Social Housing - Types of Social Housing Providers

There are a variety of social housing programs administered by the City of St. Thomas in the City and the County of Elgin including

  • Public housing
  • Provincial reformed housing projects, including
    • Private non-profit housing projects
    • Co-operative housing projects
  • Federal Section 95 housing projects
  • Federal Section 26 & 27 housing projects
  • Municipal Non-Profit housing

Public Housing

The 512 units of public housing in the City of St. Thomas and the County of Elgin are managed by Elgin and St. Thomas Housing Corporation, formerly known as St. Thomas and Elgin Housing Authority.

Public housing projects are located at:

  • 60-88 Myrtle St., Aylmer (family townhouses)
  • 49 Chestnut St., Aylmer (adult apartments)
  • 58 Myrtle St., Aylmer (adult apartments)
  • 253 Ridout St., Rodney (adult apartments)
  • 40-87 Dunkirk, St. Thomas (single-family homes)
  • 1-35 Sincoe, St. Thomas (single-family homes)
  • 16 Celestine, St. Thomas (adult apartments)
  • 45 St. Anne’s Place, St. Thomas (adult apartments)
  • 1-27 Airey, St. Thomas (semi-detached homes)
  • 425-483 Elm, St. Thomas (semi-detached homes)
  • 81-85 Fairview Ave., St. Thomas (townhouses)
  • 5 Morrison, St. Thomas (adult apartments)
  • 76 Churchill, St. Thomas (adult apartments)
  • 136 & 192 Fairview Ave., St. Thomas (single-family homes)
  • 96 Confederation, St. Thomas (townhouses)
  • 200 Chestnut, St. Thomas (adult apartments)
  • 144 Main St., West Lorne (adult apartments)

The Housing Corporation’s main office is located at 9 Princess Avenue, Unit #5 in St. Thomas. Seven full-time staff look after day-to-day operations. As well, most apartment buildings have a live-in superintendent available on-site.

The Housing Corporation also manages the Centralized Waiting List system through an agreement with the City of St. Thomas. (See “Social Housing FAQs Including How to Apply”.)

This housing is called “public housing” because the sole shareholder of the Housing Corporation is the City of St. Thomas – it’s publicly owned housing.

The Housing Corporation is a separate legal entity with its own Board of Directors which includes two appointed Aldermen from the City of St. Thomas Council.

Legal title to the public housing stock was transferred to the Housing Corporation in December 2000 under the terms of the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA). Prior to this transfer, the housing stock was owned and administered by the Ontario Housing Corporation, a provincial Crown Corporation.

Transfer of the public housing stock under the terms of the SHRA occurred on January 1, 2001. It was called “Phase I transfer” of social housing.

The Housing Corporation must comply with the SHRA and Regulations, the Residential Tenancies Act and Regulations, and other applicable legislation such as the provincial Corporations Act.

The Corporation operates under a break-even budget which is submitted annually for City Council’s approval as part of the Ontario Works Department’s social housing budget.

As a 100% rent-geared-to-income housing provider, the Housing Corporation requires a subsidy to maintain a break-even budget. The subsidy is the difference between revenues and expenses (including operating and capital expenses).

Some federal funding is flowed through to the City by the Province to assist with public housing operating and capital costs.

Provincial Reformed Housing Projects

There are ten “provincial reformed” housing providers in St. Thomas and Elgin County.

Housing projects classed as “provincial reformed” must comply with the SHRA and Regulations. This means they must participate in the Centralized Waiting List system and must follow the rules for social housing set out in provincial legislation.

The SHRA also determines how the City, in accordance with specific funding formulas, will fund these projects. Funding is provided to these projects to help with operating costs and also to provide the difference between the rent-geared-to-income paid by tenants or members and the normal market rent.

Six of the ten “provincial reformed” housing providers are privately owned, Board-run non-profit housing corporations sponsored by service clubs or church groups. These housing providers are responsible for managing their projects in accordance with the SHRA and other provincial tenant/landlord legislation.

The private non-profit Provincial Reformed housing corporations in this area are:

  • Menno Lodge of Aylmer Inc. Operates 
    • Menno Lodge (seniors apartments)
    • Elkview Gardens (family townhouses)
  • Dutton & District Lions Non-Profit Housing operates
    • Caledonia Gardens (seniors apartments)
  • Port Burwell Family Residences operates
    • Maple Meadows (family townhouses)
  • Port Burwell Non-Profit Housing Corporation operates
    • Milton Towers (seniors apartments)
  • Kiwanis Non-Profit Homes of Rodney operates
    • Kiwanis Seniors Apartments
  • EFBC (Eastwood Fellowship Baptist Church) Non-Profit Housing Corporation, St. Thomas, operates
    • Eastwood Village Phase II (family townhouses)
    • Eastwood Court (family townhouses)
    • Heritage Park (family townhouses)

There are also four co-operative housing complexes in St. Thomas and Aylmer. Co-ops are managed by Boards of Directors elected from among the resident members of the co-ops. Members are expected to participate directly in active and voluntary governance, decision-making, and community building at their co-ops.

The co-ops in this area are:

  • Troy Village Housing Co-operative, Aylmer
  • Elmview Estates Housing Co-operative, St. Thomas
  • Meadowdale Community Housing Co-operative, St. Thomas
  • Pinafore Station Co-operative Homes, St. Thomas

The “provincial reformed” projects were formerly administered by the Province and were provincially funded or cost-shared between the provincial and federal governments under project-specific funding formulas.

Most of the projects include a mixture of market and subsidized households in accordance with a provincially mandated Target Plan. The purpose of these Target Plans is both to attain a social balance of residents within the housing complexes and to reduce housing providers’ dependence on government subsidies.

The “provincial reformed” projects were transferred to the City’s administration as part of the “Phase II transfer” of social housing to the City in March 2002.

The City continues to receive federal funding for the former federal share of these programs. The balance of subsidies is paid by the City and cost-shared with the County of Elgin.

Federal Section 95 Housing Projects

The federal Section 95 projects were originally funded and administered by the federal government through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

The subsidy paid by the City to the federal Section 95 projects is based on a write-down of the mortgage interest to 2 per cent. The amount of the subsidy is re-calculated at the time of mortgage renewal, depending on the interest rate for the new term. The purpose of the subsidy is to provide geared-to-income rents. The City of St. Thomas continues to receive federal funds for these programs based on 1995 subsidy levels.

The Federal Section 95 projects, while administered by the City, continue to operate under the terms of their original CMHC Operating Agreements.

The housing providers are not required to participate in the Centralized Waiting List system or comply with operating procedures under the SHRA. As a result, the housing providers operating Federal Section 95 projects maintain their own applicant waiting lists for those projects.

The Section 95 Federal Housing Providers in this area are:

  • Aylmer Area Christian Community Association, Aylmer, which operates
    • Heritage Place seniors’ apartments
  • Bel Parc Inc., Belmont, which operates
    • Bel Parc seniors’ apartments
  • EFBC Non-Profit Housing Corporation, St. Thomas, which operates
    • Eastwood Seniors Apartments
    • Eastwood Village Phase 1 (family townhouse)
    • Pinetree Gardens (seniors apartments)
  • Festival Gardens Homes Corporation, St. Thomas, which operates
    • Festival Gardens seniors apartments

Federal Section 26 & 27 Housing Projects

The Federal Section 26 and 27 housing projects, while now administered by the City of St. Thomas, do not receive direct subsidy funding. The subsidy was originally calculated as an up-front forgivable grant through a write-down of the mortgage principal.

These projects were formerly administered by the federal government through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and continue to operate under their original CMHC Operating Agreements.

The Operating Agreements terminate when the 50-year mortgages are discharged.

The Federal Section 26 and 27 Housing Providers in this area are:

  • EFBC Non-Profit Housing Corporation, St. Thomas, which operates
    • Eastwood Park Terrace (family townhouses)
  • Cherry Street Inc., Aylmer, which operates
    • a number of single-family homes and duplexes in and around Aylmer

Municipal Non-Profit Housing Projects

There is one municipal non-profit housing provider in this Service Area,

  • Central Elgin Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation which operates
    • Kettle Creek Villa, Port Stanley (seniors apartments)

A Board of Directors which includes elected officials from the Municipality of Central Elgin operates this project.

Municipal non-profits were originally established under tri-partite agreements signed by the Province of Ontario, the federal government through CMHC, and the local municipal non-profit housing corporation (under the direction of the local sponsoring municipality).

The federal government continues to fund the CMHC portion of the subsidy to cover a mortgage interest write-down to two per cent. The City of St. Thomas provides additional operating funding through a specific funding formula.

The original CMHC Operating Agreement was not terminated upon transfer of administration to the City of St. Thomas in March 2002. Therefore, municipal non-profits are not required to participate in the Centralized Waiting List system, nor are they required to comply with certain requirements under the SHRA.