Housing

Point in Time Connection

COVID-19: Tenants and Property Owners

The information below outlines some of the changes, options and supports available to you during these challenging times.   

The Ontario government suspension of new evictions through the COVID-19 crisis has ended as of August 1. Refer to the Landlord and Tenant Board website for details. It is critical that tenants and landlords have a written rent repayment agreement in place with payments that the tenant is able to make in their current financial situation. Tenants should not agree to repayment amounts they are not able to pay. Tenants should speak to their landlord about a repayment agreement even if they have received an eviction notice. Learn more about the financial supports that may be available.

Eviction orders issued before the mid-March Emergency Order are now being enforced. Eviction hearings are now being scheduled. Where landlords have given tenants eviction notices (N notices) during the eviction suspension, landlords must follow the processes in the Residential Tenancies Act to evict a tenant. These eviction processes were recently revised and the changes are retroactive to the March Emergency Order. Landlords and tenants can learn more about these changes to rental and eviction law from the Government of Ontario.

CERB applications are now being reviewed. Individuals who received CERB payments but were ineligible will be required to repay the amounts received. The CRA is asking individuals to repay those amounts by December 31, 2020. If a person repays the CERB before this time, the government says that they won't be fined or get any type of penalty. Review the CERB repayment details. For questions about your individual circumstance, please contact the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

Tenant questions should be directed to Hamilton Community Legal Clinic. Landlord questions should be directed to Tribunals Ontario. Check this site regularly for additional updates and helpful links. 

Helpful Links:

The Residential Tenancy Act, 2006 (RTA) establishes a framework for the regulation of residential rents and balances the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. It provides protection for residential tenants from unlawful rent increases and unlawful evictions, and includes processes to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. 

Learn more about landlord rights and responsibilities

Helpful Links:

There are many types of financial support available to help individuals and families experiencing challenges due to COVID-19. A COVID-19 Virtual Assistant is available online to help you find more information on what financial supports are there for you from the Government of Canada.

Learn more about federal and provincial financial supports for individuals

Helpful Links:

The Property Tax Assistance program outlines several financial measures to Hamilton property taxpayers and ratepayers dealing with the possible financial hardship caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic.  

Learn more about Support for Property Tax Payers 


Helpful Links:

Landlords are urged to adopt enhanced health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. Residential buildings with a high number of units should adopt new practices and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread.

Property owners/tenants are encouraged to check in on vulnerable residents/neighbours, connecting them to appropriate local agencies and supports if necessary.

Helpful Links:

To date, the City of Hamilton has allocated over $700,000 toward supporting vulnerable residents during this difficult time by assisting with food and basic needs, keeping shelters open and working with agencies to provide access to washrooms/showers. Isolation Centres have also been set up to provide food and shelter to any individuals in the shelter system that test positive for COVID-19.

A temporary emergency shelter based out of FirstOntario Centre will offer additional support to individuals who are at-risk and/or experiencing homeless, accommodating overflow from the shelter system to help ensure physical distancing.

Staff are also exploring ways to provide online supports for older adults, offering property owners some form of tax relief and setting up a network to deliver essentials like food and medication to those who are self-isolating but have little support.

List of emergency shelters for men, women, youth and families

 

From November 15 to 19, the City of Hamilton joined communities across Canada in participating in Everyone Counts: the third nationally coordinated Point-in-Time Count in Canada. This initiative, referred to locally as the Point in Time Connection, is a joint planning effort with City of Hamilton’s Housing Services Division and the local Indigenous community through the Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leadership (CHIL).

During the initiative, staff from community-based social services organizations conducted surveys, hearing directly from unhoused residents, to better understand the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community. 545 surveys were completed during the week at emergency shelters, drop-in programs, community agencies, and in unsheltered locations. Indigenous led magnet event was also held in Beasley Park on November 17 to provide an opportunity for Indigenous community members to be surveyed by Indigenous surveyors.

At a later date, staff will report a comprehensive update on the influences and experiences of homelessness in our community. In keeping with the principles of Indigenous data sovereignty, as directed by the Indigenous Community Advisory Board (ICAB), CHIL will lead the analysis of Indigenous respondent data and the City of Hamilton will not use this data without the approval of the ICAB. Housing Services Division continues to prioritize collaborative work with local Indigenous leadership to develop connections to housing and supports that are culturally appropriate, rooted in the spirit and actions of reconciliation that recognize the values of autonomy and self-determination.

The goal of Hamilton’s homeless-serving System is to connect people to the housing resources that will best meet their needs to access long-term sustainable housing. The system follows the principles of housing first and relies on person-centred data to facilitate the housing process.Point in Time Connection data helps to ensure available resources are leveraged as efficiently and effectively as possible to prevent and end homelessness.  

Background

  • Completion of the PiTC fulfilled requirements of both the Federal government’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy and the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
  • The 2021 PiTC complements existing local efforts to collect and report on key data on the state of homelessness to inform homelessness prevention and reduction efforts.
  • Hamilton was the second community in Ontario to undertake homelessness enumeration in 2016 and one of the first to put in place a Coordinated Access system underpinned by a By-Name Priority List.
  • Hamilton’s PiTC was initially planned for April 2020, however was subsequently postponed by the City of Hamilton and CHIL due to COVID-19 response and impacts, and to await further direction from Federal and Provincial Governments.
  • Unlike in previous years, no additional volunteers were recruited to support the surveying. The 2021 PiTC survey was conducted over the course of the week of November 15-19, 2021 in order to: ease the burden on agency staff working to complete the surveys and provide essential services in the community; to enable more time to safely connect with individuals and families in a variety of settings; and to avoid large gatherings to reduce the risk of infection and community spread of COVID-19 within these settings.

During the initiative, 235 volunteers and professional social service staff canvassed Hamilton’s urban, suburban and rural areas, emergency shelters, drop-in programs and community agencies. Together we surveyed 338 individuals and completed 48 family surveys. This initiative continues to support the efforts of the 20,000 Homes Campaign.

Infographic for the 2018 Point in Time Connect survey results

The Point in Time Connection continues to support a national campaign led by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness to house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness by July 1, 2020. Hamilton was one of the first cities in Canada to pilot 20,000 Homes.

Point in Time Connection partner/sponsor logos

2016 Survey Results

263 volunteers and professional social service staff canvassed Hamilton’s urban, suburban and rural areas, emergency shelters, hospitals and community agencies. Together we surveyed 504 individuals experiencing homelessness. Hamilton’s count continues to support the efforts of the 20,000 Homes Campaign.

Hamilton's Point in Time Count Survey Results Infographic

Contact us

Homelessness Policy & Programs
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 4666
Email: [email protected]