Low Income Apts For Seniors – There are thousands of affordable housing units in Waterloo Region, but like many communities, demand is high. Applicants are placed on a waiting list. Before applying, the Tenant Toolkit can help you find and budget for living in the private rental market.
As the recovery from COVID-19 continues, community services are reopening their welcoming spaces and resuming face-to-face services. But things look a little different as we work together to stay healthy. Find out what you should know before you visit. If you have a question about the community housing process or your place on the waiting list, please email us at chac@.
Low Income Apts For Seniors
Our Community Housing Access Center processes all applications. We create housing offers and keep your information up to date so housing providers can contact you when a unit becomes available.
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Waterloo Region oversees 5,600 affordable housing units; learn about the types below. You can also view properties in our affordable housing catalog or see the full list of properties in the printed version of the Building Selection Form.
These properties are owned and managed by the county. There are more than 2,700 units in the cities and towns of the region.
Tenants pay what they can afford and live in landlord-owned units in the private market. The county provides funds to the landlord to cover the difference.
These are private landlords who have a certain number of units in their buildings for which they charge lower rents.
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Waterloo Region offers additional rental assistance programs available to applicants who are on the Community Housing Access Center waiting list. See Who’s Eligible for details. Eligible applicants will be contacted directly by Waterloo Region staff or by qualified referrals from community partners. This is a closed application process and is offered by invitation.
The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) program provides a portable housing benefit to households to help with the cost of renting in the private housing market. The benefit is portable and can be used to help pay rent anywhere in Ontario. Waterloo Region will process applications for those applicants who live in the region. If you live elsewhere and want to apply for COHB, contact your local housing services department.
Administered by the province, this benefit is available to eligible priority groups who are or are eligible to be placed on a centralized waiting list for income-oriented rental subsidized housing.
COHB pays the difference between 30 percent of the family’s adjusted net income and the average market rent in the area. For welfare recipients, COHB will pay the difference between the shelter allowance and household rent and utility costs. The province of Ontario administers the program and the benefit amount is reviewed annually.
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Eligible applicants will be contacted directly by Waterloo Region staff or by qualified referrals from community partners. This is a closed application process and is offered by invitation.
COHB applicants must be a resident of Ontario and be on the Waterloo Region centralized community housing waiting list.
The amount of the benefit will depend on the size and income of the recipient’s household. The amount is calculated using a formula that includes household income, the number of people in the household, and rents in the local housing market in the service manager’s area.
The Portable Housing Benefit (PHB) is calculated by deducting 30 percent of the household’s adjusted net family income (AFNI) from 80 percent of the average market rent (AMR) for the area:
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AFNI is the annual net income of all members of a family unit or benefit unit, excluding full-time students. It also does not include Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) net payments and Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) net monthly payments. It is generally based on net income (line 23600 on your Canada Revenue Agency notice of assessment) if it reasonably reflects your net income or approximate net income.
AMR is the average rent in your area as determined and reported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). AMR is published annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in the Rental Market Report. To view Waterloo Region’s AMR, see Tables 1.1.2 in the Rental Market Data Table – Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo.
To obtain a COHB, applicants must agree to be removed from a centralized waiting list as required by provincial program guidelines. Households will not be able to re-apply for Waterloo Region’s centralized waiting list while receiving a benefit.
Households cannot receive COHB and Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing or any other form of housing benefit at the same time.
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COHB is a portable benefit, meaning it will continue to support households wherever they move in Ontario. The amount of the benefit may change to reflect average rents in the local market.
The COHB program ends on March 31, 2029. Two years before the end of COHB, households will be contacted to consider their options. These may include other rental assistance programs.
The application process is by invitation only. Waterloo Region and eligible referrals from community partners will contact applicants from the following identified priority groups regarding COHB based on availability of benefits:
A limited number of benefits are available. All eligible applicants who have been contacted are encouraged to contact Waterloo Region staff to secure access to the program.
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If you have been contacted as an eligible applicant and have completed the application process, the Ontario Ministry of Finance (MOF) will contact you directly to let you know if your application has been approved.
Once approved, you can contact the Provincial Information Center with questions about your benefit at 1-888-544-5101 or 1-800-263-7776 (TTY).
If you are approved for this benefit, you are considered an affordable resident. Your application for income-oriented rental housing will be closed and you will be removed from the centralized waiting list.
Your benefit amount is assessed annually by the province and may increase or decrease due to changes in your income, the size of your household or if you move.
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If your income drops by more than 20 per cent over the course of a year, you can apply for a review from the Treasury to reassess your benefit amount.
If you move from Waterloo Region to another location in Ontario, the amount of your benefit will be calculated based on the average local market rent in that area. It will be adjusted to reflect the change in rental charges.
All COHB households will receive an annual renewal application from the province in May, which you must complete and return to confirm your household information and agree to remain in the program. The province will provide information on how to apply for renewal and the deadline for submission.
The Province will give you several reminders and opportunities to submit your annual renewal before the September 1st deadline. Unfortunately, households that do not return their annual renewal application by September 1 will no longer be eligible for assistance through the COHB program. Reinstatement to the program is not permitted in accordance with provincial program guidelines.
Low Income Housing & Affordable Housing
The Building Better Futures Program (BBFP) provides households with a portable housing benefit to help with the cost of renting in the private housing market. The Rental Assistance Program is tied to the household and can be used to help pay rent anywhere in Waterloo Region.
This is a closed application process. Eligible households are referred through local agencies and the regional centralized waiting list for Community Housing in Waterloo Region.
Waterloo Region staff and authorized community partner staff will contact eligible applicants from racialized communities.
A limited number of benefits are available. If you have been contacted, we recommend that you complete the application form as soon as possible to ensure access to the program.
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If you have been contacted as an eligible applicant and have completed the application process, you will start receiving program benefits either directly or by having your rental assistance paid directly to your landlord.
Once you start receiving benefits, you can contact Region of Waterloo staff or Community Partners with questions about the program.
Your benefit amount will be reviewed annually by Region of Waterloo staff or Community Partners and you may not be eligible for the program if your household:
All BBFP households will receive an annual renewal application that you must complete and return to confirm your household information and agree to remain in the program. Region of Waterloo staff or community partners will provide you with information on how to apply for renewal and the deadline for submission.
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You will receive reminders and opportunities to submit your annual renewal before the annual review deadline. Unfortunately, households who do not return their annual renewal application by the deadline may experience a delay in receiving benefits or being excluded from BBFP rental assistance.
Please note that households with annual incomes that exceed these amounts are not eligible to be placed on the waiting list for Community Housing programs in the Region of Waterloo.
How vacancies are filled depends on your situation; priorities and criteria for each of them can be found below. Call us to discuss your options ahead of time
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