Emergency Repair Program

A message to tenants, landlords and homeowners

During these challenging times, it may become more difficult to make rent or mortgage payments. It is important we work together. This information outlines some of the changes, options and supports available to you.


  • If you cannot pay your rent because of layoffs or mandatory self-isolation caused by COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to speak with your landlord and work out a payment plan. Your landlord will expect some documentation of your inability to pay. If you are unable to pay part of your rent, you and your landlord can talk about establishing a formal agreement to do so when your income situation changes.
  • A reminder that rent strikes are illegal. We ask everyone to work together during this time of crisis.
  • Landlords will also expect tenants to take part in any programs offered by other levels of government. 
  • The Ontario government has suspended all new evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, unless due to illegal activity of safety concerns. Housing Tribunals Ontario is postponing all in-person hearings.
  • There are many types of financial support available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19.


  • Landlords should discuss individual situations with your tenants and be flexible in making specific arrangements for payment of rent. You can encourage your tenants to seek support through all available government programs, provided in the links above.
  • The provincial government has suspended all eviction enforcement.
  • Landlords should not proceed with any eviction orders currently in progress.

COVID-19 Specific Supports:

The Emergency Repair Program (ERP) is open to Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) homeowners to fund serious and urgent repairs that would jeopardize the condition of the home to the point that it would adversely affect the household’s health and safety.

The Emergency Repair Program is provided in the form of a grant up to the amount of $5,000.

Funding for the program is limited and applications will be reviewed on a “first come, first serve basis” until funding is exhausted.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for program funding. 


  • You must be current recipients of Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
  • You must own a home in Hamilton that is their sole and principal residence with a Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) Tax Assessment valued at or below $330,000
  • You must have confirmation of home insurance and be able to prove they have exhausted all insurance(s) and funding sources as a remedy for the emergency prior to applying to this program
  • Your property must be registered in your name(s) and mortgage, property taxes, and utilities must be up-to-date 

Eligible repairs include:

  • heating systems that are no longer working or that have been deemed too dangerous to operate (by a licensed gas-fitter or other similarly authorized professional
  • patching a roof
  • electrical systems
  • plumbing systems
  • owned water heater repairs
  • damage which compromises the security of the home/inhabitants
  • foundation repairs
  • chimney repairs
  • accessibility (repairs to existing accessibility modifications only)

Ineligible repairs include, but are not limited to:

  • renovations to increase energy efficiency
  • accessibility modifications
  • renovations for aesthetic purposes only
  • additions or creation of secondary suites
  • preventative maintenance
  • the cost of a new home foundation
  • work done before program approval is given
  • the cost of a new furnace except where the City is satisfied that the existing furnace is unsafe
  • additions or upgrades to a home not considered emergency repairs
  • the cost of materials for insulation
  • the portion of costs exceeding $5000

All repairs must be carried out by a contractor licensed by the City of Hamilton.

  1. Contact at least two licensed and unrelated repair contractors to provide a written detailed quote for your repair.
  2. Complete and return the application form (PDF, 203 KB) and your supporting material and documentation to:
    City of Hamilton - Housing Services Division
    350 King Street East, Suite 110
    Hamilton, ON L8N 3Y3
    ATTENTION: Marjorie Walker
  3. If you are found eligible for the program, you will be requested to meet with the program administrator where you will be issued:
    1. A promissory/eligibility letter
    2. A liability waiver releasing the City of any responsibility of the transactions and services between the program participant and the contractor
    3. A Letter of Work Satisfaction Sign-off
  4. After the meeting, you can contact the contractor to arrange for the repairs to be completed.
  5. Once the repairs are complete, sign and return the Letter of Satisfaction and a detailed invoice from the Contractor within three business days of having the work completed to receive payment.

Contact us

For more information, contact:
Housing Loans Officer
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 2758
Email: [email protected]