Partners for Planning - Canada Ontario Housing Benefit
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About the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) is a new provincially mandated funding program that assists low-income households with housing costs. The program is administered by the Province of Ontario and the benefit amount is reviewed every year. 

This housing benefit is a set amount of money paid directly to eligible households on a monthly basis to help pay your rent anywhere in Ontario.. 

This provincially mandated benefit is available to eligible priority groups who are on the Centralized Waiting List.  If you are looking for assistance, connecting with Housing Access in your area is a good place to start. Housing Access will help you with information about the centralized wait list. 

The amount of COHB you receive is not based on the amount of rent you pay, but on an assessment of your household’s total earnings and the average market rent amounts in the area where you live. The COHB pays the difference between 30 percent of the household’s income and the average market rent in the area. You do not have to live in social housing to receive the COHB. 

Unlike social housing, this is a portable housing benefit that is tied to the household not your unit and can be used to help pay rent anywhere in Ontario.  So, if you move, your benefit will continue to support you wherever you move in Ontario. The amount may change to reflect the average local market rent.

Who is Eligible?

In order to qualify for COHB, you must reside permanently in Ontario and be on, or eligible to be on, the Centralized Waiting List for social housing.  Priority is given to the following groups:

  • Survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking
  • Indigenous persons
  • Persons with disabilities requiring modified units
  • Households on the Centralized Waiting List with the oldest application dates

How is COHB calculated?

The estimated benefit you will receive depends on your individual household size and income. The amount is calculated using a formula that includes your household income, the number of people in your house and the local housing market rents in Ontario.

The COHB is based on the difference between 30 percent of your income and 80 per cent of the average market rent in the area where you live. Here’s an example:  If your income is $1,500 per month, 30% of this equals $450.  If the average market rent in your area is $1,000, 80% of this equals $800.  Subtract $800 by $450 and you will receive a COHB benefit of $350.

How to apply? 

If you are interested in applying for the COHB, please contact the Housing Services department in your respective city area. 

SEARCH TIP - Search online using keywords “Portable Housing Subsidy (Your City or Region)”

Or check with your local Service Manager, click the link below:

What happens after the application process?

Ontario’s Ministry of Finance will contact you directly to inform you if your application has been approved.  Your benefit amount will be reviewed annually and may increase or decrease as a result of changes to your income or if you move to another location.  If your income decreases by more than 20 per cent, you may request a review from the Ontario’s Ministry of Finance midway through a fiscal year, to have your benefit amount reviewed.

Once your application has been submitted, call the Ontario’s Ministry of Finance if you have questions about your application and benefit amount.

1 866 668-8297

1 800 263-7776 (TTY)

Will the benefit end?

The COHB program is set to end on March 31, 2029.