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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Here's what you can do if you can't make next month's rent in Toronto

Times are incredibly tough right now for many Toronto residents, 113,900 of whom lost their jobs last month alone. 

Whether out of work, unable to work, or without the means to pay this city's astronomical rent prices while recieving EI or CERB, legions of people face the very real possibility of losing their homes once the emergency order banning residential evictions in Ontario is lifted.

Fortunately, the City of Toronto has programs in place to help individuals and families make ends meet in situations like these.

First, there's the Toronto Rent Bank, which provides interest-free loans to eligible Torontonians who've fallen behind in their rent. The city just invested an additional $2 million into this program specifically to help low-income households weather COVID-19.

The city's website states that residents "may be eligible for an interest-free rental arrears or rental deposit loan" of up to $4,000 if they meet the following criteria:  

  • Live in Toronto with legal status in Canada
  • Pay market rent for a rental unit covered by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
  • Fall within the low-income household eligibility requirement
  • Are not currently in receipt of social assistance such as Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program Opens in new window (ODSP)
  • Can satisfy other Toronto Rent Bank Program requirements, as required
  • Loan repayments can be deferred for up to 12 months.

Those interested in making use of the servce can call 416-397-RENT (7368) or visit the ciy's website for more information on how to apply.

Secondly, there's something called the Housing Stabilization Fund.

This program "provides money for emergency housing needs to people receiving financial assistance through Ontario Works or income support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the city of Toronto."

Unlike the Rent Bank, this money is intended specifically to "prevent homelessness and help obtain and retain housing."

The HSF will help people recieving assistance through Ontario Works or ODSP with things like rent, moving costs within the GTA, rent arrears, bed bugs and setting up a residence in Toronto.

You can learn more about this, and other emergency housing help programs from the city right here, and should also note that those in need can call 211 at any time to request help from the City of Toronto and access vital social services.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

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