Community Development Council Durham:
HOUSING STABILITY PROGRAM CHANGES – Effective Immediately September 2020
As many of you are aware, CDCD, in partnership with the Region of Durham, have been conducting a reconstruction of the Housing Stability Program throughout 2020. COVID-19 has placed significant strain on our most vulnerable residents and we anticipate that the impacts of COVID will be felt well into 2021 and beyond. In an effort to remain flexible and meet the needs of the community as they arise, we will be putting the following changes into effect immediately. Please also note that we are open to feedback and anticipate that further changes will be made as we learn more about how HSP can encourage housing retention for Durham’s most vulnerable residents.
The HSP guideline changes are as follows:
1) Room Rentals
The Housing Stability Program will now issue Last Month’s Rent for room rentals. This benefit will be issued using the existing program guidelines such as: affordability, approval prior to move-in and prior to paying last month’s rent, etc.
This benefit will be issued to the property owner/property management directly and will not be available for sub-leasing. Please note that tenants in room rentals are not protected under the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants will be encouraged to meet with a Housing Outreach Worker if they experience challenges with their room rental. This benefit will be offered only once every 36 months and will not be reissued in cases of eviction with no notice.
2) COVID-19 related arrears
We will now offer repayment assistance for arrears beyond 2 months for arrears that are directly related to COVID-19 only (April 2020 and beyond). Proof that the reason for arrears are directly related to COVID will be required. Additionally, applicants applying for rental arrears will be asked for proof that rent was in good standing prior to COVID-19 emergency orders and efforts have been made to make payments.
Please note that this benefit is subject to funding. We look forward to continuing to work with our community partners in an effort to remain flexible and continue to offer HSP guideline changes that fit with the needs of our community.
For questions or concerns please contact Vanessa Bilenduke-Guppy Manager, Community Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, 905.686.2661 Ext
Housing Stability Program
The Housing Stability Program (HSP) application has been updated to be fillable online. This will allow applications to be submitted electronically to promote social distancing for clients that do not have access to a printer/scanner.
The ‘Original’ version has the electronic signature option enabled. For clients/ applications that do not have the ability to use an electronic signature, the ‘Edited’ version can be used.
If applicants do not have the ability to print/sign the application, they can use the below e-mail script as an alternative to a physical signature:
By sending this email, I confirm that I submitted an application to the Housing Stability Program dated [insert date]. Please accept this email as my consent for Community Development Council Durham (CDCD) to contact the Social Services Department, Region of Durham/my landlord/utility company/creditor/Ontario Disability Support Program to confirm eligibility for this program. I further consent to CDCD contacting the income source named above to verify my income. I fully understand the nature and purpose of this consent and have given my consent and authorization voluntarily. I understand that if something on my application form is incorrect or not true, I may be ineligible for assistance. I also understand that all information provided in my application will be verified.
I am unable to print, sign and return the form by email at this time, so I ask that you please accept this email in lieu of my physical signature.
It is important to note that it is strongly preferred that applicants physically
sign the application. Applicants can also take pictures of the physical, signed application and send the pictures via e-mail to submit their application.
The Housing Stability Program and LEAP are accepting applications as normal. Please note that due to other services having limited or restricted hours, there may be some additional time needed to verify eligibility.
Temporary Housing Support Program
SEE GUIDELINE CHANGES BELOW THIS SECTION
The Temporary Housing Support Program (COVID-19) is a homelessness prevention initiative for low income Durham Region residents. It is a program of the Region of Durham and funded through the Region of Durham and the provincial Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI).
Please see THSP guideline changes below for our updated guidelines of the program.
If you are ineligible for the Temporary Housing Support Program but are having difficulty making your rent or utility payments or need assistance completing the application, we recommend that you connect with a Housing Outreach Worker:
Clarington- John Howard Society at 905.623.6814
Oshawa– John Howard Society at 905.579.8482
Whitby– John Howard Society at 905.666.8847
Ajax/Pickering– Community Development Council Durham at 905.686.2661
North House at 705.432.8654 or 1.877.406.8723 OR;
Community Living Durham North at 905.985.8511
How to apply
Eligible applicants must complete the Temporary Housing Support Program
Application with all supporting documents. In addition to the HSP requirements, applicants must provide:
- Proof of loss of employment (Record of Employment, letter from employer)
AND,THSP (COVID-19) Application May 2020 Page 2 of 7
- Proof of Current Income (Employment Insurance or Canada Emergency
Response Benefit Confirmation) OR,
- Self- Employed- Proof of approval from CRB.
How will I know that my application has been approved?
Applicants will be connected with a Housing Stability Program Eligibility Worker upon receipt of application who will have ongoing communication with both the tenant and the landlord and/or utility provider. All parties will be notified by phone and in writing via email or mail of the eligibility decision.
Please note that you can speed up the process by ensuring a complete application with all supporting documents is submitted.
Please allow five to seven business days after all required forms and proof have been received for an application to be processed.
How long is the program?
At this time, we will endeavor to provide this support for the duration of COVID-19 restrictions. Upon the decision of eligibility, you will be placed into the program for the next 3 months and will be required to forward any updated information to your HSP Worker.
Please note that the availability of the Temporary Housing Support Program is subject to funding and priority will be given to those facing eviction.
Is this program available for those who receive social assistance (Ontario Works/Ontario Disability Support Program) and/or housing subsidies?
No, this benefit is for individuals/families who are not currently receiving another form of social or rental assistance. Anyone who is receiving social
assistance and/or is paying rent that is based on their income is not eligible.
Please note that HSP will not be available to cover months in which the Temporary Housing Support Program has been provided for.
You may mail, fax or email your completed application to:
(Please note that our offices are open by appointment only.) Community Development Council Durham Attn: Housing Stability Program
458 Fairall Street, Unit 4 Ajax, Ontario L1S 1R6
Tel: 905-686-2661 Ext. 227 Fax: 905-686-0984
Guideline Changes Nov. 2020
As many of you are aware, in June 2020 CDCD introduced the Temporary Housing Support Program (THSP) to assist clients who are facing financial hardships due to COVID-19.
Though we have been able to assist several individuals already, things are always changing as new developments arise with COVID. In order to keep up with the changes CDCD has established new guidelines for THSP that will allow us to administer the program more effectively throughout this time and reach as many individuals as possible who have been financially impacted.
These new guidelines will be effective immediately, if any additional changes are required they will be communicated in a memo similar to this one.
The new THSP guideline changes are as follows:
1) Tiered Approach
THSP has incorporated a tiered approach to the percentage of housing costs the client is expected to pay and how much THSP would assist with.
-Clients with a gross income of $0-$1,999 would be expected to pay
50% of their income towards their housing costs, at that point THSP
would assist with the remaining 50%.
-Clients with a gross income of $2,000 + would be expected to pay 70%
of their income towards their housing costs, at that point THSP would assist with the remaining 30%.
-Eligible applicants will be entitled to this benefit for up to 3 months, at which time they can reapply if needed.
2) Client’s Income Source
In addition to assisting clients who are on EI and CRB, THSP will begin assisting clients who are employed but have had a reduction in hours due to COVID. Please note the clients will be asked to provide documentation that\ shows the hours decreased since the COVID pandemic.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions
Ashley McDonald, Team Lead, Housing
905-686-2661 Ext 225
An updated application that reflects these changes is included with the November 18th update as an additional attachment. Please save it for your reference and discard the previous version.