This is a list available to the public on Housing Access and Stabilization Services, created by the Housing Help Network.

Please contact us for broken links or suggested websites to info@housingworkers.ca
(Please copy and paste the web address of the housing related services you are suggesting).


History of the Housing Stabilization Sector

During the 1990's, the ability to find and maintain housing was hindered by rising rents, low vacancy rates, and a decreased supply of rental housing. These issues were exacerbated by labour market conditions, a more restrictive income security program and reduced earnings. Certain legislative, political and policy decisions, such as the advent of the Tenant Protection Act (replaced in 2006 by the Residential Tenancies Act - RTA), further complicated Toronto's housing environment. In response to these challenges, projects were initiated through the City of Toronto to help low-income tenants find and maintain adequate housing.

The Housing Stabilization Sector encompasses services that focus on 3 core components:

  • Housing Access
  • Housing Stabilization
  • Eviction Prevention

Housing Stabilization Services work with those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Housing Stabilization Services are offered within shelters (47 agencies) and outside of shelters (41 agencies), including nine Housing Help Centers that act as service hubs. Funding for this sector is provided the City of Toronto and the Provincial Homeless Initiatives Fund (PHIF).

While the agencies and centres differ in services in order to best meet their clients' needs, their common focus is to aid those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness find and maintain adequate housing. This sector also plays a role in achieving the broader goals of reducing, and ultimately ending, homelessness. Housing Stability Services further the goals set out in the City of Toronto's Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT) Plan, the Housing First Model, and the City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration (SSHA) Housing Stability Service Planning Framework

Hot Plan (click to read more)

In 2009, City Council endorsed the HOT Plan, which outlined 57 actions directed to the City of Toronto and its federal and provincial partners. The HOT Plan provides a concrete direction and an explicit commitment to addressing housing issues in Toronto.

The HOT Plan includes the following goals specific to Housing Help:

  1. Co-ordinate and provide supports and housing to ensure homeless and vulnerable people are able to keep their homes by:

    1. Allocating funding to community programs and services which help people find and keep homes.

    2. Advocating to the provincial and federal governments to provide increased funding to enhance housing supports available to vulnerable tenants in private market and social housing communities.

  2. Keep tenants housed through eviction prevention and education by:

    1. Funding Housing Help Centres to provide housing assistance to at-risk households

    2. Administering the provincially-funded Rent Bank program which helps at risk households avoid eviction through short-term, interest free loans

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Housing First (click to read more)

Housing First is an approach that advocates that accessing permanent, stable housing and accompanying community supports and treatments regardless of a person's situation is the key first step to addressing homelessness long term. Housing First was first implemented in New York by Sam Tsemberis and Pathways to Housing. It has since gained support as an evidence based approach to addressing homelessness and create recovery focused programs. The City of Toronto piloted Housing First in 2007, the successes from the pilot led to the implementation of Housing First into 2009 city-wide housing initiatives. Housing First is a key component of the Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT) Plan.

There are 5 core principles to Housing First including:

  1. Immediate access to permanent housing with no housing readiness requirements
    1. Housing First recognizes that it is difficult for people to focus on any other aspects of their life when they are homeless or unstably housed.

    2. Avoiding readiness requirements, such as treatment programs and/or sobriety, means that more people are housed and potentially in a safer to focus on their goals.

  2. Client choice and self-determination

    1. Clients are able to choose their housing and location because housing is more likely to be stabilized when the client is happy with their location.

    2. Supports implemented for the client are chosen by the client at times that they are ready, which increases their effectiveness

  3. Recovery orientation

    1. Housing First in practice meets more than the clients' basic needs, offering connections to supports or the ability to maintain social, recreational, educational, occupational and vocational services, as well as harm reduction if necessary.

  4. Individualized and client driven support

    1. Emphasizes meeting each client where they are at and as an individual, as well as ensuring that supports are put in place only when and if a client is interested in them.

  5. Social and community integration

    1. Connecting clients to resources in the community they have been housed in, including community engagement and socializing opportunities. This recognizes that social isolation is a key factor in compromising housing stability.

This section was informed by the Homeless Hub's Housing First resources, particularly here. For more detailed information on Housing First see the Homeless Hub's Housing First resource here.

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Housing Stability Service Planning Framework 2014-2019 (click to read more)

The 2014-2019 Housing Service Planning Framework was released following an extensive consultation by the City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration and is the basis for the strategic directions of the city's housing initiatives.

There are 7 Strategic Directions outlined, including:

  1. Preventing homelessness
  2. Supporting the transition to housing
  3. Creating housing opportunities
  4. Fostering system stewardship and innovation
  5. Improving access and equity
  6. Delivering high quality service
  7. Strengthening partnerships and coordination

The Housing Stability Service Planning Framework can be found here and includes an executive summary for quick reference on each of the Strategy Directions.

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Housing Access

General (click to read more)

  • Welcome Home: A Guide to Services for Tenants is designed for anyone to use and lists housing services as well as health and wellbeing services to support staying housed

  • City of Toronto's Housing and Homelessness Services is the portal to services offered through the City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration.

  • Wellbeing Toronto Map shows you many of the services located around any address in Toronto

  • The National Map allows you to put in your postal code and see what social services for youth are available in that community.

  • 211 - both the website and the phone number (211) offer information about social services and community agencies in Toronto. Operators are available in several languages

  • 311 - both the website and the phone number (311) offer information about services provided by the City of Toronto. Operators are available in several languages.

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Housing Help centre (click to read more)

There are 9 Housing Help Centres in the City of Toronto.

Click here for a map with contact info, or select one of the housing help centres below:

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Rent Bank (click to read more)

Emergency First and Last Month's Rent program - Rent Bank offers interest free loans to help people pay their last month's rent deposits.

To inquire about Rent Bank, eligibility, or make an appointment to see a worker there are 9 centres with Rent Bank workers. All the Housing Help Centres, with the exception of West Toronto, have Rent Bank programs.

Housing Help Programs (click to read more)

Many organizations offer housing help as part of their work with clients. For a list of agencies that offer housing help services please see the Community Resources tab. Organizations are listed based on the client group they serve.

Types of Housing (click to read more)

Many organizations offer housing help as part of their work with clients. For a list of agencies that offer housing help services please see the Community Resources tab. Organizations are listed based on the client group they serve.

Rent Geared to Income (RGI) Housing:

Rent Geared to Income (RGI) Housing is subsidized housing, usually in City of Toronto buildings managed by Toronto Community Housing. In RGI housing the rent is based on the income of the tenant, usually 30% of their gross monthly income. There is a long waiting list for RGI housing in Toronto.

Housing Connections - manages the waiting list for RGI housing. Applications can be done through Housing Connections in-person, online, by mail, or with a housing worker.

Toronto Community Housing (TCH) - Toronto Community Housing manages the RGI social housing in Toronto. They are responsible for the buildings and staff associated with running the buildings.

Co-operative Housing:

Co-operative housing is not-for-profit housing that is controlled by its members. Members are the residents of the building and are responsible for running the co-op, there is no landlord. Rent tends to be lower in co-ops because a profit is not being made, some co-ops have subsidized units.

Market Rent:

Market rent refers to privately owned, and rented housing. Market rent housing is covered under the Residential Tenancies Act, and is subject to legal requirements around maintenance, rent increases, etc. Rent is variable in market rent housing and not necessarily considered to be affordable housing for many incomes.

Since market rent housing is privately and individually owned there is no one place to search. However these websites are frequently used.

  • Craigslist - searchable by location, rent, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and housing type. Searches are displayed either as a list or on a map.

  • Kijiji - searchable by location, rent, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, furnishing, and who its rented by

  • Viewit - searchable by area of the city, rent, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, furnishing, and housing type. Searches are displayed either as a list or on a map. Landlordconnect - is a housing search tool for housing workers.

  • Landlord Connect - partners with landlords who are interested in providing affordable housing, requires a log in.

Supportive Housing:

Supportive Housing programs provide some combination of housing and services in support of clients with unique needs. There are a wide variety of support programs in the city, often providing services during typical business hours, or on a weekly, bi-weekly or "on-call" emergency basis. There are also some organizations that provide full-time live-in staff support. Links to some supportive housing providers can be found on Landlord Connect.

Temporary/Transitional Housing:

Transitional housing is provided for shorter periods of time by many organizations as a stepping stone for stabilizing housing, recovery, and getting off the streets. They are generally semi-independent living situations where rent is geared to income. Residents usually have their own living space with some shared spaces. To find a list of transitional housing providers please see the Community Resources tab.

Rooming Houses:

Rooming houses are market rent housing where individuals usually rent a room and share the rest of the living space with at least 3 other people. There are many legal and illegal rooming housing in Toronto. Rooming housings must have a license obtained from the City of Toronto in order to operate legally, and are only allowed to operate in Toronto, some areas of Etobicoke and York. Rooming houses are not allowed to operate in North York, East York, and Scarborough.

Long Term Care Facilities

Long Term Care Homes provide housing and services for people who require supportive services such as meal preparation, cleaning, laundry services, personal support, medication reminders or dispensing, etc. Links to some Long Term Care providers can be found on Landlord Connect.

Shelters

Shelters in the City of Toronto can be operated by the City or by other agencies and organizations. There are shelters that are generally open to people seeking emergency shelter, as well as specialized shelters for families, women fleeing violence, single women and single men, and youth under 16.

  • Central Intake 416-397-5637, 1-877-338-3398 - Central Intake is a centralized system that supports people in finding available beds in Toronto Shelters. They accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including collect calls.

Streets to Homes (click to read more)

Streets to Homes is a City of Toronto run service for people who are living on the streets. They provide mobile street outreach services, street respite and shelter referrals for adults, youth and couples, and In from the Cold space in the winter. Streets to Homes also offers ongoing case management for people transitioning into housing by referral.

  • Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre
    • 416-392-0090
    • 129 Peter St 24/7
    • Shelter referral 8 pm-8 am


Housing Stabilization & Eviction Prevention

General (click to read more)

  • Welcome Home: A Guide to Services for Tenants is designed for anyone to use and lists housing services as well as health and wellbeing services to support staying housed

  • City of Toronto's Housing and Homelessness Services is the portal to services offered through the City of Toronto's Shelter, Support and Housing Administration.

  • Wellbeing Toronto Map shows you many of the services located around any address in Toronto

  • The National Map allows you to put in your postal code and see what social services for youth are available in that community.

  • 211 - both the website and the phone number (211) offer information about social services and community agencies in Toronto. Operators are available in several languages

  • 311 - both the website and the phone number (311) offer information about services provided by the City of Toronto. Operators are available in several languages.

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Housing Help Centres (click to read more)

There are 9 Housing Help Centres in the City of Toronto.

Click here for a map with contact info, or select one of the housing help centres below:

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Rent Bank: Arrears (click to read more)

Rent Bank Arrears Program - Rent Bank offers interest free loans to help people pay their last month's rent deposits.

To inquire about Rent Bank, eligibility, or make an appointment to see a worker there are 9 centres with Rent Bank workers. All the Housing Help Centres, with the exception of West Toronto, have Rent Bank programs.

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Low Income Energy Assistance (LEAP) Fund (click to read more)

Low Income Energy Assistance (LEAP) Fund - LEAP is a grant available to people who are in arrears on their energy payments.

To inquire about LEAP, eligibility, or make an appointment to see a worker there are 9 centres with LEAP workers. All the Housing Help Centres, with the exception of West Toronto, have LEAP programs.

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Streets to Homes (click to read more)

Streets to Homes is a City of Toronto run service for people who are living on the streets. They provide mobile street outreach services, street respite and shelter referrals for adults, youth and couples, and In from the Cold space in the winter. Streets to Homes also offers ongoing case management for people transitioning into housing by referral.

  • Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre
    • 416-392-0090
    • 129 Peter St 24/7
    • Shelter referral 8 pm-8 am

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Community Resources

There are many community resources in Toronto that provide housing access, stability and eviction prevention services. If you work at an agency not listed here please contact the RENT Faciltiator, program@housingworkers.ca or 647-258-9989, so we can add you.

For another list of Community Resources see the ‘Guide to Services for People who are Homeless' and the Welcome Home Guide: a Guide to Services for Tenants

General (click to read more)

Aboriginal People (click to read more)

Homeless/Street Involved (click to read more)

Immigrants/Newcomers (click to read more)

LGBTTIQQ2SA (click to read more)

People in Conflict with the Law (click to read more)

Seniors (click to read more)

Youth (click to read more)

Women (click to read more)

Developmental & Physical Disabilities (click to read more)

HIV/AIDS (click to read more)

Mental Health/Addictions(click to read more)

Rooming House/Boarding Home Support Services (click to read more)

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Harm Reduction (click to read more)

Transitional Housing (click to read more)

Sector Training (click to read more)


Policy and Law

Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) (click to read more)

The purposes of this Act are to provide protection for residential tenants from unlawful rent increases and unlawful evictions, to establish a framework for the regulation of residential rents, to balance the rights and responsibilities of residential landlords and tenants and to provide for the adjudication of disputes and for other processes to informally resolve disputes.

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Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA) (click to read more)

SHRA provides the legislative framework for how social housing operates. The City of Toronto as the local service manager may set local rules in a limited number of areas as permitted by the SHRA.

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Ontario Human Rights Commission Housing Issues (click to read more)

As of March 2010, the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the City of Toronto, the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, the Greater Toronto Apartment Association and the Human Rights Legal Support Centre have joined forces to promote housing as a human right.

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Legal Services (click to read more)

Community legal clinics regularly support people with housing related legal matters, including eviction support. Some community legal clinics require that their clients live in their catchment area so it's helpful to call first.

Toronto Community Legal Clinics

All Community Legal Clinics can be found on the Legal Aid Ontario website

Specialized Legal Centres

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