Date Issued: November 26, 2018

Effective Date: January 1, 2019

Applicability to Social Housing Programs

The City Guideline is applicable to the programs for which there is an “X” in the table below.

Applicability Program
Yes Housing Services Act, Part VII Housing Projects, Market and Rent-Geared-to-Income, Section 78 Housing Providers (formerly 110)
Yes 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
Yes Federal Non-Profit Housing, Section 95
Rent Supplement Programs for Sections 26, 27, 95 and New Affordable Housing Providers
Toronto Community Housing Corporation

If your program is not checked in the Applicability column, this City Guideline does not apply.

About City Guidelines

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

City Guidelines are the City of Toronto’s 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, the Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) manual is updated, or other relevant legislative changes or operational requirements occur. City Guidelines which impact RGI have been incorporated into the RGI Manual.

Please see for more information.


City Guideline 2018-5 replaces City Guideline 2011-5.  Changes from the previous version of the City Guideline are identified in bold in the body of the City Guideline and by bold numbers in Appendix A.

Housing Services Act, Part VII Housing Projects, Market and Rent-Geared-to-Income, and 100% Rent-Geared-to-Income, Section 78 Housing Providers (formerly 110)

Regulation 367, section 98 (7) of the Housing Services Act gives the City of Toronto, as Service Manager, the authority to determine what expenses can be charged to housing providers’ capital reserve funds

Federal Non-Profit Housing, Section 95 Housing Providers

Under the Operating Agreements between housing providers and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the City of Toronto, as funder, has the authority to determine what expenses can be charged to housing providers’ capital reserve funds.

This City Guideline provides the City’s rules for allocating expenses to a housing provider’s capital reserve or operating fund.

Actions Required

  1. The change to the eligible capital reserve expenditures takes effect for fiscal years beginning on or after January 1st, 2019.
  2. Housing providers must use capital reserve funds only for the major repair, upgrading or replacement of original/existing building and site components.
  3. Housing providers must comply with Appendix A attached to this City Guideline when determining which expenditures are to be charged to either operating or capital reserve funds. The following are general rules for using Appendix A:
    1. Housing providers with up to 100 units in their portfolio must charge all expenditures of less than $2,500 as operating expenses, unless an item is specifically exempted in Appendix A.
    2. Housing providers with more than 100 units in their portfolio must charge all expenditures of less than $5,000 as operating expenses, unless an item is specifically exempted in Appendix A.
  4. Housing providers may not group invoices together to create an expense that is large enough to qualify as a capital expense with the exception of certain “Unit Turnovers”. Please refer to Appendix A, section 11.9 for the details.
  5. Housing providers may not split invoices to create an expense that qualifies as an operating expense.
  6. Housing providers must fund new construction or additions of new building components from sources other than the capital reserve.

Exception: Housing providers may charge expenditures for new construction or additions of new building components to the capital reserve fund if:

  • they are required to comply with building, fire or municipal codes or other similar directions, and
  • the items have been pre-approved by the City of Toronto.

In situations where it is not clear whether an expense qualifies as a capital expense, or, if an item is not listed in Appendix A, contact your Housing Consultant before committing or spending funds.

Appendix A to City Guideline 2018-5 Eligible Capital Reserve Expenditures

Unless Stated Otherwise:
1-100 total units – all expenditures greater than $2,500 are capital
100+ total units – all expenditures greater than $5,000 are capital

1.1 Concrete patios
1.2 Concrete sidewalks and curbs
1.3 Fencing – perimeter & unit
1.4 Garbage pad
1.5 Grounds/landscaping
1.6 Interlocking brick pavers
1.7 Miscellaneous (signs, benches, etc.)
1.8 Parking lots, driveways, sidewalks
1.9 Playground equipment
1.10 Retaining walls
1.11 Sheds/storage
1.12 Sidewalks, stairways, ramps
1.13 Site maintenance equipment

2.1 Domestic water service
2.2 Electrical power supply
2.3 Foundation drainage
2.4 Natural gas supply
2.5 Sanitary service
2.6 Storm water service

3.1 Balcony Decks
3.2 Floor slabs
3.3 Foundation walls
3.4 Railing (all types)
3.5 Structural walls (load bearing)
3.6 Structural columns

4.1 Balcony/Terrace/Patio doors
4.2 Building entry (doors, glass, frames)
4.3 Caulking, sealants, weather stripping
4.4 Eavestroughs, fascias, soffits, downspouts
4.5 Exterior Painting
4.6 Exterior wall cladding – ALL cleaning costs are Operating
4.7 Flashing – ALL cleaning costs are Operating
4.8 Roof anchors
4.9 Roofing
4.10 Windows

5.1 Carbon Monoxide Detection/Control System
5.2 Columns
5.3 Drainage System – ALL cleaning/vacuuming costs are Operating
5.4 Heating System
5.5 Lighting fixtures
5.6 Overhead doors
5.7 Ramps
5.8 Ventilation/Exhaust System
5.9 Walls
5.10 Floor/Slab
5.11 Waterproof membrane

6.1 Accessibility features/modifications
6.2 Appliances – stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, A/C units – ALL appliance replacements are Capital
6.3 Bathroom accessories – Sinks, tubs, toilets, fixtures, grab or towel bars, wall tiles, tub enclosures, shower stalls and cabinets or vanities
6.4 Cabinetry/countertops – common/service areas
6.5 Drapes or blinds – common/service areas
6.6 Drapes or blinds – units
6.7 Entrance door – units
6.8 Exit stairway/stairwell finishes
6.9 Flooring – Common/service areas service areas
6.10 Flooring – units
6.11 Furnishings – Common/service areas
6.12 Handrails – corridors
6.13 Interior doors – within units
6.14 Kitchen accessories specific to sinks, taps, tile, storage and stove Safe-T- Elements
6.15 Kitchen cabinets and countertops
6.16 Lockers
6.17 Locks/keying systems
6.18 Maintenance equipment
6.19 Service or common area doors
6.20 Suspended Ceiling – common/service areas
6.21 Wall & ceiling finishes – Common/service areas
6.22 Wall and ceiling finishes–units – ALL costs are Operating

7.1 Baseboard/wall mounted heaters
7.2 Common and service area lighting
7.3 Distribution panels/boxes, wiring – units
7.4 Enterphone or intercom system
7.5 Main distribution panel
7.6 Site lighting/pole lighting
7.7 Suite lighting
7.8 Transformer
7.9 Unit door bells

8.1 Air conditioning – chiller
8.2 Circulating pumps
8.3 Common area, laundry room exhaust fans
8.4 Domestic cold water supply
8.5 Domestic hot water supply
8.6 Domestic water storage
8.7 Garbage Bins
8.8 Garbage Handling System (compactor, chutes, etc.)
8.9 Heating boilers
8.10 Heating piping/valves
8.11 HVAC – central heating & cooling
8.12 Fan coil units
8.13 Make up air units
8.14 Plumbing fixtures and controls
8.15 Plumbing piping systems
8.16 Radiators
8.17 Recycle Handling System
8.18 Sanitary and storm drainage system
8.19 Sump Pumps
8.20 Unit exhaust fans, range hoods
8.21 Baseboard Heaters
8.22 Incremental Heating/Cooling Units – Complete replacements are Capital
8.23 Domestic Hot Water Tanks – Complete replacements are Capital
8.24 Furnaces – Complete replacements are Capital

9.1 Alarm control panel
9.2 Alarm signal devices
9.3 Controlled access system
9.4 Detectors – Carbon monoxide, heat, smoke
9.5 Door operators
9.6 Emergency lighting
9.7 Exit signs
9.8 Fire code compliance
9.9 Fire pumps
9.10 Generator & transfer switch
9.11 Hose and cabinets
9.12 Security alarm systems
9.13 Security camera system
9.14 Smoke & heat detectors – units

10.1 Elevator upgrades/replacements

11.1 Building condition assessments, reserve fund studies, energy audits – ALL expenditures are Capital
11.2 Code compliance – building and property
11.3 Computers – hardware, software, internet, wiring, etc.– ALL expenditures are Operating
11.4 Energy efficiency initiatives
11.5 Environmental remediation – mould, asbestos, etc.
11.6 Insulation – replace/upgrade
11.7 Office equipment – leased – ALL leases are Operating
11.8 Office equipment – purchase
11.9 Unit Turnovers – Combined expenses (exclusive of replacement of appliances) over $5,000 to refurbish an individual unit will be classified as capital. The $5,000 per unit threshold applies to all Housing Providers.


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
Telephone: 416-392-4126