Peel Housing Programs & Initiatives
Peel Access to Housing (PATH)
Peel Access to Housing (PATH) is the Region of Peel’s central “one-window” application centre for subsidized housing. PATH maintains a waiting list of all eligible applicants that is drawn upon to fill the variety of social housing units available in the Region. The PATH list provides tenants for subsidized or rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units in buildings owned by the municipal non-profit housing corporation Peel Living, private community non-profit housing providers, co-operative housing providers, and in rent supplement units throughout Peel. PATH’s waiting list system provides successful applicants with the most efficient access possible to the variety of social housing available in the Region.
There are thousands of subsidized units in Peel for lower-income families, singles, seniors and households with special needs, but as in other communities, there is a high demand for affordable housing. Although some applicants with unique circumstances receive special priority, PATH’s waiting list is organized chronologically or on a first come, first served basis.
The Peel Access to Housing section is responsible for the following:
- Processing applications and determining eligibility for subsidized housing in the Region of Peel;
- Maintaining a master social housing directory with information regarding all social housing in Peel;
- Answering inquiries concerning social housing in Peel; and
- Providing referrals and resources regarding emergency shelters and community agencies and services.
Waiting List Information
In October 2005, there were 12,135 households eligible and waiting for social housing in Peel; 6,872 families; 2,090 seniors; and 3,173 singles. Subsidized housing units typically have a low turnover rate and the approximate wait times for eligible applicants on PATH’s waiting list can be broken down as follows: families and singles: 20+ years, seniors and other special priority applicants: 1-7 years.
Those on the waiting list represent a vulnerable segment of the population, with many applicants being at risk of homelessness. Applicants are from a diverse cross-section of lower-income households, including traditional families, single-parent families, singles, extended families, and seniors. A comprehensive survey of family and single (non-senior) households on Peel’s social housing waiting list was conducted in 2001. The survey revealed that the majority of households were working but there were many common problems encountered. These included: low incomes and unaffordable rents; sharing, overcrowding, and a lack of privacy; accommodation in unhealthy, substandard, and non-code-compliant units (e.g. rooming houses, basement apartments); insecurity of tenure and uncertainty regarding future housing; and instability or transience (frequent moves). Combined with their limited housing options, these circumstances put many on the waiting list in the situation of near homelessness. The above conditions can have long-term detrimental effects on children and adults and the survey discovered depression and high stress levels among respondents.
PATH also maintains a special list for persons in need of social housing who have been the victims of family violence. Peel’s Victim of Family Violence (VOFV) policy grants priority status to social housing applicants on the waiting list who have been abused. The VOFV list currently (October 2006) has 446 persons listed on it. To submit an application for rent-geared-to-income housing, please contact Peel Access to Housing at 905-453-1300 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org