City Guideline 2012-1: Implementation of the Housing Services Act, 2011
|Date Issued||Effective Date|
|December 23, 2011||January 1, 2012|
Applicability to Social Housing Programs
The policies and procedures in this City Guideline are to be implemented under the following programs.
|X||Housing Services Act, Part VII Housing Projects, Market and Rent-Geared-to-Income, Section 78 Housing Providers (formerly 110)|
|X||Housing Services Act, Part VII Housing Projects, 100% Rent-Geared-to-Income, Section 78 Housing Providers (formerly 110)|
|Federal Non-Profit Housing, Section 26/27|
|Federal Non-Profit Housing, Section 95|
|Rent Supplement Programs for Sections 26, 27, 95 and New Affordable Housing Providers|
|Toronto Community Housing Corporation|
Please note: If your program is not checked, this City Guideline does not apply to your project.
The Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) is expected to be proclaimed on January 1, 2012. It will replace the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA). The HSA and its regulations will govern the administration of the City of Toronto’s social housing programs. This City Guideline is being issued to provide direction to continue with legislative, regulatory and City policies that were created by or under the authority of the SHRA.
The key regulations of the HSA are:
- Regulation 367 – this includes many of the rules under which housing providers must administer their housing projects.
- Regulation 369 – this includes the rules under which housing providers are funded.
- Regulation 298 – Part VII only of the SHRA’s Regulation 298 becomes Regulation 298 under the HSA – this includes the rules for determining RGI rent as well as effective dates for rent changes.
The HSA allows municipal service managers to make more local rules than were authorized under the SHRA. Where it is necessary as a transitional measure, the City is adopting the provisions of the SHRA and regulations as its local rule or policy under the HSA. If the City decides to change a local rule or create a new local rule, the Social Housing Unit will issue a new City Guideline.
When the City assumed responsibility for the funding and administration of social housing, housing providers signed RGI Service Agreements with the City. These agreements will continue in effect. All HSA provisions and local rules about RGI administration are included in the City’s RGI Guide.
Housing providers are to continue complying with all current rules and policies, except the changes detailed (1 to 7) below:
- “Internal review” under the SHRA has been replaced by “review” by a “review body” in the HSA. Housing Providers will continue to conduct reviews of housing provider decisions as required by the RGI Service Agreement, but not reviews of decisions to remove RGI eligibility. The Social Housing Unit will issue a City Guideline on this subject.
- “Opportunity to comment” is not in the HSA. Housing providers will no longer give households an “opportunity to comment” on adverse decisions. There will no longer be any need to delay effective dates for mid-year review decisions because of the opportunity to comment.
- The SHRA section on “pursuit of income” has been renamed “failure to obtain income” in the HSA. Housing providers cannot ask households to apply for the Canada Pension Plan or private pensions, but must continue to ask households to apply for pensions that they may be eligible for under the Old Age Security Act. There is no change in the other types of income that a household can be asked to obtain.
- Overhoused households will not lose eligibility for RGI assistance during the first year after being notified by the housing provider that they are overhoused. The Social Housing Unit will issue a City Guideline on offer refusals by overhoused households.
- The service manager’s system for selecting households must include rules for providing RGI assistance to market rent households in designated social housing projects. The Social Housing Unit will issue a City Guideline on this subject.
- Housing providers can no longer refuse to offer a unit because they believe the physical characteristics of the unit or level of care available (for special needs households) make it unsuitable.
- Housing providers must have:
- a plan for training the staff and volunteers
- a succession plan for the board of directors
- a plan for educating co-operative members about co-operative governance
The HSA permits but does not require housing providers to obtain consent to collect personal information for the purpose of administering the RGI assistance program. This City Guideline provides direction to include a consent statement in application forms and income and asset verification forms.
A chart that details the changes under the Housing Services Act and the implications for housing providers is attached to this City Guideline as Appendix A.
The City of Toronto’s RGI Guide has been updated to reflect the changes in RGI administration.
- Housing providers must comply with their RGI Service Agreements in their administration of the RGI assistance program.
- Housing providers must administer their housing projects in accordance with all City Guidelines.
- Housing providers must comply with the Housing Services Act and its regulations in the areas that are not subject to local rules (see background points 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7).
- Housing providers must comply with the rules in SHRA Regulations 298 and 339 in those areas where the HSA permits or requires local rules and where the City has not yet issued a City Guideline.
- Housing providers’ application forms and income and asset verification forms must include consent to the collection of personal information for the purpose of administering the RGI assistance program.
- Housing providers must continue to comply with the standards for housing providers set out in the SHRA, Regulation 339:
- Conflict of interest
- Minimum number of board meetings
- Remuneration of directors
- Property management for Part VII housing providers, including procurement and contracts
- Leases for units in part VII projects
- Refer to the RGI Guide on the social housing website to ensure that you are working with the current version.
- Leases, letters and forms used after January 1, 2012 must include Housing Services Act
- City Guidelines for Social Housing Providers
- The Housing Services Act is available at the Ontario e-laws website
- SHRA Regulations 298 and 339 will be removed from e-laws once the HSA is proclaimed but will be available on the social housing website.
- Housing providers can view the HSA regulations at e-laws.gov.on.ca or by visiting these pages:
- Ontario Regulation 367/11 – General
- Ontario Regulation 298/01 – Determination of Geared-to-Income Rent Under Section 50 of the Act – only definitions and PART VII apply as of January 1, 2012
- Ontario Regulation 369/11 – Subsidies for Part VII Providers
- Ontario Regulation 368/11 – Designated Housing Projects – Section 68 of the Act
- Ontario Regulation 370/11– High Needs Household and Household Income Limits – Subsection 40 (4) of the Act
If you have any questions, please contact your Housing Consultant or HSS:
Housing Stability Services
Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
City of Toronto
Metro Hall, 55 John Street, 6th floor
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6