COVID-19 Tenant Q&A

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Visit the Ottawa Public Health site to view the latest update

OCH offices are closed until further notice. OCH staff remain available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to assist you. Our 24/7 Call Centre also remains open. Please call 613-731-1182.

Rent

You must still pay your rent, and it remains due on the first of the month. You can pay your rent by telephone banking, by internet banking, Pre-Authorized Payment, in-person at your bank, by money order, or by cheque. When you set up your online information, please make sure to use “Ottawa Community Housing Corporation” as the name of the payee.

Tenants with questions concerning their rent should contact a Housing Administrator during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) by calling our Call Centre at 613-731-1182, option 3, option 1.

For those who’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19, you may qualify for support. For more information on these options, please call 3-1-1, visit Ontario.ca/socialassistance or apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for income assistance at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html, If you are receiving Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program speak with your case worker. Tenants with questions concerning their rent should contact our Call Centre at 613-731-1182.

Financial institutions were deemed an essential service in the list published by the Provincial Government. Call your financial institution to confirm their hours of operation or to see if you can provide payment over the phone. You can also pay using an app on your smartphone as well as request cheques online.

Tenants will not be evicted at this time. However, it is still your responsibility to pay your rent on time. Please call the Tenant Debt Resolution Coordinator’s through our ONE Number 613-731-1182, option 3, option 2, to make a repayment arrangement for any unpaid rent/balance.

Call your Tenant Debt Resolution Coordinator (613-731-1182, option 3, option 2) to confirm the arrears owed and apply to the Emergency Financial Assistance by calling 3-1-1 or visiting www.ontario.ca/socialassistance or apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for income assistance at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.

The various levels of government are developing income assistance programs to assist households in need. Please access available programs by calling 3-1-1, or apply online at https://www.ontario.ca/socialassistance.html, or https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html, for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program.

During business hours, please contact the Housing Administrators by dialling 613-731-1182, option 3, option 1, to request your account number.

After-hours and on weekends, please contact our Call Centre by dialling 613-731-1182 to request your account number.

As per the direction of the Service Manager, housing providers will not be offering rent forgiveness. However, the various levels of government are developing income assistance programs to assist households in need of living expenses. Please refer tenants to available programs by calling 3-1-1. (See Emergency Financial Assistance information below.) & refer tenants to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html.

If a Notice of Decision was sent before March 19, 2020, the new rent will be applicable. Otherwise, the rent payable as of March 1, 2020, will remain in effect until further direction is received from the Service Manager.

Rent Payment Options

 Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Keeping Rents Affordable

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit (EI-ERB) 
  • Pandemic Payment for Frontline Workers ($4 per hour wage top-up for some COVID-19 frontline workers)  
  • Emergency funding from Ontario Works (OW) for rental arrears 
  • Pensions (GAINS double payments that started April 24, 2020, for six months) 
  • Social AssistanceOntario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) 
  • Employment Insurance (EI) 
  • Yes – They all need to be reported to your Housing Provider as income.   
  • All the programs listed above are considered income and will be used to determine your monthly rent-geared-to-income (RGI) rent.  
  • If CERB or the Employment Insurance Emergency Response Benefit (EI-ERB) is your only income right now, you must keep applying for it until you are no longer eligible.  
  • If you are in receipt of OW or ODSP, even if you are only in receipt of OW or ODSP health benefits at this time, you must report any other income you receive. 
  • Some emergency programs provide a one-time payment, like the onetime GST increase, one-time childcare expense, May Child Tax Benefit top up, and one-time payments of up to $300 for seniors eligible for Old Age Security (OAS) and $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). You must report receipt of these benefits, but some may be excluded as income for your rent calculation. Your Housing Provider will know which funding programs are counted as income for your rent. 

Your Housing Provider may accept the following documentation so long as the information shows your name, the dates you received the income/benefits, and the amounts you received: 

    • electronic screen shots or photos of your supporting information or documents (with official paper documents to follow when available) 
    • copies of your cheques (scan, photo, photocopy, cheque stub, statement). 
    • photos or copies of direct deposit on your bank statements.  
    • any other supporting documents you may have received for these programs 

To make sure you are charged the correct amount of rent, you will also need to provide proof if you stopped receiving income, for example, if you stopped working you would need to provide your Record of Employment (ROE). 

All rent-geared-to-income (RGI) tenants living in social housing must pursue any income they may qualify for to remain eligible for their rent subsidy.  For example, if you stopped working due to COVID-19, you must apply for other income benefits (e.g. CERB, EI-ERB, EI, or OW). 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can submit information to a drop box located at  

Chapel Office
Bureau Chapel
731, Crois. Chapel Cres
Ottawa, ON K1N 1E1
Fax: 613-564-8383

Murray Office
Bureau Murray
380, Rue Murray St
Ottawa, ON K1N 8W1
Fax: 613-789-3571

Bank Office
Bureau Bank
1365, Rue Bank St
Ottawa, ON K1H 8K8
Fax: 613-249-0472

Caldwell Office
Bureau Caldwell
1485, Ave Caldwell Ave
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8M1
Fax: 613-729-5623

or by mail, fax or email at documents@och.ca 

  • You must report any new income benefit you received and your employment income.  Your Housing Provider will calculate your rent using the appropriate income/benefits. 

If you received extra money to pay rental arrears during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to let your Housing Provider know. This is so they do not charge you the wrong amount of rent for the month(s) in which the money was received. 

All social housing providers are required to follow the Ottawa Public Health physical distancing rules. Contact your Housing Provider to ask what their process isIn person contact is not encouraged at this time unless absolutely necessary. Housing Providers are available by phone and email to answer your questions.  

GAINS will be topped up for low-income seniors for six months, starting in April 2020. You must report this increase to your Housing Provider. This income will be used to determine your monthly rent.  

GAINS will be topped up for low-income seniors for six months, starting in April 2020. You must report this increase to your Housing Provider. This income will be used to determine your monthly rent.  

Yes, you will need to pay income tax on the CERB or EI-ERB that you received, but the government is not deducting these taxes from your benefit payment at this time. You will owe tax on the money you received, and the federal government will be collecting it when you file your 2020 Income Tax and Benefit Return. You should plan for this because you may owe money to the government instead of getting an income tax refund. An information slip will be made available for the 2020 tax year in the ‘My Account’ section (on the Canada Revenue Agency website) under Tax Information Slips. 

Other

During business hours, please contact the Housing Administrators by dialling 613-731-1182, option 3, option 1, to request a new fob. Once processed, a new fob will be mailed to you through Canada Post.

A2: After-hours and on weekends, please contact our Call Centre by dialling 613-731-1182 to request a new fob. Once processed, a new fob will be mailed to you through Canada Post.