Under provincial housing legislation (the Housing Services Act) there is a special program called the Special Priority Program (SPP) for households with current or recent experience of domestic abuse or human trafficking that gives them priority access to Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing or Portable Housing Benefits. Access to Housing is responsible for determining eligibility for this program and helping individuals experiencing abuse apply for housing benefits and register for rental housing geared to their income.
Please be aware that it can take some time to secure housing or a portable housing benefit. If you are looking for a referral to a Violence Against Women shelter or other supports related to your situation, call
In order to qualify under this category, you must
The Housing Services Act defines abuse, abuser and human trafficking for the purposes of the Special Priority Program.
The abuser is a member of your household and can be
To apply, you must complete and submit a Special Priority Application. If you are currently on the RGI waiting list include your application number on the SPP application. If you are not currently on the RGI waiting list you will need to complete an RGI Application and record the number on your SPP application.There is no cost to submit or process either application.
These sections are clearly marked with the word ‘Applicant’, and include questions about where we can safely reach you and other information and guiding questions to declare yourself as a victim of domestic abuse. If at any point in completing the application, you find yourself responding ‘No’ to an eligibility question, it means that you are either missing required information that must be collected and submitted by you, or that the program does not meet your needs and other programs may be more suitable.
Section E must be completed by a professional or a person who is able to verify abuse. A list of professionals that may complete this section is on the application form. In addition to completing this section, a professional must attach a statement that describes an accurate and detailed description of applicant’s experience with abuse (the “record of abuse” in 2 b).
The record must be completed by the same person that signed the Section E of the Application and contain
Supporting documents that meet this requirement include
All documents from professionals should be original, signed copies on letterhead. (Households applying as survivors of human trafficking are not required to demonstrate co-habitation.)
4. Send the completed and signed SPP application package and all supporting documents to Access to Housing.
Access to Housing will review the application and determine eligibility for the program. In some cases, Access to Housing will call the applicant and/or their support for an in-person interview as part of determining eligibility into the program.
Special Priority Program applications are time sensitive. Any time Access to Housing requests more information the applicant and their support must respond in a timely manner. Any delay in responding to additional information can result in the applicant being required to complete a new SPP application.
All applicants will be notified in writing. For those accepted into the program, their date on the waiting list will be reflective of the date all required documents were received to determine eligibility for the program. Applicants that are not approved can submit additional information to address their ineligibility or request a “review” of the eligibility decision.