Ottawa Region Landlords Association

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City of Ottawa Rent
Supplement Program

(November 2011)

City of Ottawa has identified $5 Mil in new annual on-going funding for rent supplements and housing allowances to increase the availability of affordable housing. With this being a City of Ottawa funded program, the Housing  Services  Branch  staff, in consultation with stakeholders, was able to implement improvements to the program:

Simplified contract

One time agreements specific to the tenant (no ongoing obligation to offer the unit once it is vacated)

Supports to families

Facilitate tenant insurance coverage.

Options under the Ottawa Rent Supplement Program

1.     In situ Rent Supplements (NEW):

Households on the Centralized Waiting List (CWL) for RGI are already living in rental units across the City but without RGI assistance. It is assumed that the tenant has entered into and is in compliance with, a lease which governs the rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. RGI rent would be based on the current rent the tenant is paying. A list of tenants who are active on the CWL for RGI housing is provided to the landlord. The landlord reviews the list and chooses tenants to be assessed by the Rent Supplement Program (RS) based on an acceptable tenant history. The RS office then contacts the tenant and if interested, the RS office will assess the tenant for eligibility for RGI assistance, if deemed eligible; the tenant will receive RGI assistance for the current unit. When the tenant vacates, the landlord is under no obligation to keep the unit in the rent supplement program.

2.      Vacant  units

One time New Rent Supplements (NEW):  Tenants are selected from the chronological waiting list.  As vacant units come available the landlord can enter into a  one time  agreement to offer a unit to tenants selected from the chronological waiting list.

One time New Rent Supplements for homeless families (NEW): Tenants are selected from the chronological waiting list. As vacant units come available the landlord can enter into a onetime agreement to offer a unit to tenants selected from the chronological waiting list.

One time New Rent Supplements for homeless families (NEW): Through this new funding initiative, contracted agencies are supporting individuals and families to be successful in their housing.  Households selected from the Homeless priority and who are in the family shelter and who require supports, will be supported by the Family First team as they move into housing. The agency will remain involved and supporting the family as long as required so as  to  stabilize the family in the community. The Family First team will work with landlords in a tripartite arrangement. This Housing First model recognizes that landlords, tenants and support staff working together helps to make the tenancy successful.

Ongoing Rent Supplements: Regular ongoing agreements are also available. A landlord may wish to enter into an ongoing agreement for a set number of units. When units are vacated, new tenants are selected from the CWL.


Recognizing that tenant insurance is an important safeguard for landlords and tenants, the City strongly encourages households to acquire tenant insurance. Although it is also recognized that it cannot be a requirement, the City has done the following to encourage and make this available to tenants:

Provisions for OW and ODSP tenants  have been made whereby the cost of SOHO insurance can be part of the shelter component of their benefits so that the insurance can be obtained at no net cost to the tenant. Tenants, who receive ODSP or OW , may have the option to have OW or ODSP make the monthly payment directly to SOHO if both the social assistance office and client agree to the arrangement.

Those tenants not in receipt of ODSP or OW can also benefit from the SOHO insurance if they disclose that they are receiving an Ottawa Rent Supplement unit at the time of insurance aaplication.

Rent Supplement Office

Delivers affordable housing to low and moderate income households through agreement with landlords.

Manages the tenant portfolio which includes tenant selection, confirmation of eligibility and payment of the subsidy.

Staff work with stakeholders – landlords, support service providers, advocacy agencies, shelters, OW/ODSP to ensure coordination of services.

For more information about gaining Rest Supplements for you tenants contact:                       Catherine Hyde, Rent Supplement Coordinator at 613-580-2424 extension: 27143 or Stephen Arbuckle, Manager, Housing Services at extension 44117.