Housing and Homelessness

Looking for Rental Accommodation?

Rental accommodation can include a variety of housing options–both private market landlords and social housing providers. For more information on accessing the private market, please visit the Community Development Council Durham website.

Market rent properties

Some social housing buildings have units where the rent is approximately the same as the rent charged in privately run buildings.

You do not have to meet the same criteria as required for rent-geared-to-income assistance. However, you will have to provide information to show you can pay the market rent for the building and unit size you are applying for.

You may apply for a market rent unit by contacting the housing provider directly.

Social housing in Durham Region

The Region of Durham provides some level of funding to 45 social housing providers, who own approximately 6,400 rental units in all local eight area municipalities.

Properties may be high-rise or low-rise apartment buildings, townhouses/row houses or semi-detached houses. Unit sizes vary from self-contained bachelor units to units with one to five bedrooms.

Some units have been modified to make them accessible for people using a wheelchair or with other special needs. Some housing providers provide support services for people who may have difficulty living on their own, while others have agreements with community agencies to provide support services to tenants/members in their buildings.

There are buildings in Durham Region that are fully funded by the federal government and are not connected to Housing Services. To apply to these sites, please contact the provider directly.

Special needs housing may be available for people that require accessibility modifications or provincially supported services to allow them to live independently in the community. Alternative housing is offered by some housing providers to assist people who have been homeless, or have had difficulty living on their own, to help them transition back into the community.

Tenants or co-operative housing members pay rent/housing charges that may be geared-to-income or similar to the private market. There is generally a long wait time for rent-geared-to-income assistance. Market rent units become available throughout the year.

Subsidized rent properties

Rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance is commonly called subsidized housing. People who are eligible for RGI assistance pay reduced rent that is roughly equal to 30 per cent of their total gross household income. For more information on eligibility for RGI assistance and how to apply, please visit the Rent-geared-to-income assistance page.

Seniors housing

Seniors housing is like all other social housing except that only seniors live there. There are also some social housing providers that have designated units for seniors but may also house non-seniors. You must be at least 60 years of age to live in seniors housing.

If you would like to live in seniors housing and do not require a rent subsidy, you can apply directly to any of the seniors housing providers.

If you would like to live in seniors housing and you are also applying for subsidized housing, you will need to complete the Durham Access to Social Housing (DASH) application (PDF). You need to meet all eligibility requirements for RGI assistance.

If you are looking for a retirement home, you can find listings of facilities at RetirementHomes.com. If you need long-term care, please visit Long-Term Care and Services for Seniors.

Special priority applications

If you are living in an abusive situation, have recently separated from someone who was abusing you, or are being abused by someone who is sponsoring you as an immigrant, you may be given special priority on the centralized waiting list. This means that you could be offered housing sooner than other applicants. Applicants must meet RGI eligibility requirements, as well as providing supporting documentation from a designated community service worker, in order to be considered for special priority.

Affordable Housing

Funding has been provided for the development of affordable rental housing in Durham Region through the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program. Affordable housing gives individuals and families with low to moderate income the opportunity to rent a housing unit at lower than market cost. For more information on accessing Affordable Housing, please contact the landlord directly.

Durham Housing Benefit

This short term program is designed to make market rents more affordable to low income households who are on or eligible to be on Durham Region's waiting list for rent-geared-to-income housing. Payments are directed to participating landlords or program delivery agents in order to reduce market rent charges for applicants living in self-contained accommodations and deemed eligible for the program. Landlords can apply for the program by submitting an application form (PDF). Tenants or landlord interested in getting more information about this program can contact Lori Barber.