Applying for housing or a housing subsidy can be confusing because there are different types of housing and many different housing providers with different eligibility criteria. It’s helpful to understand that access to most of the subsidized or rent-geared-to-income housing units in Toronto is managed through one centralized waiting list coordinated by Access to Housing.
Apart from Access to Housing, some Community Housing Providers prefer to take applications directly, rather than through the centralized waitlist. These are usually known as “alternative housing providers” and may have specific eligibility criteria.
Currently the number of people needing subsidized housing is greater than the number of units available. As a result, it can take years for an applicant to get housed. We encourage applicants to consider subsidized housing as a long-term housing plan, not an immediate solution to housing needs or emergency situations. To maximize your chances of getting a subsidized unit, it is a good idea to submit an application with Access to Housing even if you apply elsewhere.
There is support available when you are looking for housing. You can get support from a Housing Help Centre located in your community by calling (416-285-8070) or visiting a location close to you to get assistance finding housing that suits your needs.
The Housing Help Centres are non-profit agencies that help people find and keep housing and avoid eviction.
If you need temporary housing urgently, you might need to find a shelter.