For a translated version of this information, please see: COVIDhelpTO
The City has directed social and affordable housing providers to be flexible, exercise discretion and work with tenants. While the City has no power to direct landlords, all property owners are strongly urged to find ways to help tenants to stay in their homes and to proactively communicate with tenants about options, if available.
The City of Toronto funds an interest-free loan of up to $4,000 for eligible households through the Rent Back.
The province has suspended evictions (approving new ones or enforcing evictions) in the current health emergency. This is the number for the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board that handles tenants’ rights: 1-888-332-3234
If you get an eviction notice, do not leave your apartment. They can not force you out right now. Send a copy of the eviction notice to our office and we can follow up with the landlord directly, making sure they understand their obligations.
In that scenario I also encourage you to email or call MPP Suze Morrison's office. As your provincial representative, she will have the most up-to-date information on your rights under the landlord tenant act. MPP Morrison’s office can be reached at: SMorrison-CO@ndp.on.ca; Tel.416-972-7683.
Neither the Provincial or federal government have committed to any rent freezes or deferrals for small businesses.
If you are a small business owner, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) has compiled a list of financial resources, in the form of tax breaks and deferrals to help you get through the next couple of months here.
I encourage you to complete this City survey to share how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting your business, and what information or supports you and your employees need. The Mayor’s Economic Support & Recovery Task Force is focused on quickly determining what supports and stimulus work needs to be done, working with industry partners to identify actions to support businesses, workers and residents. Learn more about the Economic Support & Recovery Taskforce here.
Toronto Community Housing will be flexible and work with market rent and rent-geared-to-income tenants. TCHC will recalculate rent for rent-geared-to-income tenants, based on employment income changes due to COVID-19, and will work with market rent tenants on rent deferment plans on a case-specific basis. To request a rent adjustment (RGI) or a deferral (market), tenants need to fill out a form (attached) and return it to TCHC.
Tenants can obtain the form by:
Calling our 24-hour Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500
Customers behind on electricity or natural gas bill and face having service disconnected may qualify for emergency financial help through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP). Find more information about LEAP here.
There are also special customer service rules available for low-income households. Customers need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs. Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) Customers of an electricity utility and in a lower-income home may qualify for a reduction on your electricity bill through this program.
Toronto Hydro’s Customer Care team is available to help with billing concerns and payment options for electricity bills. Financial assistance programs are available to help those experiencing financial hardship. Electricity disconnection has also been suspended.
Starting March 24, residential and small business hydro customers will pay the off-peak rate (10.1¢/kWh) no matter what time of day the electricity is consumed. The Government of Ontario has indicated this will be in place for at least 45 days. This pricing will be applied automatically – no customer action is required. Some customers may receive a bill before their utility or unit sub-meter provider is able to implement the price change, in which case they will receive a credit on the following bill.
The City of Toronto is offering a 60-day grace period for property tax payments and utility payments. More information can be found here.
If tenants are directly responsible to pay property tax and/or utility amounts under the terms of their lease with the landlord/property owner, then the grace period for property tax and utility payments will apply, and the due dates for these payments will be extended by 60 days.
For tenants in leases where the property tax and utility bills are paid as part of the total rent, where the owner ultimately responsible to pay the taxes, then tenants should check with their landlord to determine whether their rent payment schedule, or amounts paid for property tax and utilities, will vary from the terms set out in the tenant’s lease agreement. As the responsibility to pay property tax and utility amounts ultimately and legally resides with the owner of the property, the City has no means of intervening in landlord/tenant arrangements and cannot act to enforce the extension of the grace period to tenants.
Right now, all City-operated shelters, respites and 24-hour women's drop-ins remain open and support activities continue. Streets to Homes outreach is ongoing. If you see someone that you think needs help, please continue to call 311 to report it.
Currently the City of Toronto is looking at ways to provide hotel rooms and housing to everyone, not just those who test positive for COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms. To date the City has:
Announced that they secured 12 hotels with 1,200 hotel beds across a dozen sites as part of the operational response. As of today, five are operational, with plans for seven more to be up and running over the coming week.
Staff are working to transition residents from shelters to hotels over the next few days, and 313 people have been moved so far. City staff are also looking into other suitable sites, including university residences, motels, and vacant rental buildings.
Announced steps to re-house people in vacant TCHC units. 17 households have already moved in, another 54 are matched with units and are scheduled to move, and 35 more units are in the pipeline to become available soon to families in need.
If you are experiencing homelessness call the City’s Central Intake Line at:
You will be asked about your current health and recent travel history and then referred to available shelter, respite site or isolation site. For more information about the locations of shelters or respite sites, visit the Homeless Help web page (please note, drop in and out of the cold information is being updated). You can also get more information about housing supports, such as Access to Housing and Toronto Community Housing.
Please also see my page about Homelessness and Encampments, which provides an in-depth look into the ways the City is addressing this issue: www.kristynwongtam.ca/homelessness
Mortgage payment deferral
Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months.
Who can apply: Your bank or your mortgage professional can tell you if you are eligible for a mortgage payment deferral.
Available: Program will be ongoing. Can apply at any time.