How to Access Social Housing
The City is the Service Manager for the administration of social housing programs and affordable housing initiatives in the City of Kingston and Frontenac County. The City oversees the local social housing portfolio governed by Ontario's Housing Services Act, 2011. This includes
- 2,003 rent-geared-to-income households;
- 1368 high need households;
- 74 units accessible to those with disabilities.
How do I apply to get in to social housing?
To get in to social housing you submit your application form to the Social Registry program weekdays:
- In Kingston at Housing and Social Services, 362 Montreal St. 613-546-2695, ext. 4764
- In Sydenham at Loughborough Housing Corporation 4377 William St., Box 400, K0H 2T0. Closed Friday. 613-376-3686. Fax 613-376-6918
- In Sharbot Lake at Rural Frontenac Community Services, 1020 Elizabeth Street, K0H 2P0. 613-279-3366
Make sure your application is complete. A copy of Canadian citizenship, permanent residency or refugee claimant status for every household member 16 years of age or older is required.
The Registry manages applications for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance for the 17 housing providers participating in the centralized waiting list.
How does the waiting list work?
The Registry staff helps applicants select an "area of preference" and reviews housing mandates and eligibility criteria.
Each month, the Social Housing Registry Program provides a waiting list to housing providers. It includes the names of all applicants who are eligible and/or have indicated a preference in their particular housing project. When a vacancy occurs, offers of accommodation are made to eligible applicants by individual housing providers — NOT by The Registry.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for rent-geared-to-income assistance you must meet the following criteria:
- Able to live independently over the age of 16 (at least one member of household);
- Legal resident status in Canada of each member of household (citizen, permanent resident, or refugee status);
- No deportation order, departure or exclusion order under the Immigration Act;
- No member of household owes arrears as a result of either rent or damage of any social housing property;
- No member has been convicted for misrepresentation of income in relation to rent-geared-to-income assistance under the Criminal Code, by a Court of Law or Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal;
- Household income must be under the established income limit by type of unit depending on your family composition;
- If you own property, you have to sell it within 180 days after receiving RGI assistance.
See the motions establishing City's standards governing rent-geared-to-income eligibility.
Is it necessary for children 16 years or older to sign the lease if they are still under parental control and have no contractual rights?
Yes, under the prescribed requirements, section 96 (3) O. Reg. 367/11, a lease agreement must be signed by every individual who is a member of the household and at least 16 years of age.
What is expected from me as an applicant?
You must notify the Social Housing Registry:
- If your address changes
- If your phone number changes
- If any other information or document on your application changes
As an applicant for rent-geared-to-income assistance, you must keep your file updated to remain on the centralized waiting list and maintain your eligibility status. It is your responsibility to notify the Social Housing Registry of any changes in information or documents you previously submitted to the housing provider within 30 days after the change occurred.
When will I hear from the Registry?
Applicants for rent-geared-to-income assistance will be contacted within 30 days of receipt of their application for housing if applications are completed and meet eligibility requirements. You will be notified within seven business days if your application is incomplete.
When will I be housed?
Wait times vary and depend on the housing project location you choose. For some areas it may be less than a year before you are housed, in other areas it may take more than five years.
Are appliances and parking included?
In some housing projects appliances and services are included. In others, tenants must supply appliances and pay for some or all services. The Social Housing Registry can advise you of the situation at each location.
How much will I pay in rent?
Generally, tenants and members of non-profit and co-operative housing providers pay 30% of their gross monthly income as a monthly rent. Depending on where you are housed, you may pay part or all of utilities. A utility allowance is applied to your geared-to-income rent.
Do some people get priority on the list?
The waiting list offers special priority to victims of abuse and human trafficking.
Abuse is defined as "an incident of physical or sexual violence against an individual, an incident of intentional destruction of or intentional injury to an individual's property, OR words, actions or gestures that threaten an individual or his or her property."
Trafficking is defined as, with respect to a member of a household, one or more incidents of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of the member by improper means, including force, abduction, fraud, coercion, deception and repeated provision of a controlled substance, for an illegal purpose, including sexual exploitation or forced labour.
If you are a victim of abuse or human trafficking, you are required to complete a standard Request for Special Priority Household Category with supporting information and documentation for verification purposes. This request may be attached to your housing application form for rent-geared-to-income assistance or submitted separately.
What if I want to move?
Tenants living in rent-geared-to-income housing who wish to move to a different subsidized can:
- apply for an internal transfer with their current housing provider AND/OR
- apply to the Registry to be added to the centralized waiting list to go on the waiting list for other housing providers.
What if I need more room for my visiting children?
If you have joint custody or visitation rights and wish to have (an) additional bedroom(s) for your children, you must provide legal documentation (i.e. custody order, lawyer's letter, affidavit declaration) stating that you have:
- visiting rights with respect to your children (by name), and
- it is a condition of your visiting rights that you provide adequate accommodation for the named children when he/she/they stay overnight, and
- he/she/they stay overnight frequently, and
- you require (an) additional bedroom(s) to accommodate him/her/them.
What do I do if I have a complaint about a housing provider?
Most housing providers have an internal complaint procedure. You must contact the following in this order:
- the staff and/or your Property Manager
- the Manager and/or Board of Directors.
A decision by the Board of Directors is usually considered to be final. If you continue to have further concerns you can contact the Housing Department at the City of Kingston but must be able to demonstrate that your issue or complaint has already gone to all levels of the housing providers internal complaint process and was not satisfactorily resolved.
Will I have an opportunity to comment on adverse decisions?
Opportunity to comment is given to all members of the household in case of a potentially adverse decision which may be reviewed under an internal review. Members of the household may provide comments on any information under their file which forms a basis for the decision.
When a Notice for Rent Increase is received, can tenant(s) request a review of the decision?
As prescribed in s. 56 of O. Reg. 298/01, a tenant is entitled to request an internal review of rent changes. The request must be submitted within 10 business days after the date when the notice is received by a tenant. Providers have discretion to allow later submissions, if satisfied with extenuating circumstances.