Peel Housing Programs & Initiatives
Social Housing in Peel
“Social housing” refers to subsidized or assisted rental housing. It is provided by non-profit corporations run by community groups, municipalities, and co-operatives ─ as well as through units owned by landlords (non-profit and for-profit) who have entered into rent supplement agreements with the government. Each type of social housing provider or program is the subject of an information sheet in this package.
In 2001, the Provincial Government devolved the responsibility of administration for most social housing to Ontario municipalities through the
Social Housing Reform Act (which has more recently been replaced by the Housing Services Act, 2011). As a result, the Housing Policy and Programs division is responsible for the administration or supervision of thousands of rental housing units in Peel that fall into the above categories. This amounts to:
- 32 private community sector non-profit housing providers with over 3,500 units;
- 15 co-operative non-profit housing providers with 1,976 units;
- 70 properties and over 7,100 units under Peel Living, the Region’s own non-profit housing provider, and;
- More than 2,400 rent supplement units in both private and social sector buildings.
Distributed among these are over 400 units modified for Peel residents with special needs. In addition, there are also almost 1,348 units of co-operative housing in Peel that remain under federal administration. All together there are over 15,000 units of social housing in Peel, the vast majority of which are under the administration of the Region’s Humans Services Department.
The foundation of all social housing is that the tenant is charged rent based on their income. This is called rent-geared-to-income or RGI. Under RGI the tenant pays 30% of their income in rent ─ the common definition of an affordable rent. In social housing buildings only a portion of the total units have RGI rents, with the remaining units rented at market rent levels. This income mixing helps to integrate social housing developments into their surrounding communities, and makes social housing residents more representative of a cross section of Peel’s citizens. In Peel there are over 12,000 RGI units housing lower income families, singles, seniors, and those with developmental, psychiatric, and physical disabilities.
Social Housing Administration
The responsibilities of the Housing Policy and Programs division are dispersed among the following sections:
- Social Housing Administration oversees the above social housing providers and local rent supplement units.
- Peel Access to Housing (PATH) maintains a centralized waiting list for households applying for subsidized rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing; determines applicant eligibility; answers inquiries regarding social housing in Peel; and provides referrals and resources regarding emergency shelters and community support services. Currently the waiting list includes a total of 12,135 households.
- Rent Supplement administers applications and allocations of rent supplement.
- Housing Policy staff analyse senior government policy impacts on Peel and prepare recommendations for Peel’s housing programs.
The management of the Region’s non-profit housing corporation, Peel Living, and its 70 buildings and 7,207 units, is the responsibility of department’s Property Management division. All of the above are discussed in the information sheets that follow.