Social Housing Provider Program


  • Social housing providers (non-profit and co-operative) offer quality affordable housing to “rent-geared-to-income” tenants and market renters
  • These communities are owned and operated on a not-for-profit basis by community-based boards


Within the Niagara region, there are 53 non-profit and co-operative Housing Corporations, governed by Boards of Directors who are responsible for the ownership and management of their buildings. There are important differences between non-profit and co-operative corporations. The Board of Directors of a co-operative consists of residents who live in the building(s), whereas a non-profit may have tenants on the board but is generally made up of members of the broader community. There are also legislative differences, in that non-profits must comply with the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 and Corporations Act, and co-operatives must comply with the Co-operative Corporations Act.

Niagara Region Profile

By Provider Type

  # Corporations # Units
Co-operative 26 1,552
Non-profit 27 1,721
Total 53 3,273

By Building Type

  # Units
Apartment 2,128
Singles/Semi-detached 140
Townhouse 1,105
Total 3,273

*includes both townhouse and apartment units

By Municipality

Fort Erie Grimsby Niagara Falls Niagara-on-the-Lake Pelham Port Colborne
41 354 0 743 0 0 109
West Lincoln
St. Catharines Thorold Wainfleet Welland Total
56 1,458 85 0 427 3,273

Role of Tenant/Member

  • Households who require rent-geared-to-income accommodation must apply to Housing Services
  • Households who can afford to pay the market rent/housing charge can apply directly to the social housing provider
  • Must abide by the policies and bylaws of that social housing provider
  • Must pay their rent/housing charge by the first of every month
  • Must comply with applicable legislation i.e., Housing Services Act (HSA), 2011, Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), 2006

Role of Social Housing Provider

  • Must comply with all applicable legislation (i.e., HSA 2011, RTA 2006, Co-operative Corporations Act, Corporations Act, Building Code, Fire Code), and Housing Services local policies
  • Must establish policies and procedures to ensure effective management of their operations
  • The social housing provider board has a fiduciary responsibility for the overall financial operations and must implement financial and management controls designed to preserve the provider’s assets
  • Must fill RGI vacancies from Housing Service’s Centralized Waiting List in accordance with Housing Services local policies and established legislation
  • Must report to Housing Services on an annual basis

Role of Housing Services

  • Administers the Affordable Housing Program in Niagara
  • Conducts regular operational reviews on all social housing providers to ensure compliance with applicable legislation, and to share best business practices
  • Determines, calculates and approves subsidy payments to social housing providers
  • Provides training, support and assistance to social housing provider boards and staff
  • Conducts financial and other investigations
  • Establishes local policies
  • Develops and implements strategies to ensure social housing provider assets are maintained in the long term

Households living in non-profit and co-operative housing represent all segments of the community – seniors, families and individuals and people with physical or mental health challenges. Generally, 25% of the units are designated as market rent units. The remaining 75% of units are offered to households that pay a rent geared to their income. The rent-geared-to-income calculation is based on 30% of the household’s gross income plus parking (if applicable) and an adjustment for the cost of utilities.

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