Number 2017-7
Date issued: October 2, 2017
Effective: January 1, 2018

Applicability to Social Housing programs

The City Guideline is applicable to the follow programs

  • Housing Services Act, Part VII Housing Projects, Market and Rent-Geared-to-Income, Section 78 Housing Providers (formerly 110)
  • 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
  • Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC)

If your program is not listed here this City Guideline does not apply.

About City Guidelines

Under the authority of the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA), the City of Toronto, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) Division City Guidelines and Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) Manual are the authority for RGI administration for social housing providers in the City of Toronto.

City Guidelines are used by the City of Toronto to communicate changes to mandatory policies and procedures that social housing providers must follow. City Guidelines are most often issued when a Local Rule is established by the City of Toronto, or other relevant legislative changes or operational requirements occur, such as an update to the Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) manual

1. Purpose

As per the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA), and O. Reg. 367/11, in order to be eligible for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance, RGI households must not have an RGI-related conviction within the last two years, or owe household arrears to any transferred social housing provider in the Province of Ontario, unless they have a repayment agreement which they maintain in good standing.

The City of Toronto is participating in the Province Wide Arrears Database (PWAD), a database which stores arrears owed to social housing providers by former households, as well as information on RGI-related convictions.

The purpose of this guideline is to establish the required actions of social housing providers to report arrears of rent and/or damages owed by a former household and RGI-related convictions. The guideline also explains the role of Access-to-Housing in verifying basic eligibility of households applying for RGI assistance.

2. Legislative authority

Legislative authority for this City Guideline is taken from the following sources:

3. Definitions

For the purpose of this guideline, the following terms will be used:

Arrears

Arrears are defined as any of the following from a former (and not current) household:

  • unpaid rent of households receiving RGI assistance; and
  • unpaid rent and damages of households paying Market rent, if the household has signed a lease agreement which includes a clause granting permission to add the household’s information to PWAD.

Access-to-Housing Team

The Access-to-Housing Team refers to the City of Toronto staff responsible for maintaining the Centralized Waiting List and facilitating PWAD requests, updates and reports.

Centralized Waiting List (CWL)

The City of Toronto subsidized housing waiting list.

City-administered rent assistance

This includes the Rent-Geared-to-Income assistance (RGI) and rent supplements administered by the City for the purpose of assisting households with paying their rent.

Household

This refers to the people who live permanently in a housing unit. Household can refer to one person who lives alone or to a group of people who live together in the unit.

The Province Wide Arrears Database (PWAD)

An online database used by Ontario Service Managers to track social housing arrears and RGI-related convictions.

RGI-related convictions

Convictions under Section 55 of the HSA or Section 85 of the former Social Housing Reform Act, or a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada in relation to the receipt of RGI assistance. These convictions include knowingly obtaining or receiving RGI assistance that households were not entitled to and any other offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada related to the receipt of RGI. Those with RGI-related convictions are not eligible for RGI assistance for a period of two years from the date of the conviction.  Orders from the Landlord and Tenant Board under a notice to terminate a tenancy for illegal acts or misrepresenting income in an RGI rent unit are not RGI-related convictions.

Repayment Arrangement

An established repayment arrangement with a social housing provider for arrears of rent or arrears in respect of damage caused by a member of the household from a previous tenancy.

Social Housing

Housing that is prescribed under the HSA and is administered by the City of Toronto as Service Manager

4.  The Province Wide Arrears Database (PWAD)

The Province Wide Arrears Database (PWAD) is a database used by service managers to track social housing arrears and RGI-related convictions.

The City of Toronto’s Access-to-Housing Team is responsible for collecting information from social housing providers on arrears owed for rent and/or for damages by former households, including RGI-related convictions.

Social housing providers are required to:

  • report arrears of rent and/or damages owed by former tenant households;
  • report creation of and/or a default of an established arrangement; and
  • report RGI-related convictions.

Applications for Rent-Geared to Income Assistance

Access-to-Housing is responsible to ensure that an applicant household meets the basic eligibility requirements for RGI assistance before adding the household to CWL. The Access-to-Housing Team will remove an applicant household from the CWL for:

  • arrears;
  • repayment arrangement not in good standing; and
  • convictions.

5. More information

Please see training opportunities and other resources. For questions, comments, or assistance, please contact your Housing Consultant.

The appendices include the following sections:

6.  Actions required

Applicable housing providers must take the following actions as of January 1, 2018:

  1. Report and verify RGI-related arrears and convictions as outlined in this City Guideline and the corresponding web page.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact your Housing Consultant or Housing Stability Services:

Housing Stability Services
Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
City of Toronto
121 Bloor Street E., 13th floor
Toronto, ON M4W 3M5
Telephone: 416-392-4126
Email: hss@toronto.ca