Housing programs and services

The City of London Housing team works hard to ensure Londoners have the information and resources they need to find and keep stable, affordable housing.

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit - Portable Housing Benefit (COHB PHB)

Please Note:   Due to the high volume of interest in the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit over the past year, the allocation for 2022 and 2023 funding has been exhausted. We are no longer accepting applications for the benefit.

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) is a monthly portable housing benefit program that assists eligible households with their housing costs. Eligible households in London are matched to the program which is offered by the Province of Ontario based on program and community priorities.  Once the household completed the application process and is approved by the Province, this housing subsidy is paid directly to the household or landlord to support housing affordability and stability within the private rental market.  This benefit is portable and can move with a household to any community they choose to live in within Ontario.

The COHB pays the difference between 30% of the household’s income and the average market rent in the area. For recipients of social assistance, the COHB will pay the difference between the shelter allowance and the household’s rent and utilities costs.

A household can use COHB funding to help pay the rent at their current address or they may choose to find a new place to live anywhere in Ontario.

If an individual accepts the COHB benefit, they must agree to be removed from the Centralized Social Housing Waiting List as required by Provincial program guidelines.

Are You Eligible for COHB?

This benefit is not available to the general public.

COHB is referral based program based on direct identification from the Service Manager (City of London) per Provincial program guidelines. If you have been deemed eligible for COHB, you will be contacted by the Housing Access Centre, or its partner agency, inviting you to apply for the program.

For the City of London and Middlesex County, COHB is intended to support the following target groups:

  • Survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking;
  • Homeless or at risk of  homelessness; 
  • Indigenous persons;
  • Seniors; and
  • People with Disabilities.

Please Note:  Being part of one of the above target groups does not guarantee that you will be matched to the program.  The City of London identifies households most in need using the RGI/Community Housing Waitlist and Coordinated Access System.

To be eligible for COHB, a household must meet the following criteria:

  • 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.
  • Applicants must be able to complete the requirements of the program, including filing taxes on an annual basis, and contacting the Ministry of Finance when their contact information, financial circumstances, or rent amount changes.
  • The household must agree to be removed from the RGI/Community Housing waitlist.

For more information about COHB, please review the full report to London City Council.

How Are COHB Benefits Calculated?

The COHB is calculated by using a variety of factors: annual income, type of income, average market rent, family size and apartment/unit size.

Households which are identified as being in high need of this portable housing benefit will be contacted by the Housing Stability Services Department at the City of London.

Households who are at-risk of homelessness or experiencing homelessness should contact the Coordinated Access team to complete an intake. Households are then matched to programs and services, including the COHB portable housing benefit, based on availability and suitability.

 

What Happens After You Apply for COHB?

Once the application has been processed by the Service Manager, the application will be sent to Ontario’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) who makes the final approval decision on the applicant's eligibility.  The Ministry of Finance then issues monthly payment directly to the household or their landlord if they choose.

Once the COHB recipients have been approved by MOF, Service Ontario will be the point of contact for ongoing program management.  MOF will contact the applicant directly to inform them that their application has been approved.

All questions with regards to the status of a COHB application should be directed to MOF:   1-888-544-5101 or 1 800 263-7776 (TTY)

2023 Ontario Renovates Program 

Ontario Renovates Program Applications Now Closed for 2023.

Thank you for your interest in the Ontario Renovates Program.  Due to the number of applications received and availability of program funds, we will no longer be accepting applications for the 2023 program.

Please continue to check this page for updates on the Ontario Renovates Program for 2024. 

Please email housing@london.ca with any questions regarding the Ontario Renovates Program.

Ontario Renovates Program

This program is made possible through funding by the Federal and Provincial governments and offers financial assistance to low to moderate-income households for seniors 60 years or older and persons with disabilities.  This program is administered by the City of London, Municipal Housing, and provides limited funding to homeowner(s) and landlord/tenant rental units. 

If you have any questions, please email the team at housing@london.ca 

Program Information for Homeowner Applications

Financial assistance available:

  • a one time grant up to $5,000 for home accessibility modifications
  • a one-time forgivable loan up to $15,000 for home repairs.

Homeowner Eligibility:

  • Seniors aged 60 or older and/or persons with disabilities
  • The annual gross income of all household members 18 years of age or older residing in the home must be at or below $75,000
  • The total assets of all household members 18 years of age or older residing in the home must be at or below $30,000 (including TFSA’s, GIC’s, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Savings Accounts.)

Property Eligibility:

  • Homeowners whose sole and principal residence is located within the City of London or Middlesex County.​​​​​​
  • Property with an assessed value at or below $320,000.
  • Property with taxes paid up to date.

Requirements for Homeowners:

  • a completed and signed Ontario Renovates application form with all supporting documentation
  • one piece of government issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license, passport, citizenship, or Ontario photo card) for all homeowner(s)
  • pictures showing the proposed modification(s) and/or repair(s)
  • three (3) estimates for proposed modifications(s) and/or repair(s)
  • property Tax Assessment verifying payments are paid up to date and the valuation of the property
  • if you are not the property owner, but an authorized agent for the owner, you must submit a copy of a document clearly identifying your authority
  • a copy of the year 2022 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment showing Line 15000 for all homeowner(s) and household members 18 years of age and older
  • a list of assets for all household members 18 years or older

Eligible Home Repairs:

  • heating system
  • chimneys
  • doors and windows
  • foundations
  • roofs
  • walls
  • floors
  • vents/louvers
  • electrical system
  • plumbing
  • septic system

Eligible Home Accessibility Modifications:

  • ramps
  • fire alarms
  • chair and bath lifts
  • handrails
  • grab bars
  • raised toilets
  • levered handles on doors and faucets
  • accessible shower stalls
  • personal emergency response system
  • height adjustment to countertops

Please note: Additional supporting documentation (i.e. Medical Form) may be requested for assessment of accessibility modification eligibility

Homeowner Application

Program information for Landlord/Tenant Applications

Financial assistance available:

  • up to $5,000 in the form of a grant for the approved rental unit accessibility modification(s)

Tenant Eligibility:

  • Senior’s age 60 or older and/or persons with disabilities
  • The annual gross income of household members 18 years and older at or below $75,000
  • The total household assets of household members 18 years and older at or below $30,000 (includes TFSA’s, GIC’s, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Savings Accounts.)

Landlord Eligibility:

  • Landlords can support their tenants in the application process, if the tenant meets the Ontario Renovates program criteria  and requires unit accessibility modification(s).

Requirements for the Tenant(s):

  • A completed and signed Ontario Renovates application form with all supporting documentation
  • One piece of government issued photo identification (i.e., driver’s license, passport, citizenship, or Ontario photo card) for the applicant(s) (Tenant)
  • Pictures showing the proposed modification(s) for the rental unit
  • A copy of a signed lease/tenancy agreement/rent receipts showing the current rent amount
  • A copy of the year 2022 Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Notice of Assessment showing Line 15000 for all tenant(s)/household members 18 years of age and older (includes TFSA’s, GIC’s, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Savings Accounts.)

Requirements for the Landlord:

  • Submit a copy of the most recent Property Tax Notice showing payments are paid up to date.
  • Submit a copy of the Property Owner’s most recent Property Assessment from MPAC identifying the owner(s) of the rental unit and the value of the home.
  • If you are an authorized agent for the property owner, please submit a copy of a document clearly identifying your authority.

Requirements for the Rental Unit

​​​​​The rental unit must be modest and the rent not to exceed the Average Market Rent (AMR) in the City of London and Middlesex County as per below:

  • Bachelor $1,083/month
  • One Bedroom $1,364/month
  • Two Bedroom $1,615/month
  • Three Bedroom $2,392/month
  • Four Bedroom $2,794/month

Eligible Home Accessibility Modifications:

  • ramps
  • fire alarms
  • chair and bath lifts
  • handrails
  • grab bars
  • raised toilets
  • levered handles on doors and faucets
  • accessible shower stalls
  • personal emergency response system
  • height adjustment to countertops

Please note: Additional supporting documentation (i.e., Medical Form) may be requested to assess accessibility modification eligibility, at the discretion of the City of London.

Tenant / Landlord Applications

How to Apply for Funding

 Applications for the 2023 Ontario Renovates program are now open and will be accepted as of April 1, 2023.

Homeowner Application

Tenant / Landlord Application

If you have any questions about the Ontario Renovates Program, you can contact Municipal Housing at: 519-661-CITY (2489) ext. 5523 or housing@london.ca

Please Note: Any work completed prior to the City of London approval of the Ontario Renovates program will not be considered and approved for funding. 

Capital Repair & Improvement Funding – Social Housing Providers

Capital investments are an important part of ensuring the future sustainability of our social housing assets. As building and infrastructure age, the cost of capital repair expenditures will significantly accumulate and in some cases, beyond what social housing providers have available in their capital reserve fund. The capital funding program administered by the City of London is meant to bridge some of the funding gaps to help stabilize and grow the social housing sector. This program is made possible by funding by all three levels of government.

Program Requirements

In an effort to standardize and simplify the capital application process, the templates and documents referenced below must be completed and submitted to the Housing Division. To receive your templates, please reach out directly to Clyde Almeida, the Maintenance & Capital Support Officer at calmeida@london.ca  Please note that all templates will be emailed to all housing providers prior to April 1, 2023.

Templates required:

  • Capital Repair and Improvement Funding Application Form (CRIF)
  • Letter of Intent:  The Letter of Intent is to communicate high-level information on the intended project and scope of the work over three years  with best estimates. This should be submitted before you start sourcing quotes from contractors.
  • Capital Planning Template: The Capital Planning Template is a 10-year plan and must be completed and include an itemized list of expenditures from the first three years and estimates for the remaining seven years. This template must be submitted before you start sourcing quotes from contractors. Please note that this template can be submitted starting April 1, 2023.

Submission

Please send completed application documents to our Maintenance & Capital Support Officer, Clyde Almeida at calmeida@london.ca or via mail c/o Municipal Housing, Citi Plaza, 2nd Floor, 355 Wellington Street, London ON N6A 3N7

Please Note:  It is important to note that applications  will be evaluated based on relative need, quality of application and the ability to complete projects within a certain time frame. All successful applications will be formalized through an agreement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What types of spends are considered Capital versus Operating?

A:  Capital expenses are list investments into the future. Examples of capital expenses might include the purchase of new equipment, or repairs and maintenance that extend the useful life of an asset.  Operating expenses are the day-to-day spends required to keep the business running. Examples of operating expenses include recurring annual repair costs, small maintenance jobs, routine landscaping etc.

Q:  Why do I need to submit a 3-year capital plan if only the first year is being evaluated for funding?

A:  A 3-year capital plan offers a more practical approach to capital planning such that you may find that trying to fit everything into year one may not be feasible and thus some items would be delayed to later years. A 3-year plan also allows the Housing Division to better understand the important and relative priority of each investment that is being considered.

Q:  How many quotes do I need to get for each project?

A:  For projects expected to cost more than $15,000, we recommend getting three quotes for each project. This allows for competitive pricing and service. If you cannot obtain three quotes, please document your rationale for note being able to obtain three quotes.  Quotes should be obtained from reputable and qualified contractors. Ask your colleagues for referrals and/or research the contractor's reviews. Quotes from reputable contractors should be detailed and contain an HST number.

Q:  Do I need to get quotes for all three years?

A:  Quotes are expected for all year one investments. Quotes are not expected for years two and three, but it is recommended that you use the best estimate available. For example, you might reference previous quotes or estimates in the Building Condition Assessment (BCA) report.

Q:  Which contractor's quote should I use for the year one of capital planning spreadsheet?

A:  You are not obligated to select the lowest quote, but you should justify why you've chosen a particular contractor (i.e. value for money, time to complete, etc.)

Q:  What should be provided to the contractor when asking for a quote?

A:  This will depend on the complexity of the project. At minimum, we suggest that following information be provided:

  •  Project specifications such as details around what needs to be completed, minimum level of quality or specific products to be provided, what needs to be inspected and what existing fixtures need to be protected.
  • Timeline for when you would like the project started.

Q:  What should I look for in a completed quote from a contractor?

A:  The level of information provided through quotes may vary by contractor, but the following items are important:

  • A detailed description of the scope of work;
  • Project start date and estimated completion date;
  • Warranties re: workmanship and products;
  • Registered HST number;
  • Confirmation that the contractor has provided cost based on specifications or clarity on comparable alternatives and 
  • Proposed payments terms.

Q:  What if I have previously submitted a multi-year plan, do I need to resubmit the year two and three asks?

A:  On applications where project submissions for year two and three have been approved, a re-submission of application in those funding years in not required. However, updated and valid quotes and possible financials will need to be provided before final consideration of during can be approved in those years.

Q:  Can Engineering or Project Management costs be included for consideration on funding application?

A:  For larger scope projects, Engineering and/or Project Management costs can be included in application for funding, however; the housing provider must take into consideration the timeline implications and project(s) completion deadline.

Q:  How do I know if I should hire a project manager?

A:  Project managers generally have some specialized expertise and are responsible for planning/overseeing projects to ensure they are completed in a timely fashion and within budget. For larger scope projects where a housing provider may require specific industry knowledge or where they feel the property manager will be ill-equipped to manage the added tasks associated with project oversight, it may be warranted to seek project management services. The City of London housing division will be reviewing the letters of intent and may suggest inclusion of project management services if not already identified.

 

Student Housing Mediation Services

The Mediation Service is a free confidential resource which seeks to assist in the speedy resolution of problems which may arise between students and landlords, students and London residents and/or students and students in the areas of housing and lifestyles. 

The Mediation Service has office facilities on the campus of The University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College

The University of Western Ontario
​102 Elgin Hall
London ON N6A 5B9
Tel: 519-661-3787
Fax: 519-661-3687
Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday

​Fanshawe College
Room F2010
1460 Oxford Street East
London ON N5Y 5R2
Tel: 519-432-4282
Fax: 519-453-2826

 

Last modified:Tuesday, October 31, 2023