological according to date of application or request for transfer
  • Local Priority
    • Directive 2003-01 In-situ Priority
    • Directive 2004-03 Critical Priority
    • Memo 02-02 Transition to New Local Priorities
internal transfers
Internal Transfers
  • Providers may select an internal transfer for a vacant unit before proceeding to the RGI waiting list
  • Internal transfer requests – within the same provider – who are eligible for Special Priority have highest priority for the internal transfer
  • Provider determines priority of all other internal transfers requests
in situ applicants
In-Situ Applicants
  • Service manager must have a rule for in-situ applicants
    • Provider may select a current market tenant for a vacant unit with service manager approval
    • Priority applies only with respect to other in-situ applicants in same project
  • Directive 2003-01 In-situ Priority
transfers from outside service area
Transfers from Outside Service Area
  • Service manager may set a rule to allow for a transfer from outside service area
    • without regard to wait list or priority
    • if the applicant is RGI eligible in service area
    • if transfer is part of an exchange agreement with another service manager
  • Durham will not be setting this rule at this time
refusals to offer
Refusals to Offer
  • Service manager must have a local rule permitting a refusal to offer when:
    • household does not meet mandate of the project
    • based on rental history, the housing provider reasonably believes that the household may not pay rent on time and in full
    • it is unreasonable for the household to reside in the shared accommodation
    • the modifications or support services are significantly greater or less than what is required (special need housing only)
refusals to offer cont d
Refusals to Offer (cont’d)
  • Local rule must also require housing provider to:
    • notify the household of the refusal
    • review the decision to refuse if requested by the household
  • Notice and review rules apply to first refusal only
  • Records must be kept for 5 years
  • Guidelines to be developed
rgi calculations
RGI Calculations
  • RGI calculations are unchanged
  • Ontario Regulation 298/01
    • sections 46 to 53
    • social assistance tables
    • utility tables
  • Annual tax-based RGI calculation still under review
  • Directive 2004-04 Quarterly reporting to be reviewed
notice of decisions
Notice of Decisions
  • Notice of RGI decisions must be given in 7 days and must include:
    • the date of the decision
    • whether a review can be requested
    • if a review can be requested, the reasons for the decision and information about how to request a review
effective dates of rgi changes
Effective Dates of RGI Changes
  • If RGI changes as a result of an annual review:
    • RGI increase is effective the 1st day of the second month following the date of notice
    • RGI decrease is effective the 1st day of the month following the date of notice
  • If RGI changes due to a mid year change:
    • RGI increase is effective the 1st day of the second month following the change
    • RGI decrease is effective the 1st day of the month following the change
effective dates of rgi decisions
Effective Dates of RGI Decisions
  • An RGI decision is effective on the later of the day in the notice and the day immediately after the last day for requesting a review
  • 90 day notice of RGI eligibility
opportunity to comment
Opportunity to Comment
  • Opportunity to comment is no longer required
  • Apply procedural fairness when decisions are based in part on third party information
    • Complete information
    • All aspects considered
regional reviews appeals
Regional Reviews / Appeals

Service manager must establish a review body to review certain decisions:

RGI eligibility and ineligibility

RGI payable

Application of occupancy standards

Priority on the RGI waiting list

Eligibility and ineligibility for special needs housing

Priority on the special needs housing waiting list

regional reviews appeals cont d
Regional Reviews / Appeals (cont’d)

Members of the review body must:

be knowledgeable about HSA

not have participated in original decision

not have discussed original decision prior to review

Local rules must set out timelines:

to request review – 10 days

to complete review – 30 days

for notice of decision – 5 days

regional reviews appeals cont d1
Regional Reviews / Appeals (cont’d)

Directive 2004-01 Regional Review Process

Memo 06-07 Regional Review Process – Timeline Changes

Incorporates period of reconsideration

10 days

2 days for SPP

Approximately 30 reviews annually

Panel membership

special needs housing
Special Needs Housing
  • Special Needs Housing Administrators are:
    • Service managers
    • Supportive housing providers set out in Schedule 3 of O. Reg. 367/11
  • Administrator manages eligibility, waiting lists and sets local rules
  • Households living in modified or supportive units immediately receive RGI once determined eligible
special needs housing administrators
Special Needs Housing Administrators


special needs housing cont d
Special Needs Housing (cont’d)
  • Special Needs Housing Administrator must have a system for the selection of households waiting for special needs housing
    • wait list for each project
    • must select highest priority applicant that is eligible for modifications or supports of special needs unit
    • only Special Priority applies
  • DASH is responsible for modified units
next steps
Next Steps
  • Housing and Homelessness Plans
    • Consultations
  • Housing Provider Standards
    • Review for local decisions
  • RGI Training and New Rules
  • Housing Provider Plans
    • Operational reviews
  • Social Housing Advisory Group