Social Benefits » How To Apply for Social Housing

How To Apply for Social Housing

By IntFormalities
Updated on October 28, 2022
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Rent is among the most expensive bills that adults have to contend with. Instead of wracking your mind looking for the cheapest rent options in Canada, you can apply for a more convenient and subsidized option.

Here are a few things you need to know about social housing and how you can successfully apply for it.

Check out Whether you’re Eligible for Social Housing Application

What Is Social Housing

Social housing is a form of subsidized housing program run by the Canadian government. It allows people with meager earnings to access dignified housing options without surrendering a significant chunk of their earnings and still manage to meet other needs.

Anyone living in Canada with valid residency or citizenship documents can access this service, and here’s how.

Why And When Should You Apply for It?

Applications for this service are open to everyone who does not have the financial muscle to pay the market price for rent. Consequently, there’s always a long list of individuals waiting for their approval, so you may want to apply as soon as you find out you cannot afford the market rent rates to avail yourself of enough waiting time.

Another instance that warrants an application for social housing is when someone is a victim of violence and abuse in their current home. The involved parties give priority to you if you fall under this category. You can send your application to the centralized waiting list administrator any year.

Requirements And Documentation Needed

Before applying for subsidized rental units, you should look for the requirements list to ascertain that you check all the boxes. To apply for this service, you must:

  • Be at least sixteen years
  • Fill out the application form
  • Live with legal Canadian residents in your home
  • Manage to live independently even without support
  • Not live with housemates with a deportation, departure, or exclusion order to leave Canada
  • Not live with members convicted of an offense within the past two years
  • Owe no money to any social housing provider
  • Prove your Canadian citizenship or residency
  • Provide income verification documents 

What You’ll Get When You Apply

Once you apply for this program, you will receive a letter from the centralized waiting list administrator indicating if you qualify for the subsidy. If you are eligible for the service, the letter will indicate whether you’re on the special or chronological list, the application date, the eligible number of bedrooms, and wheelchair access unit availability. Once your request is approved, you automatically fall under the waiting list for houses that approve your status.

You can apply for five housing options: non-profit housing, cooperative housing, local housing cooperation, rent supplement, and affordable housing program.

Can I Apply If I Don’t Have an Income?

You can apply for this program even when you do not have a source of income. However, once you are settled in the new house, you must find income opportunities. Organizations you should contact for this include spousal and child support, disability support programs, employment insurance, guaranteed annual income, old age security, and guaranteed income supplements. In line with the immigration act, you can also pursue support from a sponsor.

How Much Rent Would You Have to Pay?

Individuals under the subsidized rent program pay up to 30% of their household’s gross income. Other considerations that may hike or reduce the rent include additional amenities and the organization you contact for income provision.

Validity And Processing Time

The period it takes to approve your request and settle you into an available unit depends on the waiting list. Once you are housed, you can stay in a particular unit until you can afford to pay market rent rates.

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