Priority Applications

The City of Hamilton has rules that give priority to certain types of applicants for subsidized housing:

  • Social housing providers must offer vacant rent-geared-to-income or RGI housing units to eligible applicants selected from the centralized waiting list.
  • Applicants are offered units in accordance with their application date, i.e. households rank higher than another household with a later application date, except as noted below.
  • Applicants with priority status are also ranked by their application date chronologically on the centralized waiting list.

There are six categories on our waiting list. Application forms in each area provide details on the processes.

For victims of abuse by someone with whom they live or have lived with in the past six months, to allow them to permanently separate housing from their abuser.

The following documents are needed to meet the eligibility requirements for Special Priority:

  1. Complete all of the Applicant sections on the Special Priority Verification Form (PDF, 260 KB).
  2. Have a professional complete the Professional section on the Special Priority Verification Form.
  3. Have a professional write a letter on your behalf explaining your situation of abuse.
  4. Provide documentation for “verification of co-residency” that you and the person named as the abuser lived at the same residence within the last six months.
  5. Have a safe address and phone number where Access to Housing can contact you.

 All information disclosed to Access to Housing will remain confidential.

If you need assistance in completing the Special Priority Verification Form, please contact Access to Housing.

The following professionals are eligible to provide confirmation of abuse:

  • Doctor
  • Member of the Clergy
  • Lawyer
  • Guidance Counsellor
  • Registered Social Worker or Social Service Worker
  • Teacher
  • Victim Services Worker
  • Shelter Worker
  • Settlement Services Worker
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Community Health Care Worker 
  • An individual in a managerial or administrative position with a housing provider

Eligibility Requirements

  • I am, or was, a member of a household where I have been subject to abuse from another person.
  • I am, or was living within the past six months, with the abusive person, or was sponsored by the abusive person.
  • I have attached “verification of co-residency” that I am, or was, living with the abusive person.
  • I am intending to live permanently apart from the abusive person.

Verification of co-residency
Verification that you and the person named as abuser resided at the same residence within the last six months is required to assess Priority Status.

Examples of verification that can be submitted:

  • Ontario Works/ODSP drug or dental card or letter from your worker
  • Statement from a bank
  • Credit card/utility bill/loan documents
  • Mortgage statement
  • Property tax statement
  • Legal documents – separation/custody – Affidavit
  • Copy of recent lease or rental agreement
  • Joint assets/RRSP’s statements
  • Income Tax Statement
  • Child Tax Credit
  • School registration/letter from principal
  • Subsidized daycare documents
  • Landed paper identifying spouse/address sponsored to
  • OSAP
  • Letter from family doctor
  • Insurance documents listing both parties

 If none of the above are available, we will discuss other options with you directly.

For victims of abuse by someone with whom they have never lived with or have lived with longer than six months and legal interventions have been exhausted.

The following documents are needed to meet the eligibility requirements for Urgent Status:

  1. Complete all of the Applicant sections on the Urgent Priority Verification Form (PDF 336 KB).
  2. Have a professional complete the Professional section on the Urgent Verification Form.
  3. Have a professional write a letter on your behalf explaining your situation of abuse.
  4. Provide any supporting documentation that may assist us with the application.
  5. Provide a safe address and phone number where Access to Housing can contact you.

 All information disclosed to Access to Housing will remain confidential.

If you need assistance in completing the Urgent Verification Form, please contact Access to Housing or refer to the Community Resources List.

Eligibility Requirements
To receive Urgent Status you must indicate which of the following 3 situations apply to you:

  • I am (or a member of my family was) a member of a household where I (they) have been subject to abuse from another person; or
  • I lived with the abusive person more than six months ago; or
  • I was sponsored by the abusive person;
  • Name of Abuser and relationship:
  • I have attached supporting documentation (as defined on page 4 of this form) that will assist Access to Housing with this application;
  • I am intending to live permanently apart from the abusive person;
  • I have exhausted legal interventions·

Examples of Supporting Documentation that can be submitted:

  • Additional supporting letters from a professional 
  • Restraining Order
  • Peace Bond
  • Police Report / Summary Report
  • Recognizance of Bail

 If none of the above is available, we will discuss other options with you directly.

For people who are terminally ill and the wait list may prevent someone from getting housing. This is not meant for people who may be suffering from a serious chronic condition, illness or disease.

Appropriate verification documents must be submitted to our office if you wish to be considered for this status. A letter outlining the circumstances must be provided by a physician.
A physician must complete the Verification of Terminal Illness Form (PDF, 269 KB). 

For people living in temporary accommodation such as with friends or relatives, in a shelter, hostel or motel. One out of every five offers of housing will be made to applicants with Homeless status.

Eligibility Requirements: Homeless Status Application (PDF, 623 KB)

In order to qualify for “Homeless” status you must be:

  • without shelter, or
  • living in temporary or emergency housing ,or
  • living in housing condemned by the municipality, or
  • about to be discharged from a care facility, or
  • about to be evicted for reasons outside of an alleged breach of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 by the tenant, or
  • separated from family members due to lack of housing
  • burned out of their place of residence

Verification of Homeless status is required such as:

  • Property inspection report, or
  • Verification letter from shelter or social agency, or
  • Confirmation from discharge planners of care facility, or
  • Notice of Termination indicating you did not cause the eviction, or
  • ATH Verification of Homeless Status Form
  • The appropriate verification documents must be submitted to our office if you wish to be considered for this status.
  • A letter outlining the circumstances must be provided by a professional/agency.

The following professionals are eligible to provide confirmation of Homeless status:

  • Doctor
  • Lawyer
  • Shelter Worker
  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Social Worker or Social Service Agency Worker
  • Member of the Clergy
  • Victim Services Worker
  • Settlement Services Worker
  • Community Health Care Worker
  • Counsellor/ Psychologist

One out of every 10 offers 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.

To apply a youth must be 16 or 17 years old at time of housing application. One out of every 10 offers of housing will be made to applicants with this status.

Reserved for individuals on the waitlist who qualify for RGI housing. Applicants with Chronological status are ranked by their application date chronologically on the centralized waiting list.