Housing Allowance Program FAQ

For tenants/applicants interested in applying:

  1. How does the Housing Allowance program differ from the Regular Rent-Geared-to-Income program?

    The Housing Allowance program temporarily assists households in meeting their monthly rental obligations for a set period of time, or until they are housed in a permanent rent-geared-to-income unit, whichever comes first. It is a supplement payment that Niagara Regional Housing (NRH) makes to either the landlord (In-Situ Housing Allowance) or to the tenant directly (Portable Housing Allowance) to reduce the rent that the tenant has to pay.

    The tenant remains on the Centralized Waiting List. If you accept a permanent rent-geared-to-income unit while you are in the Housing Allowance Program, you will be required to move to that unit.

  2. What is the maximum supplement that NRH will pay towards a households rent?

    Families are eligible for a supplement to a maximum of $350 per month based on income and shelter costs. Adults without dependents are eligible for a supplement to a maximum of $300 per month based on income and shelter costs.

  3. How do I apply for the Housing Allowance Program?

    There is no separate application process for the Housing Allowance program. Applicants on the Centralized Waiting List will be contacted by NRH and offered a subsidy under the program, according to guidelines or chronologically as funding and spaces become available.

  4. Will I have a choice of picking the In-Situ Housing Allowance program or the Portable Housing Allowance program?

    No, program availability is dependent upon the guidelines attached to the funding of the program offered. In-Situ Housing Allowances will be paid to the landlord for the unit where you currently reside only. Portable Housing Allowances will be paid directly to you and can be applied towards the rent of the unit in which you currently reside or may be taken with you if you move.

  5. How do I know how much subsidy my household qualifies for?

    Calculations on subsidy amounts will be based upon income and the amount of the market rent. Depending on the source of income and the rent, families may qualify for up to $350 per month. Adults without dependents may qualify for up to $300.

  6. Are all units eligible to receive a Housing Allowance?

    No, to receive a Housing Allowance for the unit you live in it must meet certain eligibility criteria, including:

    • Units must be fully self-contained with sole use of the kitchen (equipped with fridge and stove) and bathroom
    • The unit cannot be a shared accommodation
    • No one living in the unit can be related to the owner/landlord
    • There must be a signed lease or formal rental agreement with the landlord that falls under the rules of Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Hotel/motel rooms may not be eligible.
    • The unit must be located within the Niagara region
  7. If I do not want to accept the offer of participating in the Housing Allowance program, what happens?

    Your status on the Centralized Waiting List will not be affected if you do not wish to participate in the program. It will not be counted as an offer and you will continue to remain on the Centralized Waiting List for rent-geared-to-income housing.

  8. Will I or my landlord be required to sign an agreement with NRH?

    Yes, under both the In-Situ Housing Allowance program and the Portable Housing Allowance program tenants will be required to sign an agreement with NRH that lists the term and rules relating to the program. Under the In-Situ Housing Allowance program only, the landlord will also be required to sign an agreement with NRH to receive subsidy payments to go towards your rent.

  9. I am listed as a single adult on the Centralized Waiting List but I currently live in a 2-bedroom unit. Would I be eligible to receive subsidy where I live or would I have to move?

    You may be eligible to receive subsidy where you currently live. However, the amount of subsidy you may be eligible for will be calculated based upon the bedroom size that you are eligible for.

  10. I am receiving Housing Allowance. Can I add another person to my household?

    If you want to add an additional person to your household, that person must complete an application with NRH and be deemed eligible to be added to your application on the Centralized Waiting List.

  11. I am receiving the Portable Housing Allowance. Do I have to let NRH know if I move?

    Yes, tenants under the Portable Housing Allowance program that are planning to move to a new unit must inform NRH prior to the move and have the new unit approved.

  12. I am receiving the In-Situ Housing Allowance. If I move, can I take it with me?

    No, the housing allowance tenants receive under the In-Situ Housing Allowance program is for the unit you currently live in only. There may be some exceptional circumstances where transfer of the allowance to a new unit may be considered –these would need to be approved by NRH.

  13. My income varies because I am seasonally employed. How do I show that on the income verification form?

    The amount of housing allowance will be determined using the income you are receiving at the time that you are offered a place on the program. This income will be reviewed quarterly the first year, then once each following year.

  14. What happens if my income changes while I am living in a Housing Allowance unit?

    NRH staff will verify your income each year to determine the housing allowance amount paid to you or your landlord and to ensure you are still eligible for the program. However, you are required to report all changes in income to NRH. If your income increases to an amount that would make you ineligible, you will be required to pay the full market rent for the unit you’re occupying or give the landlord 60 days notice that you intend to move.

  15. Is NRH my landlord under this program?

    No, NRH has no role in the tenant-landlord relationship. Tenants speak directly to the landlord about anything related to the unit.

  16. What happens if my application on the Centralized Waiting List gets cancelled?

    To be eligible to receive a housing allowance, a household must continue to maintain an active application on the Centralized Waiting List. If your application is cancelled, you will receive notice that your housing allowance will end and you will be responsible to pay the full rent.

  17. What will happen to my application on the Centralized Waiting List if I voluntarily remove myself from the Housing Allowance program? Will I be able to get the housing allowance back at a later date?

    If you voluntarily remove yourself or give up your housing allowance, it will be offered to the next eligible applicant from the Centralized Waiting List and may not be available at a later date. You will remain on the Centralized Waiting List for rent-geared-to-income housing.

  18. Can I find a unit if I am not currently living in an eligible unit?

    Yes, if where you are living does not meet the eligibility requirements, you will have 30 days to find a unit and provide all the necessary information to complete your application.

  19. I am living in or have found a unit in co-operative or non-profit housing, is my unit eligible?

    Units within existing social housing providers such as co-operative or non-profit housing corporations may not be eligible. If you think the unit is with an existing social housing provider, you can check by contacting the Tenant Placement Coordinator at 905-682-9201 or 1-800-232-3292 ext. 3931.

  20. Where can I get more information about this program?

    You can contact the Rent Supplement Analyst at 905-682-9201 or 1-800-232-3292 ext. 3955.


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