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Social Housing Waiting List: Its All About Being There

December4&6,2006

Agenda
Welcomeandintroductions PurposeofPresentation OverviewofHousingConnections
ChronologicalWaitinglist RentSupplement

HousingConnectionsProcesses TheHousingConnectionsNetwork Closing/Q&A

What is Housing Connections?


WeareasubsidiaryofTCHC. Wearelocatedat176ElmStreet. (WestofUniversityAve,betweenSt PatrickandQueensParkstations.) WehaveourownBoardofDirectors, website(www.housingconnections.ca) andathreeyearbusinessplan.

What is Housing Connections?


Weprovidetwomainservices:
Coordinatedaccessforwaitinglist management. RentSupplementadministration.

Ourvisionincludesprovidinga broadenedscopeofservices.

Applicants on the Waiting List


As at September 30, 2006
Activewaitinglist: Inactivewaitinglist: Total: 48,446 18,710 67,156

What is Rent Supplement


HousingConnectionsworkswithprivate landlordsinTorontoparticipateintherent supplementprogram. Whenoneofthemorethan3200unitsinthe programbecomesavailable,Housing Connectionschoosesthenextapplicantfrom thecentralizedwaitinglistforRGIhousing. HousingConnectionsthenmakespaymentsto thelandlordforthedifferencebetweenthe marketrenttheychargeforaunitandthe portionoftherent(whichisgearedtoincome) paidbyanapplicantthatischosenfromthe waitinglist.

Housing Connections Processes


CityGuidelinesandtheSocial HousingReformAct
Basiceligibility Priorities

ApplicationstoHousingConnections Maintainingeligibility
Confirmationofinterest Occupancystandards

Adversedecisions

The Social Housing Reform Act and City Guidelines


SHRAdictatesmostpolicy. Regulationsentrenchedinlaw. Assessmentproceduresdictatedbythese lawsandpolicies. Includesbasiceligibility:

Basic Eligibility
Allmembersofthehouseholdmustbepermanent,legal residentsofCanada(includesCanadiancitizenship, landedimmigrants/applicantsandconvention refugees/claimants). Mustbe16yearsofageoroldertoapply. Theremustbenoenforceabledeportation,departureor exclusionorderagainstanyhouseholdmembers. Nomemberofthehouseholdcanowearrearstoanother socialhousingproviderinOntario(ifanuptodate repaymentscheduleisinplace,theapplicantremains eligible). Nohouseholdmemberorformermemberhasconvictions ofRGIfraudormisrepresentation.

Special Priority Household Category


Amemberofahouseholdhasbeenabused byanotherindividualinthehousehold Thememberisorwaslivingwiththe abusiveindividual,orwassponsoredbythe abusiveindividual Thememberhasprovidedproofthatthey areorwerelivingwiththeabusive individual Thememberisintendingtoseparate permanentlyfromtheabusiveindividual

Special Priority Household Category


RequestforinclusionintheSpecial PriorityHouseholdcategorywas madewithin3 6monthsofthedate ofseparationfromtheabusive individual Onceapprovedforprioritythe preferencedateischangedtoreflect thedatetheclientmadetherequest forspecialpriority

Special Priority Documents


DeclarationofAbusecompletedby client ConfirmationofAbusealongwitha letterofreferralfromaprofessional eligibletodotheassessment Verificationofcohabitation

Local Access Priority in Toronto


Medicalpriorityisassignedtoan individualwhohasbeendiagnosed withaterminalillnesswitha prognosisoftwoyearsorlesstolive AdoctormustcompletetheRequest forPriorityfortheTerminallyIll Housingproviderscanchoose whethertoacknowledgethelocal priority

New Applications
Mustbecompletedentirelyand signed Canadianstatusforallhousehold membersmustbephotocopiedand attached Clientsmustselectatleastone housingpreference

Incomplete Applications
LoggedintoTAWLdatabase, cancelledandreturnedtoclientswith aletteroutliningwhythefilecannot beprocessed Thedateofapplicationisthedatethat thecompletedfileisreceived

Contact Information
Name,addressandphone#for contactpersons Includeagencyname/workerwho mayinquireonclientsbehalf Mailingaddressisessentialifclients currentaddressistemporary

Selection of Housing Preferences


Clientscanuse:
TheHousingListingsbook(a.k.a the mapbook) TheinteractiveHousingListingson www.housingconnections.ca (thiswillalso allowclientstoseehowmanypeopleare waitingforaunitandthehousingfrom date)

Identifyallspecialrequestssuchasfloor level,elevatororbalconyrequired

Preferences
Providerdates DevelopmentPreferenceReports Makingchangestohousing preferences(viaemail,fax,mail, automatedphonesystem) **Onceaclientishousedtheyare removedfromallwaitinglistsat HousingConnections

Offers of Housing
Aremadedirectlybythehousing provider Maximumofthreeoffersofhousing beforebeingremovedfromthe waitinglist(withexceptionofspecial needsunits) Clientsshouldnotacceptanofferof housingwiththeexpectationof transferringlater

Average Waiting Time


Bachelorunits1to5years Onebedroom7to10years Twobedroom5to10years Threebedroom10to12years Fourbedroom10to12years Fivebedroom10to12years *Theaveragewaitingtimevariesfrom buildingtobuilding,forsomebuildingsit canbeupto15ormoreyears.

Transfer Requests
Eachhousingprovidermustestablish aninternaltransferpolicy Whereatenantdoesnotmeetthe providersinternaltransfercriteria theywouldneedtoreapplyto HousingConnections

Market Rent Tenants


Clientswholiveinmarketrent accommodationwhonowwantto applyforanRGIunitwiththesame providerwillgetthebenefitoftheir originalmoveindatetotheprovider (proofofmoveindatemustbe verifiedbythehousingprovider) **applicationmustbeprocessedthrough HousingConnections

Special Needs Units


Housingproviderscanopttofilltheir specialneedsunitsoutsideofthe centralizedwaitinglist Norestrictionsonthenumberofoffers madeforclientsrequiringaspecial needsunit

Confirmation of Interest
Clientsareaskedtocontactusonceayearto confirminterestinstayingonthewaiting list Wheretherehasbeennoactivityonafile for12monthsaletterwillbegeneratedby thecomputersystemaskingtheclientto makecontactwithustoconfirminterest Ifthemailisreturnedorthereisnocontact, everyeffortwillbemadetocontactthe clientordesignatedcontactpersonby phonebeforemovingthefiletoan inactivestatus

Inactive Applications
Applicationscanremainatinactivefortwoyears Wheretheapplicationhasbeenidentifiedas homelesstheinactivestatuswillremainforfive years Ifthereisnocontactduringtheinactiveperiod, thefilewillautomaticallybecancelledattheendof 24months(Onceafileiscancelled,theclientmust reapplyandwillbegivenanewdate) Ifthereiscontactduringtheinactiveperiod,the filewillbetakenbacktoanactivestatuswithno datepenalty.

Occupancy Standards In Toronto


Nomorethantwopersonstoabedroom Adultswhoarespousesorsamesex partnersofeachotherareallocatedone bedroom Childrenoftheoppositesexareallocated separatebedrooms Childrenofthesamesexareallocatedone bedroomregardlessoftheirrespectiveages

Occupancy Standards In Toronto


Ifabedroomtobeshareddoesnot providetheminimumspacerequired fortwopeopleasstatedintheCitys MunicipalCodePropertyStandards (currentlyaminimumoffoursquare metresofspaceperperson)thenthe applicantcannotbehousedintheunit

Occupancy Standards
Childrenoftheoppositesexmaysharea bedroomiftheapplicantmakesarequest Asingleparentmayshareabedroomwitha childofthesamesexiftheapplicantdesires Bachelorunitsaregiventosinglepersons however,ahousingprovidermay,atits discretionapproveapolicyallowing spousesorsamesexpartnerstoresideina bachelorunitprovidedtheapplicantagrees

Additional Bedrooms May be Allocated if:


Oneofthespousesorsamesexpartners requiresaseparatebedroombecauseofa disabilityormedicalcondition Oneofthechildrenwhowouldnormally shareabedroomrequiresaseparate bedroombecauseofadisabilityormedical condition Aroomisrequiredtostoreequipmentthata memberofthehouseholdneedsbecauseof adisabilityormedicalcondition

Additional Bedrooms May be Allocated if:


Anindividualwhoisnotamemberofthe household,butwhoistheretoprovidesupport servicesneededbecauseofthatmembersdisability ormedicalcondition,requiresabedroom. Amemberofthehouseholdispregnant Amemberofthehouseholdhasjointcustodyofa child(documentedthroughalegalagreement), whoisnotamemberofthehousehold Amemberofthehousehold,whohasvisitation rightsforachildwhoisnotamemberofthe household,islegallyrequiredtoprovideadequate accommodationforthechildwhens/hestays overnightwiththemember(documentedinalegal agreement)

Adverse Decision: Opportunity to Comment


Proposeddecisionregardingeligibilityfor thewaitinglistorprioritystatus Clientisadvisedinwritingandinvitedto commentonthedecisionwithin30days. Thisistheclientsopportunitytoprovide neworadditionalinformationforreview Uponreceiptofcommentsthesupervisor reviewsthefileonceagainandifthe decisionisupheldtheclientisagainnotified inwritingandgiventherighttorequestan internalreviewofthedecision

What is an Internal Review?


SHRArequirement. HeldweeklyonThursday Reviewofprocess not anappeal. Chairedby community members. InternalReview statisticsreported quarterlytoBoard ofDirectors.
mornings(9:00 12:00)at 176ElmStreet. Usuallyhearthreetofive requests. Eveningmeetingsupon demand. Applicantisinvitedto bringguest maybe interpreter,advocate, worker,familymember.

Internal Reviews
UndertheSHRA,beforeHousingConnectionstaff makeanadversedecision: Householdsareinvitedtocommentwithinnotice periodsandmayrequestaninternalreviewofthe decisionprocess. Internalreviewdecisionsarebinding. CouncildirectedtheCitytoreportbackonaninternal reviewprocessinvolvingcommunitystakeholders. HousingConnectionsBoardapprovedprocessof recruitmentfromcommunityinApril2004.
48 reviews from May Dec 2003, increased to 83 reviews from Jan June 2004

Scope of Internal Reviews


Panelreviewstheprocessesanddecisions. Paneldoesntruleonfairnessofpolicy. Decisioncantbeinfluencedbynewinformation. Processescoverthefollowing:
Generaleligibility Dates Numberofbedroomsrequested Numberofoffersrefused Annualrentcalculation RequestfortransferwithinRentSupplement LossofsubsidywithinRentSupplement EligibilityforSpecialPriorityHouseholdCategory Eligibilityforlocalrule(e.g.Priorityforthe TerminallyIll)

Housing Connections Network


CommunityPartners Housingproviders Conventionallandlords

Role of Community Partners


26CommunityPartnershaveonline accesstoTAWLdatabase Maintainaninventoryofmapsand applications StaffareuptodateontheSHRA (policiesandproceduresatHousing Connections) Participateinaworkgroup

Housing Providers
Whousesthelist?
About185nonprofitandcoopproviders forRGIunitsaswellasTCHC

Whodoesnotusethelist?
Alternativehousingproviders Supportivehousingproviders(Ministry ofHealth$) Mostfederallyfundedcoops

Housing Providers Mandated


Someprovidershaveamandatetoservea certainpopulation.Forexample:
SeniorHousing(age59+) Aboriginal* Artist/Performer* Other*(e.g.aparticularheritageorreligion)

*Clientsarerequiredtoobtainwrittenapproval fromtheproviderconfirmingeligibilityforthe mandateinordertobeaddedtotheirwaiting list

Housing Providers Alternative


Targetgroupisthehomelessandhardto house Generallysharedhousingaccommodation orsupportivehousing Clientscurrentlylivinginalternative housingreceivethebenefitofthedateof theiroriginalmoveastheirpreferencedate whenapplyingforRGIunits(thedatemust beconfirmedbythealternativeprovider)

Conventional landlords
HousingConnectionsworkswith about90conventionallandlordsfrom acrossthecity. Combined,theseprovidershaveabout 3200unitsintheRentSupplement programin210differentlocations.

Resource Centre
HousingConnectionsResource Centreisat176ElmStreet(westof UniversityAve,behindMountSinai) TheResourceCentreisopen: Mon,Wed,Thu,Fri8:304:30,Tue25

Resource Centre
Visitingclientscan:
Usecomputerstoaccessourwebsiteand applyonlineorusetheinteractiveHousing Listings Accessforms,pamphletsandotherliterature abouthousingandsocialservicesinToronto
ThisincludesourrecentlyupdatedHousing Listingsbook

Usephonestocalltheautomatedphone service SpeaktoaResourceCentreFacilitatorwho canhelpthemusetheresourcesavailable.

www.housingconnections.ca
Anonlineversionofourapplication form Anonline,interactiveversionofour HousingListings nowincludes RentSupplementmapnumbers Informationabouteligibilityand generalinformationabouthousingin Toronto

www.housingconnections.ca
Accesstoforms,includingarequest foraPINforautomatedphonesystem Recentlyupdatedwithnewandmore content

Automated telephone system


Ourautomatedtelephonesystemis available24/7andcanbeusedto:
GetgeneralinfoaboutHousingConnectionsand applyingforhousing Requestanapplicationform Listentoyourpreferences(iflessthan20) OrderaDevelopmentPreferenceReport Updateorchangebuildingpreferences(witha PINonly) Changecontacttelephonenumber(withaPIN only)

Many ways to reach us


Clientscanreachusby:
Emailatask@housingconnections.ca Theautomatedtelephonesystem24/7at416 9816111 Faxat4169816112 VisitingourResourceCentreat176ElmStreet

Torequestapresentation:
Emailusatoutreach@housingconnections.ca

Questions & Answers