Sometimes called Social or Rent Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing, Community Housing is subsidized, low-cost housing for households with low-to-moderate incomes. The Housing Access Centre, part of Housing Stability Services at the City of London connects eligible households with community housing in London & Middlesex County.
The following information will help you determine if your household is eligible for Community Housing and provide forms and instructions on how to apply.
In-person assistance is available by visiting the City of London Housing Access Centre at Citi Plaza, 355 Wellington Street Suite 248, 2nd Floor London, ON N6A 3N7.
Incomplete Applications: The Housing Access Centre is unable to process your application if it is incomplete. You will not be added to the waitlists for your chosen buildings until we have submitted a complete application for your household. To ensure that your application is complete, please follow the instructions in the application carefully and ensure you have included ALL the required documentation with your application. Use the checklist to make sure you have completed all the necessary steps.
Housing Wait-Times: There is a high demand for community housing in London. Wait-times for community housing are lengthy. Wait-time depends on many different factors including application date, urgent status, how many building selections, types of buildings chosen, vacancy rates, unit size, etc. It takes several years in most cases for community housing to become available. In some cases, households have waited for longer than 10 years for housing.
Emergency Housing: Community housing is NOT emergency housing. If you are experiencing homelessness, at-risk of homelessness, or living in an unsafe situation, please contact our Coordinated Access Team at 519-661-4663 for support with finding solutions to your housing crisis.
Applying for community housing
To apply for social housing rent geared-to-income housing, you must complete the following steps:
Step One - Determine your eligibility
To qualify for community housing in the City of London and the County of Middlesex, applicants must:
- Be 16 years of age of older and be able to live independently.
- Each member must be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or refugee claimant.
- No member of the household has a deportation order, departure or exclusion order under the Immigration Act.
- No member of the household owes arrears for either rent or damage to any community housing provider in Ontario, or they have set-up a repayment agreement which is in good-standing
- Your household’s annual income must be below the Household income limits for your community.
Step Two - Complete the application package
If you meet the basic eligibility criteria in Step 1, you can then move onto Step 2.
Download and print the application form and the building selection form that best describes your situation.
It is important that you only choose buildings and communities that you want to live in. If you are offered a housing unit and decide that you don't want it, you will be removed from the waitlist.
Adult Building Selection Form - Bachelor, one bedroom and two bedroom units for households without dependents (single persons and childless couples age 16+) looking to live in designated adult community housing.
Family Building Selection Form - Two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom units for households with dependents (one or more dependents) looking to live in designated family community housing.
Senior Building Selection Form - One and two bedroom units for households that are seniors from age 60+ or 65+ looking to live in seniors designated community housing.
Please ensure that you include your name on the top of the building selection form.
Please note that these forms are Adobe PDF. To download and print, you must have the latest in Adobe's PDF on your computer. Click on the Adobe link for a free download.
Step Three - Gather your household's supporting documents
- Proof of status in Canada for all household members: Canadian Birth Certificate, Canadian Passport, Indian Status Card, Permanent Resident Card, refugee claimant documentation. We DO NOT ACCEPT driver's license, provincial photo ID cards, health cards and some other forms of ID. Full list of accepted forms of identification.
- Proof of income for all household members over the age of 18 who are not in full-time school. This can include pay stubs, OW/ODSP payment statements, or bank statements. Complete list of all income and asset types which must be reported.
If applicable, please include:
- A copy of a repayment schedule for anyone in your household who owes money to a community housing provider anywhere in Ontario. Please note: If you owe arrears to a community housing provider and do not include a copy of a repayment plan from the housing provider, your application will not be accepted.
- Custody documentation or agreement (i.e. Court/lawyer/CAS, ex-partner, etc.) for any children for whom you share custody or a copy of your most recent Child Tax Benefit Statement.
- Documentation of owned assets of all household members. Complete list of all income and asset types which must be reported.
- If pregnant, provide proof of pregnancy , for example a doctors note or ultrasound picture which includes your name and date of ultrasound.
- Full-time students 18 years or older must provide proof of full-time enrollment at an accredited institution.
- If you are experiencing homelessness, abuse, a serious medical condition, a dangerous or life-threatening situation, or other social urgent need, you might be eligible for priority or urgent status. You will need to review the qualifying criteria for each of those groups.
Please Note: As of January 1, 2021, applicants will only receive one offer of RGI housing. If you do not accept this offer, you will be removed from the community housing waitlist. This rule applies to all applicants on the waitlist and only applies to units that you have chosen on your building selection list
Additional Housing Access Centre Application Forms
Additional application forms may be requested by the HAC team.
Divestment of Residential Property - Required when owning a property/
Request for Internal Review - Required to appeal any decision made by the HAC or your social housing providers/landlord.
Request for Final Review - Required if you are not satisfied with a decision made by the HAC or your housing provider/landlord thru the request for internal review.
Step Four - Submit your application
Submit your forms and documents to the Housing Access Centre:
By mail or in-person:
Citi Plaza, 355 Wellington Street Suite 248, 2nd Floor London, ON N6A 3N7 Telephone: 519- 661-0861
Email: Applications can be scanned and emailed to email@example.com
Please note: If you are applying by email for Special Priority or Urgent Status, please include "SPP" or "Urgent" in the subject line of your email.
Regular business hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Important to Note:
- Applications will not be accepted by fax.
- In order ensure that applications are processed as quickly as possible, we will no longer accept incomplete forms or application packages. Please ensure that you have reviewed the checklists included with your application for thoroughly. If you submit your application package and it is incomplete, we will return it to you.
Frequently asked questions - Community Housing
What is community housing? Community housing, sometimes called social housing, government housing, or Rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing is subsidized housing. The rent is based on the tenant's income - usually 30 percent of the gross monthly household income. RGI units are available in publicly owned community housing (London Middlesex Community Housing) and in certain Co-operative Housing, Non-profit Housing and some private market buildings.
What are Rent Supplement Units noted on the Building Selection Forms? Rent Supplement Program (RS): Some housing options on the Building Selection forms are noted as “RS”. These units are in privately owned buildings. Tenants in Rent Supplement units are required to pay their RGI portion of rent to the private landlord and the City of London provides the rent supplement portion to cover the remainder of the rent.
What is the process for applying for and being accepted for the community housing waitlist?
Complete application and building selection
Gather supporting documents
Receive letter outlining eligibility
*Note - If your application package is not accepted you will receive a letter explaining the reason(s) why. If your application is incomplete, it will be returned to you with an explanation of what is missing.
How are different priority and urgent applications prioritized?
I'm having trouble printing the forms, what might be wrong? Please note that these forms are Adobe PDF. To download and print, you must have the latest in Adobe's PDF on your computer. Click on the Adobe link for a free download.
What kind of ID are required with a community/RGI housing application?
In order to apply for community housing, we require identification which proves that the applicant and all household members have status in Canada. We DO NOT accept driver's license, provincial photo ID cards, health cares and some other forms of ID.
What income and assets do I need to report with my application for community/RGI housing?
Why was my application package returned to me? Why does the Housing Access Centre only accept complete applications? The demand for community housing is very high and the HAC receives many applications every day. To ensure that the needs of the community are being met, and that applications are processed in a timely manner, the HAC stopped accepting incomplete applications at the end of November 2022. Beginning December 1, 2022, if you submit an incomplete application, it will be returned to you in its entirety with a checklist explaining what is missing. You must resubmit the complete application and include any missing documents. Once the HAC has received your completed application it will be processed to determine your eligibility.
Who is eligible? To be eligible for RGI/community housing, applicants must be:
- 16 years of age or older and be able to live independently.
- Each member must be a Canadian Citizen, Landed Immigrant, or Refugee Claimant.
- No member of the household has a deportation order, departure or exclusion order under immigration Act.
- No member of household owes arrears, for either rent or damage to any Ontario community housing unit.
- Income below household income limits for our community
What are the household income limits for London? Household Income Limits are determined by the Province of Ontario for each community and are described in more detail in the Housing Services Act, 2011. In London and Middlesex County, view the Household Income Limits.
What bedroom size would I be eligible for? The unit size is determined by our local rule regarding occupancy standards. One bedroom for any two members who are spouses. One bedroom for each additional member of the household. Additional bedrooms may be approved with supporting documentation based on extensive medical equipment, joint custody of a child or the need for a part-time caregiver.
How long is the waitlist? Each building has its own waitlist. Some buildings have waitlists which are longer than others based on demand for the building's unit sizes, area and other factors. The HAC is unable to predict how long the wait is for community housing. It depends on many different factors -application date, urgent status, how many building selections, types of buildings chosen, vacancy rates, unit size, etc.
How much rent can I expect to pay? RGI rent is based on approximately 30% of your household gross monthly income. Additional charges may apply depending on whether utilities are included. If you are receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, your rent is based on a pre-determined rent scale.
Who do I notify if I need to report changes to my housing application? You must notify the HAC of any changes to your applications such as changes to your mailing address, phone number, income, household composition etc.
Is there anything I need to do to remain active on the waitlist? An annual update will be mailed to you every two years to request updated information. We require this information for you to remain eligible on the waitlist.
Does the HAC provide emergency housing? No, the HAC does not provide emergency housing. You should contact Coordinated Access at 519-661-4663 for emergency shelter resources and referrals.
How will I be contacted for an offer? The housing providers will contact you directly by phone when you reach the top of the waitlist for one of the buildings you have selected. It is important to maintain contact with the HAC to keep your application up-to-date with current contact information so that providers are able to reach you in a timely manner.
What happens if I cannot be reached? Providers will attempt to reach you and will leave messages, if appropriate. You will have 48 hours to respond. If you cannot be reached within 48 hours, the provider will contact the next person on the list.
What happens if I don't respond to a housing offer, or decide I don't respond to a housing offer, or decide I don't want to live in the unit that is offered? As a result of changes to the Housing Services Act, 2011 O. Reg 367/11 under Section 32.2 and 38, effective January 1, 2021, applicants will only receive one offer of RGI housing. If you do not accept this offer, you will be removed from the centralized community housing waitlist. This rule applies to all applicants on the centralized community housing waitlist. It is critical that you keep your contact information and Building Selection form updated. Please review your options carefully and select only buildings and communities that you wish to live in. You may update your building selections at any time.
I do not have an income - am I eligible for RGI/community housing? No. Individuals who are 16 years or older who apply for RGI/community housing must be in receipt of income to qualify for RGI/community housing. You will be asked to apply for Ontario Works social assistance if you do not qualify for any other source of income.
Can I apply for RGI/community housing if I own a home? Yes, you may be eligible for RGI/community housing if you own a home, however you must agree to sell your home or property within six months of moving into a RGI/community housing unit. A Divestment Form must be signed and included with your application.
Can a housing provider choose not to offer me an RGI/community housing unit? As per the Housing Services Act, 2011, a provider may choose not to offer you an unit based on five reasons:
- Household does not meet the building provider’s mandate - For example: 40 yr old applied to a Senior’s building.
- Housing provider has reasonable grounds to believe household will be unable to pay the rent (Ex. Household has previous history of not paying rent to another community housing provider and has outstanding arrears.)
- The housing provider is a co-op and the household is unable to accept the co-op responsibilities (Ex. Household member has many medical issues preventing them from contributing.)
- The unit will be a shared living situation and provider believes it is not reasonable grounds for the household to reside in a shared accommodation. (Eg. Household is not a good fit with others in the shared living arrangement.)
- Within the past 5 years, a member of the household has had their previous RGI tenancy terminated due to a serious offence and provider has reasonable grounds to believe that the household would pose a risk to the safety of one of more at the housing project.
What could make me ineligible for RGI/community housing? As per the Housing Services Act, 2011, you could be made ineligible for rent-geared-to-income housing if you or any member of the household owes arrears (including money for damages) to a rent-geared-to-income unit, and if your income level is above the household income limits as per O. Reg 298/01 S. 8. If you do not have status in Canada, you are not eligible for RGI housing.
If I owe arrears to a previous community housing provider, will I still qualify for RGI/community housing? If you have outstanding arrears with a community housing provider, you must enter into a repayment agreement with the landlord and maintain your payments in order to remain eligible for community housing. Please Note: A housing provider can refuse to offer a community housing unit if they have reasonable grounds to believe, based on the incoming household’s rental history, that the household may fail to fulfil its obligations to pay rent. A housing provider may use outstanding rental arrears as evidence to suggest that the same household could fail their rent obligations in the future if they are offered another unit.
What additional statuses can I apply for when submitting an RGI/community housing application? There are three statuses that you may apply for if you meet the following criteria:
- Special Priority - For individuals and families who were victims of abuse by an individual who they lived with and whose personal safety is significantly at risk or for victims of human trafficking.
- Urgent Homeless: For individuals and families who are homeless or at serious risk of homelessness,
- Urgent Medical: For those with a terminal illness, those who need to re-locate to London for medical treatment and those who have a physical disability which prevents them from living in their current residence
- Urgent Social: For those experiencing serious harassment where their personal safety is at risk.
I need housing right away - what should I do? The HAC does not provide emergency housing, but staff can refer you to community resources to assist in your housing search while you wait for community housing. If you are in immediate need, you may contact Coordinated Access at 519-611-4663. This team works with individuals and families to prevent and divert from an experience of homelessness by connecting them to financial, social service and natural supports.
What does it mean to be 'over-housed'? If you are living in an unit that is too large for your household, as per the local occupancy standards, your household will be considered 'over-housed." Your provider will notify you in writing if you are considered over-housed. After 12 months from the date you were notified that you were over-housed, you will be required to re-apply to the waitlist and select a minimum of five housing preferences, not including your current housing location. Every year that you continue to be over-housed, you will be required to select five more building selections, up to a maximum of 20 building selections.
If I am living in a rent-geared-to-income housing, can I move to another location? If you would like to move from your current RGI unit, you may ask for an internal transfer directly through your housing provider. If you would like to move outside of your housing provider’s portfolio, you must re-apply through the Housing Access Centre and you will be placed on the waiting list based on a new application date. It is important to note that due to overwhelming demand for community housing, transfers within the system can take many years.
If am I living in RGI/community housing, can I be away for more than 90 days? You must let your housing provider know if you intend to be away from your RGI/community housing unit for any extended amount of time. There are exceptions that may be made. If you do not provide notice to your provider and are away for 90 days, you may lose eligibility for RGI/community housing.
Do you have to be living in the City of London to apply for RGI/community housing? No. You can apply for community housing in the City of London while living outside the city. If you would like to apply to live in RGI/community housing outside of London, you will need to contact the local community housing agency in that city/town to apply- housing applications are not transferrable within municipalities.
Can I appeal any decision made by the HAC regarding my applications? You may appeal certain decisions made by the HAC. You may request an internal review if you disagree with eligibility for RGI/community housing, size of unit, priority category, amount of RGI payable, eligibility for special needs housing. If you disagree with a decision, you are required to complete a "Request for Internal Review" form within 10 business days of receiving eligibility decision. A "Request for Internal Review" decision will be processed within 10 business days and you will be notified in writing.
I don't live in community housing. Where can I call for landlord and tenant issues? The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) has a phone line where you can get general information about the Residential Tenancies Act, tenant’s rights and the LTB process. You may contact them toll-free at 1-888-332-3234.
What is the difference between subsidized housing and affordable housing? Community housing or RGI/community housing, also referred to as subsidized housing and social housing, is when your rent is determined by your income. Generally, the rent is based on 30% of your household gross monthly income. The affordable housing projects in the city are building that have received funding from the City of London to assist developers in creating more affordable housing. Some of these buildings are made available to the general public at a low-end average market rate. To apply for these buildings, you must apply directly through the property manager of the building. The HAC does not maintain a waitlist for affordable housing buildings.
For more information about the HAC, you may contact 519-661-4663 or email the team at HAC@london.ca
Community housing provider tools
As a social housing provider you have access to a variety of tools and supports from the housing team. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Housing Team. If you would like a copy of the Subsidy Estimation Form and Annual Information Return Form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Housing division notices
Housing Division Notices or HDNs are policies, procedures and directives established by the service manager to ensure consistent program delivery. If you have any questions regarding these HDNs, please reach out to the housing team.
Housing Division Notices
HDN 259 - Rent Increase Guideline
HDN 258 - Ceasing to meeting occupancy standards (Replaces HDN# 2012-178)
HDN 257 – Local Rule – Maximum Household Income (Replaces HDN # 2021- 249).
HDN 256 - Placement Selection
HDN 254 – Vacancy Loss (Replaces HDN # 2014-206)
HDN 253 – In-Situ Policy (Replaces HDN # 2005 – 88 & HDN # 2002 - 36)
HDN 252 – Arrears’ Policy Regarding Eligibility for Rent-Geared-To-Income (RGI) Subsidy (Replaces HDN # 2003 – 50).
HDN 248 - Refusal of Offer
HDN 246 - Calculating Minimum Rent
HDN 243 - Social Assistance, Pension & Tax Credit Rates for January, February & March 2020 (Replaces HDN 2019-241)
HDN 204 - Carbon Monoxide Alarms (Replaces HDN 2014-202)
HDN 200 - New Mandatory Health & Safety Training
HDN 196 - Subsidy Surplus Fund
HDN 194 - Notices and Reviews of Decisions
HDN 191 - Local Standard for Property Management
HDN 189 - Local Standard for Board Meetings
HDN 188 - Local Standard -Conflict of Interest (Replaces HDN 2002-03)
HDN 181 - Local Rule - Maximum Absence from Unit (Replaces HDN 2002-27)
HDN 180 - Local Rule - Certain Convictions (Replaces HDN 2002-26)
HDN 177 - Local rule - Occupancy Standards (Replaces HDN 2005-85)
HDN 176 - Local Rule - Maximum Household Assets (Replaces HDN 2002-25)
HDN 168 - Housing Services Act 2011
HDN 146 - Local Rule for Adding to Original List of Housing Preferences (Replaces HDN 2005-89)
HDN 138 - Preventative Maintenance Management
HDN 138 Attachments
HDN 129 - Asbestos Management Program
HDN 114 - Residential Tenancies Act 2006
HDN 98 - Refusal to Offer
HDN 87 - Local Rule for Internal Transfer (Update to HDN 2002-34)
HDN 81 - Domestic Hot Water Tanks
HDN 55 - Subsidy Disbursement Policy
HDN 49 - Record of Refusal to Offer
HDN 48 - Housing Special Notice
HDN 24 - Policy on Rent Recalculation
HDN 18 - Guest Policy for Households
HDN 9 - Operating Framework
HDN 7 - Internal transfers
HDN 5 - File Retention
Applicant update form
Housing provider forms are submitted directly to the Housing Access Centre to maintain the integrity of the coordinated access system.
Below are guides, templates and forms used to report annual financial information.
Financial Guides, Templates & Forms
Annual Information Return Forms
If you would like a copy of the Annual Information Return Form, please email email@example.com
Subsidy & Capital Budget Estimation Forms
As part of the Subsidy/Budget approval process, the Housing Division has designed a new Subsidy Estimation Request Form for both mixed and 100% RGI Provincial Reform Non-Profits and Co-operatives. The process is to provide information necessary to estimate annual subsidy/budget. Housing Providers please fill out the Subsidy Estimation Request Form below for approval. Once complete, please ensure the form is signed for approval by two members of the Board of Directors and forwarded to the City of London, Housing Division as noted in the Subsidy Estimation Request Form Guidelines below.
If you would like a copy of the Subsidy Estimation Form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lower End of Market Rent Request Form
Federal operating agreements require the City of London Housing Division to review and approve rental charges submitted by Section 95 Federal Non-Profit housing providers annually. Section 95 Federal Non-Profit housing providers are to complete the form below and email, mail or fax it to the Housing Division six months prior to the proposed rental increase effective date.