Rent Subsidy Rules

Information on changes related to tenants receiving subsidies

In the fall of 2019, the provincial government made changes to the Housing Services Act that affect tenants.  Some of these changes took effect January 1, 2020 and others took effect July 1, 2020.

Accessing a rent subsidy:

  • People who are waiting for an apartment with a subsidy on the Social Housing Registry waiting list will now receive only 1 valid offer of housing. If you have a file with the Registry, you can contact them to make sure you have only selected buildings you want to live in.

Eligibility for a subsidy:

  • Filing income tax is now an eligibility requirement to receive a subsidy. Every year, any tenant receiving a subsidy needs to show that they have filed their income tax in order to keep their subsidy.

Rent calculations have new rules about what you need to report and when rent calculations can be done:

  • You must tell your Rental Officer within 31 days if:
    • Your source of income changes (example: you were receiving Ontario Works, but now you have a job)
    • Someone moves in or out of your home (example: your child moves out)
    • Your income tax is reassessed
  • You do not need to report if:
    • You have an increase in employment or pension income during the year as long as the source of income is still the same. (example:  you are working at the same job, but go from part-time to full-time – you only need to report this at your next lease renewal)
  • Rent calculations are now based on Line 23600 of your Notice of Assessment (your adjusted family net income).
  • Household members of any age who are in school full-time will benefit from their income being excluded from rent calculations
  • Minimum rent has changed for some types of subsidies.

For more information, please consult these resources from the City of Ottawa: