Social Housing - Terminology

Consolidated Municipal Service Manager, (CMSM)

The City of St. Thomas is the designated Consolidated Municipal Service Manager for the St. Thomas - Elgin County Service Manager Area to administer social services including social housing, income maintenance, employment services, and childcare through the St. Thomas – Elgin Ontario Works Department.

Costs are shared with the County of Elgin in accordance with a written agreement between the City and the County. 

Co-Ordinated Access, (Centralized Waiting List System)

Under the Social Housing Reform Act, the City as Service Manager is responsible to ensure that a co-ordinated access system is in place, is operating effectively and is in compliance with legislation.

Through an agreement, the City of St. Thomas has delegated the management of the Co-ordinated Access Centre to the Elgin and St. Thomas Housing Corporation.

The Access Centre processes rent-geared-to-income applications to the Centralized Waiting List on behalf of the ten Provincial Reformed housing providers and the public housing projects in St. Thomas and Elgin. Previously, housing providers maintained their own waiting lists.

Applicants may select the housing complex(es) at which they wish to reside.

Applicants are offered housing on a first-come first-served basis, and have three rights of refusal before being removed from the waiting list.

Two categories of applicants are permitted priority access to housing. Victims of family violence are placed at the chronological top of the waiting list. As well, a local priority has been established for in situ market households in sudden financial need as a result of job loss or the loss of a spouse. This local priority permits backdating of the application to the date of move-in to a social housing complex.

Rent-Geared-To-Income (RGI)

30% of household income is considered an affordable rent level.

RGI rent, therefore, is calculated on the basis of 30% of a household’s gross monthly income. Rent is adjusted each month as household income changes. Household income is reviewed at least annually.

A utilities charge is added to the RGI rent if the housing provider pays for heat and hydro. A utilities allowance is paid to RGI households to offset utilities costs if the household pays directly for heat and hydro.

The SHRA and Regulations outline in detail the rules and regulations around the exact calculation of RGI for those housing programs subject to the Act.