Housing Allowance Program

Purpose

The Housing Allowance (HA) program is not a rent-geared-to-income program. It is a program that temporarily assists households in meeting their monthly rental obligations for a set period of time, or until they are housed in a permanent geared-to-income unit, whichever comes first.

Offers will be made to applicants on the waiting list according to guidelines and availability of funding.

Description

In order to be eligible for the HA program, households must be on the Centralized Waiting List and must not be currently receiving a geared-to-income subsidy.

Dependent on the type of funding for the program, monthly housing allowances may be paid directly to the landlord or directly to the household:

In-Situ HA Portable HA
  • monthly housing allowances will be paid directly to the landlord
  • monthly housing allowances will be paid directly to the household
  • can be taken with the household if they move

It is possible that households will be housed in permanent geared-to-income accommodation or alternate housing prior to the expiry of the HA agreement. However, if the tenant is still residing in the unit when the HA agreement expires, the tenant must pay the current market rent or provide the landlord with appropriate notice to vacate the unit.

If the household keeps their application for permanent subsidized accommodation in good standing, they will remain on the Centralized Waiting List until an offer is received.

Under the Housing Allowance program, NRH is not the landlord. A normal landlord/tenant relationship will exist between the landlord and the household, as defined in the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

The housing allowance is a set amount up to a maximum of $350 per month, and is not the full difference between 30% of the tenant’s gross monthly income and the full market rent.

To be eligible for the Housing Allowance program:

  • Rental units must be fully self-contained with sole use of kitchen (equipped with fridge and stove) and bathroom
  • Rental units cannot be shared accommodation
  • No one living in the rental unit is related to the owner/landlord
  • Rental units must be located within the Niagara region

Role of Household/Tenant

  • Apply to NRH to be placed on the Centralized Waiting List
  • Provide NRH with a copy of current lease, most recent Notice of Rent Increase (N1) or proof of current rental amount and sign a Housing Allowance Agreement with NRH
  • Comply with the Residential Tenancies Act 2006, terms and conditions of the Housing Allowance Agreement and the terms and conditions of their lease
  • Provide NRH with income verification on an annual basis and whenever household income/composition changes
  • Keep application with NRH on the Centralized Waiting List in good standing
  • Inform NRH prior to a move and have the new unit approved (Portable HA)

Role of Landlord

  • Keep rental units in a satisfactory state of repair, fit for habitation and in compliance with applicable Building Code and Fire Code requirements
  • Sign a Housing Allowance Landlord Agreement (In-Situ HA)
  • Comply with all applicable legislation - Residential Tenancies Act 2006 and the Housing Allowance Landlord Agreement
  • Enter into a lease with new tenants; have an existing agreement in place for current tenants
  • Provide NRH with copies of all notices given to the tenants (In-Situ HA)

Role of NRH

  • Administer the HA program
  • Offer eligible households the opportunity to participate in the HA program, according to guidelines or chronologically from the Centralized Waiting List
  • Pay the HA payment to landlords (In-Situ HA) or household/tenant (Portable HA) on a monthly basis
  • Approve all new HA units
  • Provide household/tenant with a T5007 Statement of Benefits form annually for filing taxes with Canada Revenue Agency (Portable HA)
  • Verify the income of the household annually to ensure compliance with program guidelines


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