Most recipients of Ontario Works (OW) and the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) are aware that the provincial government ended the CSUMB benefit as of January 1, 2013. What many people don’t know however is that municipalities were instructed by the province to create new Community Homelessness Prevention Initiatives (CHPI), including the Housing Stabilization Fund (HSF). Toronto Employment and Social Services (TESS) did so, but officials have advised Toronto legal clinics that the requests for Housing Stabilization Fund assistance are quite low. NLS wants to help get the word out that some additional forms of assistance are still possible.
While the benefits provided through HSF are not contained in law (& hence not enforceable / appealable the way CSUMB was), Toronto’s benefits are comparable in other ways. Some of the old criteria to qualify still apply. That is, you must provide proof of your need up to the maximum allowed, demonstrate financial sustainability (eg. if rental arrears are paid off, can you afford the monthly rent). But the previous requirement that someone must not have received CSUMB in the last 24 months has been dropped. In the case of ODSP recipients, total income and assets will also be taken into account when assessing eligibility.
Toronto’s HSF is available to those on OW and ODSP to assist with:
Someone on ODSP must be referred by their ODSP worker to OW for assistance from the HSF, while a person on OW simply needs to raise the issue with their worker.
TESS has also set up an internal appeal procedure regarding denials of the Housing Stabilization Fund. While a negative decision can’t be appealed to the Social Benefits Tribunal, if someone disagrees with a negative decision, they can express this disagreement to their worker and the case will be reviewed by the supervisor. A negative decision by the supervisor will be reviewed by the local office manager, but the decision of the manager is final. The final decision will not be provided in writing only communicated verbally.
TESS is also in the process of setting up a community consultation process to be carried out in this transition year. They are hiring outside consultants to assist in canvassing the views of recipients, agencies, etc. as to what this program should look like down the road. Look for more details in the months ahead about how to participate.
2/22/2016 10:17:04 pm
Odsp! Income should be raise to 50%. Invest some into flex care, medications, that not cover will be cover.
8/7/2017 01:59:43 am
It's should be easy to excess to a social worker and ot should be shorter time and less on the application with the social worker and it should be shorter and less to wards the social worker. And less stress on obligation on the social worker to help the clients could they under stand the stress of trying to get by with very little bit of money for rent food tolietis and transportation and every day needs and asserties more help should be need it's very hard living on a fix income to do nothing.
12/10/2020 06:01:02 pm
Who do I contact for the housing stabilization benefit last month rent
8/19/2021 09:28:13 am
Only living off of 733 is nothing . When I was kicked out in the middle of covid. I had to save my own money from my check to pay my deposits and I necer got help with furniture bed or anything and when asked I was told I wasn't able to receive it and I don't blamey worker or anything cause he can't do much about it but I feel like it's not far for people like me who can't afford to buy anything. I have a dresser that's falling apart and I'm laying on the ground because I don't have a bed frame plus box spring is broken too. I never asked for any start up since 2011 so I feel a little hurt that I been denied and feel like they should do something to help even if I can get a furniture bank they did that be great too . Anything will really help tbh I just want to be able to put my clothes away in a dresser thats not broken and box spring . I feel like I'm suffering enough already and how people are treated on Ontario works get shafted on every thing it's really not fair we need to live too and eat sleep like everyone else's. Even ODSP get way more than welfare and it's really not fair cause half the people I know on ODSP get by way better and can afford to live you're talking about almost 500 dollars more it's really not fair actually and I think the government owes it to us both and help people more on Ontario works not just ODSP .
Comments are closed.
The NLS Blog
Our blog shares information with our community on legal developments and other important issues. As such we hope you'll find this blog informative - and maybe even fun.