Housing & Homelessness Programs2024-05-10T12:39:32-04:00

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TBDSSAB manages the community housing and homelessness prevention system in the District of Thunder Bay. Our Housing Programs assists individuals and families by offering affordable housing and rent supports. We also work with community organizations and the emergency shelter system to support initiatives that aim to address homelessness throughout our district.

Whether you are a single person, large family, senior or a person with a disability, our focus is to provide quality housing choices that are affordable for everyone.

Learn more about TBDSSAB’s housing & homelessness prevention programs by clicking on the links below.

Housing & Homelessness Programs FAQ

Resources for Applicants

How to Apply

There are 2 ways to apply for Rent Geared to Income (RGI) housing:

  1. Apply Online (link)
  2. Download RGI Housing Application (PDF)

More information on how to apply can be found in the RGI Application and Special Needs Housing Guide (PDF).

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) provides decent and affordable housing in safe and secure living environments.

To be considered for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) Housing, a complete RGI Housing Application must be submitted. On the application, applicants are requested to provide information about their total household income, family size and current living situation. A guide is provided for tips on completing your application and for a complete list of documents required to be submitted with your application.

Community Housing

Community Housing ensures that a variety of quality homes and services are available for people in housing need and with low to moderate incomes.

TBDSSAB owns and operates 2,473 community housing units and is responsible for the funding and administration of approximately 1,075 community housing units owned and managed by 21 non-profit providers.  There are also approximately 495 housing units made available by Private Landlords under the Rent Supplement Program.  The housing projects are located throughout the District of Thunder Bay and vary in building type, amenities and unit size.

Our Intake & Eligibility team assesses the housing needs of applicants and places them on the central waiting list.  While assessing your application, we will identify any other advice or services that may be able to assist you with your housing situation.

When there is a vacancy, the unit is offered from the central waiting list to the next eligible household.  Applicants usually have only a short time to accept a housing offer before it goes to the next eligible household.

Affordable Housing

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) provides a wide variety of affordable housing programs in partnership with the provincial and federal governments including:

  • Ontario Renovates: Forgivable loans for homeowners to repair their homes, bring them up to health and safety standards, and improve accessibility for persons with disabilities;
  • Capital funding to develop rental at affordable rates;
  • Capital funding for essential repairs and renovations that improve the health and safety of residents living in social housing;
  • Rent supplements;
  • Grants to assist households who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with rent and utility arrears.

Affordable housing programs are funded through Ontario Priorities Housing Initiative (OPHI), a Canada-Ontario partnership to expand the availability of Affordable Housing.

To learn more about this program please see the OPHI Guidelines available below.

COCHI and OPHI Guidelines

Ontario Renovates

Are you a homeowner struggling to make home repairs?  TBDSSAB may be able to help make home repairs more affordable through the Ontario Renovates program.

The Ontario Renovates Program may be able to help you:

  • live in your home longer;
  • repair your home with eligible repairs to make it safe while improving energy efficiency;
  • install features that support modifications and renovations to increase accessibility

Ontario Renovates is designed to help low to moderate income homeowners make urgently-needed home repairs to address home health and safety problems, or to make modifications to their home to accommodate members with disabilities.

Click here for more information about Ontario Renovates.

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) directly manages many types of housing to meet the needs of all people and families living in the District.  This includes the direct management of social housing properties and the administration of the Rent Supplement Program.  In addition to these services, the TBDSSAB provides oversight and financial support for the not-for-profit social housing units throughout the District of Thunder Bay.

Please click on the links below to view a list of rental properties available in your area. Photographs and profile descriptions are provided for each listing.

We also provide information and applications for rent-geared-to-income subsidy assistance.


Before applying for a housing subsidy, The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) encourages applicants to confirm their eligibility. Eligible households Include:

  • Families of all types
  • Senior Citizens
  • Single Individuals
  • Couples
  • Unrelated Individuals sharing a dwelling
  • Two (2) or more Families sharing a dwelling

A household is eligible for Rent-Geared-to-Income assistance if:

  • At least one (1) household member is sixteen (16) years of age or older and able to live independently. This means that the household member must be able to either perform the essential activities of day-to-day living by themselves, or be able to live independently with the aid of certain support services. (Documentation will be required)
  • In the case of projects with a mandate to house senior citizens, at least one (1) household member is sixty-five (65) years of age, sixty (60) years of age or older, or fifty (50) years of age for some projects
  • Each household member is a Canadian Citizen, has been granted status as a permanent resident under the Immigration Act(Canada), or is a refugee claimant under the Immigration Act (Canada).
  • No deportation order under the Immigration Act(Canada) has been made against any household member.
  • In the case of a household other than a household with special priority status, no member of the household owes arrears either of rent or of money owed as a result of damage caused by a member of the household with respect to any housing project under any housing program, whether administered by The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board or the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Ministry).
  • In the case of a household with special priority status, no member of the household owes arrears either in rent or of money owed as a result of damage caused by a member of the household with respect to any housing project under any housing program, whether administered by The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board or the Ministry, unless in the case of arrears owed in respect of a unit of which the member and the abusing individual are joint tenants:
    • Prior tenants are required to pay 50% toward the total amount of arrears owing and enter into a repayment agreement in order to re-apply for RGI housing.
  • No household member has been convicted by a court of law or found by an administrative tribunal (Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal) to be misrepresenting their income for the purposes of Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance.
  • Household members have applied for specified forms of assistance for which they may be eligible.
    • These sources of income are limited to Ontario Works, divorce or support payments, Employment Insurance, government pensions, and support from a sponsor under the Immigration Act(Canada).
  • Household members have divested interest in residential property within 180 days of receiving RGI assistance. In the case of other important circumstances, the TBDSSAB will allow housing providers to approve extensions of up to 2 years of receiving RGI assistance.

Annually, once every 12 month period after a household is determined to be eligible for RGI assistance, Intake & Eligibility shall review the eligibility of the household and shall determine whether the household continues to be eligible for RGI assistance.

Local Occupancy Standards have been developed to guide housing providers in the determination of the appropriate size of unit a household may be eligible for. Click here to review the Local Occupancy Standards that have been approved by the TBDSSAB.

Priority Applications

The Province has set regulations for ranking priority households on the centralized waiting list.  If you or a member of your family is experiencing family violence, personal safety issues, situations of an extraordinary nature, or serious medical problems where your current accommodation poses a risk, you may qualify for one of the following priority statuses:

  • Special Priority Status: SPP Verification Declaration Application Form and supporting letter must be completed and submitted.
  • Exceptional Priority Status: If applying for medical reasons, a Medical Report (available from TBDSSAB Intake) must be completed and submitted.  For other exceptional priority requests supporting documentation needs to be attached.

Tenant Resources

For the tenant handbook and other resources, please visit the Useful Resources page.

Tenant Handbook

Updated November 2020 – TBDSSAB Tenant Handbook 2020 (PDF, 743kb)

Tenant Newsletters

Tenant newsletters are produced twice a year and are delivered to all tenants in TBDSSAB owned housing units.

Programming Calendars

Windsor Resource Centre

Trillium/Academy Resource Centre

Limbrick Resource Centre

Spence Court

Bed Bugs

Refer to the TBDSSAB Bed Bug Fact Sheet for Tenants (PDF) for information about steps to take in the event of Bed Bugs.

For additional resources with respect to Bed Bugs, visit the following websites:

Resources for Landlords & Organizations

Rent Supplement Program

The Rent Supplement Program provides subsidies for units in buildings owned by private landlords for residents who cannot afford to pay market rent.

Before entering into an agreement with a landlord for rent supplement units, TBDSSAB conducts a unit inspection and determines if the unit meets criteria for program delivery.

Every time a unit under the agreement with a private landlord becomes available, TBDSSAB refers information about two (2) applicants on the centralized waiting list to the rent supplement landlord. The rent supplement landlord then chooses one of the applicants for the unit and notifies TBDSSAB of the selected applicant.

A lease is signed with the tenant as well as terms of agreement for subsidy with TBDSSAB. The tenant pays the landlord a rent amount that is determined by the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) and its associated Regulations. The rent is calculated based on 30% of gross monthly household income, while the TBDSSAB remits the difference to market rent to the rent supplement landlord on the first day of each month. If the tenant’s household receives government assistance, such as Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, the amount of rent is determined from a scale created by the provincial government. Landlords must comply with all the applicable legislation (Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, Housing Services Act, 2011) as well as the Rent Supplement Agreement

Over 450 units and more than 60 landlords participate in the Rent Supplement Program in the District of Thunder Bay.

Following are the steps to become a Rent Supplement Program Landlord:

  1. Prospective landlord must submit the Landlord Rent Supplement Application Form to the TBDSSAB.  The Form is available online, or could be mailed to prospective landlord, if requested.
  2. Housing Programs reviews the submitted application and contacts prospective landlord. Housing Programs evaluates unit against current Social Housing Waitlist demand and market rent levels.
  3. If unit meets criteria, TBDSSAB contacts prospective landlord to schedule a physical viewing of the unit.
  4. If all evaluation components are positive, Rent Supplement Package is sent to new Rent Supplement Landlord for completion.
  5. Upon submission of the signed agreement and proof of insurance (minimum $2,000,000 liability), Rent Supplement Agreement will be finalized, and rent supplement process can begin with tenants, as required.

If you are a landlord and are interested in offering your units under the rent supplement program, please complete the application form and forward your application to:

Housing Programs Officer
231 South May Street
Thunder Bay, ON,  P7E 1B5

Homelessness Prevention

The Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) combines funding from former separate housing and homelessness programs into a single flexible program. Funding can now be used by Service Managers to address local priorities and better meet the needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in their local communities.

The HPP program provides the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB) with a funding envelope and flexibility to use available funding for programs within four identified provincial service categories:

  • Emergency Shelter Solutions (e.g. emergency shelter and/or safe bed)
  • Housing and Related Supports (e.g. permanent housing, rental allowance)
  • Services and Supports (e.g. street and housing outreach, food banks, housing search)
  • Homelessness Prevention

Funding can be accessed as a one-time project, to be completed within the same calendar year.  Access this funding through the Community Homelessness Support Program.

Funding may also be considered for ongoing homelessness programs.  To access this funding stream, more information can be found under Community Outreach and Support below.

The TBDSSAB has utilized HPP to provide funding to the following programs and services:

Community Outreach and Support

TBDSSAB welcomes proposals from community-based organizations who are seeking funding to deliver programs and initiatives aimed at reducing and eliminating homelessness.  Addressing the challenge of homelessness requires a community approach, with varied approaches, skills, supports, and delivery.

To apply for funding, please provide a business case outlining your initiative, including detail on the following:

  1. Does the proposal address the goals of reducing and eliminating homelessness?
  2. Is there a demonstrated need in the community for the proposal, supported by objective evidence?  Please include/attach evidence to support the proposal.
  3. Is there an evaluation component to measure the impact and outcome of the proposal?
  4. Does the proposal involve partnerships and co-operative efforts?
  5. Has the organization met the terms and conditions of previous agreements with The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board (TBDSSAB or the Board)?
  6. Has the organization previously been approved for other funding through TBDSSAB?  If so, outline all previous/current funding initiatives.  Have all previous reporting requirements been met as required?

Direct outreach, service and materials will take precedence over staffing and administrative expenses.  Capital expenditures are not eligible under this funding.

Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee approval of your submission.  All funding decisions are subject to availability of funds and TBDSSAB approval.  Approval of ongoing funding is subject to annual budget approvals.

Please submit completed business case and supporting documentation to:

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board
231 May Street, South
Thunder Bay, ON  P7E 1B5
Email: samantha.vance@tbdssab.ca

The Community Homelessness Support Program aims to provide financial support to organizations that are supporting the homeless or preventing homelessness.

Click here for more information.

Reports & Statistics

Under One Roof: A Housing and Homelessness Plan

About the Plan:

The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board approved Under One Roof: A Housing and Homelessness Plan (pdf) in July, 2014.

Under One Roof is a 10-year strategy that outlines the priorities for the DSSAB to ensure the best possible services are provided while meeting the program responsibilities identified in the Housing Services Act.

Under One Roof: A Housing and Homelessness Plan will be reviewed every two years and updated as the needs of the community change over the next decade.

Housing and Homelessness Plan 5 Year Update (pdf)

2020 Annual Update:

TBDSSAB has created an Annual Progress Report (pdf)  to show the progress made toward the completion of the recommendations contained within the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Strategy. The update shows the strong success that the TBDSSAB has had in working with individuals and families in securing affordable housing, and broadening our reach with landlords offering rent supplement units.

TBDSSAB has also been successful in engaging community partners in providing support services and assistance to our tenants, including the location of services offered by Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) within our housing properties.

TBDSSAB continues to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of our current programs, and have built-in evaluation components into new initiatives, both internally and with our funded Service Providers.

Read the report that was presented in March 2016: Homelessness Presentation (pdf)

District of Thunder Bay Point-In-Time Count of People Experiencing Homelessness

News & Updates

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