Social Housing - Rent Supplement Program

The City of St. Thomas receives funding from the Province of Ontario to operate the Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program. The City must follow the rules and regulations set out in a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to administer the program within St. Thomas and Elgin County.

What is Rent Supplement?

A rent supplement is a subsidy provided to landlords to bridge the gap between the market rent charged for a unit and the amount the tenant can pay based on his or her income.

How many units are available?

The City has entered into a number of Rent Supplement Agreements with private and non-profit landlords in St. Thomas and Elgin.

There are approximately thirty units of rent supplement housing in this area, as well as ten units of supportive rent supplement housing through support agreements with the Elgin Association for Community Living (EACL) and Violence Against Women, Services Elgin County (VAWSEC).

A list of the Rent Supplement housing providers is available by contacting the Co-ordinated Access Centre (see “How to apply for subsidized housing”).

How do I apply for a rent supplement subsidy?

To apply for housing under the rent supplement program, please contact the Co-ordinated Access Centre, c/o Elgin and St. Thomas Housing Corporation.

Your name will go on a waiting list for the housing providers you have selected.

How can landlords get involved in the Rent Supplement Program?

Landlords or managing agents of rental units who are interested in participating in the Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program should contact the City’s Social Housing Administrator at (519) 631-9350 ext. 126.

The steps involved are:

  1. The City will forward a Rent Supplement Program application to the landlord. A landlord may offer   any number of units within a building as part of the rent supplement program.
  2. Once the application has been approved, the City will inspect the rental building to determine suitability.
  3. If acceptable, the City and the landlord will enter into a rent supplement agreement for a specific number of units for a period of three to five years (renewable).
  4. Under this agreement, the City will refer eligible rent supplement tenants to the landlord, calculate the rent to be paid by the tenant directly to the landlord, and pay the landlord the difference between the tenant’s rent and the regular market rent on the first day of each month.
  5. The landlord has the right to refuse any referral from the City based on normal rights of refusal of landlords (e.g. a poor rental history).
  6. The landlord will enter into a lease with the tenant and the standard relationship between the landlord and tenant will apply as per the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA).

Units selected for the rent supplement program are based on a number of criteria, including need, local priorities, new construction targets, maximum rent limitations, and the provision of modified units for the physically disabled.