The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB), a new funding program, provides a Portable Housing Benefit to assist with rental costs. This provincially mandated benefit is available to eligible priority groups who are on the Centralized Waiting List. This benefit is not available to the general public.
A portable housing benefit is a monthly subsidy provided to low-income households to assist with housing costs. This is tied to the household and can be used to help pay rent anywhere in Ontario.
The COHB pays the difference between 30 per cent of the household’s income and the average market rent in the area. For recipients of social assistance, the COHB will pay the difference between the shelter allowance and the household’s rent and utilities costs.
The program is administered by the Province of Ontario and the benefit amount will be reviewed every year.
If you receive a COHB, you must agree to be removed from the Centralized Waiting List as required by Provincial program guidelines.
Eligible applicants will receive a letter from the City of Toronto, titled “Canada Ontario Housing Benefits now accepting applications”.
COHB applicants must reside permanently in Ontario and be on, or eligible to be on, the Centralized Waiting List for social housing.
Priority will be given to the following groups:
The estimated benefit you will receive depends on your individual household size and income. The amount is calculated using a formula that includes your household income, the number of people in your house and the local housing market rents in Toronto. Use the Benefits Calculator to estimate your unique benefit amount.
If you receive a COHB, you must agree to be removed from the Centralized Waiting List as required by Provincial program guidelines. If you are approved for COHB, you would start to receive your benefit right away. Otherwise you can expect to be on the Centralized Waiting List for a very long time.
COHB is portable. Your benefit will continue to support you where ever you move in Ontario. The amount may change to reflect the average local market rent.
The COHB program ends on March 31, 2029.
The COHB Benefits Calculator is designed specifically for the City of Toronto to assist households eligible for the COHB to determine their estimated benefit amount.
This is an estimate amount and may vary depending on changes to the program. Your actual amount will be determined by Ontario’s Ministry of Finance.
To use COHB Benefits Calculator, enter information into the blue boxes for questions 1, 2 and 3.
If you receive Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), complete question 4.
Adjusted Family Net Income: this is found on line 23600 of your Canada Review Agency Notice of Assessment. If you are receiving OW/ODSP, you need to know your shelter allowance and shelter cost amount.
The number of Canada-Ontario Housing Benefits is limited. Applications are no longer being completed for all callers to the Application Support Centre (ASC). ASC staff will collect contact information and place eligible applicants on a waiting list. You may be contacted at a later date to complete an application if there are sufficient benefits remaining.
If you have received a letter of eligibility from the City and would like to be placed on a wait list, call the ASC 416-338-8888 and leave your contact information.
Ontario’s Ministry of Finance will contact you directly to inform you if your application has been approved.
If you are approved to receive this benefit, you are considered affordably housed. Your application for rent-geared-to-income housing will be closed. You will be removed from the Centralized Waiting List.
Your benefit amount will be reviewed annually and may increase or decrease as a result of changes to your income or if you move to another location.
If your income decreases by more than 20 per cent, you may request a review from the Ontario’s Ministry of Finance midway through a fiscal year, to have your benefit amount reviewed.
If you move out of Toronto to another Ontario location, your benefit amount will be calculated according to the average local market rent. It will be modified to reflect the change in rental charges.
Once your application has been submitted, call the Ontario’s Ministry of Finance if you have questions about your application and benefit amount.
1 800 263-7776 (TTY)