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Housing - How to Apply for Rent Geared To Income Housing



Access to Housing is the organization that provides the point of access for people who want to apply for subsidized housing and also maintains the waiting lists.

Who Can Apply for Subsidized Housing?

The following applies to members of the household:
  • Each member must be a Canadian Citizen, landed immigrant (permanent resident) or  refugee
    You must attach proof of status for each member to your application
  • At least one person in your household must be 16 years of age or older and able to live independently.
    You must attach proof of age.
  • If you or any member of the household has arrears owing to any social housing provider within Ontario, Access to Housing will require confirmation that the member has entered into an agreement with the housing provider for the repayment of the arrears before we can process your application.
  • Your application will be rejected if any member of the household has been convicted in court or at the Ontario Rental Tribunal within the last 2 years of an offence related to rent-geared-to-income housing under section 85 of the SHRA or a crime under the Criminal Code in relation to rent-geared-to-income assistance.
  • If anyone in your household has a financial interest in another home anywhere in the world, you must agree, in writing, to divest yourself of the property within one-year of getting housed. You do not have to make this decision when you first apply but you will have to make it before you get housed.

How can I apply?

Download, print and complete these forms:

Complete all sections of the application. Attach all of the documents required.  If any required documents are missing we will advise you in writing that your application is incomplete without placing you on the waiting list. Use this application checklist or the one at the back of the Application for Housing  to make sure you have included everything.

Fill out your Building Selection Form using the Building Profile Manual located at the Access to Housing Office select where you want to live.

Mail, fax, or deliver in person all of the required information to:
Access to Housing
499 King Street East,
Hamilton, ON L8E 1E1
Phone: 905-524-2228
Fax: 905-524-1199

Business Hours:
Monday to Thursday -  9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday -  8:30 am to 4:30 pm

You are encouraged to apply in person at the Access to Housing office, however, Application for Housing  and Building Selection Form are also available through all non-profit housing providers and the following offices:

Housing Help Centre
119 Main Street East
Hamilton, ON  L8N 3Z3

CityHousing Hamilton
181 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 4R8

In the City of Hamilton there are rules that give priority to certain types of applicants.  Application forms are included in each area and they provide more details on the process.

  • The first priority is to victims of abuse, also known as Special Priority Status.
    Special Priority Verification Form (pdf)
  • The second priority is for Urgent Status:
    Extended Victim of Abuse - Urgent Verification Form (pdf)
    Terminal Illness - Verification of Terminal Illness Form (pdf)
  • Homeless Status Application (pdf) One out of every 5th offer of housing will be made to applicants with this status.
  • Newcomer Status - One out of every 10th offer of housing will be made to applicants with this status.  Proper documentation, as supplied by the Federal Government, to confirm that the applicant is a refugee, refugee claimant or a landed immigrant is required.
  • Youth Status - 16 or 17 years old at time of housing application. One out of every 10th offer of housing will be made to applicants with this status.

How To Keep Your Place On The Waiting List?

Stay Connected.
If your contact information changes, tell us right away. We will make your file inactive if we cannot contact you. You cannot be offered housing if your file is inactive.

Keep Your Application Up To Date.
The government regulations for social housing make it your responsibility to keep your application up to date. If you do not tell us about changes in your information, you could lose your place on the waiting list. Access to Housing will also review your eligibility once a year.

Stay Eligible.
Every member of your household must continue to meet the five conditions listed under “Who can apply for subsidized housing?”

Review Your Needs Regularly.
Review your housing needs regularly and tell us right away if your needs or preferences change. Remember, you only get three offers of housing. If you turn down three offers (excluding rent supplement units) your name will be removed from the waiting list and you will have to re-apply and start at the bottom of the waiting list again. So contact Access to Housing if you need to update your building selections.