Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing is a housing subsidy or benefit offered by the City of Toronto. In most cases, the rent is set at 30 per cent of the household’s total monthly income. If you receive social assistance the rent is based on the rent benefit set by the Ontario government.
The need for RGI housing outweighs availability and applicants can wait for many years. Applying for RGI housing should be seen as part of a long term plan and not an immediate solution to housing needs or emergency situations.
While they are waiting for RGI housing, applicants are encouraged to connect with a local Housing Help Centre to access other housing options and stabilize their current housing situation. If you need emergency shelter call Central Intake at 416-338-4766.
Anyone may apply for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing as long as they meet the following criteria:
- At least one member of the household is 16 years of age or older;
- At least one member of the household is able to live independently, with or without support services.
- Each member of the household is:
- a Canadian citizen;
- a permanent resident of Canada;
- has applied for permanent resident status;
- is a refugee claimant or Convention refugee.
Currently there is a waiting list for social housing in Toronto. You will be placed on this waiting list once you have submitted a complete application and have been determined eligible. As part of the initial eligibility for the waiting list and at the time of offer household members will have their names checked in the Province Wide Arrears Database for arrears and/or RGI convictions.
How the Centralized Waiting List Works
Housing Connections maintains the Centralized Waiting List for RGI housing in the City of Toronto. The date on which Housing Connections receives your completed application and all supporting documents is your application date. Incomplete applications will be cancelled and you will have to re-apply.
Applications are added to the Centralized Waiting List in chronological order (by their date of application) and the system works on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that the housing provider will offer RGI housing to households with the oldest application date who have selected their building or zone.
Once applicants have registered for RGI, they may also apply under the Priority Program or as a Market Tenant requesting RGI.
Households approved for any of the priority program designations will be offered RGI housing ahead of households on the chronological waiting list. For more information on the eligibility criteria for the waiting list see the City of Toronto RGI Administration Manual.
To apply for Rent Geared to Income Housing you must complete the RGI Housing Application in full and include the following for all household members:
- Legal status in Canada documentation for all household members
- monthly income and assets information for all household members over 16 years of age
- information about any arrears or re-payment plans with a Social Housing Provider
- signed consent and declaration for all household members over 16 years of age
You can apply online, in person or by mail.
The easiest way to apply is to complete the online application. Before you begin, gather all the required information for each member of your household who will be included on your application. Applicants applying on line will be directed to print and signed Consent and Declaration for all members over 16 years of age and must provide legal status in Canada documentation for all household members to complete their application. If you use a public computer to submit your application, be sure to clear the history and cache at the end of your session to protect your personal information.
Staff at Housing Help Centres, Housing Connections and their community partners can help you with your application in person.
Send completed application forms and supporting documentation to:
176 Elm Street
Once your application for RGI housing has been added to the centralized waitlist, you will receive an Acknowledgement Letter and a Personal Identification Number (P.I.N.) in the mail shortly afterwards. This information is required to update and maintain your application on the centralized waitlist. With a personal identification number you can create a unique password which will allow you to update your application. Keeping your application up to date is your responsibility and will ensure housing providers will be able to reach you at time of offer. The information may also be used to identify your household for other housing benefits you may be eligible for. As the needs of your household change you may need to update your application and apply for senior’s buildings, modified units, additional bedrooms, Special priority housing, medical priority or a DA code.
In order to maintain your eligibility you must confirm your interest in remaining on the waiting list for housing every 18 months.
Also, you must notify Housing Connections of any changes to your information including:
- phone number
- number of household members
- different contact name on application
- your income
- immigration status
- adding or removing locations on your application
You can make updates and changes online, in person and by phone.
- Use the Applicant Online Portal to update your address and telephone information, contact information, income and assets and housing choices
- Adding or Removing Household Members
- Should you need to add or remove a member of your household complete and submit your request to Toronto Access to Housing (Housing Connections). You will need to provide legal status in Canada documents for each family member you add to your application. Household members over 16 years of age must sign the Consent and Declaration forms.
- Adding or Removing Building Choices
- Applicants are responsible for the building choices and areas of preference (AOPs) selected on their application. You may review the Housing Listings on you application to identify which Zones or Building you would like to add or remove from your application at any time. These changes may be made using the online application update, visiting a housing help centre or submitting the request in writing.
- Requesting Modified Units or Additional Bedroom
- Your housing needs may change over time. If you require a modified unit or an additional bedroom as part of your RGI housing you and your medical professional should review the eligibility criteria and complete and submit the appropriate forms to Housing Connections.
Staff at Housing Help Centres, Housing Connections Resource Centre and community partners can help you with your application in person.
- Call the Human Services Integration phone line 416-338-8888 for assistance with your RGI application over the phone.
Receiving an Offer of Accommodation
- We really can’t predict when you will receive an offer of accommodation. There is a high demand for subsidized housing in Toronto and the wait takes many years. How long an applicant waits depends on many things including the location and number of Housing Choices they select, the bedroom size, and the other specific requirements requested.
Three Refusals Policy
- Eligible applicants may receive up to three housing offers. However, once you refuse three offers, your name will be removed from the wait list.
- If you apply again you will receive a new application date and start at the bottom of the waiting list.To avoid receiving offers for buildings you do not wish to accept choose Areas of Preference or building selections that you find desirable and are willing to move into. Visit or review on a map your Housing Choices.
Important – All offers of accommodation are made by the Housing Providers, not Housing Connections staff.
If you are living in a subsidized/RGI unit, you must inform your housing provider about changes to your situation that might affect your subsidy. These include:
- change in income
- change in assets
- change in who lives with you
- change in family status
- change in citizenship/immigration status
- absence from your unit, or
- any other change that might affect your subsidy or housing eligibility.
You also must complete an Annual Review of your income and assets to maintain your eligibility. For more information on requirements for maintaining a subsidy, see Chapter 3 of the RGI Administration Manual.
If a household does not meet RGI requirements, the household could lose their RGI assistance. If you receive a Notice of Decision, Loss of Eligibility for RGI Assistance, contact your housing provider right away. You may be able to resolve the issue before the effective date (the day your rent will change to market rent). If you can resolve the issue, your housing provider will send you a notice that your RGI assistance has been restored.
When you get a Notice of Decision, Loss of Eligibility for RGI Assistance, you can request a review of the decision. If you live in a non-profit or co-operative and have not been able to work things out with your housing provider, send this form to the City within 30 calendar days. Your housing provider must include the Request for Review Form with their notice.