Planning, Policies and Data

The County of Wellington believes everyone in Guelph-Wellington can find and maintain an appropriate, safe and affordable place to call home. Plans and policies aim to improve housing outcomes for individuals and families across the housing continuum. The County's housing and homelessness goals are outlined in our Housing and Homelessness Plan (HHP) - A Place to Call Home.

Housing and Homelessness Plan (HHP) - A Place to Call Home

Under the Housing Services Act, 2011 the County of Wellington (the "County") is responsible for developing, approving and overseeing the implementation of a 10-year strategy.  Our 10-Year strategy will be reviewed every 5 years. 


10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan - Five Year Update (coming soon)


10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan


Housing and Homeless Plan (HHP) -  Annual Reports

Annual Reports highlight the measurement and progress that has been made on the targets and goals of the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. 






Homelessness Prevention Initiatives

Tremendous efforts have been made to end chronic homelessness in Guelph-Wellington since 2014.  Our community supports a Housing First approach, has implemented a Coordinated Entry System, achieved a quality By-Name-List (BNL) and is driving policy change to improve outcomes for individuals experiencing  homelessness.

Built for Zero Canada (BFZ-C) and 20,000 Homes Campaign

In 2016, the the County of Wellington signed on to the local 20,000 Homes Campaign - a national change movement focused on ending chronic homelessness in 20 communities and housing 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2020. 

As a participating 20,000 Homes community we contributed to housing 21,254 of Canada's most vulnerable homeless people well before the July 1, 2020 campaign deadline. Over 508 of those people were housed here in Guelph Wellington by our community partners.

In 2019 the 20,000 Homes Campaign relaunched as Built for Zero-Canada (BFZ-C).

Our community will continue on with Built for Zero Canada because we believe that ending chronic homelessness is not only possible, but it's happening. In 2019 the 20,000 Homes Campaign relaunched as Built for Zero-Canada (BFZ-C).

Since joining the 20,000 Homes Campaign in 2016, we have achieved a quality By-Name List, launched a Coordinated Entry System (CES), and at the end of 2018 we had a downward trend in our chronic homeless numbers.  Building on this success, we will continue to develop and implement data-driven approaches that focus on optimizing the local homeless system to end chronic homelessness in Guelph-Wellington.



By-Name-List Dashboard

Guelph is a member community that reports live data to Built for Zero-Canada (BFZ-C). Visit the BFZ-C website to track our progress towards ending chronic homelessness.

BFZ-C Dashboard

PiT Counts

The County of Wellington, in partnership with community agencies, has conducted a number of Point in Time (PiT) Counts across the service area (Guelph and Wellington). PiT Counts are a measure of the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness on a specific day. 

PiT Counts are a "snapshot" of homelessness in our community and can be used by to track progress in reducing homelessness.  





Policies

The County of Wellington, in accordance with the Housing Services Act, 2011 has developed rules related to the delivery of subsidized housing in Guelph-Wellington.


Absence from a Unit Policy (updated June 2013)

Account Payments Policy (updated June 2014)

Conflict of Interest Policy (updated September 2013)

Duty to Accommodate Policy (updated October 2019)

Extraordinary Funding Policy (updated October 2014)

Failure to Provide Information Policy (updated June 2013)

Housing Provider Property Management Policy (updated September 2013)

Housing Provider Standards Policy (updated June 2013)

Insurance Policy (updated August 2018)

Internal Transfer Policy (updated August 2018)

Local Priority Policy (updated October 2018)

Maximum Household Assets Policy (updated June 2013)

Maximum Household Income Limit Policy (updated June 2013)

Mobility Device Policy (updated October 2019)

Notification of Changes Policy (updated June 2013)

Occupancy Standards Policy (updated April 2019)

Over Housed Policy (updated June 2019)

Pest Management Policy (updated August 2012)

Pursuit of Income Policy (updated June 2013)

Refusal of Offers Policy (updated September 2013)

Refusals by Housing Providers Policy (updated October 2019)

Review of Decisions Policy (updated December 2018)

RGI Convictions Policy (updated June 2013)

Smoke-Free Policy (updated June 2019)

Housing Provider Directives and Information Bulletins

All Provincially and locally established policies are communicated to housing providers through the Guides, Directives, and Information Bulletins.  If you would like to see all the directives, please refer to the Service Manager Table of Contents.

 

 Governance

 Governance Directives and Information Bulletins

   Directive and Information Bulletin Status
2015-02 Training and Succession Plans Current
2013-19 Remuneration of Directors Current
2013-18 Property Management Contracts Current
2013-17 Number of Board Meetings Current
2013-09 Conflict of Interest Current 
2012-01 Implementation of the New Housing Services Act, 2011 and Regulations Current 

 

 Finance

 Finance Directives and Information Bulletins

   Directive and Information Bulletin Status
2019-06 2020 Benchmark Indices Current
2019-05 2020 MNP Inflation Factors  Current
2019-04 2020 Rent Increase Guideline  Current
2018-03 2019 Benchmark Operating Costs and Revenues Current 
2018-02 2019 MNP Inflation Factors Current 
2018-01 2019 Annual Rent Increase Guideline Current 
2017-04 2018 Benchmark Operating Costs and Revenues Current 
2017-03 2018 MNP Inflation Factors Current 
2017-02 2018 Annual Rent Increase Guideline Current 
2016-05 2017 Imputed Rate of Return Current 
2016-04 2017 MNP Inflation Factors Current 
2016-03 2017 Benchmark Operating Costs and Revenues Current 
2016-02 2017 Annual Rent Increase Guideline Current 
2014-10 Extraordinary Operating Request Current 
2013-01 Annual Information Return (AIR) Current 
2012-09 Non-Rental and Non-Shelter Income Current 
2012-08 Retention of YE Surplus Current
2012-03 Section 95 Mortgage Renewal Current 
2010-05 Year End Reporting Requirements Current 
2009-04 Treatment of Financial Investments Current 
2007-10 Benchmark Change Request Process Current 
2005-06 Accountants Report on Applying Specified Auditing Procedures Current 

 

 Resident Administration

 Resident Administration Directives and Information Bulletins

   Directive and Information Bulletin  Status
     
2019-03 Maximum Household Income Current
2019-02 Ceasing to Meet Occupancy Standards Current
2019-01 Occupancy Standards Current
2018-04 2018 Maximum Household Income Current
2017-01 Centralized Waiting List-Applicant Selection and Provider Reporting Current
2016-06 2017 Maximum Household Income Current
2015-06 Arrears Policy Change Current
2015-01 Fluctuating Income Current
2014-04 Local Priority Current
2014-03 Review of Decisions Current
2013-15 Refusal by a Housing Provider Current
2013-14 Pursuit of Income Current
2013-12 Notification of Changes Current
2013-11 Maximum Household Income Current
2013-10 Maximum Household Assets Current
2013-08 Absence from Unit Current
2013-07 Refusal of Offers Current
2013-06 Failure to Provide Information Current
2013-02 Exclusion of CHPI Payments from RGI Income Calculation Current
2008-04 Revised Special Needs Guide (February 2008) Current
2007-13 Seniors 55+ Only Households Mandate Change (Information Bulletin) Current
2006-09 Signatures Required on Lease/Occupancy Agreements Current
2006-07 Market to RGI Current

 

 Asset Management

Asset Mangment Directives and Information Bulletins

   Directive and Information Bulletin  Status
2016-01 Capital Guide 2016 Current
2014-09 Extraordinary Capital Request Current
2013-16 Multi-Year Financial Plans Current
Archive Directives

The following Directives and Information Bulletins have been archived or replaced.  For more information, please contact a Housing Advisor.

   Directive and Information Bulletin  Satus
 Governance  
2009-01 Regulatory Changes, Social Housing Reform Act, 2000 Archived 
2007-16 Information Bulletin - Amendments to O. Reg. 298/01 and 339/01 Archived 
Finance 
2013-03 2014 Bench Mark Operating Costs Archived 
2011-04 Cost Factors - 2012 Fiscal Year Budgets for Municipal Non-Profits Archived 
2011-03 2012 Benchmarked Operating Costs and Revenue Indices  Archived 
2011-02 2012 Rent Increase Guidelines & Last Month Rent Deposit Interest (Information Bulletin)  Archived
2011-01  2011
Imputed Rate of Return for Non-Income Producing Assets
Archived 
2009-03 Benchmark Funding Model - Annual Information Return - Third and Subsequent Years Archived
2008-09 2009 Imputed Rate of Return for Non-Income Producing Assets   Archived 
2008-08 Cost Factors - 2009 Fiscal Year Budgets for Municipal Non-Profits  Archived 
2008-07 2009 Benchmarked Operating Costs and Revenues Indices Archived 
2008-06 2009 Rent Increase Guideline & Last Month Rent Deposit Interest Archived 
2008-03 Benchmark Funding Model-Annual Information Return-Second Year   Replaced
2008-01 2008 Imputed Rate of Return for Non-Income Producing Archived 
2007-18 Cost Factors - 2008 Fiscal Year Budgets for Municipal Non-Profits  Archived 
2007-15  2008 Benchmarked Operating Costs and Revenues Indices Revised Archived 
2007-16  Information Bulletin - Amendments to O. Reg. 298/01 and 339/01   Archived
2007-11  Annual Cost Indices for 100% RGI Providers (Section 106)  Archived
2007-16  Information Bulletin - Amendments to O. Reg. 298/01 and 339/01  Archived
2007-09  2008 Rent Increase Guideline & Interest Rate on Rent Deposits  Archived 
2007-16  Information Bulletin - Amendments to O. Reg. 298/01 and 339/01 Archived
2007-04  Imputed Rate of Return for Non-Income Producing Assets  Archived
2007-02  2007 Market Rent Index  Archived
2007-01  Cost Factor - 2007 Fiscal Year Budgets for Municipal Non-Profits   Archived
2006-05  2006 Imputed Rate of Return  Archived
Resident Administration  
2013-13  Occupancy Standards Archived
2010-01 Centralized Waiting List - Applicant Selection and Provider Archived 
2009-02  Excluded Income and Assets for RGI Calculations (Consolidated)  Archived
2008-10  Centralized Waiting List - Placement/Priority Forms (replaces 04-09)   Archived
2008-05  Revised RGI Guide (November 2007) (Replaces 2004-01 and 2003-06)  Archived
2007-14  Excluded Income and Assets for RGI Calculations (Consolidation) Archived
2007-12  CWL-Revised Modification and Phase Out of Urgent Priority Rule Replaced
2007-08  Information Bulletin - Residential Tenancies Act, 2006   Archived
2007-05  Ontario Child Benefit - Excluded Income   Archived
2006-11  Universal Child Care Benefit - Excluded Income  Archived
2006-10  2007 Rent Control Guideline (Information Bulletin)   Archived
2006-08  Internal Transfer List and Overhoused Households   Replaced
2006-03  Pursuit of Income (Local Rule)  Replaced
2006-02 Mid-Term Review of Eligibility for Rent-Geared-to-Income Assistance   Replaced
2006-01  Absence from a Unit Replaced
Asset Managment  
2008-02  Appendix A - Capital Planning Guidelines  Replaced
2008-02  Required Annual Capital Budget Submissions  Replaced
2007-17  Information Bulletin - Designated Substance - Asbestos Archived 
2007-03  Ontario Home Electricity Relief Programme  Archived 
2006-04  Fire Code - New Requirements for Multiple Smoke Alarms (Information Bulletin)  Archived

 

Data

Effective use of data and research is critical to achieving our housing and homelessness goals

 

County of Wellington Housing Services -Centralized Waiting List and Housed Data

All applications for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance for subsidized housing located in Guelph-Wellington are managed by the County of Wellington through the Centralized Waiting List. This "one-stop" centralized approach means applicants only need to complete one application form to apply to multiple housing providers for RGI assistance.

The number of households on the Centralized Waiting List fluctuates over time as individuals are housed, new households are added to the list, and outdated files are removed from the waiting list.

Table 1 - Total Active Applications

  2019 Q2 2019 Q1 2018 Q4 2018 Q3
Total Applications  2056 1986

1982

1862

Table 2 - Total Housed by Housing Type (incl. transfers)

  2019 Q2 2019 Q1 2018 Q4 2018 Q3
Transfers  8  15 6 8
Affordable  5  5 5 3
RGI  37  40 27 42
 Total Housed 50 60 38 53
Core Housing Need

Core housing need is a vital indicator of community well-being that takes into account three factors:

  1. Adequacy - Is the dwelling in need of major repair?
  2. Suitability - Are there enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of the household?
  3. Affordability - Do the households spend 30% or more of their before-tax income on accommodation?

One tenth (8,095) of all households in Guelph- Wellington were living in core housing need in 2016, below the provincial rate of 15%. The main reason for households being in core housing need is due to affordability.

Core Housing Need in Percentage - 2016

Township/Municipality Core Housing Need (%)
Puslinch 5.2
Erin 5.8
Centre Wellington 6.5
Mapleton 5.8
Minto 6.7
Wellington North 11.5
Guelph/Eramosa 6
Guelph (CY) 11.8
County of Wellington CMSM 10

Source: Statistics Canada, Census of population, 2016

Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the percentage of all purpose built rental that are vacant or unoccupied at a particular time.  If vacancy rates are low it is harder to find a unit.  In Ontario, a 3% overall vacancy rate is
generally accepted as an indicator of a balanced rental market.

Vacancy History Rate - County of Wellington

  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Bachelor 0.0% 1.4% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9%
1 Bdrm 1.4%  1.3% 1.2% 0.7% 1.3% 1.6%
2 Bdrm 2.0% 1.1% 1.0% 0.9% 1.1% 1.2%
3+ Bdrm 4.3% 3.6% 1.9% 2.3% 3.3% 0.4%
Total 1.9% 1.3% 1.1%  1.0% 1.6% 1.4%

Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Common Local Indicators 2018

Note: Vacancy rate data is collected by the Cananda Mortgage and Housing Corporation and reported annually in the Rental Market Survey.  Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Market Survey only collects data from municipalities with a population of 10,000 or greater.

Affordability

The owner and renter affordability tables are an estimate of how many households can afford different housing types, as well as how much households at different points on the income spectrum can afford, and market prices and rents within a particular area.

Owner Affordability in Guelph-Wellington

 

Renter Affordability in Guelph-Wellington

External Data Sources
CMHC Average Market Rents

Average Market Rents (AMRs) are updated annually based on the results of Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rental Market Survey, which surveys privately initiated structures with 3 or more units in Centres 10,000+.

AMRs are typically published on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website.

AMRs are used by Service Managers in the delivery of different programmes, and for planning and policy purposes. 

Following are approved 2019 AMRs for the County of Wellington.

  Bachelor 1Bdrm 2Bdrm 3Bdrm Total Bdrm
Average Market Rent (AMR) $773 $1,019 $1,146 $1,256 $1,097
Housing Income Limits (as of June 2019)

Effective June 6, 2019, the Ministry approved amendments to Ontario Regulation 370/11 under the Housing Services Act, 2011.  

The table below reflects household income limits (HILs) for the City of Guelph and County of Wellington. 

  Bach 1 Bdrm 2 Bdrm 3 Bdrm 4 Bdrm
City of Guelph $27,000 $34,000 $42,000 $51,000 $65,500
Wellington County $25,000 $31,000 $37,500 $40,500 $50,000

The most update to date Household Income Limits, as per O. Reg. 370/11 of the Housing Services Act, 2011 can be found on e-Laws.

High Needs Households and Household Income Limits

Evaluation and Studies
Definitions - Common Housing Terminology

Affordable Rental Housing 

  • A unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.

Affordable Ownership Housing

  • The purchase price is at least 10 percent below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area.

Attainable Housing

  • A term used interchangeably with affordable, which can stress that even rents set at ‘affordable’ rates (below market) are not ‘attainable’ for all households.

Emergency Shelter Bed Nights

  • Measures the number of times a shelter bed is used.

By-Name-List (BNL)

  • A real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness. The BNL helps service providers prioritize need, track the status change as individuals and families move in and out of homelessness and inform action as we move towards ending chronic homelessness in our community.

Community Housing

  • An umbrella term used to refer to not-for-profit housing, public housing, co-operative social housing (RGI), and affordable. 

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Bilateral Agreement regarding the National Housing
Strategy defines Community-based housing as housing that is owned and operated by non-profit housing corporations and housing co-operatives or housing owned directly or indirectly by provincial, territorial or municipal governments or district social services administration boards and includes Social Housing.

Coordinated Entry

  • A standardized approach to assessing a homeless individual or family’s, needs and the services they may require to achieve housing stability.  Having an effective Coordinated Entry System streamlines access to housing and supports for homeless individual and families.  The County of Wellington has had a CES in place since 2016.

Co-operative Housing Corporations

  • Living in a housing co-operative means that you are a member of the corporation that owns and manages the housing community. The governing Board of Directors is established from members of the co-operative. Co-operative members are expected to participate in the operation of their community.

Core Housing Need

Is an indicator of community well-being that takes into account three factors:

  • Adequacy - Is the dwelling in need of major repair?
  • Suitability – Are there enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of the household?
  • Affordability – Do the households spend 30% or more of their before-tax income on accommodation?

Statistics Canada describes core housing need as a household whose dwelling is considered unsuitable, inadequate or unaffordable and whose income levels are such that they could not afford alternative suitable and adequate housing in their community.

Emergency Shelter

Provide crisis, short-term lodging until an emergency situation is resolved.  In Guelph-Wellington we have 3 emergency shelters:

  • Dwelling Place (16 beds) providing shelter for women and children,
  • Stepping Stones (22 beds) providing shelter to men and
  • Wyndham House (14 beds) providing shelter to youth (ages 16-24)

Additionally, in the City of Guelph there is a 28 bed shelter operated by Women in Crisis

Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) 

  • A web based software that helps manage the entire spectrum of support services provided to individuals and families experiencing homelessness and supports a coordinated approach to service provision. Data collected through HIFIS contributes to a better understanding of homelessness in our community.

Housing Continuum

  • The full range of housing options individuals may need over a lifetime, including temporary emergency shelters, transition housing, supportive housing, subsidized housing, market rental housing or market homeownership.

Housing First 

A recovery-oriented approach to ending homelessness that centers on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing additional supports and services as needed. (Stephen Gaetz, Fiona Scott, & Tanya Gulliver (2013). Housing First in Canada. Supporting Communities to End Homelessness. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.)

The five (5) core principles are as follows:

  • Immediate access to permanent housing with no housing readiness requirements;
  • Consumer choice and self-determination;
  • Recovery oriented;
  • Individualized and client-driven supports; and
  • Social and community integration.

Homelessness 

A broad term that encompasses the following:

  • Unsheltered: Living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation
  • Emergency sheltered: Staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence
  • Provisionally accommodated: Those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure
  • Risk of homelessness: Referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.

Individuals who are experiencing chronic homelessness have been experiencing homelessness for over 6 months.

Homelessness – Inflow/Outflow

  • Information gathered through the BNL that helps us understand who is coming into the homelessness system (inflow) and who is being housed and leaving the system (outflow).  Tracking inflow/outflow and actively homeless in our community helps us measure progress towards ending chronic homelessness.

Market Housing

  • Refers to private (rental or home ownership) where prices are set in the open market.

Non-Profit Housing Corporations

  • Non-profit housing corporations are owned and operated by community-based organizations and are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Permanent Supportive (or Supported) Housing

  • Combines rental assistance with individualized support services for people with high needs related to physical or mental health, developmental disabilities or substance use.

Rent Geared to Income (RGI) or social housing 

  • A unit for which the tenants pay no more than 30% of their household income in rent and the remainder is subsidized through government contributions.

Subsidized Rental

  • Subsidies provided to offset private market rents in private rental units for low-income households. Subsidies are generally provided by the CMSM or Service Provider (e.g. CMHA) for qualifying households in two ways:
    • Rent Supplement - market rent less RGI calculation (may average $500 per unit per month); this involves an agreement with a landlord for a particular unit(s) to be allocated to a household(s) on the centralized waiting list
    • Housing Allowance - fixed housing subsidy (may average $250 per unit per month) which is attached to the household rather than a specific housing unit

Transitional Housing 

  • Facilities that are targeted to those in need of structure, support and/or skill building, in order to move from homelessness to housing stability and ultimately prevent a return to homelessness. They provide support services such as counselling, job training and placement, community activities, and help with life skills. Accommodation is temporary (time limited). Residents can typically stay up to a maximum of three years; the maximum stay is specified in the service agreement with the CMSM or Service Provider (e.g. CMHA).

 

© 2019 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909