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Housing and Homelessness

Information for Tenants

Private market tenants

Private market tenants reside in rental properties that are owned and managed by private individuals or companies. The legislation governing these tenancies is the “Residential Tenancies Act”. For more information on the act, and your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, Community Legal Education Ontario has brochures that may be helpful.  

If you require support in a tenancy-related matter, you can contact a housing outreach worker or the Community Legal Clinic for assistance. These supports are also available to social housing tenants and members, including residents of Duham Region Local Housing Corporation properties.

Social housing tenants and members

Social housing tenants and members reside in properties owned and managed by one of the following:

  • A municipal non-profit corporation.
  • A private non-profit corporation.
  • A housing co-operative.
  • The Region of Durham.

For more information on the types of social housing available in Durham Region, please visit the Looking for rental accommodation page.

Social Housing is governed by the “Housing Services Act” and its regulations. In Durham Region, there are also directives provided that set out the policies for social housing providers receiving subsidies from the Region of Durham. If you have any questions about any of the policies, please contact your provider or Housing Services staff for clarification.

Rent Supplement Programs

  • The rent supplement program provides affordable rent in privately owned buildings for tenants who cannot afford the regular rent charged by the landlord. The program is managed through Housing Services. The buildings are not owned or managed by Housing Services.
  • Housing Services signs agreements with private or non-profit landlords to have a certain number of units in their building for tenants who have low incomes.
  • Tenants for these units are selected from the Durham Access to Social Housing (DASH) waiting list. Applicants must apply to DASH to be considered for rent supplement units. The program does not allow for applicants to be subsidized in their current private unit.
  • The tenants pay the landlord a rent amount that is determined by staff at Housing Services. The rent is based on 30 per cent of their gross monthly household income. Housing Services then pays the landlord the difference between the usual rent charged for the unit and the rent-geared-to-income (RGI) that the tenant pays.
  • If a tenant in a rent supplement unit moves out, they cannot take their subsidy with them. It is up to the landlord and Housing Services to decide whether a new tenant from the DASH waiting list will fill the unit, or if the unit will be turned back to the landlord to rent to someone who can pay the full rent charge.

Reporting changes

  • If you are a social housing tenant/member and you receive rent-to-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance/subsidized housing, you must tell your building/property manager of any changes in income, assets or people in your household as soon as they occur.
  • Changes to your income, assets or the people living in your household may affect the amount of rent that you pay. You can become ineligible to continue to receive RGI assistance/subsidized housing if you fail to report changes. It is very important to keep your building/property manager up-to-date.

Questions and concerns

  • If you have any concerns related to your tenancy, please contact your building/property manager to see if they can assist you.
  • The board of directors of your non-profit or co-operative can also help to answer your questions.
  • See the list of other community resources below if your question is about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant or co-operative housing member.
  • If you are not able to resolve the issue with your housing provider, Housing Services staff may be able to help you find out how to best address your housing concerns. Please contact the Housing Services Information Line toll-free at 1-800-669-2956 or email housingservices@durham.ca.
  • For information on bed bug identification, prevention and cleaning infestations, please visit the Durham Region Health Department.

  • View the Region of Durham's Policy Directives regarding RGI assistance.

Durham Regional Local Housing Corporation

The Durham Regional Local Housing Corporation (DRLHC) is owned by the Region of Durham and managed by the Housing Services Division, part of the Social Services Department. All DRLHC tenants pay rent that is geared to their income. Forms to request pre-authorized payment of rent, as well as other tenant forms, can be found on the forms page.

Appeals and Regional Reviews

What can be appealed?

A Regional Review is an appeal of a decision about your RGI assistance or special needs housing. Applicants and tenants may request a Regional Review or appeal of decisions regarding:

  • Ineligibility for RGI assistance.
  • Ineligibility for special needs housing.
  • The type of accommodation in which the household may be housed (e.g. size of unit, mandate of building).
  • The category in which an applicant has been placed on the waiting list.
  • The amount of rent payable.

How to appeal

If you want to appeal a decision, you must make your request within 10 days of receiving notice of the decision.

If you are a tenant, you must submit the written request for a Regional Review to your housing provider. If you are an applicant, you must send your request to one of the offices of Durham Access to Social Housing (DASH). Your housing provider or local DASH office can provide you with a Regional Review Request Form (PDF).

Once you have sent your request to your housing provider or to DASH, they will forward it to the Regional Review Panel for review. 

The Regional Review Panel is an impartial body composed of representatives from the Housing Services Division, housing providers and DASH. No one on the panel will have been originally involved in the decision that you are appealing.

The panel will contact you and your housing provider/DASH to attend a hearing to review the decision.