Q: What is my status on the waitlist?

A:  Due to a high volume of inquiries, Intake & Eligibility is unable to address client questions concerning applicant positions on the waiting lists for their project selections.  Each project has its own list.  Priorities change the waitlists constantly.

Q: Has my application been processed yet?

A:  You will receive written confirmation from us when your application has been processed.

Q: What other information is required for my application to be considered complete and processed?

A:   A letter will be sent out to inform the applicant what information is missing and needs to be completed in order for their application to be processed.  The applicant has 30 days to submit the missing information.  If you require further information please contact our office.

Q: How can I get an application for Rent-Geared-to-Income housing? I am looking for housing because I cannot afford my rent. What should I be doing?

A:  There are three ways to request a Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing application:

1. You may pick one up at our office on 231 May Street South, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1B5 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm weekdays.

2. You may also print an application from our Forms section.

  • Press the Housing tab on the left side and then press the “applying for social housing” link.
  • Also, there is an Application Guide available on-line which consists of tips on completing your RGI application and a complete list of documents required with the application.

3. If you are unable to do either of these, we are able to mail one to you. Please call Intake & Eligibility at (807) 766-2111 to make these arrangements. If no one is available to answer your call, please leave a voice mail message and someone will get back to you.

Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing is non-emergency in nature. As a result, there tends to be a long waitlist for each housing project. Although we recommend you submit an RGI application as soon as possible, other housing options may need to be pursued.  There is a housing list produced weekly at TBDSSAB of market rent units that are available in the city.

Q: I would like to cancel my application and be removed from the waitlist, what do I need to do?

A:  An RGI application can be cancelled in one of three ways.

1. You need to call in and speak to Intake & Eligibility staff directly. Please call Intake & Eligibility at (807)766-2111.

2. Send in a written request to cancel your application to 231 May Street South, Thunder Bay, ON P7E 1B5.

3. Or fax a written request to cancel your application to 807-623-4902.

Q: I do not have an income. Am I eligible to apply for affordable Housing?

A:  Yes. However, once you apply for affordable housing you are required to pursue any income to which you may be eligible for.

Q: I own my own home. Can I still apply?

A:  Yes you can still apply but under the legislation, if you own a residential property that can be used all year, but you are required to sell your residential property within 180 days of receiving rent-geared-to-income assistance.

Q: What happens after Intake & Eligibility receives my application?

A:  Once your application is received and determined eligible for housing, your name will be placed on the waiting list(s) for the housing projects that you have selected. When a vacancy occurs in one of your selected projects, the housing provider for that unit will review the waitlist and contact the next eligible applicant on the list.

Q:  After I submit my housing application, how will Intake & Eligibility contact me?

A:  After your application has been received, it will then be reviewed to ensure it is complete. You will receive a written notice informing you whether or not your application is complete.

If it has been determined your application is not complete, you will be informed of the reason and the additional information required. You will be given 30 days in which to submit the required documentation.

If your application is complete and you qualify for your chosen housing projects, a written notice will be sent out. This written notice will state that your application is eligible for the affordable housing projects that you have selected. If you select projects that you are not eligible for, your name will not be placed on those waiting lists.

Q:  What should I do if my information or situation changes after I submit my application?

A:  If there is a change in any of your contact information, family size or a change affecting your priority information, you are required to notify The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board — Intake & Eligibility at (807) 766-2111 (toll free 1-877-281-2958) within 15 business days of the change. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a voice mail message and someone will get back to you.

Q:  What if I can’t get some of the information needed to complete my application?

A:  If you are unable to get the information that The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board — Intake & Eligibility needs for your application, we may ask you for other information in its place. Until the application is complete, we will not place your name on the waiting list. The application date is used when you are placed on the waitlist. Please call Intake & Eligibility at (807) 766-2111 to inquire further. If they are not there, please leave a voice mail message and someone will get back to you.

Q:  How long will it take for me to get a unit?

A:  The length of time before a unit becomes available varies greatly depending on the locations you have chosen. Some communities or housing projects have more frequent vacancies than others. The more locations you select the more waiting lists your name will be placed on, which may increase your chances of being housed sooner.

Since there are too many variables involved in the housing procedure, Intake & Eligibility cannot make accurate predictions as to how long one will have to remain on the waiting list for their project selections.

Q:  How many rent-geared-to-income housing locations can I choose?

A:  There is no limit as to how many housing projects you can select. However, some housing providers have specific rules and mandates pertaining to whom they offer a unit to. Please refer to the Application for more details.

Q:  If I add extra housing provider/projects to my application, why do I have a different application date (i.e. different positions on the waiting list) for each housing provider’s waiting list?

A:  Each provider has its own waiting list. You are placed on each housing provider’s waiting list according to the date that you applied for their units. Your application date is unique to each housing provider and waitlist.

Q:  How many offers for rent-geared-to-income housing do I get?

A:  Effective January 1, 2020 all applicants will only be provided with one offer to be housed, based on the housing selections the applicant has made.  If the offer is refused, the application will go back to the bottom of the RGI Centralized Waitlist and the application date will be updated to the date the housing offer was refused.

Please ensure your waitlist selections are your preferred property choices.

If no response is received within 7 days of the housing offer, the application will be cancelled.

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

A:  You can choose what type of unit you want to live in; however, your choice must fall within a range of unit sizes that is determined by the Local Occupancy Standards that apply to your household size.

You can obtain a copy of the Local Occupancy Standards either at the front desk at: 231 May Street South, Thunder Bay, ON.

Or, print it from the website.

Q:  What happens while I am waiting for housing?

A:  It is important that you keep your file up-to-date. You must notify The District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board – Intake & Eligibility at (807) 766-2111 (toll free 1-877-281-2958) within 15 business days if any of the information that you provide on your application changes.

For example:

  • Your current mailing address, phone number, or income changes;
  • The number of people in your household changes;
  • The contact person on your application changes;

We will send you a letter or contact you at least once every two years to ensure that you remain eligible for affordable housing in the District of Thunder Bay. Your name will be removed from the waiting list if our office is unable to contact you or you do not respond to our correspondence within 30 days of receiving it.

Q:  How are people chosen for housing?

A:  The system for selecting households is based primarily on the date of application. Special Priority Status (victims of family violence fleeing abuse), and Exceptional Status (terminal medical issues) may be granted to your application if you meet the criteria for the category. Supporting documentation will be required.

Q:  At what age am I eligible to apply for Seniors Housing?

A:  The minimum age of eligibility for seniors housing is 50. Some senior projects in the District of Thunder Bay have a mandate of 50, 60, or 65 years of age and up for eligibility. These requirements are clearly listed beside each housing selection on the seniors application form.

Q:  How will I be contacted with an offer?

A:  The housing provider with a vacancy will call you if you are at the top of their waitlist, or your contact person listed on your application. Please ensure Intake & Eligibility is well informed with regards to changes of contact information that may occur.

Q:  How much rent can I expect to pay?

A:  In general, Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing is based on 30% of your gross monthly income, plus there may be additional expenses depending on the housing project.

If you are receiving assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, a social assistance rent scale will apply. Additional charges may apply depending on the housing provider.

Q:  I had a message from a Housing Provider about an offer of a unit. I don’t know who called me, can you help me?

A:  Offers of units do not come from Intake & Eligibility they come directly from the Housing Providers.  You will need to call back the person who called you.

A clerk at Intake & Eligibility can look into this for you: please call (807) 766-2111. If no one is available to take your call, please leave a voice mail message and someone will get back to you.