The current housing market in Toronto is challenging for many tenants, particularly those who are vulnerable due to disabilities, health problems, or unemployment. With a global tendency towards recession and increasingly high rental prices, many tenants are forced to spend a significant portion of their income on housing. As a result, homelessness is becoming a real threat for those who are struggling to pay rent.
Fortunately, the City of Toronto has implemented several rental support programs to assist tenants who are facing financial setback. These programs provide financial assistance and support services to eligible tenants and aim to prevent homelessness and housing insecurity. If you are struggling to pay your rent, consider checking out the following housing support options to see if you are eligible to apply:
The Rent Bank provides funds to eligible low-income tenants who are facing eviction due to short-term income deficits. The loans are interest-free and repayable over a period of 24 months. The Rent Bank also provides financial counseling and support services to help tenants manage their finances and maintain their tenancy. Applicants can apply once every 12 months.
For people receiving financial aid through Ontario Works, income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the city of Toronto, or support through Emergency Assistance given to migrants under an emergency authorization for humanitarian reasons, the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) provides money for emergency housing needs. HSF aims to assist people find and keep housing while also preventing homelessness.
Toronto Tenant Support Program The City of Toronto no longer accepts new applications for the Tenant Support Grant as of April 1, 2022. Instead, tenant groups can access legal services for eviction and affordability matters from the designated legal organization, the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR), under the Toronto Tenant Support Program (TTSP). Tenant groups that have an approved Tenant Support Grant application submitted before April 1, 2022, will not be affected by this change, and the City will continue to make grant payments as per their grant commitment letter. Interested parties can contact CCHR directly for more information about the legal services provided.
OESP provides a monthly credit to eligible low-income tenants to help them pay their electricity bills. The credit is based on the number of people living in the household and the household’s income.
Low-income Residents of Toronto who do not qualify for assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) may be eligible for assistance from the City of Toronto in the event of an energy emergency, such as the need to reconnect, prevent disconnection, or help pay off energy debt for hydro, gas, or oil services.
If you are struggling to pay your rent or are facing eviction, consider checking out these programs to see if you are eligible to apply. By taking advantage of these support options, you may be able to access the resources you need to maintain your tenancy and avoid homelessness. Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available for those who need it.