Social Housing

What is Access to Housing

Access to Housing or ATH helps with the application process and maintains the central waiting list for subsidized housing for social housing providers in Hamilton.

Subsidized housing is rent‐geared‐to‐income or RGI housing which is based on 30% of a household’s gross monthly income or if the household is receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, a social assistance rent scale is applied. Additional charges may apply depending on the building (i.e. parking/ utilities).

  • ATH is not a landlord and does not offer housing to applicants.
  • They can not predict or guess when you will be housed.
  • They do not provide emergency shelters or housing.
  • List of emergency shelters

How to apply for subsidized housing

Step 1: Application for Housing and Building Selection Forms are available online, through all non-profit housing providers and from: 

Access to Housing (ATH)
499 King Street East
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 1E1
Phone: 905-524-2228
Fax: 905-524-1199

Housing Help Centre
119 Main Street East
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Z3
Phone: 905-526-8100

CityHousing Hamilton
181 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4R8
Phone: 905-523-8496

City of Hamilton - Housing Services
350 King Street East, Unit 110
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 3Y3
Phone: 905-546-2424

Step 2: Read the instructions carefully and if you have any questions, call ATH at 905-524-2228.

  • Complete the application form using blue or black pen.
  • Ensure that the application is signed by each member of the household who is 16 years or older and listed as on the application form.

Download, print and complete these forms as required based on your circumstance:

Step 3: Submit your application and all applicable supporting documents to ATH by mail, fax or in person. Applications cannot be submitted online. ATH determines eligibility for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing based on a complete application only. Your application will not be considered for eligibility if the application form is incomplete or if documents are missing.

Who can apply for subsidized housing

To qualify for social housing in Hamilton, applicants must:

  • Be 16 years of age or older and be able to live independently
  • Each member of the household must be a Canadian Citizen, Landed Immigrant or Refugee Claimant
  • No member of the household has a deportation order, departure or exclusion order under the Immigration Act
  • No member of the household owes arrears for rent or damage to any social housing provider in Ontario
  • If you own residential property, you must agree to sell within 180 days after RGI assistance is received

Documents required for social housing applications

The following is a list of required documents that must be provided with your application for everyone listed on the application form. Some items may not apply to some individuals.

  • Copies of Canadian birth certificates, Canadian passport, landed immigrant, permanent resident card or refugee claimant documents for all members of the household.
  • Custody documentation (i.e. Court/ lawyer/ CAS, ex-partner, etc.).
  • Copy of a repayment schedule for anyone in your household who owes money to any social housing provider in Ontario.
  • Copies of household monthly income of you and all persons who will be living with you.
  • Self-employed - please provide proof of income such as your latest income tax, investment Interest income, pay stubs, etc.
  • Copies of owned assets of all household.
  • If pregnant, provide proof of pregnancy (i.e. doctors note)
  • If you are claiming homelessness, abuse, a serious medical condition, a dangerous or life threatening situation, etc., proof is required from someone in a professional position (court/ lawyer/ doctor/ police/ worker).

Applications submitted without the requested documents will not be processed. You will be advised in writing that your application is incomplete. You will not be placed on the waiting list, until all the required documents are received.

Applicant responsibilities

Applicants for social housing have a number of responsibilities:

  • You are responsible to notify ATH of any changes to your information in order to maintain your eligibility status;
  • You are responsible to confirm your interest in remaining on the waiting list for housing. This confirmation must be done with ATH once a year. A reminder letter will be sent to you.

Applicants must notify Access to Housing (ATH) if:

  • Your address changes;
  • Your phone number changes;
  • You want to live in locations other than those you chose on your application;
  • The number of people in your household changes;
  • The contact person on your application changes;
  • Your income changes;
  • Your Immigration status changes.

Notice of any change in any information or documents must be submitted within 30 business days of the change. A longer time as may be allowed by ATH or the City of Hamilton.