Frequently Asked Questions

Information and Application


Q: What is the County of Wellington Housing Centralized Waiting List?

A: All applications for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance for subsidized housing located in the County of Wellington and City of Guelph are managed by the County of Wellington Housing Services on the Centralized Waiting List. This "one-stop" centralized approach means applicants only need to complete one application form to apply to more than one housing provider for Rent-Geared-to-Income assistance.

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Q: Where is the County of Wellington Housing Centralized Waiting List located?

A: County of Wellington Housing Services - Applicant Services
138 Wyndham Street North, Guelph, Ontario N1H 4E8
Phone: 519. 837.5492
Fax: 519. 837.6349
Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30 pm

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Q: Are there any other locations where I can submit my application?

A: Applications can be submitted to other Housing Providers to be forwarded to the County of Wellington Housing Services

Housing Help Centre

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Q: Am I eligible for RGI assistance?

A: To be eligible for RGI assistance you must meet the following criteria:

  1. At least one member of the household must be over the age of 16;
  2. You must be able to live independently with or without support services;
  3. Each member of the household must have legal resident status in Canada (Canadian citizen, permanent resident status, or have applied for permanent resident status or refugee protection under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada);
  4. No removal order has become enforceable against any member of the household under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  5. No member of the household owes money from a previous tenancy in any housing project under any housing programme to a social housing landlord;
  6. No member has been convicted for misrepresentation of income in relation to RGI assistance under the Criminal Code, by a Court of Law or under the Residential Tenancies Act by an Landlord and Tenant Board;
  7. Household income must be under the established income limit by type of unit depending on your family composition;
  8. If you own property, you have to sell it within 180 days after receiving RGI assistance.

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Q: What are my obligations as an applicant for RGI assistance?

A: You must notify the County of Wellington Housing Services - Applicant Services:

  1. If your address changes
  2. If your phone number changes
  3. If any other information or document on your application changes

As an applicant for RGI assistance, you are required to keep your file updated in order to be on the centralized waiting list and maintain your eligibility status. It is your responsibility to notify the County of Wellington Housing Services of any changes in the information or documents you previously submitted. The minimum reporting time is ten (10) business days.

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Q: Are there any special circumstances that would enable me to obtain housing sooner?

A: One category on the waiting list called, Special Priority, is assigned to victims of abuse. Extraordinary Circumstances can be assigned to persons living in substandard condemned housing or housing that has recently become inhabitable or destroyed, persons who cannot be released from a medical facility unless appropriate housing is obtained, members of the household have children that will not be returned by a child protection agency unless permanent housing is secured.

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Q: How do I get assigned Special Priority?

A: You are required to complete a Request for Special Priority Status form and supply supporting information and documentation for verification purposes. This request may be attached to your housing application form for RGI assistance or submitted separately.

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Q: When will I hear from the County of Wellington Housing Services?

A: Applicants for RGI assistance will be contacted within 30 days of receipt of their application for housing if applications are completed and meet eligibility requirements. You will be notified within seven (7) business days if your application is incomplete.

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Q: Does the County of Wellington Housing Services provide access to emergency housing?

A: No, but emergency shelters are operated by the following providers

Emergency Shelter Contacts

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Q: When will I get housed?

A: The waiting time will vary depending on the housing location you choose and the number of bedrooms you need.  For some areas it may be less than one year before you are housed, in other areas it may take over five years.

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Q: Are appliances and parking included in my rent?

A: In some locations appliances and services are included. In other tenants must supply appliances and pay for some or all services and utilities - it varies by property. The County of Wellington Housing Services can advise you of the situation at each location.

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Q: How much will I pay in rent?

A: Generally, tenants and members of non-profit co-operatives pay 30% of their gross monthly income as a rent. Depending on where you are housed you may pay part or all of the utilities. A utility allowance or charge is applied to your geared-to-income rent depending on the utilities that are or are not included in the rent.

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Q: Are interpretation services available?

A: County of Wellington Housing Services will co-ordinate interpretation services upon request.

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Q: How soon will I know if I am on the waiting list?

A: When we receive your application, we make sure that it is complete and that all the information you must provide is included. We will write to you within seven (7) business days to let you know if your application is complete or not and if not, we will let you know what information we need. When your application is complete, we will send you a letter telling you whether or not you are eligible for geared-to-income assistance within thirty days of receiving your complete application. If you are eligible, we will tell you which housing provider waiting lists you are on, what category -Special Priority or Extraordinary Circumstances or chronological (date-order) - and how many bedrooms your household qualifies for.

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Q: How much can I expect to pay?

A. Basically, a geared-to-income rent or housing charge is based on 30% of your gross monthly household income from all sources (before taxes and deductions). If your only source of income is Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, the charge is based on a social assistance housing charge scale. Additional charges may apply depending on the location. When your housing charge is calculated, all assets of the household are also taken into consideration.

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Q: What happens while I'm waiting for housing?

A. It is important that you keep your application up to date. You must notify the County of Wellington Housing Services about any changes to any of the information you have given us in application form. You must do this within thirty (30) business days of the change occurring, for example:

  • If you change your address or phone number
  • If the number of people in your household changes
  • If the contact person on your application form changes
  • If you do not do this, your application may be cancelled and you will have to re-apply.

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Q: How will I be contacted for an offer?

A: You may be contacted either by telephone or in writing. Please make sure that the County of Wellington Housing Services has a daytime phone number and your current mailing address so you can be contacted when a unit becomes available. If you cannot be reached during the day, it would be helpful to give us a telephone number of a contact person we could reach during the day so they could pass the message to you.

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Q: How are people chosen for housing?

A: The system for selecting households is based primarily on date of application. Special priority may be given to your application if you are living with someone who threatens your safety or the safety of other household members. There is also a local priority granted to households meeting the description of Extraordinary Circumstances. Please read the section on Priority Status on page 6 of the INFORMATION PACKAGE if you believe you may qualify for this.

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Q: How long does it take to get a housing unit?

A: The length of time before a unit can be offered will vary depending on the area and locations you choose. You can contact the County of Wellington Housing Services to get more specific information about the waiting period that applies to you. 519.837.5492 or 1.800.663.0750.

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Q: Do I get to pick the size of unit I want?

A: You can indicate the size of unit (number of bedrooms) you want to live in. Your choice must fall within a range of unit sizes determined by your household size. Generally the rules are:

  • One person per bedroom
  • You can choose to have two people share a bedroom
  • Couples are given one bedroom
  • With certain medical conditions, an extra bedroom may be allowed.

You can choose more than one unit size if it fits your household size. For example a couple with three children may choose a three or four bedroom unit.

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Q: What if I do not agree with a decision about my application?

A: You will be notified in writing about any decisions regarding your application. If you do not agree, you may request a review of the decision. Your request must be in writing and will be reviewed within ten (10) business days after receiving your request. You will be notified in writing within ten (10) days of the decision of the review committee.

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Q: Can a Housing Provider turn me down?

A: If a housing provider decides not to offer you a unit, you will be told in writing about the reasons for the refusal. You may appeal this decision by requesting a review.

A housing provider may refuse to offer housing to an applicant if:

  • The household does not meet the housing provider's mandate. For example a senior citizen housing provider could refuse an applicant under age 65.
  • The household's rental history, either in the private sector or in social housing raises concern. Chronic late payments are part of that history.
  • A household member does not agree to accept the co-operative housing provider's membership responsibilities.
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that the household would not be able to live in shared accommodation successfully. (Shared means sharing some of the housing unit space such as kitchen, bathroom, living room.)
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe the unit is not suitable for the household based on the number, gender and ages of the household members and the physical characteristics of the housing unit.
  • A Special Needs Applicant requires a lot more or a lot less support services than can be provided by the support service provider.

Note: If an applicant owes money for arrears or damages to a social housing provider, he/she is not eligible to be placed on the geared-to-income waiting list and therefore would not be considered when a housing provider has a vacancy. An exception may be made if the applicant was actively following a repayment plan.

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Q: I own my own home. Do I still qualify?

A: If you own or have a legal interest in a residential property that can be lived in all year, you are required to sell your interest in the property within six months after you have moved in to a geared-to-income assisted housing unit.

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Q: If I do not have any income, am I eligible for geared-to-income housing?

A: You may be required to pursue income from one or more of the following sources:

  • Ontario Works
  • Support Payments under the Divorce Act, the Family Law Act or the Support Orders Act, 2002.
  • Employment Insurance
  • Any pension or other benefit entitlement from the provincial or federal government
  • Support payments required under a sponsorship agreement.

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Q: Can I decide after I move in that I want to move to a housing unit managed by a different housing provider?

A: Yes, but you must re-apply to the County of Wellington Housing Services to be added to the centralized waiting list.

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Q: What is Co-operative Housing?

A: Non-profit co-operative housing is jointly owned and managed by the members who live in the co-op. A co-op is not operated for profit and no one can buy or sell their unit. Each co-op elects a board of directors from its membership. Co-op members are required to participate at various levels in the decision making process. Co-op members work together on a voluntary basis to share the responsibility of working to keep their housing community strong and vibrant. Each co-op has a membership committee that is responsible for the selection of new members. Applicants for co-op housing must take part in the co-op's interview process in order to be considered for membership.

Co-operative Housing

Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada

Central Housing Co-operative Housing Federation

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Q: What about Market Housing?

A: Many housing providers have units that are available at the market rate (similar to what you would pay a landlord in the private sector). If you are interested in applying for a market unit, you should contact the housing provider directly.

Housing Help Centre

Housing Co-operatives

Non-Profit Housing Providers 

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