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Looking for a place to live in Toronto?

  • Choosing a neighbourhood
  • Home buyers/renters
  • Affordable housing & social housing
  • Alternative housing
  • Supportive/Special needs housing
  • Housing for seniors
  • Housing Help services
  • Emergency housing
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    * * Choosing a neighbourhood *
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    The City of Toronto has a web page dedicated to demographic and neighbourhood information. There's also an interactive map that identifies public services (e.g. libraries, transit etc.).

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    * * Home buyers / renters *
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    * * The Toronto Real Estate Board has about 32,000 members and thousands of listings and other valuable information about purchasing a house or condominium in one of the city's many neighbourhoods.
    Planning to Rent?
    A good starting point is Your Guide to Renting a Home, by Canada Mortgage and Housing, the federal government's national housing agency. The agency is also a good source of information about local market rents and vacancy rates.
    Toronto Planning Division
    Toronto's supply of housing is very diverse, with renters and owners each comprising about half of the City's households. However, there are significant gaps in the supply of particular kinds of housing, including affordable and supportive housing. Toronto Planning Division lays out the facts about housing.

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    * * Affordable housing & social housing *
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    What is affordable rental housing?
    Rents that are at or below Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's average market rent are considered to be "affordable" under the City of Toronto's Official Plan definition. For example, the average market rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Toronto area is $1,149.

    As is the case in most Canadian cities, there is not enough affordable housing to meet the need in Toronto. However, through investments by the federal and provincial governments and the City of Toronto, new affordable housing developments are under development. View a list of affordable homes now under construction. Late in 2011, a new program was launched, called Investment in Affordable Housing.
    Details about its implementation in Toronto will be available in 2012.

    In Toronto, vacancies in rent-geared-to-income housing (social housing) are filled from a centralized waiting list. You must qualify and be on this list to receive an offer of a subsidized unit. Housing Connections manages the waiting list on behalf of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, the City division responsible for social housing and homeless services. You can apply online. If you require assistance in this process, a list of resources is available here.

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    * * Alternative housing *
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    * * "Alternative housing" is a type of non-profit housing with a mandate to house the homeless and those who are hard-to-house because of mental health or addiction issues. Alternative housing providers are not required to use the centralized waiting list to fill their vacancies. For a list of alternative housing providers, go to www.211toronto.ca

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    * * Supportive housing/special needs housing *
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    * * Supportive housing (also referred to as alternative housing or transitional housing) offers support services onsite to assist tenants to live independently. When a client's circumstances warrant it, a more permanent housing solution is sought.

    For example, some providers will offer support for youth, people with substance abuse problems, women fleeing abusive situations, or people living with HIV or AIDS. Providers are not required to use the centralized waiting list. The best source of information about services available is from the a housing provider directly.

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    * * Housing for seniors *
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    * * Housing Help services *
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    • People who want to apply for rent-geared-to-income housing should ensure they are on the centralized waiting list managed by Housing Connections
    • Those who need assistance to fill out housing applications or want advice about housing options should visit their local Housing Help Centres

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    * * Emergency housing *
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    * * The City maintains about 3,800 shelter beds either directly or through community agencies under contract. This is managed by Shelter, Support & Housing Administration. For a complete list of shelters and other services for people who do not have housing see the Guide to Services.

    People suffering domestic violence may want to seek shelter in special facilities where staff is trained for such situations.

    If you are a refugee seeking housing and assistance, specialized information is here.
    In the event of a disaster, the Emergency Planning and Management Unit of Shelter, Support and Housing Administration is charged with assisting people and their pets with shelter, food, clothing, registration and inquiry, and personal services. The unit works closely with Toronto's Office of Emergency Management, fire, police, public health and other City services and community partners.

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    Need Help? * Need help?
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    couple on porch   Social Housing
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    Quick Links
    blue bullet Welcome Home, a guide to services for new tenants
    blue bullet Immigration & Settlement Portal
    blue bullet Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT), ten year plan for housing
     
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