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Housing and Homelessness

Directive # 2008 - 02

Date:  June 24, 2008

The policies, procedures and Service Manager Requirements in this Directive are to be implemented by Durham Access to Social Housing (DASH) and all housing providers in the Region of Durham included under the provisions of the Social Housing Reform Act and its associated Regulations.

Please note: If your housing corporation is not covered by the Social Housing Reform Act, this Directive is for information purposes only.

Subject

Revised Regional Consent Form

Background

In August 2002, the Region of Durham introduced a standard Regional Consent form to meet the requirements of the Social Housing Reform Act (SHRA) and its related regulations. The form was intended to standardize the collection, use and disclosure of personal information pertaining to rent-geared-to-income (RGI) households and to ensure compliance with the SHRA and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA).

The Regional Consent form has recently been revised to bring it into greater compliance with MFIPPA. Effectively immediately, Durham Access to Social Housing (DASH) access sites and all housing providers must use the revised Regional Consent form.

Action Required

The attached revised Regional Consent form is to be used by all housing providers and DASH access offices, and replaces the previous Regional Consent form issued with Directive 2002-13 Regional Consent Form.

The Regional Consent form must be completed at the time of application, at the time of offer and at each annual or biannual update of eligibility by the housing provider. It must be signed by:

  • the primary applicant
  • the primary applicant’s spouse, where applicable
  • dependants over the age of 18, if their income is to be included in RGI calculations
  • other dependents over the age of 16 if the housing provider or DASH access office deems it prudent to do so.

If a member of the household is unable for any reason to sign the consent or to make a valid application and give a valid consent, the form may be signed on their behalf by a:

  • parent or guardian
  • power of attorney; or
  • person who is otherwise authorized to sign the application and consent on the member’s behalf.

If the household consists of more than one family unit or benefit unit, a separate consent is required for each. For example, if two unrelated single women share a two-bedroom unit, a separate consent is required for each member of the household.

The Application for RGI Assistance form will be updated to include the revised Regional Consent form specifying DASH in section 1. Housing providers should ensure that they include the legal name of their corporation in section 1 of the Regional Consent form.

Use of the Consent Form

The Regional Consent form is used to request verification from or share information with third parties regarding the household’s eligibility for RGI assistance.  DASH and housing providers may also use this form to request information from Ontario Works staff. 

The consent is specific to the sharing of information for the purpose of determining eligibility for RGI assistance or special needs housing, including placement on the centralized waiting list. The party from whom information is requested or to whom information is disclosed, as well as the type of information that is being shared, must be relevant to eligibility for RGI assistance or special needs housing.

Information shared about an RGI tenant with third parties is normally confined to a person’s name and other identifying information that is required in order to collect specific information from the third party.  Housing providers and DASH would not normally have cause to share details of a household’s RGI eligibility, like income or assets, with other parties.

Normally, the housing provider or the DASH access office will request information directly from an RGI household.  However, there may be circumstances where it is appropriate to request information or documentation directly from a third party; e.g. the RGI household requests it.

When the Regional Consent form is used to collect information or documentation from a third party it should be done with the full knowledge and agreement of the RGI household.  Housing providers and DASH should ensure that the RGI household is aware of the request for information and in agreement with it.  Where the RGI household explicitly does not consent to the sharing of information with a third party, the housing provider or DASH access office should contact the Housing Services Division for direction.

Housing providers may request further copies, or an electronic copy, of the revised Regional Consent form by contacting the Housing Services Division. An electronic copy of the revised Regional Consent form is also available on the Housing Services web pages on the Region of Durham’s website at www.durham.ca under Housing Forms.

If you have any questions please contact your Housing Co-ordinator.

 

Mary Menzies
Director of Housing Services