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Low Income Seniors application for RGI Denied 

Posts: 2

Posted On: 10/25/2015
Posts: 2
My parents retired in May of 2015, as soon as they did their monthly combined income was decreased by over 60%.

They have been living in nonprofit housing complex but were paying a full market rent.

Now however as you can imagine they are not able to do that.

How can they pay a rent of $1200 with a total monthly household income of $1400?!

To their total shock when they applied for Rent-Gear-to Income subsidy their application and the appeal were denied by York Housing Services, with an explanation that a decrease in incone due to retirement does not qualify them for In-Situ priority!!!

How is that fair?!!

They already live in the building, they have been living in that apartment for the last 7 years, so it is obviously not an issue of not having an available unit for them.
All they need is the approval for Rent-Geared-to Income subsidy so they can afford to pay rent for the same apartment. Plus they have been on the waiting list for subsidy in the same building for the last 5 years.
And still their application and the appeal were both denied.
What are they suppose to do now?!

The social worker suggested to move into somebody's basement for $500/ month because that is all they can afford.
No suggestions on where to find money for first and last month, moving expenses,etc. But even these obsticals are nothing in compare to difficulty to find a landlord who would lease even a basement to a couple of seniors with limited income.
So they can afford to pay full market rent, their application for RGI is denied, and they can not move.
What other option do they have?! Become homeless?! Live on the street?! Shelter?!
So after working so hard for so many years, and paying taxes by the way, never asking for help before, never using EI, never being on welfare or ODSP, is that what our seniors citizens deserve?! Total disregard to the basic human need to have a roof over their heads?!

Any suggestions?

What should my parents do?!
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Posts: 4027

Posted On: 10/27/2015
Posts: 4027

Thank you for sharing your parents' situation with us.

We can appreciate that you would be concerned and frustrated with this situation.

From the information we have found, generally, in some cases when there is a rent-geared-to-income subsidy denial, it is possible for the tenants to request an appeal.

According to one sample from the Social Housing of Haldimand and Norfolk website,

Internal Review – is an independent and critical examination of the decision that is reviewable under Section 155-159 of the Housing Services Act, 2011. It is conducted by an individual or individuals who did not participate in making the decision being appealed. Internal Review is the process of reviewing a complete applicant file, not in-person communication with an applicant or anyone who could represent the applicant.

Under the Housing Services Act, there are 6 types of decisions that may be reviewed through the Internal Review process:

*Eligibility for RGI assistance
*Eligibility for special needs housing
*Type or size of accommodation
*Category on the waiting list
*Amount of geared to income rent
*Deferral of geared to income rent payable by the household

You and your parents may want to contact the housing provider to find out what their options are in this situation and if they can appeal the decision.

You may also want to try and contact the nearest Community Legal Clinic to find out if they can provide any information or some assistance related to rent-geared-to-income housing.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.

Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS