Applicant Information Guide

Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) assists low to moderate income households with housing that is affordable and meets their needs. NRH’s Housing Access Centre administers the Centralized Waiting list.

The length of wait for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing in Niagara may vary depending on the type of housing and location within the region.

RGI is rent calculated at 30% of the household’s monthly income.

NRH continues to look for opportunities for affordable housing in Niagara so that NRH can house applicants more quickly.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR RENT-GEARED-TO-INCOME (RGI) HOUSING?

You can apply if:

  • You are at least 16 years old
  • Everyone in the household is a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident (or has applied), or is a Refugee or Refugee Claimant. Proof of legal status in Canada includes copy of Canadian Birth Certificate, Permanent Resident Card and/or Refugee documents.
  • No member of the household owes money to any social housing program
  • No member of the household is under an enforceable removal order to leave Canada
  • No member of the household has been convicted of misrepresenting their income for the purpose of receiving RGI assistance
  • You agree to sell any home or real estate that can be lived in or used all year. The sale must take place within six nmonths of being housed and the money received from the sale will be included in calculating your rent.
  • You are able to live alone with or without support services (which you must arrange). You are considered to be able to live on your own if you can perform the normal activities of dayto-day living or can do so with the aid of support services and can show that those support services will be provided if needed.

CAN I APPLY IF I DO NOT HAVE AN INCOME?

Yes. However, once you are housed in an RGI unit, you will need to pursue income from one or more of the following sources:

  • Ontario Works (OW)› Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
  • Support Payments, Child Support, Employment Insurance or Support Payments required under a sponsorship agreement
  • Old Age Security

If you do not pursue a specific type of income within the set time frame, you may lose your RGI assistance.

CAN I STILL APPLY IF I OWN MY OWN HOME?

Yes. If you own a home that can be used all year, you are required to sell it within six months of being housed.

HOW MANY BEDROOMS CAN I HAVE?

When you are picking the locations where you want to live, mark the size(s) of units you are applying for. Remember:

  • There can be no less than one person per bedroom
  • You may choose to have two people share a bedroom
  • Couples are given one bedroom
  • If there is a documented medical need, an extra bedroom may be provided

CAN I CHOOSE WHERE I WANT TO LIVE?

Yes. You can choose one or many locations. Your application will be added to the waiting list for each location you choose. If you choose locations that you are not eligible for, you will not be added to those waiting lists.

Please make sure that the locations you pick have the unit sizes that you qualify for. The more locations you choose, the faster you are likely to be housed. If you wish to change, add or remove your housing selections, contact us at 905-682-9201.

HOW MANY OFFERS OF HOUSING WILL I GET?

You are allowed ONE housing offer. If you refuse the offer, your name will be taken off the waiting list. Once your name is off the waiting list, you will have to reapply and start over, which means you will go to the bottom of the list. This is why you should only choose locations that you are sure about.

CAN I HAVE A WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE OR MODIFIED UNIT?

Yes, but only if you qualify. Some housing providers have units that have been modified to accommodate wheelchairs or other equipment because of a physical disability.

To qualify for one of these units you must supply information from your doctor that you require a modified unit. You must be able to live on your own in this unit, or with supports provided by community agencies. It will be up to you to arrange these supports.

HOW MUCH RENT WILL I PAY?

Rent-geared-to-income (RGI) is based on 30% of your household’s monthly income including income earned from assets.

If you are receiving assistance from Ontario Works (OW) or the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), rent is based on a social assistance rent scale. Other adjustments may apply that could increase or decrease the rent you pay, such as utilities or parking. This will depend on the location you move into.

In co-operative housing, rent is referred to as a "housing charge".

AT WHAT AGE CAN I APPLY FOR SENIORS HOUSING?

You must be at least 55 years old for seniors housing. At least one member listed on your application must have reached the age of 55 to be placed on senior community waiting lists.

WHAT TYPES OF HOUSING CAN I APPLY FOR?

  • Co-operative Housing
    Co-operative housing is run by the people that live there who are referred to as members. Members of co-ops are expected to participate in the operation of their co-op. You can do this by serving on the Board of Directors, be part of a committee or be involved in the maintenance of the property. Coops are a mix of market rent and rentgeared-to-income (RGI) units. Some co-ops have pet restrictions.
  • Non-Profit Housing
    Non-profit housing corporations are managed by a Board of Directors which can be made up of municipal councillors, interested community members and/or tenants. The communities are a mix of market rent and RGI units. Some non-profit communities have tenant associations that help the Board of Directors manage the residence.
  • Niagara Regional Housing
    Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) provides public housing in Niagara and is the administrator of affordable housing for Niagara Region. Some NRH communities have space for tenant functions and tenant associations or social groups that help give a positive sense of community and an improved quality of life.
  • Rent Supplement and Housing Allowance Programs
    In this program, NRH enters into agreements with private rental landlords for units to be rented to tenants with lower incomes. Tenants pay a portion of their rent (according to the program they are funded by) and the remainder is paid to the landlord by NRH to help pay the difference up to the agreed market rent for the unit.n

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN HOUSING ACCESS RECEIVES MY APPLICATION?

We will write to you within seven business days after your application has been received to let you know if it is complete or not.

If your application is not complete, the letter will tell you the reason and the additional information that is needed. You will have 30 days to provide the missing information or your application will be cancelled.

If your application is complete, the letter will tell you that your application is on the Centralized Waiting List and will list the communities you chose. If you chose communities that you are not eligiblefor, you will not be placed on those waiting lists.

When a vacancy occurs, the first person at the top of the waiting list will be contacted. If the first person on the list refuses, or cannot be contacted, the next applicant on the list will be offered the unit.

Once you are on the waiting list:

To update any information about your housing application, please call 905-682-9201 or report changes online www.nrh.ca.

HOW WILL I BE CHOSEN FOR HOUSING?

The system for selecting households is based primarily on date of application which means first come, first served. There are some exceptions, which are:

Special Priority Status

You may be given Special Priority Status if you are living with someone who threatens your safety or the safety of other household members. Please see section 8 of the application form for more information on this. Special Priority applicants are ranked highest on the Centralized Waiting List.

If you are applying for Special Priority Status, you must:

  • complete the Special Provincial Priority Status request form
  • have a community professional listed on the form verify your circumstances, and
  • provide proof that you live or lived with the person that threatened your safety

Urgent Status

You may be given Urgent Status if you have physical limitations and your health is significantly compromised because of stairs where you live or if your situation causes extreme risk or hardship. Please see section 9 of the application form for more information on this.

If you are applying for Urgent Status, you must:

  • complete the Urgent Status request form
  • have a doctor/medical professional/support agency write a letter to verify your circumstances

Homeless Status

You may be given Homeless Status if you are homeless. To apply for Homeless status, you must meet at least one of the criteria on the Homeless Status request form. Please see section 10 of the application form for more information on this.

Housing providers offer every tenth vacancy in their communities to applicants listed as Homeless Status on their waiting list.

If you are applying for Homeless Status, you must:

  • complete the Homeless Status request form
  • have a community professional listed on the form verify your circumstances

HOW WILL I BE CONTACTED FOR AN OFFER?

Since units are rented promptly, we require a daytime telephone number so you can be contacted when a unit becomes available.

If you cannot be reached during the day, please give us the telephone number of a contact person who can be reached during the day so they can pass on a message to you.

You will receive ONE offer of housing. If you refuse the offer, your application will be cancelled and you will have to reapply.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT?

The length of time before a unit becomes available varies greatly depending on the locations you choose. Some waiting lists are longer than others and it is hard to guess when you will be at the top of the list. Some communities have more vacancies than others. The more locations you choose, the more you increase your chances of being housed sooner. Please note that all rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units are occupied. In order for a unit tobecome available, you must wait for a current household to move out.

Although it is impossible for us to know when you will be offered housing, you can find the Average Wait Time for each city posted on our website at www.nrh.ca or in the front lobby of the Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) office.

HOW MANY OFFERS AM I ALLOWED?

You are allowed ONE offer of housing. If you refuse the offer, your application will be cancelled. If you want to go back on the waiting list, you will have to reapply and start over, which means you will go to the bottom of the list.

HOW DO I KEEP MY APPLICATION UP-TO-DATE?

It is very important that you keep the information on your file up-to-date. If you change your address or phone number you must let us know within 30 days because we may try to call you or write to you. You must respond to any phone calls, letters or forms we may send you.

If we cannot get in touch with you, you may lose your chance for a unit. Your application may be cancelled and you may have to reapply, which means you return to the bottom of the list.

Every two years you will receive an Eligibility Review form. This form helps make sure that you are still eligible for housing. You must fill out this form and return it to us within 30 days or your application may be cancelled and you will need to reapply.

If you want to add or delete locations where you want to live, you must contact our office. This is important because if you were offered a unit in a location where you do not want to live this would be treated as a refusal.

Remember that you will only receive ONE offer of housing.

If the number of people in your household changes, you must notify our office. This is important because the number of people in your household determines the number of bedrooms you will get. Waiting lists are sorted by bedroom size at each location, so you want to make sure you are on the right waiting list.

CAN I GET A MARKET RENT UNIT?

Many housing providers in Niagara have both rent-geared-to-income (RGI) andmarket rent units in their communities. The reason for this mix is so that the housing communities reflect the type of mixed incomes that you would find anywhere in the community.

Market rent is the rent or housing charge that housing providers charge tenants who are not getting help with their rent. The rent is set in comparison to similar rental housing in the area.

To apply for a market rent unit, you may complete the application for housing and once your income is reviewed, it will be determined at that time if you would qualify for a market unit. You will then be placed on the waiting list(s) of the communities you selected for a market rent unit only.

You may also contact other housing providers directly to inquire about their market units. The provider contact information for market units is listed below.

Housing providers in Niagara that have market rent units

Community Name Address Phone
ST. CATHARINES – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Agnes MacPhail Women’s Co-op 2 Ferndale Street 905-988-3633
Arbour Village Co-op 25 Barnaby & 88 Vintage 905-788-0166
Commonwealth Co-op 15 Richardson Court 905-788-0166
Cornerstone Co-op Scattered 905-788-0166
Elim Place 705 Welland Avenue 905-684-6333
Faith Lutheran Villa 31 Agar Drive 905-688-6600
Greenvale Co-op 61 Francis Creek Boulevard 905-684-7773
Julius Court 725 Welland Avenue 905-688-6600
Meadowgreen Co-op 14 Wilholme Drive 905-788-0166
Moonstone Co-op 82B Roehampton Avenue 905-646-4406
People’s Choice Co-op 68 Louth Street 905-988-1137
Pinecroft Co-op 85 Westland Street 905-688-1766
Regatta Place Co-op 2 Lighthouse Road 905-934-9504
Ridley Terrace 448 Louth Street 905-684-6333
Silkrow Charitable Foundation 130 St. Augustine Drive 416-487-5122
Village Glen Co-op 5 Welstead Drive 905-788-0166
Watermark Co-op 35 Christopher Street 905-788-0166
ST. CATHARINES – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
Christian Seniors Tabitha Homes 99A Scott Street 905-687-6933
Kiwanis Park 321 Geneva Street 905-684-6333
La Residence Des Aines 321 Carlton Street 905-646-0181
Meadowgreen Manor 21 St. Helena Street 905-684-6333
Niagara Ina Grafton Gage 413 Linwell Road 905-935-6080
Paderewski 4 Greenmeadow Court 905-934-5050
Ukrainian Non Profit 16 Dixie Street 905-646-7281
NIAGARA FALLS – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
4901 Buckley Avenue 4901 Buckley Avenue 905-684-6333
6147 Prospect Street 6147 Prospect Street 905-688-6600
6995 Ailanthus Avenue 6995 Ailanthus Avenue 905-684-6333
8055 McLeod Road 8055 McLeod Road 905-688-6600
Brookside Village Co-op 8175 McLeod Road 905-788-0166
Fallsview Terrace 6945 Ailanthus Avenue 905-374-7170
Liuna 6420 Delta Drive 905-524-2985
Lutheran Homes 3940 Dorchester Road 905-788-0166
Shriner’s Creek Co-op 7887 Thorold Stone Road 905-358-4522
Skyline Co-op 7645 Preakness Street 905-354-9544
Westwood Place Co-op 6550 – 6600 Kalar Road 905-374-0533
NIAGARA FALLS – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
5440 Drummond 5440 Drummond 905-688-6600
8065 McLeod 8065 McLeod Road 905-688-6600
Fairhaven / St. Andrew’s 3568 Montrose Road 905-354-4607
La Residence Joie De Vivre 5800 Dixon Street 905-358-9874
Lutheran Homes 6848 Isaac Street 905-788-0166
THOROLD – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Bolton/Crompton Bolton/Crompton 905-227-6628
Romy Crescent Romy Crescent 905-227-6628
THOROLD – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
61 Ormond Street 61 Ormond Street 905-227-6628
WEST LINCOLN – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Dove Co-op 172 Smits Cove 905-788-0166
WEST LINCOLN – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
Legion Villa 171 Mill Street 905-957-2274
LINCOLN – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Vineyard Co-op 4399 Concord Ave. 905-788-0166
WELLAND – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Briar Rose Co-op 575 Southworth Street 905-788-9130
Canal View Homes 60 King Street 905-732-0400
Cooperative d’habitation Beauparlant 52 Promenade Richelieu 905-735-8376
Mel Swart Co-op 231 Denistoun Street 905-734-8055
Northtown Co-op 366 Thorold Road 905-735-1926
St. Charles Co-op 250 Prince Charles Drive 905-788-0166
Woodrose Co-op 855 Ontario Road 905-734-1944
PORT COLBORNE – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Port Colborne Co-op 10 Saturn Road 905-788-0166
South Niagara Gateway Family Homes 340 Wellington Street 905-788-0166
FORT ERIE – FAMILY COMMUNITIES
Bordertowne Co-op 757 Nancy Street 905-788-0166
Lakeview 828 Concession Road 905-871-9313
The Bridges 43 King Street 905-871-9313
Crystal Beach Co-op Esme Lane/Weber Court 905-894-5059
FORT ERIE – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
Lions Douglas Heights 255 High Street 905-871-8151
PELHAM – SENIOR COMMUNITIES
Pelham Non Profit 45 Pelham Town Square 905-892-1743

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