Housing Supports Profile

Housing Supports consists of programs delivered directly to individuals to make housing and related costs affordable and to prevent homelessness, including: 

  • Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance Programs provide a subsidy to individuals on the Social Housing Waitlist to obtain housing in the private market.  Agreements are signed with landlords and the subsidy is paid directly to the landlord. This expands the availability of affordable housing in Hamilton.
  • The Ontario Renovates and Emergency Repair Programs provide forgivable loans and grants to low income homeowners and landlords for essential home or apartment repairs. Modifications for accessibility are included in the programs. 
  • The Down Payment Assistance Program supports affordable homeownership by providing a forgivable loan to enable low to moderate income renters to have a down payment to purchase a home. 
  • Within Housing Services, Case  Managers administer subsidy for eligible tenants through subsidy agreements with 54 RCF’s. Additionally, Case Managers  provide services to help people find and maintain appropriate housing and supports, including administering Ontario Works for clients experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness in Hamilton.

Service Details

Related Subservices

  • Homeownership and loans program
  • Rent Supplement/Housing Allowance Program
  • Residential Care Facilities/Homelessness Services

Type of Service

  • Public facing

Primary Funding Sources

  • Transfers/Grants
  • Net Levy
  • Capital Budget


  • Essential/Mandatory, Legislate requirement
  • Under the Housing Services Act, the City is responsible for delivering and administering provincial homelessness prevention services at the local level.
  • Under the Ontario Works Act, the City is the service manager for administering Ontario Works, and through an agreement with the Government of Canada, the City is responsible for delivery of federal homelessness funding in the community.
  • Discretionary municipal service
  • The Ontario Renovates Program is federally and provincially funded, but it is discretionary for municipalities to participate. The original funds for the Down Payment Assistance Program were also federal and provincial. 

Service Level

  • Below standard: Home Ownership and loans subservice
  • The 10 year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan target to rehabilitate 200 rental units and 150 ownership units annually was not met in 2016.  41 rental units and 25 ownership units were rehabilitated. Not meeting this target is a result of needing additional funding because the 2016 budget for Ontario Renovates was fully utilized.
  • At standard:  All other subservices

Service Level Source

  • Council approved policy or service standard
  • Funding agreement/grant covenant
  • Past practice


Performance Measures

How much did you do? (volume)

  • In 2016, the Ontario Renovates program renovated 66 units which include 25 owner occupied units and 41 rental units. This represents a total investment of $1,537,225. Since January 2017, the Ontario Renovates Program has renovated 16 units all of which are owner occupied, an investment of $358,782.
  • In 2016, the Emergency Repair Program renovated 16 units with an investment of $51,100. Since January 2017 the Emergency Repair Program has renovated 5 units all of which are owner occupied, with an investment of $20,163.
  • In 2015, the last time the Down Payment Assistance Program was run; it enabled 24 renters to purchase a home with a total investment of $422,000.

Strategic Plan Priority - Healthy & Safe Communities