Social Housing - FAQs

How do I apply?

The Coordinated Access Centre which processes applications for most subsidized housing projects is located in the Social Services building at 423 Talbot Street in St. Thomas.

Applicants may choose to apply to any of a list of social housing providers in St. Thomas and Elgin County.  You may also choose to apply only for certain housing locations.  A few housing providers only accept applications directly.  Contact information for those providers is also available at the Coordinated Access Centre.

Applicants are offered housing on a first-come first-served basis, with the exception of Special Priority Applicants, (victims of family violence), who are given priority on the waiting list.  Eligible applicants are put on a separate waiting list for each housing option they select.


How do I find out more about my housing options?

Information about each social housing provider, including the location of their housing site(s) is part of the social housing application.


Who is eligible for subsidized housing?

To be considered eligible for rent-geared-to-income housing, you must be:

  • 16 years of age or older
  • A Canadian citizen, landed immigrant (or applicant), or refugee claimant
  • Able to live independently.
  • Former tenants of social housing with outstanding arrears of rent or damages can only be considered when the arrears have been paid in full or when satisfactory repayment arrangements have been made.

If you own your house, you must sell it within six months of accepting subsidized housing.Your application will not be considered if any member of your household has, within the past five years, been convicted of misrepresentation of income for rent-geared-to-income purposes.


Where do I get an application form?

Our application for is available online or at the following locations:

  • The Social Services office at 423 Talbot St., St. Thomas
  • Most support agencies in St. Thomas (CCAC, Elgin Association for Community Living, etc.)
  • Most housing providers

What will I be asked to provide with my application form?

In addition to the completed form, please include:

  • Copies of birth certificates of all members of the household or application for status as a permanent resident or claim for refugee protection
  • Verification of all income sources (most recent pay stubs, most recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment or income tax return, etc.)
  • Other documentation such as court orders for custody, support, or child visitation arrangements.

Where do I submit my application form?

You can submit your completed form and documentation by mail, fax or in person to:

Coordinated Access Centre
St. Thomas-Elgin Social Services
423 Talbot Street
St. Thomas, ON
N5P 1C1

Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

You may fax the application form and supporting documentation to 519-637-4250


Who can I call for help with my application?

  • Housing Intake at 519-631-9350 ext. 7176
  • Housing Services Administrator at 519-631-9350 ext. 7171

What happens after I submit my application?

If you application is complete and all the documentation has been provided, your name will go on the waiting list for the housing providers you have selected based on the date your application was received.

Once you reach the top of that housing provider's waiting list, the housing provider will contact you directly as soon as a unit becomes available.


What is Special Priority Status?

Special Priority Status is given to victims of family violence; these applications are given priority at the top of the waiting list.

The intent of the SP status is to make it easier for an applicant to enter affordable, subsidized housing quickly, right after leaving the abusive relationship, to prevent her or him from having to return to the abusive household because affordable housing cannot be found.  Normally, Special Priority status is granted when a request is submitted within three months after an applicant ceased to live together with the abuser.

A record of the abuse must be verified by a doctor, social worker, police, shelter worker, or other professional.


Are there any local priorities on the waiting list?

There is one local priority for tenants or co-op members who are already living with a social housing provider and who are paying full market rent.

This local priority permits a tenant who is in sudden financial need due to job lass, lay-off or death of a spouse to apply for a subsidy, with their application backdated to the date they moved into their present residence.