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:

Service at a Glance

Tenant Information

Once you have rented a place to live, you become a tenant. You have rights and responsibilities and so does your landlord. These rights are explained in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). You must follow the laws in this act and the terms in your lease. 

Homelessness Prevention

Homelessness Prevention funds and monitors programs that assist households to prevent homelessness or obtain housing.

These programs include:

Landlord Information

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. 

Social Housing Administration

Social Housing Administration funds, monitors and supports all social housing providers that own and operate social housing (including CityHousing Hamilton). In addition, this section funds and monitors Access to Housing which maintains a central waiting list for subsidized housing units across the City. Tenants/ members of social housing are supported through the Social Housing Review Panel and Eviction Prevention programs.

Investment in Affordable Housing

Investment in Affordable Housing encourages the creation of new affordable housing in the City of Hamilton. This portfolio includes the Rent Supplement Program, the Home Ownership Down Payment Assistance Program for low to moderate-income residents who rent in Hamilton, and want to buy a home and the Ontario Renovates Program.

Domiciliary Hostel Program & Emergency Shelters

The Domiciliary Hostel Program provides funding for the operation of safe and affordable supported housing in a communal setting (Residential Care Facility) for people who require assistance with the daily activities of life. In addition, they also provide funding to agencies that provide Emergency Shelter Services or a temporary place to stay for people who are homeless.

Tenant Defence Fund Pilot Program

The Tenant Defence Fund Pilot Program helps tenant groups facing above guideline rent increases by providing support with education, securing meeting rooms,  printing and photocopying relating to the grant application and covering the cost of hiring a paralegal or lawyer to represent them at the Landlord Tenant Board.

Emergency Repair Program

The Emergency Repair Program is open to Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program homeowners to fund serious and urgent repairs (up to $5,000) that would jeopardize the condition of the home.