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

 

Everyone Counts 2020 is the third nationally Coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness in Canada, supported by Employment and Social Development Canada. A Point-in-Time Count is intended to identify how many people in a community experience homelessness at any given time – it is not an exhaustive count.

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). The City of Hamilton joins communities across Canada in conducting surveys to better understand the needs of people experiencing homelessness.

The next Point in Time Connection will take place November 15 to 19, 2021

Through the accompanying anonymous survey, the initiative provides information on the demographics and service needs of the local population experiencing homelessness. It will also continue to inform local homelessness policy and practices so that homelessness is prevented whenever possible and is otherwise a rare, brief and non-reoccurring experience. Locally, the initiative is referred to as the Point in Time Connection.

The voluntary survey will be conducted by agency staff at all emergency shelters, violence against women shelters, transitional housing and drop in locations, and by street outreach workers doing engagement and survey with those in unsheltered locations. There will be an Indigenous led Magnet Event on Wednesday, November 17, from 11 am to 7 pm at Beasley Park to provide opportunity for Indigenous community members to be surveyed by Indigenous surveyors.

We are committed to sharing back Hamilton’s Point in Time Connection results with the community. The goal of Housing Services and the Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leadership is to share key preliminary findings in early December, and, at a later date, report a comprehensive update on the influences and experiences of homelessness in our community. In keeping with the principles of Indigenous data sovereignty, such as Ownership, Control, Access and Possession®, CHIL will lead the analysis of Indigenous respondent data and the City of Hamilton will not use this data without the approval of CHIL.

Background

  • 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. Following this, we were given a range of options to conduct a required PiTC in 2021.
  • Unlike in previous years, no additional volunteers will be recruited to support the surveying. The surveying will be conducted over the course of the week 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]