The Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) program provides households with a portable housing benefit to assist with rental costs in the private housing market. The benefit is tied to the household and can be used to help pay rent anywhere in Ontario.

This provincially administered benefit is available to eligible priority groups who are on, or are eligible to be on, the Centralized Waiting List for Rent Geared-to-Income subsidized housing.

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 is reviewed every year.

This is a closed application process and the benefit is not available to the general public.

The 2022 COHB Program is accepting applications as of April 1, 2022.
Eligible applicants will be contacted directly by City of Toronto staff or eligible referring Community Partners.

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:
• Persons experiencing homelessness
• Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking
• Indigenous persons
• Persons with disabilities requiring modified units

The benefit amount will depend on the recipient’s household size and income. The amount is calculated using a formula that includes household income, the number of people in the household and the local housing market rents in the Service Manger Area. Use the Benefits Calculator on the next tab to estimate the benefit amount that an eligible applicant may be entitled to.

To receive the COHB, applicants must agree to be removed from the Centralized Waiting List as required by Provincial program guidelines.

Households cannot be receiving COHB and Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing or any other form of housing benefit at the same time.

COHB is a portable benefit, which means that it will continue to support recipients wherever they move in Ontario. The benefit amount may change to reflect the average local market rent.

The COHB program ends on March 31, 2029.

Click here to access the calculator for the City of Toronto.

The application process is not open to the public. The City of Toronto and eligible referring Community Partners will be contacting eligible applicants from the following identified priority groups about COHB based on the availability of benefits:

    • Persons experiencing homelessness
    • Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking
    • Indigenous persons
    • Persons with disabilities requiring modified units

Contacted applicants will require the following documents to submit an application for COHB:

For all applicants
• Your complete current address or the one you plan to move to
• Rental costs
• Utility costs (if paid directly by household)
• Mailing address
• Banking information (Banking information can be found on a cheque)

For each household income earner (who are not full time students):
• Their Canada Revenue Agency 2021 (or 2020) Notice of Assessment
• Social Insurance Numbers
• Their own email address

For recipients of social assistance:
• Shelter allowance amount

There is a limited number of benefits available. If you have been contacted as an eligible applicant, you are encouraged to begin your application process as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

If you have been contacted as an eligible applicant and have completed the application process the Ontario Ministry of Finance (MOF) will contact you directly to inform you if your application has been approved.

Once approved, you can contact the Province’s Information Centre for questions about your benefit at:

1-888-544-5101
1-800-263-7776 (TTY)

If you are approved to receive this benefit, you are considered to be affordably housed. Your application for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing will be closed and you will be removed from the Centralized Waiting List.

Will my benefit amount ever change?

Your benefit amount will be reviewed annually by the Province and may increase or decrease as a result of changes to your income, your household size or if you move to another location.

If your income decreases by more than 20 per cent, you may request a review from the MOF 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 of the area you will be moving to. It will be modified to reflect the change in rental charges.

What do I need to do to keep receiving COHB?

All COHB clients will receive an annual renewal application from the Province each May that you must complete and return to confirm your household information and consent to remain in the program. The Province will provide information on how to submit the renewal application and the submission deadline.

The Province will provide several reminders and opportunities for you to submit your annual renewal in advance of the final September 1st deadline. Unfortunately, clients who do not return their annual renewal application by the September 1st deadline will no longer be eligible to receive assistance through the COHB program. Reinstatement into the program is not permitted, as per Provincial program guidelines.

Province’s Information Centre
1-888-544-5101
1-800-263-7776 (TTY)