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.
Need help making next month’s rent? #CityofTO funds an interest-free loan of up to $4,000 for eligible households through the Rent Bank. To find out more, call 416-397-7368 weekdays 8:30am to 4:30pm or leave a message for follow-up. pic.twitter.com/yBf983GrHO— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) May 26, 2020
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.
Rent relief is available to low-income tenants in Toronto through @torontorentbank funded by @cityoftoronto . 0% interest. Phone application. Quick turnaround. Max. of $4000. Call 416-397-7368. https://t.co/PIJDe2G4jy— Neighbourhood Information Post (@niptoronto) May 22, 2020
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