Changes to Your Rent and the Registry Waiting List

Please note: The way your rent is calculated is changing, because of new provincial rules. Your rent will now be calculated based on your income tax Notice of Assessment. By April 30th, you must submit your annual income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency and provide a copy of your Notice of Assessment to OCH during your next annual rent review. If you do not, your rent may go up.

Changes to the Housing Services Act

The Province of Ontario has made major changes to the Housing Services Act (HSA), which are likely to impact you directly. The HSA sets out the rules that manage the relationship between community housing landlords and tenants. Find more information on each of those changes below.

Changes to How Subsidized (RGI) Rent is Calculated

The provincial government has made changes to simplify the rent-geared-to-income (RGI) rent calculation. Tenants must now submit a copy of their last Income Tax Notice of Assessment to OCH at their annual rent review. If tenants don’t, they could lose their subsidy, meaning that their rent could go up. The Income Tax Notice of Assessment will be used to calculate rent. Most households’ rent will be based on 30% of net household income instead of gross household income.

The province has also decided that the income of full-time students will not count towards the calculation of rent. These changes may result in more affordable rents for some tenants.

These changes are effective on July 1, 2020.

One Offer of Housing Rule

All households on The Registry’s waiting list, including those with priority status and OCH’s overhoused tenants, will now only receive one offer of housing. Previously, they could receive up to three offers. This means that it is very important for tenants to select communities where they want to live.

These changes took effect on January 1, 2020 and the Registry advised everyone on the waiting list of this change.

How will these changes benefit tenants?

Tenants who file taxes may be eligible for government benefits, some of which may even be retroactive to previous years. These include:

Tenants should consult the Canada Revenue Agency website for tax-related information.

Ottawa Community Housing is exempt from municipal property taxes.

The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a provincial policy that is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. For questions related to this benefit, please contact the Province of Ontario.

The province has also decided that the income of full-time students within a household will not count towards the calculation of rents for that household. Students are considered “full-time” if they are taking at least a 60% course load (40% for students with a permanent disability). This change may result in more affordable rents for some tenants.

Your Income Tax Notice of Assessment will be used to calculate your rent. As of July 2020, rent will be calculated based on net household income (the take-home income of household tenants). Before, rent was calculated using gross household income (earnings before deductions or taxes paid for household tenants).

Resources for Tenants

If you have questions, contact the Call Centre at 613-731-1182 and select Option 3 to speak with a Housing Administrator.

Other Resources:

Q & A – Changes to How Your Rent is Calculated

·         All household members must provide OCH with a copy of their Income Tax Notice of Assessment.

·         Rent for most households will be calculated based on 30% of net household income (using Line 23600 from the Notice of Assessment) instead of gross household income.

·         The income of full-time students will no longer be part of the rent calculation.

  • The most recent Income Tax Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency for all household members.
  • A completed and signed OCH “Household Review Form”.
  • A copy of your Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) cheque stub and drug card (if applicable).
  • Proof of full-time school attendance for students.

We will ask you to provide information (see list in Question 2 above) about 5 months before your annual review date.

If you do not file your income tax return and do not submit a copy of your Notice of Assessment, you may lose your rent subsidy. This means you may be charged the full market rent for your home.

Yes – People who have protected statuses, such as refugees and permanent residents, should file their taxes. Anyone with “significant residential ties” should also be filing their taxes. Check the Canada Revenue Agency website for more information.

April 30th.   If you are self-employed, the deadline is June 15.

Yes, and a copy of each Notice of Assessment must be given to OCH.

You must file an income tax return by April 30 each year and provide OCH with a copy. We will also need a copy of your OW/ODSP cheque stub and drug card.

Free income tax clinics are held in many locations across the City. Call 211 for more information or go to the Canada Revenue Agency website at http://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/community-volunteer-income-tax-program.html

You must advise OCH in writing if someone moves in or out of your home within 31 days of the change.

You should advise OCH if there is a change in income for all household members. Your rent may not be increased or decreased with every change; it will be reviewed once a year based on your most recent income tax return.

If you have income and you are also a full-time student, your income will not be included in the rent calculation for your household. You will need to provide OCH with proof of your full-time student status at a recognized educational institution. Examples of this include:

  • letter on corporate letterhead from the school principal or registrar that names the school, course load, and period of study;
  • certified timetable from the school that names the school, course load, and period of study;
  • documentation from a funding agency that names the school, course load, and period of study;
  • receipt from the school showing tuition fees are paid, course load, and period of study.

A full-time student is someone who attends a recognized educational institution with at least 60% of a full course load. Students with a permanent disability are considered full-time when they take at least 40% of a full course load.

Housing Administrators in all OCH area offices are experts in calculating RGI rent and will be able to answer your questions. You can reach a Housing Administrator by calling 613-731-1182 and selecting Option 3.

All households waiting on The Registry’s list will now only receive one housing offer. This rule applies to current OCH tenants who have an application to transfer with the Registry, including those with a priority status, such as “overhoused”. Previously, households could receive up to three housing offers. If you have questions about this, contact The Registry at 613-526-2088.

Tenants should consult the Canada Revenue Agency website for tax-related information.

Ottawa Community Housing is exempt from municipal property taxes.

The Ontario Trillium Benefit is a provincial policy that is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. For questions related to this benefit, please contact the Province of Ontario.

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