Emergency Housing Help – Housing Stabilization Fund
The Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF) provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the city of Toronto. HSF is intended to prevent homelessness and help obtain and retain housing.
To meet emergency housing needs, money from HSF may help with:
- rental costs/arrears within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
- moving costs within the GTA
- energy arrears (gas, hydro, fuel)
- bed bugs (see details below)
- setting up a residence, for example:
- moving from a furnished to an unfurnished unit
- setting up a new address with no existing furniture (i.e. someone who has been homeless or is a newcomer)
- purchasing a bed for a child who has outgrown a crib
- moving due to fire, flood or domestic violence
Please note that reimbursements cannot be issued for items already paid for prior to the request for HSF.
You can read full details about this benefit on the TESS policies and procedures page about the Housing Stabilization Fund.
Maximum HSF Amounts
The amount of HSF is based on need and cannot be more than the maximum amount, per calendar year, below:
- Single people and couples without children – $1,600
- Families with adult dependents – $2,000
- Families with children – $3,000
- Temporary care situation – $560
Within the maximum amounts there are flat rate amounts which are issued for specific situations for instance moving or setting up a residence.
Funds to purchase mattress encasements or to replace discarded beds/soft furniture may be considered once in a 24-month period. These funds are issued based on flat rate amounts depending on family size.
Verification of pest control treatment will be required.
Funds for soft furniture (upholstered with fabric, such as a couch or a chair) are not issued for any purpose other than bed bugs.
Who Can Apply
People receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in Toronto may be eligible for money from the Housing Stabilization Fund if they are:
- Homeless and leaving an emergency shelter or the street
- Housed and moving within the GTA because of domestic violence, fire/flood or to accommodate a change in family size
- Housed and moving within the GTA due to a high rent situation or eviction
In these situations, HSF may be issued to help with:
- Rental costs
- Moving costs within the GTA
- Furniture/Household items (HSF is not issued to replace old, worn or broken furniture)
People receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through ODSP may also qualify if they are housed and in energy arrears (gas, hydro or fuel) with risk of disconnection or rental arrears.
If other emergency housing needs exist, speak to your caseworker. For example, funds may be issued to purchase a bed or soft furniture that has been discarded due to bed bugs. For more information see the HSF benefit details tab.
If you have an emergency housing need and you do not currently receive financial/income assistance from Ontario Works or ODSP, contact The Toronto Rent Bank for help.
How to Apply
For those who receive financial assistance from Ontario Works or income support from ODSP, speak to your Ontario Works or ODSP caseworker. Your caseworker will provide information to you about the fund and then an assessment of your request will be completed.
You will be asked to provide proof of your situation, for example, a letter from your landlord, eviction notice, disconnection notice, police report, or a letter from the pest control company.
HSF cannot be issued to reimburse for items already paid for prior to the request.
If you have an emergency housing need and you do not currently receive financial assistance/income support from Ontario Works or ODSP, contact The Toronto Rent Bank for help.
We will let you know whether or not you are eligible, and for how much, within 4 business days of receiving all required documentation.
If you receive income support from ODSP and have questions about the status of your request for HSF, you can call 416-397-5550.
If you receive financial assistance from Ontario Works you can contact your caseworker.
Reviewing an HSF Decision
If a request for HSF is turned down and you have an address, a decision letter will be mailed. If you do not have an address, you will be advised of the decision by telephone. If you cannot be reached by telephone a decision letter will be made available to you at the local office upon request.
If you disagree with the decision, you have 30 days to write a letter to the HSF caseworker requesting a review of the decision. If there is any information that you have not already provided that might help during the review process, please include this information with your letter. The request will be completed by the Appeals Review Unit and you will receive a decision by phone or in writing.
If you disagree with the outcome from the Appeals Review Unit, the decision can be appealed further, to the Decision Review Committee (DRC). You must complete the Request for Review by the Decision Review Committee form which is provided with the decision letter, and forward it to the Appeals Review Unit by mail:
Decision Review Committee
c/o Appeals Review Unit
111 Wellesley St. E., 4th Floor
The Decision Review Committee meets monthly. Once the committee reviews the case, you will be advised of the final decision within 4 business days of their meeting date.
For full details visit the TESS policies and procedures page about the Housing Stabilization Fund.